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SISO Update


04 Jun 2021

SISO Update

As June kicks off, cities and states across the U.S. continue to lift COVID restrictions and capacity limits. On June 1, Michigan began allowing 50% capacity indoors, and Atlantic City, NJ, returned to full capacity. Since the CDC updated its guidance for fully vaccinated individuals on May 16, organizations have revamped their health and safety protocols. World of Concrete (WOC), which runs June 8-10 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, is not requiring masks, but they are recommended. SISO will be producing a case study on the WOC, so stay tuned.

SISO Activities

Global Exhibitions Day

On Tuesday, June 2, SISO participated in Global Exhibitions Day (#GED2021), in partnership with UFI, the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry. The GED 2021 campaign focused on just how instrumental exhibitions are in creating platforms for growth and recovery, while also instilling confidence in others to participate in organized events that prioritize safety and success in equal measure.

Organizations from over 110 countries/regions contributed to this year's campaign by hosting virtual, in-person or hybrid events and meetings. The global reach online is at the same level as in previous years (final figures detailing the online reach will be available in the GED documentation in a few weeks), according to an UFI media release.

As customers signal a desire to return to live event experiences, a global coalition representing 40 associations celebrated and joined forces with the world's leading exhibition organizers who are SISO members, including Clarion Events, Comexposium, Diversified Communications, Emerald, Informa Markets, Reed Exhibitions and Tarsus.

As a part of their engagement with GED 2021, Reed Exhibitions Brazil shared an inspiring video, and Reed Exhibitions USA published the Voices of Exhibition campaign. These SISO members proved through a flood of social posts with pictures and videos that in-person opportunities to connect and do business can happen safely and successfully, by putting collaboration, consistency and customer experience at the heart of the approach.

Case Studies 

As you get ready to return to live, 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 a Case Study: Jewelers International Showcase, Reed Exhibitions USA safely produces its first show in the U.S. since the pandemic. This month, we feature a video summary with highlights from the case study, produced by Dan Assor with Danica Tormohlen. Watch the video here.

Special Interest Groups

Small Business

The SISO Small Business SIG has been holding open monthly roundtable discussions, which take place at 11 a.m. ET on Tuesdays. Additional dates will be added moving forward. Mark your calendar and plan to join the sessions:

  • 11 a.m.–12 p.m. ET, Tuesday, June 8
  • 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.


Back to Business – Return to the Office Protocol 

Join us for the new SISO HR SIG Roundtable discussion from 12–1 p.m. ET on Thursday, June 10, as we tackle the HR issues that are top of mind for event organizers as we begin producing live events again. We will take a look at travel policies, vaccine policies, return to the office protocols, and more.   

The session will be moderated by: Janine Bavoso, Executive Vice President of HR - Northstar Travel Group; Macy Fecto, Chief People Officer - Access Intelligence and Co-chair - SISO HR SIG; and Janice Rogers, Corporate Vice President of Human Resources - Diversified Communications and Co-chair - SISO HR SIG.

An email with registration information will be shared in advance of the session with the SISO HR 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 August 24-26.  

SISO is once again offering an extended SISO Women's Leadership Forum, which will run 2–6 p.m. ET on Monday, August 23, and will continue from 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Tuesday, August 24. The SISO Women's Leadership Forum will end just prior to the Opening Night of the SISO Summer Conference. 

Look for the registration announcement in your inbox next week.



Earlier this week, more than 150 industry advocates took part in the Exhibitions & Conferences Alliance (ECA) Legislative Action Day. This virtual event brought leaders from across the country together to encourage Congress to take up and pass the Hospitality and Commerce Job Recovery Act (HCJRA) legislation that would encourage exhibitors and attendees to return to business events, conferences, and trade shows nationwide.

On June 1, ECA hosted a virtual broadcast where more than 200 attendees learned more about the HCJRA, prepared for their meetings with members of Congress, and heard directly from industry leaders and four key members of Congress, including:

  • Nevada Senator Catherine Cortez Masto
  • Nevada Representative Steven Horsford
  • Illinois Congressman Darin LaHood
  • Indiana Congresswoman Jackie Walorski

On June 2, advocates from 25 states met with nearly 90 congressional offices to express support for the HCJRA, including the Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, among others. During these meetings, ECA advocates highlighted the importance of the exhibition industry, the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the need for Congress to help us bring back jobs and jumpstart our industry's recovery.

