2022 SISO Summer Conference Program

  • Business/Management
  • Human Resources
  • Marketing
  • Operations
  • Revenue
  • Revenue
  • Small Business
  • Stream 1
  • Stream 2
  • Stream 3
  • Women's Leadership
Tuesday, August 09, 2022
  1. SISO Women's Leadership Forum Continental Breakfast
  2. SISO Women's Leadership Conference - Welcome and Introductions
  3. SISO Women's Leadership Forum - Keynote & Workshop - Mental Fitness for Leaders & Teams: Tame Your Saboteurs, Gain Your Competitive Edge, and Thrive!

    This interactive morning session will shine light on the ways leaders actively sabotage themselves, their teams, and others in their lives. A 3-Step Process will be introduced that reveals the 10 negative mental patterns that impact: effective performance, health and wellness, and relationships.  An opportunity will be provided for attendees to assess their own saboteurs as well as gain awareness of the 5 positive mental patterns that, with simple daily practice, can change the neural pathways in the brain and begin to build better ways in which to respond to the challenges and opportunities of life. Together, with peers, attendees will engage to understand and explore the strength of their own mental muscles and what they can do to strengthen them going forward.

    Key Learnings/Takeaways:

    • Gain insight about what mental fitness is, what it means to be mentally fit, and why being mentally-fit will be a competitive edge for the future of both leaders and teams (and possibly a personal game-changer).
    • Learn how the ability to appropriately and positively respond to challenges is directly related to one’s mental fitness.
    • Be introduced to the three core muscles of mental fitness and explore at least one of them with peers.
    • Learn a 10-second, neuroscience-based technique that will help transition from feeling stressed, anxious, or overwhelmed to calm, clear-headed, and laser-focused action.  
    • Understand the benefit of becoming mentally-fit in concert and practice with others.
  4. Networking Break - SISO Women's Leadership Forum
  5. Networking Lunch - SISO Women's Leadership Forum and Small Business Roundtable
  6. SISO Small Business Roundtable

    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. Unfortunately, sponsors are not allowed. These conversations are open discussions of what keeps a small business leader up at night. We talk about actual use cases and how we overcome the obstacles in front of us. Some of the topics of discussion will be:

    -  During the introductions, each attendee will be able to update the group on how they are navigating the troubled waters of 2022 and working their way through the continuation of the pandemic.

    -  A recap of what is going on with the EAC advocacy push in Washington DC to help the small business owners in these troubled times.

    -  How are the following real issues affecting your event:

    • Inflation
    • the energy crisis
    • lack of visas issued for international attendees and sponsors
    • the current conflict in Ukraine

    -  Where has the workforce gone? As we come out of the pandemic, everywhere we look, there are hiring signs. This issue is hitting the tradeshow industry hard. How are we all working our events with less help, and how is it affecting the exhibitors' and sponsors' ROI.

    -  What's new in technology? We did what we could to keep the lights on when we had to cancel our events in 2020 and 2021. Creative thinking and new technologies helped us get through that time. How will those and other new technologies assist us over the next year and beyond?

    These are just a few points that we will discuss with some of the brightest minds in our industry. The entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in this room. Please join us.

  7. SISO Women's Leadership Forum - Entreprenuer Talk
    There are so many amazing female entrepreneurs in the trade shoe industry. We will hear from a few who have built their own companies and find out what trials and tribulations, as well as rewards and successes, they have faced along the way.
  8. SISO Women's Leadership Forum - Trade Show Industry 'Gigging'
    Working on salary for a company isn't everyone's cup of tea. There are a lot of great people in our industry who decided to 'go independent' and hang up their own company sign. We'll hear from some of them about the pros and cons of working on 'gigs' in the trade show industry.  
    Moderated by
  9. Networking Break - SISO Women's Leadership Forum and Small Business Roundtable
  10. SISO Women's Leadership Forum - Being Heard at the Table
    Now that women have a 'seat at the table', how can they be better 'heard' when they speak at the table? We'll have a mixed male/female panel to talk through how both sides could work together to ensure women not only feel supported by their male counterparts but also develop effective skills to make sure they are 'heard'.
  11. SISO Women's Leadership Forum - Communication Workshop
    Let’s put some of what we’ve just heard them talk about in the last session to practice. We’ll be guided by a professional ‘communicator’ on some skills to make sure when we have something to say, we speak up and truly are ‘heard’ at the table. 
  12. Wrap Up and Closing Comments - SISO Women's Leadership Forum
  13. SISO Summer Conference - Opening Night Reception and Dinner
Wednesday, August 10, 2022
  1. Breakfast
  2. Welcome and Introductions
  3. Opening General Session: Becoming a Must-Attend Event: The Rise of Quality over Quantity

