Skip to main content

SISO Update


22 Jul 2022

SISO Update

Despite the trade show industry's typically slower pace during the summer months, in-person trade shows, acquisitions and other key industry developments are taking place at a rapid pace across the U.S. and abroad. Here is some of the latest exhibition industry news you need to know!

SISO Activities

Summer Conference

The clock is ticking, but there's still time to register and secure your hotel room for the SISO Summer Conference, taking place Aug. 9-11 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Register NOW to take advantage of the special SISO Member rate. Can't find your code? Reach out to today! View the full schedule of events and programming here.

SISO is once again offering the SISO Women's Leadership Forum, running 8:30 a.m.– 5:00p.m. CT on Tues., Aug. 9 and ending just prior to the Opening Night of the SISO Summer Conference. The cost to add the full SISO Women's Leadership Forum to your SISO Summer Conference registration is just $99 for SISO members, and both men and women are invited join! 

Here is a sneak peek of two Summer Conference sessions you'll want to add to your agenda:
Tech Innovations From the Inside – 8:30-9:30 a.m. CT, Thurs., Aug. 11 Onboarding new technology and building a tech stack for your show is a multi-dimensional process that can transform the way you conduct business, drive revenue, interface with your customers, deliver content and more. Get an inside look at tech innovations from a show operator's point of view, including new tech products that have proven to be instrumental in their businesses, tips for on boarding new tech platforms among your teams and products from outside the industry being used to within the events business. 

Moderated by: Rachel Wimberly, EVP, Business Development / M&A, US – Tarsus US 

Panelists: - Walter Charnizon, President – Continental Exhibitions  - Liz Irving, Chief Marketing Officer – Clarion Events North America  - Colleen Truman, Senior Sales Director – Emerald  

Build vs Buy: Navigating Growth Opportunities – 10:45-11:30 a.m. CT, Thurs., Aug. 11 As a brand leader, you must always be looking for new revenue streams, and because you know your brand best, executive management will look to you for insights into building new products and potential acquisition opportunities. What makes a successful acquisition? If your company is merging with another, what pitfalls should you look to avoid as a leader within your organization? How do you know when to build versus buy? From acquisitions that expand your brand's audience reach, to integrating new corporate cultures, M&A ripples through all levels of management. You won't want to miss this session's lessons learned from key industry M&A deals.

Moderated by: Cassandra Farrington, Co-Founder – MJBiz, a division of Emerald 

Panelists: - Steve Corrick, CEO N. America - Comexposium USA, Inc.  - Martha Donato, President - MAD Event Management  - Aracely Ferraresi, Research Director - Emerald Xcelerator

To check out the full Conference schedule and session details, go here.

Asia CEO Summit

Mark your calendar and plan to attend the inaugural Asia CEO Summit, set for Oct. 5-7 at the Fullerton Hotel in Singapore.

Organized jointly by AEO - Association of Event OrganisersSACEOS, SISO - Society of Independent Show OrganisersUFI - The Global Association of the Exhibition Industry and supported by Singapore Tourism Board, the Asia CEO Summit will set the stage for the revival and reimagination of the MICE industry in the region. This invite-only event is for the CEOs of invited business event organizers, based all over the world with an interest in Asia and the regional market. With the mantra ‘Pathways for Growth,' the collective knowledge is huge, and the need to forge new and deeper relationships across all corners of the globe has never been more important.  Find out more about the Asia CEO Summit here. Interested in being part of event? Reach out to

2023 CEO Summit

It's not too early to mark your calendar and look forward to attending the 2023 SISO CEO Summit, taking place March 20-23 at the Four Seasons Hotel in Las Vegas. Go here to register your interest.

Couldn't make this year's SISO CEO Summit, held March 21-24 at the Vinoy Renaissance in St. Petersburg, Florida? Check out the video wrap-up and photo gallery, and hear what our attendees had to say about this incredibly valuable conference experience.


Special Interest Groups

Small Business SIG

The Small Business SIG will host the Small Business Roundtable, live and in person on Tues., Aug. 9 at 1 p.m. CT at the SISO Summer Conference in Oklahoma City. We will begin with lunch at 12 p.m. CT just prior to the start of the afternoon session. To read a description of the session, go here.

The Small Business Roundtable is open to SISO small business members and their team leaders (small businesses are companies with an annual income under $10 million). There is an additional registration cost of $49 to attend. For questions, please email

B2C SIG In June, the B2C SIG hosted a Think Tank Discussion Topic: Event Activations & Experiential at 1:00 p.m. ET on Tues., June 28. Oftentimes, B2C show producers are dealing with experiential agencies wanting to activate within our shows. During this timely think tank and group discussion, the group talked through unique activations and pricing models, structuring of the experiential sponsorship deal, KPIs, experiential sales cycle and the convergence of live versus digital programming expected by event and social agencies alike. 

Couldn't make the session? Watch it here.

