SISO Names Five Event Tech Nominees for 6th Annual Event Innovation Battlefield

August 7, 2018

SISO, The Society of Independent Show Organizers, the largest association of the leading for-profit trade and consumer show organizers, unveiled the nominees for its sixth annual “Event Innovation Battlefield.”

The nominees this year are Conference Pulse, Everthere, Lennd, Preview and

The competition will take place Aug. 9 in front of an audience of for-profit show organizers and suppliers in the industry as part of its annual SISO Leadership Conference, on tap this year Aug. 7-9 in Orlando.

The event attracts large and small trade and consumer show organizers who are interested in the latest innovations and best practices to manage more than 4,000 trade and consumer shows represented by its’ members.

“The Event Battlefield is an important motivational hub for innovation, ideas, talent and products,” said David Audrain, executive director of SISO.

He added, “It gives our members the ability to see what’s on the drawing boards now that will drive our industry in the future. We can also help incubate, develop and assist in the delivery of products and services to the market. It’s a win-win-win which will advance the event industry.”

This year, the nominating committee chose five out of 50 considered organizations looking for breakthrough event technology or amazing new business models.

According to David Adler, CEO of BizBash and Co-chair of the SISO Battlefield project, “We are excited to present organizations that will stretch che imagination, showcase forward thinking and encourage our members to raise the bar on innovation. The program itself is a version of American Idol meets Shark Tank where attendees will vote on their choice for the most innovative of the innovative for 2018.”

Here is some background on the 2018 Nominees:

Conference Pulse ( ConferencePulse is a market network for the events industry. We help event professional find and secure sponsors and exhibitors, by providing them with insightful data, predictive analytics and contact details of key decision makers. Current clients include but are not limited to O'Reilly Media, Techstars, and Opus Agency. Founders are serial entrepreneurs and have worked together for 5 years. The CEO had a successful 10-year career on Wall Street, he worked for Credit Suisse where as part of his strategy role he helped manage the events portfolio of the investment bank. The CTO is a 12-year veteran full stack developer with deep understanding of many programming languages, machine learning and natural language processing. The company was awarded the IBTM Tech Award for Best Marketing Startup in the events industry, it was featured in many industry publications. ConferencePulse also graduated recently from AngelPad, the #1 ranked startup accelerator in the United States with less than 1% acceptance rate.

Everthere ( Everthere partners with the world’s leading show organizers to add value to both the visitor (buyer) and exhibitor (seller) journey by sharing personalized offering that drives unparalleled buyer-seller engagement - 10x higher than existing marketing solutions. Everthere adds incremental revenue twice: Exhibitors that are buying in and non-endemic, digital sponsors from Everthere’s network.

Lennd ( LENND is a next generation event management platform that simplifies and centralizes event operations for some of the largest live events and festivals in the country. These event teams leverage LENND as their core platform / database to collect, approve, manage and communicate their most critical operational information, orders and workflows for their vendors, sponsors, artists, speakers, media, contractors, volunteers and staff. In a market where most of the operations of an event are still run via spreadsheets, google docs and paper, there is an incredible amount of inefficiency, mis-communication, mistakes, cost over-runs, low quality assurance and little knowledge sharing, even amongst the best teams. What Salesforce did for the enterprise, we are doing for the event world.

Preview ( Preview is a SaaS technology platform providing live event organizers with a sponsorship opportunity to improve communication and education for exhibitors and attendees. By creating a new revenue category for sponsorship sales, Preview helps event organizers to grow sustainable bookings with a tool that proves event ROI like nothing before. ( uses AI to help event producers focus on the highest-quality sales leads. It has three parts: 1. Finding new leads by identifying companies that are a great match for your show. 2. Prioritizing leads using advanced artificial intelligence. Using thousands of signals, our AI calculates a proprietary Q-Score to prioritize your sales efforts. And even better: each AI is custom-trained specifically for your organization, learning from your own successful sales! 3. Notifying the sales team when the lead could be ready to buy. Imagine if you could call your exhibitor the same day that they announce a new product. By watching for dozens of discrete timing events, provides real-time suggestions on when to approach a lead.

