New Acquisitions and Strategic Partnerships for Nationwide Expos and Comexposium

January 22, 2020

Two leading B2C and B2B event producers are hitting the ground running in 2020 by acquiring events and forming new joint ventures.

Nationwide Expos Scoops Up Three Home and Garden Shows 

Consumer event producer RJ Promotions has sold three of its home and outdoor shows to Nationwide Expos, one of the largest B2C home show producers in the U.S. 

“Nationwide Expos is excited to take over where RJ Promotions left off with some new and innovative features to draw some great foot traffic in these markets,” said Jon Lewis, president of Nationwide Expos. 

The three shows include:

  1. Iowa Home Show: Held each January at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines, Iowa, the event attracts 400 exhibitors and 4,000 attendees. The most recent show took place Jan. 10-12.
  2. Iowa Flower, Lawn & Garden Show: Also held annually at the Iowa State Fairgrounds, it draws in 500 exhibitors and 8,000 attendees. This year’s event will take place March 15-17.
  3.  El Paso Spring Home Show: Held annually at the El Paso Convention Center in Texas, the show boasts 400 exhibitors and 5,000 attendees. The 2020 event is set for January 25-27.

“These long-running consumer shows are the largest home and outdoor events in the regions that they serve. Nationwide Expos will leverage their existing exhibitor relationships to expand these and other regional home shows throughout the western portion of the country” said Nick Curci, president of Corporate Solutions, which served as exclusive advisor to RJ Promotions in arranging, structuring and negotiating the transaction.

Comexposium Seeks to Acquire Europa Group 

Global events organizer Comexposium has entered into exclusive discussions to acquire Europa Group, a leading European medical and scientific conference organizer.  

The Toulouse, France-based company oversees 50 conferences, including EuroPCR and le Congrès de la Société Française d’Ophtalmologie, as well as websites and content products designed to serve scientific communities across the globe. 

According to Compexposium officials, the proposed acquisition marks a continuation of Comexposium’s evolution into the rapidly-growing healthcare sector. In June 2018, the company acquired the International Master Course on Aging Science, which organizes conferences geared toward plastic surgeons, dermatologist and ophthalmologists. 

With the addition of the Europa Group brands, healthcare would become one of Comexposium’s largest event sectors alongside food, agriculture and fashion, positioning it as the largest organizer of healthcare conferences in Europe.


Meanwhile, the company has also initiated discussions with Paris-based Vinexpo Holding to establish a new joint venture that would create the world’s largest producer of wine and spirits events.

Once formed, the new entity would boast a combined portfolio of 10 events serving more than 78,000 attendees and 5,900 exhibitors, including Wine Paris, World Wine Meetings and World Bulk Wine Exhibition Europe and Asia from Comexposium, and Vinexpo Bordeaux, Paris, Hong Kong, Shanghai and New York, and Vinexpo Explorer events from Vinexpo Holdings.

Meanwhile, the business venture would also focus on creating new global events and developments to support the international wine and spirits sector’s continued growth. 

Comexposium acquired Adhesion Group in 2017 to develop its wine sector events and since then has grown the portfolio, including launching Wine Paris, the city’s first major international wine trade event.  

This the company’s seventh new development venture since April 2019, when Crédit Agricole Assurances became a shareholder. Compexposium’s new developments have included events in China, France, Germany, Indonesia, Japan, South Africa, United Arab Emirates, the U.K. and the U.S. 


