Marketplace Events, Reed Exhibitions Continue Growth In B2C Events Space

February 3, 2020

Two leading event producers are expanding their reach in the consumer show marketplace with a popular show acquisition and a launch.

Marketplace Events Scoops Up Cincinnati Holiday Market 

Cleveland-based Marketplace Events, known as the largest producer of B2C shows in the U.S. and Canada, has acquired the Cincinnati Holiday Market from Hart Productions of Cincinnati, Ohio. As the first of the new year for Marketplace Events, the acquisition marks the 13th since the company was purchased by Sentinel Capital Partners in early 2016.  

Held annually at the Duke Energy Convention Center, the 19-year-old Holiday Market features approximately 350 local and regional vendors offering a variety of curated, unique and handcrafted holiday-related goods, gifts, food and home décor items, as well as thousands of shoppers to Downtown Cincinnati each year.

“We know this show has become a beloved annual tradition for many, and I am confident that its future is in very capable hands,” said Hart Productions CEO Vicki Hart, who helped launch, manage and grow the show.

She continued, “The deep industry experience of the Marketplace Events’ team, especially in the areas of marketing and operations, will ensure the show continues to grow and thrive.”

With this sale of its final consumer show, Hart Productions will continue operating as a trade and large-scale event consulting firm leaning on 65 years of industry expertise.

The holiday show acquisition comes less than three years after Marketplace Events purchased the Cincinnati Home & Garden Show from Hart Productions. Since acquiring this home show in May of 2017, the company has grown its attendance by 21 percent, according to Marketplace Events officials.

Toni Garbo, manager of the Cincinnati Home & Garden Show, which runs February 22-March 1, will also oversee the production of the Cincinnati Holiday Market, set for November 13-15 this year. 

“The Cincinnati Holiday Market is a terrific addition to our growing portfolio of holiday shows and a wonderful way for [Marketplace Events] to bring in the new year,” said Tom Baugh, CEO of Marketplace Events.  “Vicki Hart should be lauded for her success in growing one of the best holiday events in the Midwest – in just a few years the show has become a powerhouse.”

He continued, “Just as our Cincinnati team has done with the home and garden show, we look forward to building on Vicki’s success and continuing to grow the holiday show to benefit exhibitors and attendees for years to come.”

Marketplace Events now produces 76 shows in 34 markets including 51 consumer home shows in the U.S., 16 in Canada, six holiday shows, two bridal shows and one spring boutique. Combined, the 76 events attract 22,000 exhibitors, 1.9 million attendees and another 3 million unique web visitors annually.

Reed Exhibitions to Launch Endurance Sports Festival 


The endurance sports community will soon be getting its own consumer show. Reed Exhibitions is gearing up to launch EnduranceCon, a two-day endurance sports festival set to debut June 27-28 at Long Beach Convention Center in California. The event is expected to attract approximately 150 exhibitors and 8,5000 attendees, and will be presented in collaboration with Spartan, known as the world’s largest obstacle course race and endurance brand.

Designed to celebrate the passion and lifestyle of athletes and enthusiasts at all levels of running, cycling, triathlon, obstacle course racing and other sports, EnduranceCon will feature:

  • New, exclusive gear from leading brands, including footwear, apparel, equipment, tech and nutrition
  • Motivational and educational talks by celebrity endurance athletes on topics ranging from injury prevention to mental endurance
  • Interactive experiences such as sample races, skills clinics and contests
  • Socialization and celebration with fellow enthusiasts over food, drinks, film, art and music

 EnduranceCon’s current lineup of industry sponsors and supporters — who will help promote and participate in the event via competitions, talks, podcasts, on-site activations and a race directors summit — include Road Runner Sports (official retailer),  OOFOS, Conqur Endurance Group (Los Angeles Marathon), Babbitville Radio, USA Cycling, USA Triathlon and Spartan.

At the show, Spartan will host a short obstacle course race for first-timers and its ever-growing community of passionate competitors, while Spartan Founder and CEO Joe De Sena will lead a keynote on the final day of the event.

“Spartan’s global community knows the true meaning of endurance and what it’s like to push beyond what they ever thought possible, which is why working with Reed on EnduranceCon, a unique expo designed to celebrate this superior human quality, is a natural fit,” De Sena said. 

He added, “We’re thrilled to collaborate and build the event into a catalyst for transformation and one of the world’s leading destinations for anyone interested in pushing their boundaries.”

EnduranceCon is the creation of Reed’s 3-year-old LaunchPad division, which works to identify underserved market segments and launch events to meet audience demand while driving Reed business growth.

To learn more, go here


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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.