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SISO Update


21 Oct 2022

SISO Update

SISO Activities

Executive Roundtable

mdg, A Freeman Company will be hosting an Executive Roundtable in conjunction with the San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival, on Thurs., Nov. 10, sponsored by SISO, the San Diego Tourism Authority and Freeman. This executives-only forum will focus on the ways B2B organizers can draw inspiration from consumer events. Session and speaker info can be found here.

Attendance is by invitation only, limited to executive-level (VP and above) professionals from associations or organizations that own, produce and/or manage live events. Space will be limited to maintain an atmosphere conducive to networking, so reserve your spot. Registration for the roundtable is complimentary. Limited seating remains so be sure to reserve your seat by Thurs., Nov. 3.

In addition, an invitation from Fast Forward to attend the San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival has been offered to roundtable attendees should they wish to extend their stay and experience the show's GRAND WEEKEND which includes:

  • Nov. 11: Grand Decant Wine Experience
  • Nov. 12: Grand Tasting presented by Sub Zero, Wolf & Cove
  • Nov. 13: Grand Fiesta

Event descriptions, locations and times can be found on the event website. Roundtable attendees can purchase tickets at a 50% discounted rate here.  

2023 CEO Summit

Registration is NOW OPEN for the 2023 SISO CEO Summit, taking place March 20-23 at the Four Seasons Hotel in Las Vegas! To register for this must-attend event, please search your inbox for your SISO CEO Summit invitation letter that includes your unique registration code. If you have misplaced or can't find your letter, please reach out to

Once your registration is completed successfully, you will then be able to make your hotel reservations. If you miss this opportunity, click on link in the “Confirmation/Receipt” email that you'll receive immediately following the registration process to connect to the hotel reservation site. Rooms fill up quickly, so make your reservations early!

SISO Summer Conference 2023

Mark your calendar for next year's SISO Summer Conference, taking place Aug. 22-24, 2023, in Salt Lake City, Utah. You won't want to miss this incredibly valuable SISO event, so plan ahead now!

Couldn't make the SISO Summer Conference, held August 9-11 in Oklahoma City, OK? View the photo gallery and view the video to see what you missed and hear what our attendees had to say!

SISO Supports New Industry News Platform, The Iceberg
SISO is a 2022 partner with The Iceberg/Business Events World, a new industry communications vehicle produced by the Joint Meetings Industry Council. Check out their most recent monthly newsletters here and here, as well as SISO's listing and banner. Please consider supporting this important and comprehensive new industry platform!

Special Interest Groups

Small Business

Don't forget: the Small Business SIG will host its next Small Business Roundtable on Tues., Oct. 25 at 11 a.m. ET. Zoom invite information will follow soon or contact for the link.


Please join us on Wed., Oct. 26 at 11:00 a.m. ET, as we review the findings of the newly released environmental impact framework report, “Finding the Future, Together: Towards a more sustainable B2B trade show industry in the U.S. and Canada,” which identifies key areas the B2B trade show industry must focus on in order to transition to a more sustainable and low-carbon economy.

The result of a two-year independent research program developed by a broad, cross-industry task force comprising event industry stakeholders, the collaborative research report highlights the industry's most significant environmental impacts, creates a data and knowledge foundation for decision-making, knowledge-sharing and action, showcases steps the industry has already taken to address those impacts and identifies 30 near- and long-term steps it must adopt to secure a sustainable future.

SISO served as the majority underwriter for this study. To learn more, go here.

The webinar will cover the six main areas of greatest “material impact,” quantify each impact, highlight the progress already made to reduce that impact and look toward ways of further reducing the impact in the future. These impacts include:

  • Carbon emissions from participant travel
  • Carbon emissions from venues
  • Carbon emissions from logistics
  • Material waste from venues
  • Waste from GSC warehouses
  • Booth materials

We'll also highlight the many good sustainability practices already being used across the event ecosystem, including organizers, venues and service providers, and set out a high-level roadmap for change covering 30 “quick wins” and longer-term actions the industry can take to move towards a more environmentally responsible future.

This webinar is free to attend, but you must register in advance. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email with information about joining the meeting. To register, go here.


Exhibitions and Conferences Alliance (ECA)

Here's the latest news from the ECA:

Maryland Digital Advertising Tax Thrown Out
Earlier this week, a Maryland circuit court judge struck down the state of Maryland's tax on digital advertising services. In advance of the hearing, ECA joined a group of organizations in filing an amicus brief arguing that the law violated the Internet Tax Freedom Act's prohibitions on states enacting “discriminatory taxes on electronic commerce” since Maryland does not tax more traditional forms of advertising. While the Maryland law has been tossed, ECA and its partners in The Advertising Coalition will continue to oppose state and federal efforts that would prohibit the full deductibility of advertising expenses or otherwise enact advertising-related taxes that would be passed along to show organizers.

Capitol Hill Pushes to Lower Visa Wait Times
Last week, two members of the House of Representatives introduced a bill to reduce wait times for visitor visas. While it is highly unlikely Congress will take up this legislation, it increases public pressure on the U.S. State Department to address the extreme wait times for visa interview appointments at many embassies and consulates around the world. ECA continues to call on the State Department to quickly reduce visitor visa wait times to help bring international exhibitors and attendees back to U.S. exhibitions and conferences.

