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SISO Update


29 Mar 2021

SISO Update

As March comes to a close, SISO member Reed Exhibitions Americas produced its first U.S. trade show since the pandemic. Held March 22-24 at the Miami Beach Convention Center, the Jeweler's International Showcase (JIS) saw an increase in attendance of 38% on Day 1 compared with its 2019 Day 1 attendance. We are encouraged by the vaccination rollout, and a number of JIS attendees and exhibitors reported they were fully vaccinated. Stay tuned for a white paper from SISO and UFI on the event.


SISO Activities

The SISO CEO Summit will be held April 12-15 at The Ritz-Carlton Amelia Island, FL. The venue is a perfect location for the Summit this year, as it has more than enough meeting space to facilitate our event in a well-spaced safe environment, with substantial outdoor space (and great weather) for the meals and social functions. Our event will be the only one on the property, and the hotel is giving us complete and exclusive use of the entire meeting space. The hotel is also less than 30 minutes from the Jacksonville, FL, airport with a wide range of flight destinations and many connections to Miami and Atlanta hub airports.

In addition to the full conference program, SISO has two half-day pre-event meetings planned.

SISO Executive Women's Forum at 1-3 p.m. ET on Monday, April 12
The Power in the Pause: Reimagining the Possible
Life doesn't often hand us an opportunity to hit the reset button. However, the global pandemic of 2020/21 has done exactly that. In recent surveys and conversations with CEOs, they see this return post-pandemic as an inflection point both personally and professionally, not only for their employees but also for themselves. In this interactive one-hour conversation/workshop, we will look at:

  • What are the new questions you need to ask yourself and your team?
  • How do you get real and rigorous about talent?
  • What are the mindset characteristics of the most successful CEOs,
    and how do you adopt them?
  • The power of "So what, now what?"
  • Making and keeping your commitments to yourself.

You will leave with ideas and an action plan. Come to this workshop curious, open, and willing to share with your peers.

Presented by Angela Scalpello, Owner and Principal - The Scalpello Group, LLC

SISO Small Business Roundtable at 1-5 p.m. ET on Monday, April 12
As we work and live our way past the one-year mark of this pandemic, our lives and businesses have somewhat been put on hold. Our endurance has depended on our resilience, flexibility, and ingenuity. How did we do it? Let's share the successes and failures so that we can learn from each other.

Now that 2021 is here and the vaccine is being distributed, we are still hampered with travel restrictions and the possibility of additional outbreaks. With that uncertainty in mind, what's the path forward? What new models and approaches to your businesses are you including to keep your communities yoked, and how are you generating revenue. 

When we can produce live events again, what will they look like? What precautions will be implemented? Who bears the cost? Will our communities attend? How will our events look different? Will our bottom lines look different? Are you incorporating strategies that you used during the pandemic for a hybrid approach to your events?

Moderated by Phil McKay, President & CEO - nGage Events, LLC

View the full program schedule.

We will be implementing multiple safety protocols and processes, including:

  • Masks will be mandatory except when eating.
  • Social distancing and spaced seating will be implemented.
  • Advanced testing options will be recommended to all attendees
    prior to travel.
  • On-site rapid testing will be available to all participants.
  • All relevant local health department safety guidelines will be adhered to.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Anna Osnower at

Case Studies 

Earlier this week, we released a fifth white paper, SISO/UFI Deeper Dive: Case Study on MAGIC, WWIN, and OFFPRICE

Despite disruptions and government restrictions, the fashion industry continues to set trends with many firsts in early 2021 for the trade show industry at MAGIC Pop Up OrlandoWWIN Orlando Showcase, and OFFPRICE Orlando Market held Feb. 9-11 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL.

Not only was it the first-time collaboration for three of the largest independent show organizers in the world, Informa Markets, Clarion Events, and Tarsus Group, but also it was the debut of three regional co-located show launches that required negative COVID-19 tests for all participants — attendees, exhibitors, staff, and vendors. And it all came together in 12 weeks. The organizers were the first to offer and administer rapid COVID-19 testing with the help of an on-site medical partner.

To help members understand the complete picture, SISO and UFI take a deeper dive to offer insight into how the show teams managed the testing component, collaborated instead of competed and provided a safe marketplace for the buyers and sellers who were ready to get back to business and meet face-to-face.

Since October, SISO has published five case studies for members to use as a playbook for how others are forging ahead during these uncertain times. Download the white papers.



On Wednesday, March 3, SISO participated in a 24-hour Vodcast Marathon. Produced by Dan Assor, the vodcast raised awareness and donations for EventWell, which provides vital, immediate support to any event professional experiencing personal and financial hardship and is open to anyone working in creative communications, experiential marketing, live and business events, exhibition, hospitality, and travel in the United Kingdom (UK) and North America (US and Canada), in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic. SISO Board Member David Adler moderated the SISO Hour at 4 p.m. ET on Wednesday, March 3. He discussed “The evolving world of virtual and hybrid events.” Here's a link to the archived broadcast. David's session is at 2200 GMT or 3 hours in.

Trade Show and Exhibitions Professional Dan Assor hosts topical discussions with event, exhibition, and business professionals on The Dan Assor Podcast, In Conversation With, sponsored by SISO. Members can subscribe to The Dan Assor Podcast from any of these channels: YouTubeFacebook, LinkedinSpotifyApple, and Twitter.