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Partner Voices
Less than six months ago, Lisa Messina joined the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) as the first-ever chief sales officer after leading the sales team at Caesars Entertainment. A 12-year Las Vegas resident, Messina is a graduate of Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration and serves on MPI International’s board of directors. TSNN had a chance to catch up with this dynamic leader and talk to her about her vision for the new role, current shifts in the trade show industry, creating more diversity and equity within the organization, and advice to future female leaders. Lisa Messina, Chief Sales Officer, LVCVA With Las Vegas becoming The Greatest Arena on EarthTM, what are some of the things you’re most excited about in your role? Our team was at The Big Game’s handoff ceremony earlier this month, and I couldn’t help but think, “We’re going to crush it next year!”  These high-profile events and venues not only drive excitement, but also provide unmatched opportunities for event planners. Allegiant Stadium hosts events from 10 to 65,000 people and offers on-field experiences. Formula 1 Grand Prix will take place in Las Vegas in November, after the year-one F1 race, the four-story paddock building will be available for buyouts and will also offer daily ride-along experiences that will be available for groups. And, of course, the MSG Sphere officially announced that it will open in September, ahead of schedule, with a U2 residency. It’s going to be the most technologically advanced venue as far as lighting, sound, feel, and even scent, and it will be available for buyouts and next-level sponsorships inside and outside. There’s no ceiling to what you can do when you’re doing events in Las Vegas.  Allegiant Stadium As the trade show and convention business returns to the pre-pandemic levels, what shifts are you noticing and how do you think they will impact the industry going forward? Our trade show organizers are very focused on driving customer experience. Most of our organizers are reporting stronger exhibitor numbers and increased numbers of new exhibitors, with trade shows proving to be almost or above 2019 levels. Now our organizers are really doubling down on driving attendance and focusing on the data to provide that individualized, customized experience to help attendees meet their goals and get the best value. Some companies continue to be cautiously optimistic with their organizational spend when it comes to sending attendees, but I think it will continue to improve. As the U.S. Travel Association makes more progress on the U.S. visa situation, we also expect a growing influx of international attendees. What are some innovative ways the LVCVA helps trade show and convention organizers deliver the most value for their events? We focus on customer experience in the same way that trade show organizers are thinking about it. We got rave reviews with the West Hall Expansion of the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC), so over the next two years, we will be renovating the North and the Central halls, which will include not just the same look and feel, but also the digital experiences that can be leveraged for branding and sponsorship opportunities.  Vegas Loop, the underground transportation system designed by The Boring Company, is also a way we have enhanced the customer experience. Vegas Loop at the LVCC has transported more than 900,000 convention attendees across the campus since its 2021 launch. Last summer, Resorts World and The Boring Company opened the first resort stop at the Resorts World Las Vegas , with plans to expand throughout the resort corridor, including downtown Las Vegas, Allegiant Stadium and Harry Reid International Airport. The LVCVA also purchased the Las Vegas Monorail in 2020, the 3.9-mile-long elevated transportation system that connects eight resorts directly to the convention center campus. This is the only rail system in the world that integrates fares directly into show badges and registration. For trade show organizers, these transportation options mean saving time, money and effort when it comes to moving groups from the hotels to LVCC and around the city. Also, the more we can focus on building the infrastructure around the convention center, the more it supports the customer experience and ultimately supports our trade show organizers. Scheduled to debut in Q4, Fontainebleau Las Vegas will offer 3,700 hotel rooms and 550,000 square feet of meeting and convention space next to LVCC.  What are some of the plans for advancing DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) within your organization? We’re currently partnering with instead of working with a leading consulting firm, to lay the foundation and create a solid DEI plan and be the leader when it comes to DEI initiatives. The heart of that journey with the consulting firm is also talking to our customers about their strategic approaches to DEI and driving innovation in this space.  What are your favorite ways to recharge? My husband and I have an RV and we’re outdoorsy people. So, while we have over 150,000 world-class hotel rooms and renowned restaurants right outside our doorstep, one of my favorite things to do is get out to Red Rock Canyon, the Valley of Fire, and Lake Mead. Five of the top national parks are within a three-hour drive from Las Vegas, so there’s a lot you can do. We love balancing the energy of Las Vegas with nature, and we’re noticing that a lot of attendees add activities off the Strip when they come here.  Valley of Fire What advice would you give to women following leadership paths in destination marketing? I think it’s about being laser-focused on what you want to accomplish; building a team around you that lifts you and helps you achieve your goals; and being humble and realizing that you do it as a group. No one gets this done alone. Thankfully, there are a lot of women in leadership in this organization, in our customers’ organizations, and in this city that we can be really proud of. We’re a formidable force that is making things happen.   This interview has been edited and condensed. This article is exclusively sponsored by the Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority. For more information, visit HERE.