Q4 2021 ERTC Reinstatement Support Continues to Build
The Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC) Reinstatement Act now has
113 co-sponsors in the House of Representatives. This includes a majority of the members of the House Ways & Means Committee, which has jurisdiction over tax issues. ECA and its more than 100 partners in the ERTC Reinstatement Act Coalition continue to push for Congress to include this important legislation in its year-end “tax extenders” package.

Support for the ECA

So far this year, several companies have once again provided underwriting to fund SISO's annual $250,000 commitment to the ECA. They have helped us raise $172,000 but we need a broader level of funding to underwrite the SISO commitment. Please consider lending your financial support to this incredibly important organization and the vital work it does to advocate for the face-to-face business events industry!

We'd like to thank the following companies for their ECA support:

  • Access Intelligence
  • Clarion Events
  • Diversified Communications
  • Emerald
  • IMEX
  • Informa Markets
  • International Market Centers
  • Map Your Show
  • Northstar Travel Media
  • Questex
  • RX
  • Tarsus Group

Events Industry Council (EIC)

On Oct. 11, the Events Industry Council (EIC) in partnership with its global EIC Equity Task Force, released the results of its 2022 Equity Benchmarking Study. This study is a critical first phase of EIC's Equity Acceleration Plan, designed to support event professionals in creating more diverse and inclusive environments, developing career pathways and ensuring representation in leadership and supply chains by providing the learning and resources intended to reach and support the industry.

The EIC appointed its Equity Task Force in 2020 to address systemic racism and all forms of discrimination in the business events and hospitality industry. While there is an ever-growing awareness and commitment toward equity, survey scores reveal widespread DEI dissatisfaction among event professionals, minority groups and women, indicating that DEI efforts are largely in principal but not in practice. This points to an urgent need for organizations to advance their DEI structures, policies and initiatives to deliver measurable change.

To read the full report, go here.

U.S. Travel

In keeping with the ECA's calls for the reduction in U.S. visa delays,
U.S. Travel is asking for help in urging U.S. representatives to sign a bipartisan letter requesting that the State Department quickly reduce visa wait-times to help facilitate greater international travel to the U.S.

The U.S. Department of State's low prioritization of visitor visa (B-1/B-2) processing is severely hindering the U.S. economic recovery, keeping an estimated 6.6 million potential visitors from traveling to the U.S. in 2023 at a loss of $11.6 billion in projected spending, according to new analysis released on Oct. 6 by U.S. Travel economists.

U.S. Travel has called on the State Department to make first-time visitor visa processing an economic priority and has shared several policy recommendations with the agency to help resolve this problem. The association's urgent calls for a solution were echoed by more than 60 bipartisan members of Congress in a recent letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

Please take action today by asking your U.S. representative to join the bipartisan letter led by Reps. Dina Titus (NV-1) and Gus Bilirakis (FL-12) to Secretary Blinken urging the State Department to make immediate steps to lower visa wait-times.

Act now here!


Moving Forward Updates

The latest exhibition industry news points to the robust re-emergence of face-to-face business events, with shows re-opening successfully, new events launching and COVID restrictions lifting as the industry continues its post-pandemic recovery. Check out the latest industry news you need to know!


Member Benefits

Business of Events Masterclass 2022

Focused on change, innovation and disruption in the events industry, the Business of Events Masterclass offers new ways for event organizers, event professionals, entrepreneurs and investors to identify challenges and opportunities and learn from concrete case studies and leaders across the industry. Learn what the top CEOs, entrepreneurs and investors in the events industry are doing about the challenges they face and the future they envision.

To learn more and register with your SISO discount, go here.

DOL Issues Proposed Rule on Independent Contractors

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has issued a proposed rule to clarify who is an independent contractor under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The DOL is proposing to rescind a 2021 rule in which two core factors—control over the work and opportunity for profit or loss—carried greater weight in determining the status of independent contractors.

The 2021 rule, which is still in effect, made it easier for employers to classify workers as independent contractors, rather than as employees.

Employers interested in explaining the effect the proposed rule would have on their businesses will have until Nov. 28 to submit their concerns and arguments to the DOL. After the comment period closes, it is believed that the DOL will issue a final rule sometime in the second half of 2023 or in early 2024.

To learn more, go here.

ShowDown – SISO Endorsed Event Cancellation Insurance Program

Well-received by show organizers, the SISO-endorsed ShowDown Event Cancellation Insurance program offers a liability program for organizers and exhibitors. While communicable disease is excluded, the program covers catastrophic weather events including snowstorms and hurricanes, as well as power outages, fires and floods.

As one of the broadest and best-priced programs available, the ShowDown Event Cancellation Insurance policy uses an “all-risk” format and offers the following:

  • Clear policy language with the fewest exclusions of any program  
  • Includes national mourning for the death of U.S. and Canadian heads of state
  • Covers loss due to civil commotion or rioting
  • Provides the highest included terrorism protection of up to $2.5 million for an act that occurs within 100 days and 500 miles
  • Delivers a policy term of as long as 36 months
  • Rates are usually about 15% less than other programs
  • Exceptional service and efficient claim process

For questions, contact Jack Buttine at (516) 381-7305 or



  • “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