SISO members are invited to email their legislators in support of the HCJRA. 


Trade Show & Exhibitions Professional Dan 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:  YouTube,  FacebookLinkedInSpotify,  Apple, and Twitter.

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 CEO and SISO Immediate Past Chair Douglas Emslie, SISO Board Member and Co-Founder of MJBizDaily Cassandra Farrington and Journalist Danica Tormohlen. Check out a preview of the Summer Conference. View the June Update here.

Recently, Dan Assor interviewed Hervé Sedky, who discussed SISO's three main priorities for the near-term. Watch the full interview on demand here.

Tune in: Dan Assor will be producing a live broadcast with Danica Tormohlen from World of Concrete at 1 p.m. PT on Wednesday, June 10. They will be coming to you live from the Bricklayer Competition, and the broadcast will include an interview with the Informa Markets team.

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 here. 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

As of May 31, 295 million doses of the COVID vaccine have been given in the U.S. In the last week, an average of 1.32 million COVID vaccine doses per day were administered, according to Bloomberg. Worldwide, 1.91 billion doses have been administered across 176 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

Go LIVE Together

If you weren't able to join ECA for Legislative Action Day, you can still add your voice to this critical message by contacting your state's legislators and urging them to sign on this essential legislation. Our advocates heard from several congressional offices that they had received outreach, opening their eyes to the challenges our industry is facing. Add your voice today; it matters!

U.S. Travel

The U.S. Travel Association's Educational Seminar for Tourism Organizations (ESTO) 2021 opened registration for its live event to be held Aug. 15-17 in Los Angeles.  Read the full press release.

U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow issued a statement reacting to the European Union's plan to reopen its borders. Read the full statement here.


SISO offers the following links to assist members as the return to live ramps up. Additional guidance and updates on COVID-19 remain available on our site.


Join your community online via SISO's social channels. Are you a member? Engage in our online member forum. Would you like to get more involved, or do you have a question about SISO (or otherwise)? Email

We are grateful for the support of SISO members who participated in advocacy efforts for Legislative Action Day earlier this week. We hope you will join us for the SISO Summer Conference on Aug. 24.

Stay safe. Stay healthy. Stay strong. Stay connected



  • “Without a doubt the most valuable three days of the year for networking, learning, and meeting colleagues.”
    Tony Calanca, Calanca & Associates LLC
  • “Two of the best acquisitions Access Intelligence had executed came directly from contacts and discussions held at the SISO CEO Summit. Beyond that important networking for transactions, I learn best practices from the best in the industry. The ROI for membership is immeasurable.”
    Don Pazour, CEO, Access Intelligence
  • “The impact of SISO is so much bigger than its size. It feels more like a global council of important tribes than a traditional trade association.”
    David Adler, CEO & Founder, Bizbash Media
  • “Our industry thrives on the personal relationships that face-to-face builds, and the CEO Summit is the ultimate place to build YOUR network!”
    Tom Mitchell, President, Messe Dusseldorf North America
  • “As busy, independent, for-profit organizer, SISO keeps our company connected to all the key players working in this industry and allows great relationships and ongoing learning of best practices from the best in the business. All invaluable assets to help move our business forward."
    Howard Hauben, CEO, H2 Events
  • “The SISO membership represents the entire for-profit tradeshow community and the annual SISO conferences are must-attend events for their educational and networking value.”
    Joel A. Davis, Founder & CEO, JD Events
  • Being a member of SISO has allowed me to navigate the dynamic landscape of our industry in the most effective way possible. Personally, it’s been a journey of continuous learning, networking, and collaboration that fosters deep relationships with industry leaders. Professionally, the insights I’ve gained, the resources I have accessed, and the collaborative initiatives and advocacy work have helped to take my organization to new heights. SISO, to me, is an indispensable asset for my career and business.
    Liz Irving, President, Clarion Events