SISO CEO Summit Radiates Confidence and Enthusiasm for Future of Trade Show Industry

Andrea Doyle - Executive Editor

ST. PETERSBURG, FL – The Society of Independent Show Organizers (SISO) CEO Summit prides itself on being the networking and information-sharing event of the year for global show organizers, both large and small. This year’s executive-level gathering looked at recasting the industry and how many are building for the future. More than 300 independent show organizers and C-level executives from sponsoring companies gathered for three days of networking and education.

Held March 21-24 at The Vinoy Renaissance Resort & Golf Club in St. Petersburg, FL, the mood was jubilant as everyone in attendance was thrilled to be meeting face-to-face.

During the event, Cassandra Farrington, Founder, MJBiz took the reins as Chair of SISO from Hervé Sedky, President and CEO, Emerald. In the current issue of TSE, Farrington said, “My focus as Chair is to take our mindsets from a reboot mentality as we’re trying to get our shows open and settle into some sort of new normal. Of course, it will not be the same as it was before the pandemic. We’ve really had to accelerate development, especially on the digital side. I think that pretty much anybody out there who’s been through this would say that not everything has worked. We have to sift through that. Also, what will be really valuable as we move forward into this new normal, and how do we get there?” Click here to read more about Farrington and the recent sale of MJBiz.

The Summit kicked off on Monday with SISO Executive Women’s Forum, the Small Business Roundtable and SISO Board of Directors Luncheon.

On Tuesday, the Opening General Session, “What is the New Normal?” kicked off. Other noteworthy session included “No Time to Buy,” “COVID-19 Forecast: The Future Course of the Pandemic,” “Event Industry Data, Trends and Insights,” “Customer Journeys: Using Content and Data to Grow Your Audience and Community,” “Advocacy in Action,” “Global Advocacy and International Update,” “Sustainability Snapshot: Net Zero Carbon Events,” “A Customer Lens on the New Normal,” “Top 10 Tips for Recruiting and Retention Now,” “Growth Strategies for Small Businesses,” “Customer Journeys: Supporting the Retail Market by Adjusting and Expanding to Market Needs,”  and “Multiple Realities: The State of M&A Today.”

Industry veteran Lewis Shomer, President and CEO, Shomex Productions received the prestigious “Robert L. Krakoff Industry Award of Excellence” during a Freeman-sponsored lunch. This award is named in honor of a legend of the industry, Robert L. Krakoff, who built and ran some of the most successful businesses in the exhibition industry.

A more in-depth look at this year’s SISO CEO Summit will appear in the June issue of Trade Show Executive.

Reach Cassandra Farrington at cassandra.farrington@annehollandventures.com or (720) 213-5802; David Audrain at (404) 334-4585; reach Hervé Sedky at herve.sedky@emeraldx.com; Lew Shomer at (310) 450-8831, x2 or lshomer@shomex.com