ATLANTA – The Society of Independent Show Organizers (SISO) has pledged its support for Go LIVE Together (GLT), a coalition dedicated to enabling essential safety guidelines and protecting the trade show and live events industry in the wake of COVID-19, and has donated $250,000 to aid with legislative advocacy efforts.
Since launching in April, the GLT coalition, in partnership with Freeman, a global live events company, has gained more than 2,000 members representing thousands of organizations and independent contractors with operations in the U.S. and 112 other countries. Early on Trade Show Executive, who initiated the Trade Show and Events Recovery Act (TSRA), aligned with the GLT which includes the broader SISO and GLT coalition, as they collectively lobby for legislative action.
“SISO’s investment has enabled us to engage lobbyists to support our legislative work,” Bob Priest-Heck, CEO of Freeman, which founded Go LIVE Together, told TSE. “This investment is monumental and will drive our coalition’s progress forward as we begin the next stage of our plan to support industry recovery.”
Comprised of 200-member companies that represent a combination of large corporations and small entrepreneurial enterprises around the world, SISO members produce thousands of events each year, creating tens of billions of dollars in impact on the global economy.
“SISO and Go LIVE Together will provide the industry with a stable platform and strong voice so that when it’s safe, the industry is ready and able to restart,” said Douglas Emslie, SISO Chair. “First and foremost, safety is paramount, and we believe there are creative meeting design options that can be used for business events. Unlike with fixed spaces, business event spaces provide a blank canvas that can be designed and adapted to ensure social distancing and safety practices are utilized.”
In a press release, SISO said it endorses Go LIVE Together’s three goals of safety, impact and legislation.
“The SISO leadership recognized that the advocacy task for the industry in the USA was an enormous challenge and needs to move very quickly,” said SISO Executive Director David Audrain. “SISO was asked to take a leading role in the Go Live Together coalition and agreed to do so in both financial and participation in the governance of the project. We are happy to see several of the other key industry associations joining SISO in contributing financially and in the leadership.”
GLT coalition members are working with the industry, venues and associations to identify best practices so that the most effective and practical safety guidelines are implemented consistently. GLT supports early and promising efforts from the Events Industry Council (EIC), Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC), UFI, U.S. Travel Association and most recently CEIR and Exhibition’s Means Business which also made a monetary donation of $50,000 for GLT’s advocacy efforts.
“While we will continue to work in partnership with the likes of U.S. Travel Association, we understand that we will have to advocate on our own behalf to ensure the needs of the events industry are prioritized with legislators,” said Priest-Heck. “With the generous support of SISO, we’re able to make this happen.”