    The pandemic made even the toughest road warriors reevaluate priorities, making their time and money harder for show organizers to compete for. When businesses are asking, “couldn’t it just be a Zoom?”, you must provide a face-to-face experience your attendees and exhibitors can’t get anywhere else. As a result, the size of your show and sheer numbers of in-booth leads are no longer the measures of success but rather, Net Promoter Scores and quality of leads/attendees. How can you set yourself up for success in this shifting landscape? From determining how many days your show should be going forward to adding meaningful ways to connect buyers and sellers, this panel will explore how events can use experiential design to create content, engage audiences and drive revenue. 


  4. Networking Break
  5. Workforce Recruitment and Retention: What it takes to give your organization a competitive edge

    From the rise of remote work to the Great Resignation, today’s employers are challenged to not only retain top talent but fill open positions that are necessary to rebuild post-pandemic. In this “buyer’s market”, employees are looking for more flexible schedules, better benefits, and company cultures that align with their values. Meanwhile, employers must redefine existing roles and identify gaps for new positions that will help them scale their event businesses back to 100%. How will you motivate and retain your current workforce? With many event professionals leaving the industry during the pandemic, how can we recruit and develop talent from outside the sector? Join this session to gain insights from business leaders on structuring and motivating your teams, filling open positions with new talent, and standing out against competition on the job boards.


  6. Sustainability: What It Means to Go Green

    From venue to vendors, lighting to recycling, catering and menu choices navigating your way to creating a sustainable show can be a long but critically important process. In this panel discussion hear from show operators who have successfully implemented sustainability measures at their events, ways in which they enlisted their team members, exhibitors and attendees to both educate and inform on the greening of their shows, and get data and insights from Sustainable Events: Big Initiative Group and the Net Zero Carbon Events Initiative.


  7. Lunch
  8. Marketing Breakout - Understanding What Really Makes Your Customers Take Action

    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.?

    This session 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.

  9. Operations Breakout: The Future of Conference Programs at IRL Events
    While virtual events fell short of attendee expectations in the vast majority of categories, a number of event organizers- and event tech companies themselves- had significant success delivering their conference programs in virtual environments.  Speakers didn’t have to travel to participate, attendees didn’t have to travel to learn, and the result…was a number of industry thought leaders prematurely questioning the future of conference programs at IRL events.  As the world comes out of the pandemic, some shows have indeed experienced lower numbers on the conference side. Yet, others have gone back to standing room only and are experiencing significant demand.  What’s working and what’s not? Does the positioning of conference programs need to change in order to create more unique value and drive ticket sales? And should teams allow virtual access to IRL programming…and to what extent? This session hopes to answer these questions, and dive deep into the future of IRL conference programs at shows.
  10. Revenue Breakout - Pricing Methodologies: Registration, Exhibits, Sponsorships & Beyond
    While we are all trying to move past the realities of the past two years we can’t ignore the fact that challenges and opportunities still linger for our shows post-covid. For many organizers this has meant an adjustment on pricing methodologies and practices with changes to attendee registrations, flexible exhibit pricing models, bundled live event and digital sponsorships, and more. This panel explores big picture strategy on pricing as well as tactical implementation and rollout of these new structures.   
  11. Business/Management Breakout - 4D
  12. Marketing Breakout - How to Take Your Customer Journey from Strategy to Execution

    Various pieces of technology need to be utilized as part of a successful customer journey but how are they being used to support a marketing strategy rather than as foundational elements? How have teams pieced together multiple pieces of technology to define a solution that works for them? What does it mean to stay focused on a core customer journey in the midst of reporting and data that could get teams focused on the wrong goals or objectives?

