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SISO Update


20 May 2021

SISO Update

As summer nears, there are so many reasons to celebrate. The biggest news to impact the event industry in the last week: the CDC is now recommending that fully vaccinated individuals no longer need to wear masks or physically distance indoors or outdoors. More than 1.45 billion vaccine doses have been administered across 176 countries (as of May 16), and the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine has been approved for use in children aged 12-15 in the U.S. In addition, more events were held across the U.S. in recent weeks, and convention centers and cities (like Washington, DC, Chicago, and New York) are reopening soon. In June, Informa Markets will produce World of Concrete at the new West Hall at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Stay tuned for a white paper on the event production.


SISO Activities

Earlier this week, SISO and UFI released a Case Study: Jewelers International Showcase. On March 22, Reed Exhibitions USA got back into the live face-to-face (F2F) channel when it safely opened the trade-only Jewelers International Showcase (JIS) at the Miami Beach Convention Center. After rescheduling and pushing back the 2021 event to later in the calendar, JIS March attracted nearly 3,000 buyers and 170 exhibitors from across the U.S. In this white paper, SISO and UFI take a deeper dive into how the event was produced safely. SISO was on the ground in-person to interview RX show staff and the executive team, key CVB staff, the Miami Beach Mayor, the convention center GM, contractors, exhibitors and attendees.

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 October, SISO has published six case studies for members to use as a playbook for how others are forging ahead during these uncertain times.

Special Interest Groups

Small Business

The SISO Small Business SIG has been holding 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 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

Planning is underway for the SISO Summer Conference, which will be held Aug. 24-26 at the Omni Hotel in Louisville, KY. Save the date! Stay tuned for details on registration.


The 6th annual Global Exhibitions Day (GED) will take place on June 2. GED recognizes the important role that trade exhibitions play in driving economies throughout the world. The COVID-19 pandemic has had significantly detrimental — and potentially lasting — effects across nearly all business sectors and regions. Exhibitions have traditionally played a role in bolstering and growing economic sectors, but this year they will play a new role – rebuilding and recovering communities. Find GED resources here.



Make plans to join the Exhibitions & Conferences Alliance on June 1-2 for this year's Legislative Action Day. You can sign up for one or both days here. ECA is setting up the June 2 video conferences now and will need all attendees to register by May 21. Register today.


Participate in a CEIR research survey on the Impact of COVID-19 on 2021 B2B Exhibitions. SISO members were invited via email to participate in this survey. If you have replied, thank you. If not, we hope you participate now. Click here to participate. The results will be released as part of a free CEIR webinar scheduled for June 10.

SISO is committed to CEIR's mission to conduct objective research and provide insights that enhance the exhibition industry's strategic focus. Participation is anonymous. Only grouped results are analyzed. It will take approximately five to seven minutes to complete.


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: YouTubeFacebookLinkedInSpotifyApple, and Twitter.


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. 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 16, 274 million doses have been given in the U.S. In the last week, an average of 1.98 million COVID vaccine doses per day were administered, according to Bloomberg. Across the U.S., convention centers are closing their vaccination sites and field hospitals and getting ready for the return of trade and consumer shows in their buildings. We're happy to share a few links of recent news and positive moves for our industry.

Coalition Updates

Go LIVE Together

Thanks to those who have participated in our grassroots letter-writing campaign in support of the Hospitality and Commerce Job Recovery Act (HCJRA). You sent more than 2,345 letters to your representatives so far, and, because of your efforts, we now have close to 70 congresspeople in the House who have signed on the legislation, and it continues to gain support in the Senate. Our lobbyists and Hill experts tell us this is meaningful traction, so we cannot let up. If you have not already written to your legislators, now is the time to take action.

Meetings Mean Business Coalition

On April 8, leaders in business, government and the media joined meetings and events professionals for Global Meetings Industry Day (GMID) – the 6th annual day of industry advocacy started by the Meetings Mean Business Coalition (MMBC). Safe, successful in-person and hybrid events were held on three continents. SISO had representation at the live event at the West Hall at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Read the full press release with a summary of the event.

Anticipating that protocols for hosting safe in-person event may continue to shift and vary by location, MMBC urges all GMID event hosts to continue basing their planning decision on information from local public health authorities. To see the latest protocols in your state, check MMBC's reopening tracker.

U.S. Travel 

Top U.S. travel leaders urged the White House to reopen international travel. Leaders of 23 global travel companies sent a letter to President Joe Biden on May 11 urging greater progress toward reopening international travel — as is successfully happening elsewhere in the world — and warning of dire economic consequences if U.S. borders remain shut. Read the full press release.

National Travel & Tourism Week, an annual tradition for the U.S. travel community, was held May 2-8. Here's a video recap with highlights of the event.

Let's Go There 

More than three-quarters of Americans (77%) plan to take a trip this summer, according to the results of a Harris Poll survey requested by the Let's Go There coalition of 75 travel companies and organizations. The Let's Go There coalition launched last September with the mission of keeping travel on the minds of Americans even as traveling was virtually halted by the pandemic. Previous phases of the Let's Go There campaign urged Americans to take advantage of the personal benefits of thinking, dreaming about and planning for future travel with the tagline “When it's time for you, we'll be ready.”

The tagline for the next phase of the Let's Go There campaign: “Ready? So are we.” Thousands of travel businesses and organizations across the country are joining in the Let's Go There initiative, beginning May 17, with unified messaging that encourages Americans to plan visits to their sites and destinations this summer. Social media content is organized using the hashtag #LetsGoThere. Read the full press release about the final phase the campaign.


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 Reed Exhibitions for sharing their experience in the recent white paper that provides best practices for producing trade shows during a pandemic. Many thanks to our members for participating in recent surveys for CEIR research and the Summer Conference programming. We hope you will join us for advocacy efforts on June 1-2.

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