Skip to main content

SISO Update


06 Oct 2023

SISO Update


A Message From Our CEO, Vincent Polito: As you read this, the U.S. government has narrowly avoided a government shutdown. For us, we are committing to more frequent, less unwieldy communications. 

The Summer Leadership Conference had an exceptional program that was enjoyed by all in attendance. Planning for the CEO Summit is well underway and I expect registration and housing to open in October. Many changes and improvements are coming. Assume this to be embracing the best of what we do and extending it to provide greater value in the future. I also am committing us to be bolder in our efforts to assertively represent the needs of our independent organizers. 

Over the next several weeks, you will begin to see more frequent communication from us. This was made clear as a need during our summer board meeting.  With that in mind, there are still several industry events on tap in Q4 and I hope we have the opportunity to connect there.  Please reach out directly to me with ideas and suggestions at

SISO Activities SISO Leadership Conference 2023

Independent trade show executives and suppliers convened Aug. 22-24 at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, UT, to discuss the latest industry topics, including the evolving expectations of event audiences, designing epic experiences and creating inclusive spaces, and harnessing the power of AI for business, among others. Along with stellar networking, the participants could engage in unique wellness activities and explore the beautiful outdoors. 

View the photo gallery and see the highlights video here.


Top executives of the world’s leading business events organisers convened at the Asia CEO Summit on 3-5 October 2023 at JW Marriott Singapore South Beach to discuss the best ways forward in investing and bringing high-quality conferences, trade shows, and exhibitions to meet the demand of Asian businesses.

“The Asia CEO Summit in its second year is an important opportunity for global leaders in our industry to discuss issues specific to Asia,” said Mary Larkin, Chair, SISO. “The summit provides insight into growth opportunities in the region and the learnings have global implications and applications.” Click here to read the full press release here. 2024 SISO CEO Summit Mark your calendars for the 2024 SISO CEO Summit, set for April 8-11 at The Ritz-Carlton in  Amelia Island, Fla. You won’t want to miss “THE” networking and information-sharing event of the year, so plan now to attend! To learn more, go here. Registration will open the first week of November.

If you missed last year’s event in Las Vegas, check out the collection of highlights and view the photo gallery  

Special Interest Groups B2C  ​​​​ Consumer Event Predictions with Laurie Kirby, Producer of Fest Forums

Join us on Nov. 30 at 11:30 a.m. ET for insights from Laurie Kirby, producer of Fest Forums, a leading festival industry conference. Discover future trends and challenges in the consumer event industry, and learn how to adapt and create engaging experiences for attendees, especially as the lines between consumer and business events continue to blur. Register now and mark your calendar for this exclusive opportunity to learn from an industry influencer! Alliances Exhibitions and Conferences Alliance (ECA)

Federal government funded through Nov. 15. Congress is unlikely to finish its fiscal year 2024 government funding work by that date. The Senate and House of Representatives remain far apart, with both chambers yet to take up most of their appropriations bills or agree on topline funding numbers. Without another continuing resolution, the federal government could shut down in mid-November, which could wreak havoc with travel and pause federal government support for events (e.g., government speakers at events, Trade Event Partnership Program staffing, etc.). ECA remains active on Capitol Hill on government funding issues since funding legislation could be a vehicle for passing ECA’s top policy priorities such as reducing visa wait times.

U.S. visas update. While the interview wait times remain long, there’s some positive dynamic in China and Brazil but rising in Mexico and India. The State Department’s goal is to have all posts below 120 days by the end of 2023, which is unlikely. While the China numbers are good, ECA still encourages all event organizers to get their would-be exhibitors and attendees from China to apply for their visas as early as possible.

Israel accepted into the U.S. Visa Waiver Program. Last week, Israel’s long-standing application to join the U.S. Visa Waiver Program (VWP) was approved. This means that from November 30, Israeli exhibitors and attendees will be able to travel to the U.S. for up to 90 days without a visa.

Keep up with ECA’s advocacy efforts here. 

Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR)

On October 5, CEIR released the first report in the Exhibit and Sponsorship Sales Approaches Driving Revenue Growth Series with insights about how exhibit and sponsorship sales approaches are evolving at B2B exhibitions in this fast-paced changing environment, and which are working best today. Benchmarks will provide a snapshot of considerations for planning, profile of exhibit and sponsorship sales teams today and outlook moving forward, average booth space rates, and more! 

Report One: Planning, Offerings, Outcomes, Outlook Moving Forward details activities for events held and planned from 2020 through 2024. It pinpoints which offerings are rated most effective in generating revenue and outcomes in costs and gross revenues for recent events held from 2020 through 2023. This report also details results indicating the ongoing rebound of the industry. Readers will gain insights on where to focus during these transitional times, to recoup revenues and drive growth moving forward.

This series is available as a complimentary download for CEIR subscribers and SISO members. To access your complimentary copy as a SISO member, go here for instructions on using your coupon code. 


Member Benefits Business of Events Masterclass

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. Register with your SISO discount. 

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, power outages, fires and floods. For questions, contact Jack Buttine at (516) 381-7305 or



Join your community online via the exclusive SISO Member Forum as well as on Facebook and LinkedIn.

Have a question about SISO or want to get more involved? Email



  • “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