Society of Independent Show Organizers’ CEO Summit Puts Spotlight on Trends in Market

February 24, 2016

In just more than a month, top-level executives from trade show organizing companies worldwide will converge at the Society of Independent Show Organizer’s CEO Summit to hear about the latest trends in the market, whether it be why so many overseas companies are buying up U.S.-based shows or how every event should be considering its content marketing program.

“Ranked as one of the best networking events of the year in the trade and consumer show industry, the SISO CEO Summit gathers together CEOs and executives from more than 100 small and large global show organizing companies for not only high-level education, but also important business interactions,” said Tony Calanca, SISO CEO Summit program chair and executive vice president of Exhibitions, UBM Advanstar.

He added, “We are proud of this reputation and expect this year’s event will be just as rewarding for all participants.”

David Audrain, SISO’s executive director, added, “I’m very excited about this year’s SISO CEO Summit, our program committee has developed an outstanding lineup of topics and presenters, and, as usual, we will have the very best gathering of our industry’s leaders from around the world."

The event, scheduled April 3-6 at the Fairmont Grand Del Mar in San Diego, begins with a board meeting, followed by a special program during the day – Small Business Roundtable – before officially kicking off with an opening reception and dinner that evening.

The next morning begins with what has been a longstanding tradition at the event, all of the attendees stand up and one-by-one personally introduce themselves before the education program will open with Roger Dow, president of the U.S. Travel Association, discussing "How Travel Impacts the Exhibition Industry Today.”

The first day of sessions continues with Scott Diament, president and CEO of the Palm Beach Show Group, talking about how his company evolved from a “rough idea to polished execution of nationwide ultra- luxury events.”

Jochen Witt, CEO - jwc GmbH, will lead a presentation, "Pricing strategies in the trade fair industry - How good pricing can increase customer satisfaction and organizers’ revenues and profits,” that will take a look at how ‘intelligent pricing’ can help invigorate how teams look at their event, starting with layout planning, and all the way to upselling of added services and profitable premium offerings.

After lunch, at which Calanca will present the SISO annual report and the Robert L. Krakoff award honoree will be named, the afternoon sessions with begin with Brian Casey, president and CEO of the Center for Exhibition Industry Research, presenting the latest CEIR Index numbers.

Up next will be a panel of international trade show company leaders talking about "Why are all these International Companies Suddenly Buying Up the USA Market?!" With companies such as Informa Exhibitions, Clarion Events, Tarsus Group and several of the German messes either buying or launching in the U.S., it continues to be a stable market that companies worldwide are focusing on.

The first day of sessions will end with Joe Pulizzi, who runs the Content Marketing Institute and Content Marketing World events, discussing “Epic Content Marketing” and why every event should be utilizing it to grow attendance and drive engagement.

After a night of networking at a reception, dinner and afterglow party, it’s back to business the next morning and more sessions, beginning with the “Current State of the M&A Market”, during which private equity panelists will talk about multiples, risk reward and how they look at the industry today.

Another session that morning, aptly titled “What Went Wrong?”, will involve a panel of executives from major companies candidly discussing launches and acquisitions that didn’t quite go as planned.

The afternoon will consist of attendees taking part in a round of golf, bocce and croquet, sailing or tennis, before the event closes that evening with an awards reception and dinner.

To register for the SISO CEO Summit please visit HERE. Early-bird registration ends March 1. 

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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.