New Leadership at SISO Developing New Business Model

HIL ANDERSON, SENIOR EDITOR
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Santa Monica, CA – The new management of the Society of Independent Show Organizers (SISO) is working on some potential changes to its popular CEO Summit held each Spring and is also reaching out to U.S. universities and international trade show associations.

Britton Jones, president and CEO of Business Journals, Inc. and the new chairman of SISO, said that the developments were part of a “re-evaluation” of the organization that coincides with its management being turned over to Shomex Productions this year after The Rebedeau Group’s 11-year tenure ends.

“The re-evaluation process has enabled us to develop and implement new strategies that we are confident will increase membership, provide greater member benefits and maintain our financial strength,” Jones said.

“We are about to go through a systematic review of our membership procurement efforts and launch a much more focused and targeted approach to identifying new prospects and recruiting new members,” Jones told Trade Show Executive.

The SISO board of directors recently formed an executive committee to look into changes in the CEO Summit business model. The process includes analyzing the cost of the event, the educational content and attendance. “We also began the process of analyzing our current sponsor relationships to determine if there is a window of opportunity for us to strengthen these relationships,” Jones said.

The 2009 CEO Summit will be held March 29 to April 1 at the Grand Del Mar in San Diego with an educational program focusing on the turmoil in the world economy.

As U.S. show organizers expand their operations overseas, the organization is also seeking to strengthen its ties with its European counterpart UFI, the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, and the China Expo Forum for International Cooperation (CEFCO).

SISO is also working on:

  • A case study to be disseminated to universities that demonstrates the value of trade shows as part of a modern marketing program. The goal is to encourage schools to make exhibitions a part of their marketing curriculum.
  • Revamping the SISO website. A number of companies responded prior to the mid-November deadline for RFP submissions.
  • Developing programs to attract new members.
  • Updating SISO’s database of member companies, particularly their roster of shows and attendance figures. The information will be used to illustrate the buying power of trade show organizers and strengthen SISO’s hand in negotiating future events.
  • Negotiating an alliance with UFI that mutually benefits both organizations in the global marketplace.
  • Renewing an agreement with CEFCO that will support SISO activities in the U.S. and CEFCO in China. SISO believes the agreement will assist U.S. organizers who are launching shows in China.

Reach Britton Jones at (203) 663-7837 or brittonj@busjour.com; Lew Shomer, president, Showmex Productions, at (310) 450-8831 or lshomer@shomex.com