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SISO Update


29 Jan 2021

SISO Update

As January comes to a close, it's important to recognize the peaceful transition of power in the U.S. with the inauguration of the 46th U.S. president Joe Biden. On Jan. 20, American citizens celebrated the commencement of a new four-year presidential term with face masks, physical distancing and digital events in the COVID-19 era. As we look ahead, the February launch of MAGIC Pop Up Orlando, WWIN Orlando Showcase and OFFPRICE will see the first large-scale rapid COVID-19 testing roll-out in the U.S. for B2B events. Scheduled for Feb. 9-11, the first-ever collaboration by Informa Markets, Clarion Events North America and Tarsus Group will offer and require testing for all. Stay tuned for more on this important topic from SISO.

All Secure Guidelines 2.0

After much collaboration with key stakeholders, industry leaders, and health experts over the last several months, the industry now has an updated
All Secure Guidelines 2.0, a best-practice guide for industry colleagues who are responsible for organizing and delivering organized industry events, trade shows, and exhibitions of all sizes, in all locations.

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.  As more clarity with respect to these variables emerges, it is expected that these guidelines may need to be adjusted accordingly.

This document outlines: What measures show organizers are taking to ensure the health and safety of all visitors, exhibitors, contractors, and staff particularly in response to COVID-19; How these measures are being implemented; and Why it's an important component of the industry's All Secure Guidelines.

Thanks to the tireless efforts of the many people from SISO Members, Clarion Events, Emerald, Informa Markets, Reed Exhibitions, and Tarsus who have worked on these guidelines for many months so we can move forward safely.

SISO Activities


UFI released The Global Exhibition Barometer, a global survey concluded in January 2021. The study provides up-to-date information on the development and outlook of the global exhibition industry for 24 countries and five aggregated regional zones. Find a link to some of the infographics here and the media release here.



– Straight Talk with David Audrain, CEO of ExpoDevCo and SISO Executive Director from TSNN (1/21)


Catch up on recent podcast interviews with SISO Chair Douglas Emslie. Trade Show & Exhibitions Professional Dan Assor hosts topical discussions with event, exhibition, and business professionals on the The Dan Assor Podcast, In Conversation With, which is sponsored by SISO. Click on the links below to watch or listen.

– The Path Back to Live Events with Doug Emslie, CEO of Tarsus Group and SISO Chair; Lou Kiwanuka, Founder of The Shaper Group & The Ops Nest and Chair of the Event Supplier and Services Association (ESSA); Peter Jones, CEO of the Nineteen Group; and Jason Lunn, Venue Director of East of England Arena and Events Centre and Board Member of the Association of Event Venues (AEV) (1/27).

SISO members can subscribe to The Dan Assor Podcast from any of these channels:

Case Studies

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 three case studies for members to use a playbook for how others are forging ahead during these uncertain times.

  • Case Study on IGES & SMGS: An inside look at two gift shows — one by Emerald and one by Clarion — that were held in-person in November in Tennessee.
  • Case Study on Connect Marketplace: What do event planners want more than anything in 2020? To meet in person. While that has largely been unfeasible due to COVID-19, one independent show organizer, Tarsus Group, found a way to produce a hybrid hosted buyer program and trade show in October in the U.S.
  • Case Study on Super Pet Expo: How All Show Services Produced a B2C Show Safely and Successfully in Virginia.

SISO Webinars

SISO produced more than 30 webinars in 2020. If you missed one, catch up on previous webinars on a variety of topics, including M&As, health and safety issues, and avoiding burn out. Content for new webinars is currently being planned. Stay tuned for announcements.

Special Interest Groups

Small Business

The SISO Small Business SIG has been holding open monthly roundtable discussions. Discussions take place at 11 a.m. EST on Tuesdays, except for the April session*. Additional dates will be added moving ahead. Mark your calendar and plan to join the sessions:

  • 11 a.m. EST on Tuesday, Feb. 9
  • 11 a.m. EST on Tuesday, March 9
  • *Monday, April 12 - This session will take place live and in-person at the SISO CEO Summit at The Ritz-Carlton Amelia Island in Florida. 

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


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

Driven by optimism about vaccine distribution around the globe, we are encouraged by the news that more SISO members are planning for a return
to in-person events in the second half of 2021. We applaud the widespread vaccine distribution at a number of convention centers across the U.S., and we're happy to share a few links of recent news and positive moves for our industry.

Coalition Updates

Go LIVE Together

As the new administration and new Congress prepare for the road ahead, it's time for us to do the same — and that starts with refocusing on our legislative priorities that Go LIVE Together's Sue Sung recently shared with MeetingsNet. In the article, Sung highlights our industry's power to bring in more than 300 million visitors annually, thereby contributing more than $75 billion in tax revenue to states — the loss of which will only compound COVID-19's economic impact. You can help spread this message by sharing how SuperZoo helps 18,000 pet product retailers and service providers drive sales, while infusing $32.3 million into the Las Vegas economy.

Joint Meeting Industry Council

Supported by SISO, the Joint Meetings Industry Council (JMIC) is an organization that represents the combined interests of major international business meetings industry associations. In a time when JMIC has even less funding than usual but an even greater need for momentum, the most effective strategy is to put the resources JMIC already has to greater use. JMIC offers the following resources:

  • The AIPC, ICCA and UFI Guide to Addressing COVID-19 Requirements for Re-Opening Business Events. Download Version 2 here (September 2020)
  • The JMIC Global Manifesto: A concise, illustrated overview of why
    the meetings industry is best positioned to help governments and other sectors support economic and societal advancement post-pandemic, along with industry overview information to help orient external (i.e., government) audiences.
  • JMIC's COVID Resources Library: A COVID-related section that contains industry-relevant resources shared by members including such tools as the 4 COVID Operating Guides produced by the G3 along with links to the resources sections of member sites.

COVID Relief Now Coalition

Watch the Coalition's ad. Share it with your network and please amplify the message and continue to tell congress that Economic relief cannot wait.

SISO and GLT are members and strong supporters of the COVID Relief Now Coalition. Download resources from the toolkit to support the Coalition's efforts messages. 

Meetings Mean Business Coalition 

What does advocacy mean? It's as simple as sharing your story. Check out this video about How to Be a Meetings Advocate by MMBC.

The Meetings Mean Business Coalition and Let's Meet There continues to focus on industry recovery and moving forward together. The coalition has launched its Meet Safe platform, developed in partnership with Simpleview. The platform is designed to showcase that with the proper adherence to state and city gathering limits and 



  • “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