All Secure Guidelines 

In case you missed it, SISO published the updated All Secure Guidelines, a best-practice guide for industry colleagues responsible for organizing and delivering industry events, trade shows, and exhibitions of all sizes in all locations. The new guidelines were published in January after much collaboration with key stakeholders, industry leaders, and health experts over the last several months. The guidelines in this document are based on information currently available regarding the behavior and characteristics of the Coronavirus, the status of testing capacity, where we are in terms of vaccine availability, and local or state guidelines with respect to large gatherings in any community.


Special Interest Groups

SISO Small Business SIG

The next SISO Small Business SIG will be held live and in-person from 1-5 p.m. ET, on Monday, April 12, at the SISO CEO Summit at The Ritz-Carlton Amelia Island. Open to qualified SISO Small Business SIG members, the half-day event requires separate registration to attend. The Small Business SIG will continue to hold monthly roundtable discussions online. Discussions take place at 11 a.m. ET on Tuesdays. Additional dates for May and beyond will be added soon. Email with any questions.


SISO Marketing SIG

Utilizing Virtual Event Results to Develop Data-Driven Marketing Strategies for the Future at 11 a.m.–12 p.m. ET on Wednesday, April 21 

 We have all seen how virtual events have been a catalyst for change over the past year in the industry. As technology has evolved and more customers have engaged in virtual events, the data that organizers are capturing is becoming even more important in driving marketing decisions. Event marketing teams have opportunities to unlock audience development and exhibitor ROI, as well as develop new business strategies around the use of data. Join us for an engaging conversation with sales and marketing leaders on how they are planning for the future, leveraging data points to unlock the customer journey and capturing data virtually to further support our return to live events.  


SISO Online SIG 

Online Platform Demo Day, Episode 1, will be held 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday, March 31. Our world has changed dramatically in the last year. Join your colleagues as they listen to the best-of-breed platforms for hybrid and online events. Find out what they have learned about engagement, networking, data, content, and user experience. The event will feature platforms from Freeman, Swapcard, Brella, Grip Events, and Hopin. Register today.



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, email Peter Orford.


Moving Forward Updates

As more states, counties and cities across the U.S. relax COVID-19 restrictions, the exhibition industry is gearing up for the restart of in-person trade shows. We are happy to share a few links of recent news and positive moves for our industry.


Coalition Updates

Go LIVE Together

Members of the Exhibitions and Conferences Alliance (ECA) and our community have been meeting with legislators to tell their personal stories, in support of the Hospitality and Commerce Jobs Recovery Act. We have also continued to press the need for support through media opportunities, like ECA Vice President of Government Affairs Tommy Goodwin's recent appearance on the Don and Mike Show. By amplifying our message, we can capitalize on the progress being made toward the return to live, and kickstart our industry's recovery. 

You've likely heard how MAGIC Pop Up OrlandoWWIN Orlando Showcase, and OFFPRICE Orlando Market co-located in Orlando last month to provide a critical buying opportunity for the fashion industry. This showcase proved that, with strict enforcement of protocols, we can do business safely. These are the kinds of examples that help us make a strong case for reopening events across the nation, so please join us in highlighting this success story by sharing our new video.


Exhibitions & Conferences Alliance 

Hervé Sedky, CEO of EmeraldX, Chair-Elect of SISO, steps in as the first Chair of Exhibitions & Conferences Alliance (ECA), an alliance of industry organizations advocating in the USA, includes the Go Live Together initiative as one of ECA's campaigns. 


Events Industry Council

The latest guide from the APEX COVID-19 Business Recovery Task Force examines the current state of trade shows and exhibitions and includes risk management tools for each phase for recovery. The Resources for B2B and B2C Exhibitions Guide provides safety and security best practices that are being instituted as in-person exhibitions return. View the most up-to-date version of the guide.


Meetings Mean Business Coalition

Meetings Mean Business Coalition (MMBC) is planning for Global Meetings Industry Day (GMID), set to take place Thursday, April 8. Showcasing our industry's value has never been more important – particularly at the state and local levels. Read the full press release.

Anticipating that protocols for hosting safe in-person events may continue to shift and vary by location, MMBC urges all GMID event hosts to continue basing their planning decisions on information from local public health authorities, continuing to embrace hybrid and virtual events as mandated. Industry professionals based in the U.S. should also refer to MMBC's online reopening tracker – updated regularly with the latest state-by-state requirements.

Check out – a platform created in partnership with Simpleview to showcase the many safe meetings and events taking place across the U.S. We welcome and encourage all industry professionals to submit their stories in the days and months ahead.


Let's Go There

More than half of Americans have started to plan or book a future vacation. Join the travel industry in providing inspiration for where that next trip should be. Use the social media guide and graphics, along with the #LetsMakePlans hashtag, to encourage Americans to take that next step and remind travelers to practice the proper preventives measures to ensure a healthy and safe travel experience for all. Take action: Download the March Social Media Guide and share!


National Travel and Tourism Week 2021

Save the dates of May 2-8 for National Travel and Tourism Week (NTTW), an annual tradition for the U.S. travel community to celebrate the value travel holds for our economy, businesses, and personal well-being.

To amplify this year's theme, POWER OF TRAVEL, we are calling on the industry—that's YOU—to help share travel's message. By recording a short message, you will have the chance to be included as a chorus of voices at the end of a NTTW promo video to show the strength of the industry.

The video will be shared industrywide through digital postcard blasts, as well as on U.S. Travel's social media channels. We encourage you to also share in your communications. Join the NTTW video. All videos must be submi...



  • “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