Technology Was Focus of This Year’s SISO Executive Conference

SISO logoThis year’s Society of Independent Show Organizers’ Executive Conference, known as Digital Declaration this year, just wrapped up on August 11 and covered multiple aspects of technology that impact the trade show industry. In addition to that, this year’s Executive Conference also saw an increase in attendance.

180 show organizers and suppliers came to the show, which was held at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, up from last year’s attendance of 15o attendees when the conference took place in Boston. The event started with a reception at the Franklin Institute with President and CEO of the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau Jack Ferguson welcoming the crowd.

“We’re delighted to have SISO back,” he said. “We hosted you six years ago. Philadelphia has changed a lot since then. There’s a 62% larger convention center.” The next morning started off with the keynote speech “From Fractal Marketing to Fish TV” by Andrew Davis, CSO and co-founder of Tippingpoint Labs. Davis encouraged trade show companies to start thinking more about content 365 days a year, as opposed to “just go from planning one trade show to the next”.

According to SISO’s Executive Director Lew Shomer, “The content for this event is really interesting. It is everything people are talking about, but I don’t think everyone understands. We need to take more time so that people can understand applications on how this all works.”

Co-founder of the BlogWorld New Media Expo Rick Calvert urged attendees to stay away from virtual trade shows stating that they were a waste of time. However, Calvert did show his support for virtual conferences stating that they were “very sustainable”.

Other hot topics included smartphones, apps and other forms of mobile technology, as was the topic of how to use digital marketing to attract more attendees to the showfloor. President of Hanley Wood Exhibitions and SISO Executive Conference Education Chair Rick McConnell stated that technology was the focus for the event because he felt it was the most significant change impacting the trade show industry right now.

“The traditional ways to connect buyers and sellers are not enough,” he added. “If you are not tapping into the younger generation, you’ll see a decline in exhibitors and attendees. We also need to better understand the tools of social marketing.”

Next year’s SISO Executive Conference will be held from August 13 through August 15 in Chicago. Darrell Baker, Director of Washington, D.C. Regional Sales for the Chicago Convention & Tourism Bureau, told attendees, “We have a lot of nice things planned. We look forward to seeing you in Chicago.”

Source: Trade Show News Network – SISO Executive Conference Focuses on Tech, Has Attendance Uptick

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