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SISO Update


18 Jun 2021

SISO Update

Last week, all eyes were on Informa Markets as the company produced the World of Concrete (WOC) in Las Vegas. WOC was the first trade show at the new West Hall at the Las Vegas Convention Center. To add to the excitement, the Boring Co. officially opened the Loop, a transportation hub that utilizes Teslas as people movers via an underground tunnel that connects the West, North/Central and South halls. Per CDC guidelines, masks were not required for fully vaccinated attendees and exhibitors, but temperature checks and wristbands were required to gain access to the show floor. All government and health department restrictions were lifted on June 1 for trade shows in Las Vegas for the first time since the pandemic shut down the city in March 2020. SISO is producing a case study on WOC, so stay tuned. In the meantime, check out the links below to SISO's video coverage from the event.

SISO Activities

Case Studies 

SISO and UFI are producing a case study on Mobile World Congress, scheduled for June 28-July 1 in Barcelona. If you will be attending the event, please let us know by emailing SISO is exploring options for a meetup, group discussions and interviews with key show personnel.

Stay tuned: Events Industry Commentator and Consultant Dan Assor will produce a broadcast with Danica Tormohlen from Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Assor hosts topical discussions with event, exhibition and business professionals on The Dan Assor Podcast, In Conversation With, which is sponsored by SISO. Members can subscribe to The Dan Assor Podcast from any of these channels: YouTubeFacebookLinkedInSpotifyApple, and Twitter.

As you get ready to return to live events, we encourage you to check out the recent SISO/UFI White Papers on how SISO members have successfully produced events during the pandemic. Since last October, SISO has published six case studies for members to use as a playbook for how others are forging ahead during these uncertain times. In May, SISO published Case Study: Jewelers International Showcase, Reed Exhibitions USA safely produces its first show in the U.S. since the pandemic.

SISO attended World of Concrete. Here's a link to some video coverage from the event as a preview of what's to come in the case study.

Event Industry Backyard Ultra

Doug Emslie, CEO of the Tarsus Group and Immediate Past Chair of SISO, created the Event Industry Backyard Ultra, a 24-hour running event that featured more than 17 live-streamed sessions from five countries. The event supported charities focused on helping those in need within the events industry, including EventWell, The Meetings Industry Fund and The Indian Red Cross Society.

More than 57 runners, including Emslie, participated in the fundraiser on June 8-9. The event, supported by corporate and association sponsors including SISO, ASP, Charterhouse Capital Partners, Clarion Events, Diversified Communications, Emerald, GES, Freeman, Raccoon Events, Swapcard and Tarsus Group, and individual donors, was livestreamed to the public and featured 54 speakers, panels and entertaining segments, along with the Backyard Ultra.

Watch highlights from the event, or continue to donate to the Event Industry Backyard Ultra's cause.

Special Interest Groups

Human Resources

If you missed the Roundtable Discussion: Back to Business/Return to the Office Protocol on June 10, view the recording on demand here.

Small Business

The SISO Small Business SIG continues to hold open monthly roundtable discussions, which take place at 11 a.m. ET on the second Tuesday of the month. Additional dates will be added moving forward. Mark your calendar and plan to join the sessions:

  • 11 a.m.-12 p.m. ET, Tuesday, July 13
  • August session will be live and in-person at the SISO Summer Conference in Louisville, KY

Pre-registration is not required for these online Small Business SIG discussions. A reminder with connection details will be shared in advance of the sessions with the Small Business SIG community. Please email with any questions.

Summer Conference

As we move back to live and in-person events, we are pleased to have Louisville, “Gateway to Bourbon Country,” as our host city and Louisville Tourism as the host for the 2021 SISO Summer Conference, which will be held Aug. 24-26.  

SISO is once again offering an extended SISO Women's Leadership Forum, which will run 2–6 p.m. ET on Monday, Aug. 23, and will continue from 9 a.m.–5 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 24. The SISO Women's Leadership Forum will end just prior to the Opening Night of the SISO Summer Conference. The Schedule of Events and details of the sessions will be added as they become available on the SISO website. For registration information, contact

CEO Summit 

Couldn't make the SISO CEO Summit in 2021? See the wrap-up and hear what our attendees had to say. Mark your calendar and plan to attend the SISO CEO Summit, scheduled for March 21-24, 2022, at the Vinoy Renaissance Resort & Golf Club in St. Petersburg, FL.

SISO Member Spotlight

SISO has launched a new video series produced by Dan Assor with member spotlights each month. Learn more about the industry's leading independent show organizers and find out what issues and solutions are top of mind for your colleagues. This month's SISO Member Spotlight features SISO Vice Chair and Co-Founder/Chair of MJBizDaily Cassandra Farrington. Watch the full interview on demand here.

