New Business Deals: ASM Global, Skyline Exhibits, VISIT Milwaukee and More Announce New Partnerships, Acquisitions

August 18, 2022

Despite the fact that summer tends to be a slower season for the trade show industry, event-related organizations across the country are sizzling with activity, busily forming new business partnerships and acquisitions as they look toward a robust fall and beyond. Take a look!

ASM Global

Global venue and event strategy and management leader ASM Global has formed a sustainability partnership with Honeycomb Strategies, a leading sustainability consultant for the hospitality, sports and event industries.

Announced on Aug. 17, the multi-year action plan will enable ASM Global facility owners and operators to leverage Honeycomb Strategies’ extensive experience and comprehensive understanding of event-related sustainability best practices to make fully informed strategic decisions on major sustainability investments.

The partnership will bolster ASM Global’s and Honeycomb Strategies’ combined commitment to offer innovative approaches and sustainable solutions for ASM Global’s vast venue portfolio that includes live entertainment, trade show, stadium and sports spaces, and features the largest portfolio of certified green venues.

According to Lindsay Arell, who is co-principal of Honeycomb Strategies alongside Amanda Simons, Honeycomb will be working on ASM’s overall sustainability strategy, as well as providing guidance to individual venues, collaborating seamlessly with both stakeholder groups to make meaningful change and long-lasting positive impacts. 

“This alliance is a perfect fit with both companies’ desire to help drive positive social and environmental change,” Arell said. “It helps meet business and sustainability goals, both internally and for our clients and the communities in which we operate. As some of the largest venues in the world, this commitment is sure to have a significant impact. 

Honeycomb Strategies’ recent major sustainability programs and projects include the Philadelphia Eagles, SoFi Stadium, Colorado Convention Center, Visit Denver, Greenbuild Conference and Expo, Vancouver Convention Center, Specialty Coffee Association, Coffee Expo, UUA General Assembly and Snowflake Technology Summit.

Skyline Exhibits 

On Aug. 10, trade show exhibiting company, Skyline Exhibits, acquired Skyline Pacific Northwest (SPNW), its top-tier authorized dealer serving the greater Seattle metropolitan area and Alaska.  

The deal marks Skyline’s first completed acquisition since receiving investment from private equity firm Gemspring Capital in 2020. Nearing its pre-pandemic revenue level as it focuses on continued growth as events and trade shows rebound, Skyline recently added executive leadership in several key areas and reorganized its service centers in major venue cities. 

According to Anthony Floreano, Skyline CEO, Skyline has worked with SPNW to create high-impact exhibits for many of the region’s top brands, including Zillow Group, Amazon, T-Mobile US and VIAVI.

SPNW Owner and President John Backstrom and several key employees will continue to serve SPNW clients as part of the Skyline Exhibits corporate team, which is headquartered in Eagan, Minn. 

“It’s an honor to officially join the Skyline Exhibits team,” Backstrom said. “As an authorized dealer, we have worked with Skyline for more than 20 years. Being a more direct part of the organization will help us better serve our clients with high-impact, modular exhibits and seamless trade show services regardless of their location or venue.” 

VISIT Milwaukee

On Aug. 5, the Republican National Committee announced that it had officially selected the city of Milwaukee to host its 2024 convention, which is expected to bring hundreds of millions of dollars in near- and long-term economic benefit to the local hospitality industry. 

According to VISIT Milwaukee officials, beyond the economic boost, the Republican National Convention stands to positively elevate the profile of the city throughout the world, attracting other major events and conventions to southeastern Wisconsin and leading to more business and more money invested in its economy.  

“At VISIT Milwaukee, we promote tourism to generate economic growth that ultimately creates a better, stronger Milwaukee,” said VISIT Milwaukee President and CEO Peggy Williams-Smith. “It’s our job to pursue conventions that don’t just bring us hard dollars, but those that will bring prestige and exposure that will ultimately enhance our reputation as an amazing place to visit, work and live.”

