by Doug Ducate, CEM, CMP
President and CEO
The M&A activity in the media space where exhibitions live has been very active recently signaling renewed faith in the long-term viability of the industry. The Nielsen Events acquisition just shy of $1 billion obviously leads the pack.
During the last 20 years, the exhibition industry has resisted the recessions of the 90s and 2001/2002 as well as the Great Recession of 2008-2010, and while we are not yet back to pre-2000 levels, we are improving much faster than most business sectors that make up the U.S. economy.
The industry has also withstood the Internet attack. The gloom and doom outlook for face-to-face events that was prevalent in the 90s has been silenced by the continued growth of exhibitions despite some of the Internet advantages. The forecasters overlooked the reality that people want to know the people they are doing business with, and an online community just cannot compete with a face-to-face event.
The M&A session at Predict 2013 being held in New York on 12 September will address the outlook from the perspective of PE firms, debt providers and organizers. The availability of capital and what multiples look like going forward will be key takeaways. If you can’t attend in person, be sure and join online as the session will be live streamed.