SISO Video Update

SISO has launched a monthly SISO Update video with Dan Assor. The June Update includes interviews with SISO Chair and Emerald President and CEO Hervé Sedky, Tarsus Group Chief Executive and SISO Immediate Past Chair Doug Emslie, SISO Vice Chair and Co-Founder/Chair of MJBizDaily Cassandra Farrington and Journalist Danica Tormohlen. Check out a preview of the Summer Conference in the June Update here.



The Exhibitions and Conferences Alliance (ECA) efforts continue in Washington, D.C. in support of the Hospitality and Commerce Job Recovery Act (HCJRA) legislation. In the last two weeks, the bill has four new co-sponsors in the House of Representatives (88 overall) and one new co-sponsor in the Senate (7 overall). ECA continues to encourage Congressional leadership to include the provisions that would encourage exhibitors and attendees to return to business events, conferences, and trade shows in any large infrastructure-related package that they take up in the weeks and months ahead.

ECA is also closely following two other key policy issues of importance to the independent show organizer community:

  • International travel: The Biden Administration recently formed expert working groups on lifting the inbound travel entry restrictions in four key geographies: Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, and the European Union. ECA continues to advocate for the removal of these inbound travel bans, particularly as European Union nations among others begin to fully reopen for commercial and leisure travelers from the United States.
  • Pandemic insurance: Last week, ECA joined the Business Continuity Coalition, a group of business and association interests that support a private-public program to bring communicable-disease-related coverage back to the market, included as part of event-cancellation insurance. AZ Senator Kyrsten Sinema announced the formation of a bipartisan pandemic risk working group, which ECA hopes will kick off Congressional activity on this important issue to the show organizer community.


The Events Industry Council (EIC) launched the Sustainable Event Professional Certificate (SEPC) Programme, an online certification that covers a variety of topics related to sustainability, social impact and event management. To earn certification, event professionals must complete 16 online course modules.

The SEPC was initially launched and is still available as an in-person course but has been updated and expanded to feature interactive, accessible online learning. Learn more about the program.

Member Benefits and Discounts

Global Industry Performance Review 2021

JWC has released the Global Industry Performance Review 2021 (GIPR 2021). The new GIPR covers topics relevant to the current state of the industry (see the Table of Contents), including how companies and venues adapted and performed during the pandemic and how they plan to readjust as organizers move back into holding in-person events in the future. SISO members will receive a 10% discount and can order a copy of the GIPR 2021. Please use code SISOGIPR10.


SISO is a supporting association partner of VSef, which has created a universal data format that enables events to consume consistent data regardless of which platforms they are working with. The dedicated VSef website offers the standards and user guides for platforms, and organizers will be available to download from here. Find out more in this press release about the launch of VSef.

Virtual Events Institute Certification

SISO partners with Virtual Events Institute to offer discounted training. VEI will provide a 50% discount to SISO members for its online education platform dealing with all aspects relating to the production, promotion, and monetization of online and hybrid events. To receive the special SISO discount for these online education sessions, please register using this link. For additional information, contact Peter Orford.


Moving Forward Updates

According to the CDC's data, as of June 16, a total of 146.4 million Americans, or 44.1% of the U.S. population, had been fully vaccinated. In total, 175 million Americans have received at least one dose of the COVID vaccine, or 52.7% of the U.S. population. Worldwide, 2.47 billion doses have been administered across 180 countries. As the largest vaccination campaign in history continues, we're happy to share a few links of recent news and positive moves for our industry.

Coalition Updates

Let's Go There/Let's Meet There

Let's Go There rebrands to Let's Meet There as the campaign shifts focus from reigniting the travel industry to advocating for lifted restrictions for Professional Meetings and Events (PMEs). The campaign's corporate sponsors, the U.S. Travel Association (USTA) and Meetings Mean Business (MMB) coalition, shared a video celebrating the progress resulting from the Let's Go There campaign. 

Now, USTA and MMB move forward into the next stage of industry recovery: Let's Meet There. Under this new title, members of the coalition will work to distinguish PMEs from other large gatherings and lobby for elimination of restrictions on events by the CDC and local authorities. To learn more about the next stage of the campaign, register for the Let's Meet There webinar on June 24 at 11:15 a.m. ET.

U.S. Travel

On June 15, the U.S. Travel Association (USTA) released its Tourism Economics analysis. USTA advocates for adoption of consistent, federal guidance for professional meetings and events (PMEs) to open, as PMEs can more easily adopt appropriate safety measures than other large gatherings. Read the full 



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    Tony Calanca, Calanca & Associates LLC
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    Don Pazour, CEO, Access Intelligence
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    David Adler, CEO & Founder, Bizbash Media
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    Tom Mitchell, President, Messe Dusseldorf North America
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    Howard Hauben, CEO, H2 Events
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    Joel A. Davis, Founder & CEO, JD Events
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    Liz Irving, President, Clarion Events