    This session will explore the specific marketing tools that teams have utilized to deliver on their marketing strategy while outlining the way in which the customer journey has and does remain foundational to all of these efforts.

  13. Operations Breakout - 5B
  14. Revenue Breakout - 5C
  15. Business/Management Breakout - 5D
  16. Networking Break
  17. Marketing Breakout - It’s Not Your 2019 Marketing Playbook: What Marketers Need to Know about the New Face to Face

    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?   

    We’ll explore all of these questions and more to provide attendees with specific info around how they can approach and guide quality over quantity messaging that cultivates engagement and enables personalization.

  18. Operations Breakout: Lessons Learned the Hard Way
    A candid conversation about the future of Force Majeure provisions in contracts and why Show Management should be concerned in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. (I.e. Will you be ready when the next disaster strikes).
  19. Revenue Breakout - 6C
  20. Business/Management Breakout - 6D
  21. Marketing Breakout - The Post Pandemic Playbook

    Lessons learned from 2020 will soon fill entire books but new marketing strategies to deliver on what are today very different customer expectations are already here. For many, the “new normal” of 2020 just became normal, redefining how individuals and brands wanted to engage both online and in person. Some of these redefinitions have carried over into 2022, impacting how live, hybrid and virtual event options are positioned and marketed. What does it mean to promote the digital elements of your live event to physical and virtual attendees in 2022? Do certain audiences now expect elements of a live event to have a virtual component? What sort of engagement that was newly cultivated in 2020 can now be delivered in a totally new way in 2022? Or the same way?

    We’ll explore all these questions and more to provide marketers with a sense of what they should be holding onto, building on and discarding from the last two years to define what matters most to audiences and customers.

  22. Operations Breakout: Is it a Seller's or a Buyer's Market
    Contracting Event Agreements (of all types) in this Post COVID-19 Universe, (and we're not just talking about attrition and cancellation provisions).
  23. Revenue Breakout - 7C
  24. Reception and Dinner
Thursday, August 11, 2022
  1. Breakfast
  2. Tech Innovations from the Inside
    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 operators 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.

  3. Beyond The Policy Statement: Implementing Meaningful DE&I Initiatives at Your Event
    Do you know your organization's policy statement with respect to your show’s equality, diversity and inclusion? These policies set the stage for core values surrounding commitments to respecting the rights of your team, creation of a diverse workforce, and the value of bringing different perspectives, knowledge and life experiences to the industries you serve. Let’s go beyond these internal missions and discuss how to engage your teams, boards, exhibitors, sponsors, presenters, and attendees, to address inequities both at your events as well as the broader marketplace.
  4. Networking Break
  5. Build vs Buy: Navigating Growth Opportunities

    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 vs 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 to miss this session’s lessons learned from key industry M&A deals.

  6. Working Smarter Not Harder: Increasing Profitability in the New Normal
    Audiences want to consume content and engage with your brand in different ways than they did in 2019. In response, show organizers are seeing shorter sales cycles, a desire for more digital opportunities, and additional content needs. But this doesn’t have to result in increased staffing or dollars from the bottom line! How can you leverage partnerships or co-locations to enhance your event? Are you creating new omni-channel sales opportunities effectively? Attend this session to learn how you can increase your brand’s profitability with a 365-engagement strategy.
  7. Closing Remarks
  8. Lunch
  9. Tour of the Oklahoma City Convention Center


  • “Without a doubt the most valuable three days of the year for networking, learning, and meeting colleagues.”
    Tony Calanca, Executive Vice President, UBM
  • “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
  • “SISO connects strategic minds through invaluable networking opportunities and face-to-face executive conferences focused on excellence and inspiration.”
    Dana Teague, Vice President, Informa Global Exhibitions
  • “Participating in SISO puts you on the leading edge of the events world.”
    Charles McCurdy, CEO, Informa Global Exhibitions