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Partner Voices
Less than six months ago, Lisa Messina joined the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) as the first-ever chief sales officer after leading the sales team at Caesars Entertainment. A 12-year Las Vegas resident, Messina is a graduate of Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration and serves on MPI International’s board of directors. TSNN had a chance to catch up with this dynamic leader and talk to her about her vision for the new role, current shifts in the trade show industry, creating more diversity and equity within the organization, and advice to future female leaders. Lisa Messina, Chief Sales Officer, LVCVA With Las Vegas becoming The Greatest Arena on EarthTM, what are some of the things you’re most excited about in your role? Our team was at The Big Game’s handoff ceremony earlier this month, and I couldn’t help but think, “We’re going to crush it next year!”  These high-profile events and venues not only drive excitement, but also provide unmatched opportunities for event planners. Allegiant Stadium hosts events from 10 to 65,000 people and offers on-field experiences. Formula 1 Grand Prix will take place in Las Vegas in November, after the year-one F1 race, the four-story paddock building will be available for buyouts and will also offer daily ride-along experiences that will be available for groups. And, of course, the MSG Sphere officially announced that it will open in September, ahead of schedule, with a U2 residency. It’s going to be the most technologically advanced venue as far as lighting, sound, feel, and even scent, and it will be available for buyouts and next-level sponsorships inside and outside. There’s no ceiling to what you can do when you’re doing events in Las Vegas.  Allegiant Stadium As the trade show and convention business returns to the pre-pandemic levels, what shifts are you noticing and how do you think they will impact the industry going forward? Our trade show organizers are very focused on driving customer experience. Most of our organizers are reporting stronger exhibitor numbers and increased numbers of new exhibitors, with trade shows proving to be almost or above 2019 levels. Now our organizers are really doubling down on driving attendance and focusing on the data to provide that individualized, customized experience to help attendees meet their goals and get the best value. Some companies continue to be cautiously optimistic with their organizational spend when it comes to sending attendees, but I think it will continue to improve. As the U.S. Travel Association makes more progress on the U.S. visa situation, we also expect a growing influx of international attendees. What are some innovative ways the LVCVA helps trade show and convention organizers deliver the most value for their events? We focus on customer experience in the same way that trade show organizers are thinking about it. We got rave reviews with the West Hall Expansion of the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC), so over the next two years, we will be renovating the North and the Central halls, which will include not just the same look and feel, but also the digital experiences that can be leveraged for branding and sponsorship opportunities.  Vegas Loop, the underground transportation system designed by The Boring Company, is also a way we have enhanced the customer experience. Vegas Loop at the LVCC has transported more than 900,000 convention attendees across the campus since its 2021 launch. Last summer, Resorts World and The Boring Company opened the first resort stop at the Resorts World Las Vegas , with plans to expand throughout the resort corridor, including downtown Las Vegas, Allegiant Stadium and Harry Reid International Airport. The LVCVA also purchased the Las Vegas Monorail in 2020, the 3.9-mile-long elevated transportation system that connects eight resorts directly to the convention center campus. This is the only rail system in the world that integrates fares directly into show badges and registration. For trade show organizers, these transportation options mean saving time, money and effort when it comes to moving groups from the hotels to LVCC and around the city. Also, the more we can focus on building the infrastructure around the convention center, the more it supports the customer experience and ultimately supports our trade show organizers. Scheduled to debut in Q4, Fontainebleau Las Vegas will offer 3,700 hotel rooms and 550,000 square feet of meeting and convention space next to LVCC.  What are some of the plans for advancing DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) within your organization? We’re currently partnering with instead of working with a leading consulting firm, to lay the foundation and create a solid DEI plan and be the leader when it comes to DEI initiatives. The heart of that journey with the consulting firm is also talking to our customers about their strategic approaches to DEI and driving innovation in this space.  What are your favorite ways to recharge? My husband and I have an RV and we’re outdoorsy people. So, while we have over 150,000 world-class hotel rooms and renowned restaurants right outside our doorstep, one of my favorite things to do is get out to Red Rock Canyon, the Valley of Fire, and Lake Mead. Five of the top national parks are within a three-hour drive from Las Vegas, so there’s a lot you can do. We love balancing the energy of Las Vegas with nature, and we’re noticing that a lot of attendees add activities off the Strip when they come here.  Valley of Fire What advice would you give to women following leadership paths in destination marketing? I think it’s about being laser-focused on what you want to accomplish; building a team around you that lifts you and helps you achieve your goals; and being humble and realizing that you do it as a group. No one gets this done alone. Thankfully, there are a lot of women in leadership in this organization, in our customers’ organizations, and in this city that we can be really proud of. We’re a formidable force that is making things happen.   This interview has been edited and condensed. This article is exclusively sponsored by the Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority. For more information, visit HERE.