A Word With SISO's Chairman

Sean Guerre, who became chairman of the board of the Society of Independent Show Organizers in April (to serve a one-year term), joined the association in 1998, the same year he founded his own events company, the Houston-based TradeFair Group.

"SISO provides so much information in details and numbers that you're able to really benchmark your business off of it," Guerre explains. "For example, SISO and American Business Media have done a variety of reports over the years that look at what percentage for this size show is spent on marketing vs. food and beverage vs. other areas, or what e-mail open rates are standard. A lot of times, if you're a small organizer, you may have only two, three or four events, so you wouldn't have access to a large pool of data like some of the bigger players would."

Further, Guerre's membership provides him with a network of peers who not only helped "flatten the learning curve" when it came to running his business, but actually helped him grow -- and eventually sell -- the company.

"A lot of the opportunities for new business came through that network," he says. "And I actually met, through my work at SISO, the company that I eventually sold to four years ago -- Access Intelligence. So I learned about the business, grew the company and actually sold the company through the same network."

Read the profile of SISO here.