David Audrain Named Executive Director of SISO

HIL ANDERSON, SENIOR EDITOR
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Kiawah Island, NC – Exposition Development Company Inc. (ExpoDevCo) and its President and CEO David Audrain will take the reins of the Society of Independent Show Organizers (SISO) in January 2016, announced SISO Chairman Charlie McCurdy during the association’s annual business meeting today at the SISO CEO Summit. He will replace Lew Shomer, who held the high-profile position since 2009 and had opted not to renew his contract. The vote by the SISO Board was unanimous.

Audrain is a former chairman of the SISO board of directors whose career dates back to Miller Freeman in the 1990s. Other stops on Audrain’s move upward in the industry have included executive positions at major for-profit show organizers ConvExx, Advanstar, Hanley Wood (now Informa) and Messe Frankfurt North America, where he spent six years as president and CEO. Prior to the launch of ExpoDevCo in 2012, Audrain was president and CEO of Clarion Events North America, Inc.

Audrain and his team at Exposition Development Company Inc. (ExpoDevCo) in Atlanta organize five regional shows, including the Atlanta Food Service Expo and Expo Produccion in Mexico.

Shomer, president and CEO of Shomex Productions, will remain at SISO during the transition and then devote his full attention to running his company and serving as chairman of 5NET4 Productions, which organizes Abilities Expo shows in five cities.

Shomer has been a longtime member of SISO. He spent nine years on the association’s board of directors, including a term as chairman, prior to taking the job as executive director. He announced last year that he would not extend his contract.

Shomer’s career in the trade show industry stretched back to the glory days of COMDEX, when he was vice president, marketing and sales for The Interface Group, which organized the landmark computer exhibition. Shomer will be leaving SISO after an admirable record of expanding SISO’s domestic and international membership and event attendance, and strengthening ties with other industry associations.

SISO has also developed a strong educational program to cultivate students considering careers in trade shows. “The turnkey face-to-face module that was developed with Pepperdine University as a key element in the integrated marketing mix is an important program that needs to be expanded into as many curricula as possible,” Shomer said.

Audrain will continue SISO’s role as a leader in the U.S. exhibitions market and its evolving presence in the overseas market. TSE will provide continuing coverage of this news in future editions.

Reach David Audrain at (404) 334-4585 or david@expodevco.com; Lew Shomer at (310) 450-8831, x2, or lshomer@shomex.com