Marketing SIG The Marketing SIG is hosting various breakout sessions at SISO Summer Conference. Here are a couple to consider adding to your agenda:

Marketing Breakout – Understanding What Really Makes Your Customers Take Action, Wed., Aug. 10, 1:15-2:00 p.m. CT

The value of face-to-face interactions has never been more evident, but what does it mean to further define this value in light of all-new customer expectations? How have different communities conveyed feedback about their new expectations? What are some of the ways that these messages are now being conveyed by marketing teams as part of content initiatives, through social media, etc.?

In this session, we will explore what it has meant to see marketing strategies evolve in a way that makes sense for audiences in 2022 while also outlining how such changes are connected to the foundational elements that first defined products, events and communities. Moderated by: Liz Irving, Chief Marketing Officer – Clarion Events North America

Discussion Leaders: - Jonathan Ray, Vice President, Digital – Access Intelligence, LLC - Camille Candella, VP of Marketing – Emerald

Marketing Breakout – It's Not Your 2019 Marketing Playbook: What Marketers Need to Know about the New Face to Face, Wed., Aug. 10, 3:15-4:00 p.m. CT

We've all heard and used the phrase “It's not the quantity but the quality,” but that value is often lost when dealing with exhibitors who measure the success of their event by how “busy” they felt or from speakers who would rather be in front of a room full of the wrong people than a small roundtable of the right ones. How can marketers convey the value of engagement and personalization that goes beyond the numbers? When is the right time to address expectations that either have or need to change? What sort of messaging do we need to cultivate and champion to help people on every side of the conversation understand that 10 can sometimes be greater than 100?   

This session will explore all of these questions and more to provide specific information around how to approach and guide quality over quantity messaging that cultivates engagement and enables personalization.

Moderated by: Liz Irving, Chief Marketing Officer – Clarion Events North America Discussion Leaders: - Sophia Fasano, Marketing Director – Clarion Events North America - Sarah Varner, VP, Marketing – Emerald – Industrial Connections Group??????


Exhibitions and Conferences Alliance (ECA)

With Congress focused on health insurance subsidies, prescription drug costs and U.S. semiconductor industry support this month, the two most likely windows for action on ECA's legislative priorities on Capitol Hill will be mid-to-late September (before government funding expires on Sept. 30), and mid-November through December (the post-Nov. 8 election “lame duck” period).

In the meantime, ECA will be pushing for Congress to pass legislation that provides financial relief for our industry's small businesses and pressures the State Department to expedite the return of visa interviewing and processing capacity to pre-pandemic levels at U.S. embassies and consulates around the world.  

McCormick Place bid process update

Meanwhile, ECA is joining SISO and other industry groups in actively monitoring the Metropolitan Pier & Exposition Authority's (MPEA) venue management bid process for Chicago's McCormick Place. Many industry stakeholders are concerned about the prospect of MPEA, the Illinois municipal corporation that oversees McCormick Place, selecting a management company that also manages and runs its own shows, as well as offering general service contracting. Anyone interested in becoming involved in this effort, can contact David Audrain or Tommy Goodwin to learn more.  

Global Exhibitions Day A recap report of this year's 7th annual Global Exhibitions Day – the International Day of Recognition for the global exhibitions industry – is now available. Check it out here.

Events Industry Council

Last month, the Events Industry Council (EIC) launched the data collection phase of its landmark Economic Significance Study, in collaboration with Oxford Economics. As a valued partner of the EIC, SISO is asking for your support in spreading awareness about the survey through social media and in direct emails to your members and partners.

To assist with this, we have created a template email and some suggested social media posts and assets, which can be downloaded here. So that EIC can track completion rates, EIC has created a personalised survey link for SISO members.

In addition to SISO, the Economic Significance Study is supported by AHLA, ASAE, Freeman, IACC, IAEE, Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board, Maritz Global Events, Meetings Mean Business, MGM Resorts International, MPI, Northstar Meetings Group, NYC and Co, PCMA, RCMA and USTA.

On June 29, EIC launched an enhanced version of its Sustainable Event Standards, a set of eight specific standards that assess events and industry suppliers on a wide range of sustainability criteria in support of environmental and social responsibility. To learn more, go here.

Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR)

The Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) recently released its 2022 CEIR Index Report: 2021 Exhibition Industry and Future Outlook. An established and trusted tool for exhibition industry professionals, the annual report is designed to represent the entire universe of B2B exhibitions in North America and includes geometrical averaging of the four component values (NSF, Exhibitor, Attendance and Revenue), predictions through 2024 and data tables providing actual numbers for each metric in each sector.

Global Economic Consulting Associates, Inc. (GECA) provided the data analysis for the Index.

U.S. Travel

U.S. Travel has opened registration for its signature “Future of Travel Mobility” conference, set for Sept. 20 at the historic Union Station in Washington, DC. To learn more and to register for this future-shaping event, go here.


Moving Forward Updates

The exhibitions industry is steadily making a comeback! Below are some of the latest business acquisitions and trade shows that have been held successfully, a harbinger of better times ahead.



  • “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