Tarsus Group Buys 80-percent Stake in Connect Meetings

December 5, 2016

U.K.-based Tarsus Group made its second recent major acquisition by scooping up 80 percent of the issued share capital of Connect Meetings, a market-leading U.S. business travel and meetings event organizer headquartered in Atlanta.

Connect Meetings is a provider of trade shows that serve the business travel and meetings sector through a combination of national, regional and vertically focused events that are supplemented by an integrated media offering and additional marketing solutions.

“Connect Meetings is a strong brand, led by an entrepreneurial team with a track record of delivering exceptional growth,” said Tarsus Group Managing Director Douglas Emslie.

He added, “There is a great opportunity to quicken that growth further by expansion and replication within the US and other selected territories and to launch into new verticals. I would like to warmly welcome the Connect Meetings team on board.”

Connect Meetings has developed and manages a series of events across the U.S. held throughout the year that bring together meeting professionals and planners with suppliers to the business travel and meetings sector in what is known as a ‘reverse’ trade show format.

The meetings are arranged on an invitation-only and appointment-based, which deliver efficiencies for both suppliers and planners.

Connect Meetings live events (or Marketplaces) bring together a curated group of meeting planners with suppliers, including destination marketers, hotels, convention centers and technology providers, for a series of appointment-based discussions to drive business development leading to transactions in the short-term.

Connects’ largest event – Connect Marketplace – is next on tap Aug. 21-23 in New Orleans.

Business travel spending continues to rise in the U.S. and has increased from $234million in 2009 to an estimated $310 million in 2017, a compound growth rate of 4.3 percent.

This growth has been supported by strong expansion in hotel stock and growth in U.S. GDP during the period. The board expects this dynamic to support the growth of the business.

Connect 2016 Marketplaces – a combination of national, regional and vertically-focused events - are expected to have brought together 6,000-plus suppliers/planners and have resulted in more than 85,000 pre-set appointments.

Connect Meetings current CEO, Chris Collinson, will remain in place, with an intention that he stay with the business in the long term. 

Connect Meetings’ established senior management team also will be retained as part of the acquisition.

“Following the recent acquisition of Intex in China, which brought two world-class exhibitions into the Group – Music China and CES Asia, we are delighted to be acquiring Connect Meetings in the U.S.,” Emslie said.

He added, “The U.S. and China are two of the world’s largest exhibition markets and both are a key area of focus for Tarsus. These acquisitions tick all of the boxes of our Quickening the Pace strategy. We are also pleased to have acquired Connect Meetings as companies of this size and quality are increasingly difficult to find.”

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