She continued, “Bringing this convention to Milwaukee was the result of sustained collaboration from a statewide, bipartisan coalition that deeply loves our community and believes in the results this convention will deliver. We are thrilled to get to work with our community and hospitality partners to help the RNC’s planners pull off their best convention yet.” 

With this announcement, Milwaukee becomes first city to win back-to-back Democratic and Republican national conventions since 1972. 

Convention Data Services 

Event registration, business intelligence and lead management provider Convention Data Services (CDS), a Freeman Company, inked two major deals recently.

On Aug. 2, Clarion Events North America selected CDS to provide registration, lead management, integrations and contact center services for nearly 30 shows annually for three years from 2023–2025. 

Clarion’s B2B event portfolio spans the sectors of energy and resources, public safety, fashion, and retail and home, and includes FDIC (Fire Department Instructors Conference) International, DISTRIBUTECH International and POWERGEN International, among others.  

“CDS is an ideal partner for Clarion Events given their proven track record in the event industry and strong alignment with our purpose and strategic goals and focus on the customer journey,” said Liz Irving, CMO of Clarion Events North America. “We look forward to building the partnership to provide personalized event experiences for our current and future customers.”  

In July, the International Housewares Association (IHA) tapped CDS to provide registration, lead management, integrations, data analytics, contact center services and other automated tools from 2023–2025 for its annual trade show, The Inspired Home Show, the largest housewares and home products marketplace in North America.

“IHA has been a longtime Freeman client, and we are excited to grow that partnership,” said David Lawton, CDS chief sales officer. “Many of our tools will also enable IHA to digitize and automate their manual processes, such as exhibitor-appointed contractor (EAC) authorization as well as Book-It, which enables their exhibitors to make online reservations for meeting space facilities.” 

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Partner Voices
Dallas already boasts 35,000 hotel rooms, award-winning global cuisine, and a walkable downtown. But we are just getting started. Visit Dallas is thrilled to announce that the city of Dallas is doubling down with a massive new convention center and entertainment district. Featuring 800,000 square feet of exhibit area, 260,000 square feet of meeting rooms, and 170,000 square feet of ballroom. The center will connect business travelers with dining and shopping options in the popular Cedars District means more places to get down to business, and even more ways to unwind. “Dallas is already a great meetings and conventions destination, with the accessibility of two major airports, affordable labor, and an outstanding hotel product,” said D. Bradley Kent, Visit Dallas senior vice president and chief sales officer. “The new center and Convention Center District will enhance Dallas’ competitive position and are exactly what our customers’ need and have been asking for." What’s New – AT&T Discovery District Located in the heart of Downtown Dallas, this new district on the AT&T corporate campus is tailor-made for groups of all sizes. It boasts a multi-sensory experience, including outdoor event space, the AT&T Theater, and multiple dining outlets including JAXON Beer Garden and The Exchange, a bustling food hall. Hotels Coming Soon Names like the JW Marriott (Downtown), lnterContinental Dallas (Uptown), and Hotel Swexan (Uptown) are adding luxury amenities and bountiful event spaces. The projects will debut in 2023 and beyond. JW Marriott This new, 15-story, 283-room hotel will open in the heart of the city’s downtown Arts District this year. The property features a 25,000-square-foot grand ballroom, as well as a spa, restaurant, lobby bar, fitness center, and a rooftop pool deck and bar. InterContinental Dallas  Located in Cityplace Tower in Uptown, InterContinental Dallas will feature sweeping panoramic views of the Dallas skyline. Guests will enjoy spacious, high-end rooms and amenities, including more than 21,000 square feet of event space.   Hotel Swexan Hotel Swexan, a new, 22-story luxury property, is rising in Uptown’s Harwood District and will make its mark on the Dallas skyline. Opening this year, it is a sculptural building with cantilevered upper floors, as well as a 75-foot rooftop infinity-edge swimming pool and a hidden underground lounge.