SISO Announces Support for Go LIVE Together Coalition


The Society of Independent Show Organizers (SISO) announced support for Go LIVE Together, a coalition dedicated to enabling essential safety guidelines, and protecting the trade show and live events industry in the wake of COVID-19. In addition to joining the coalition, SISO announced it is investing $250,000 to aid with legislative advocacy efforts to support industry recovery and to help government officials understand the true impact events have on economies and job creation. SISO calls for other leading industry associations to contribute to their advocacy efforts.

SISO members produce thousands of events each year, creating tens of billions of dollars in impact on the global economy.

SISO endorses Go LIVE Together’s three goals:

  • Safety: Enable events and trade shows to open safely by following essential safety guidelines that adhere to the best medically backed scientific practices for the safety and well-being of attendees, once stay at home orders are lifted,
  • Impact: Raise awareness with government officials to understand the true impact events have on economies and job creation and the benefits safe start-up will have on healing the U.S. economy,
  • Legislation: Seek relief by supporting legislation to rebuild the industry that can serve to accelerate economic recovery.


The Go LIVE Together coalition now has over 1,700 members representing 1,000’s of businesses and is gaining momentum every day.  With this powerful and united voice, Trade Show Executive, who initiated the Trade Show and Events Recovery Act, will align with the broader SISO and Go LIVE Together coalition as they collectively seek legislative relief.

Go LIVE Together (GLT) coalition members are working with industry, venues and associations to identify best practices to share with the industry so that the most effective and practical safety guidelines are implemented consistently. Go LIVE Together supports early and promising efforts from the Events Industry Council (EIC), Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC), UFI, U.S. Travel Association and many more.

“SISO and Go LIVE Together will provide the industry with a stable platform and strong voice so that when it’s safe, the industry is ready and able to restart” said Douglas Emslie, SISO Chair. “First and foremost, safety is paramount, and we believe there are creative meeting design options that can be used for business events. Unlike with fixed spaces, business event spaces provide a blank canvas that can be designed and adapted to ensure social distancing and safety practices are utilized.”


“It can’t be overstated the impact the trade show and events industry have on jobs and the economic fabric of America. This industry is mostly made up of small and minority-owned businesses and they need help” said Bob Priest-Heck CEO of Freeman, which founded Go LIVE Together. “We are grateful for the overwhelming industry support for Go LIVE Together and especially grateful for SISO’s generous contribution to our efforts.”

Events serve as a massive incubator for innovation and economic growth, and the impacts from recovery extend well beyond the industry itself.

For example:

  • Live events contribute nearly $1 trillion to the U.S. economy annually, with events touching every major sector that makes up the U.S. GDP.
  • In 2019, the events industry employed 3 million workers directly, with a total impact of close to 7 million jobs.
  • The live events industry employs millions of union workers, general laborers, strategists, marketers, concession stand workers, entertainers, riggers, project managers, and more.
  • Over 80 percent of the companies that serve the live events industry are small, with many being women and minority-owned businesses.