New Business Deals: ASM Global, Marketplace Events and More Renew Agreements, Announce Major Acquisitions

September 6, 2023

A plethora of new business agreements, contract renewals, strategic partnerships and major acquisitions have marked a very busy summer for the global trade show and events industry. Take a look! 

ASM Global

The Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority (PCCA) recently inked a five-year contract renewal with ASM Global as the venue management company for the Pennsylvania Convention Center (PCC), effective Dec. 1 through Nov. 30, 2028. The company has served as the PCC’s management partner since 2013, when the PCCA awarded an initial contract to SMG, which was subsequently rebranded as ASM Global following the merger of AEG Facilities and SMG in 2019. 

According to ASM Global officials, the global live experiences and venue management leader plans to bring many of its most innovative designs to a leading group of convention centers, starting with the PCC. The venue will be the first in a program that will create unique environments, including immersive LED moments, speed-action offerings to accelerate business strategies, elevated VIP lounges and quiet spaces for business connectivity. 

“We’re excited to begin the next chapter for the convention universe beginning with the Pennsylvania Convention Center,” said Dan Hoffend, ASM Global executive vice president, convention centers. “This includes sustainability features that create substantial movement toward carbon neutral; new flex-space exhibit halls that can adapt to the needs of our diverse attendees; and LED walls that provide sponsorship, wayfinding and entertainment.”  

Marketplace Events 

On Aug. 1, Marketplace Events (MPE) announced its acquisition of the Tacoma Holiday Food & Gift Festival from Showcase Events, Inc. Set for Oct. 26-29 at the Tacoma Dome, the annual event is the second Tacoma, Wash., event acquisition for MPE, which also operates the Tacoma Home + Garden Show held annually in January at the same venue. 

The show will be managed by veteran show manager Jeff Swenson and his team, who run the Northwest Flower + Garden Festival in Seattle in addition to the Tacoma shows.  

MPE CEO Tom Baugh also announced that the company will launch a new holiday show, the Omaha Holiday Boutique, set for Nov. 8-10, 2024 at the CHI Health Center in Omaha, Neb. This new event will be run by another veteran MPE Show Manager Marc Gary who also runs holiday shows in Overland Park, Kan., Des Moines and Atlanta.   

Showcase Events will continue to operate its holiday events in Colorado Springs and Salt Lake City.  

In addition to Tacoma and Omaha, MPE operates 11 holiday shows in nine other U.S. cities, including Atlanta; Charlotte, NC; Cincinnati and Cleveland, Ohio; Denver; Des Moines; Harrisburg, Penn.; Indianapolis and Overland Park, Kan.


Live event registration, data analytics and lead management services provider CompuSystems recently renewed its registration services contract with the Audiovisual and Integrated Experience Association (AVIXA) for three more years, from 2024 through 2026. 

CompuSystems will maintain its role in providing event registration, data analytics and lead-retrieval services for InfoComm, AVIXA’s premier annual trade show and conference for global audio-visual industry professionals.

Oak View Group  

On the heels of its new private management and food service contract with Chicago’s McCormick Place, global sports and entertainment company Oak View Group was awarded the venue management, food service and sponsorship sales partner contract for the recently renovated Cox Business Convention Center and BOK Center in downtown Tulsa, OK.

During a special meeting on July 28, the Tulsa Public Facilities Authority (TPFA) unanimously voted to begin exclusive negotiations with OVG360 and OVG Hospitality to manage the venues’ operations, booking, partnerships and sponsorships, and food and beverage operations at the two award-winning venues.  

Per the terms of its contract, OVG will focus on creating momentum in three main areas: ensuring Tulsa is the top destination for major concerts in Oklahoma, continuing to grow the city’s national and regional convention business and assisting the city and its stakeholders in the development of a full-service convention center hotel. 

Oak View Group is no stranger to the Tulsa market, with current OVG executives possessing nearly four decades of collective experience overseeing operations at Cox Business Convention Center and BOK Center.  

These include John Bolton, senior vice president at OVG, who opened BOK Center in 2008 and served as general manager of both the arena and convention center for six years; Jeff Nickler, senior vice president at OVG and general manager of Austin’s Moody Center, who spent a decade in Tulsa booking many of the largest concerts in BOK Center history; Casey Sparks, vice president of OVG Austin, who served as general manager of the two venues for three years; and Joe Giordano, formerly assistant general manager at BOK Center, who is now vice president leading OVG’s Arena, Stadium and Theater Alliances.  

Together, these executives will serve on a special senior advisory council to support the transition at both venues. 


Leading association management company Smithbucklin was recently chosen as the new association management partner for four healthcare organizations: the Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses (AMSN); the Medical-Surgical Nursing Certification Board (MSNCB); AHRA: The Association for Medical Imaging Management; and the AHRA Education Foundation. 

AMSN represents more than 10,000 medical-surgical nurses, and MSNCB recognizes nearly 40,000 certified medical-surgical nurses. AHRA represents 5,000 members responsible for the management and purchasing power of all levels of hospital imaging departments and freestanding imaging centers.

All four organizations will leverage Smithbucklin’s complete association management solutions, including strategic direction, leading operational practices, association programming and revenue growth, according to Jim McNeil, president of association management at Smithbucklin.

“Smithbucklin’s extensive experience serving healthcare organizations, and nursing specialty organizations in particular, gives us so much to draw on in thinking through the challenges and opportunities for AMSN, MSNCB, AHRA and the AHRA Education Foundation,” McNeil said. “We are confident that our expertise, talent, scale and sophistication in association management will benefit each organization and help accelerate its success.”  

The association management partnership with AMSN and MSNCB took effect in the spring, and AHRA and the AHRA Education Foundation will transition this fall. 


In July, RX announced it had acquired Corp Events, owner and organizer of new technology events including Big Data & AI Paris and Big Data & AI Toronto, and organizer on behalf of the EuropIA Institute and SEMEC of the World AI Cannes Festival (WAICF). 

Olivier Cadi, president of Corp Events, said that joining RX France will allow the company to grow and evolve its exhibitions and conferences by leveraging RX’s technology platforms, global network and operational expertise. 

According to RX Global CEO Hugh Jones, the move comes as the company works to build its presence within the dynamic and growing technology sector, evidenced by the 2022 acquisition of UK-based 3rd Street Group Ltd, owner of Big Data LDN (London), and the recent launch of Data Universe, taking place April 10-11, 2024 at Javits Center in New York City. 

“[This acquisition] strengthens our presence in the new technologies sector and expands our portfolio of leading trade shows in fifteen different sectors in France,” said Michel Filzi, president of RX France. “Through its expertise in the field, Corp Events has been able to create strong events and brands that we want to continue to develop. I am very excited for our teams to collaborate, and we look forward to welcoming the Corp Events teams to RX France.”

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Partner Voices
Just when it seems like Las Vegas can’t get any bigger, brighter or more exciting for groups, MGM Resorts raises the bar again. The company continues to invest and innovate across its portfolio of Las Vegas resorts, with new attractions and upgraded experiences for attendees of all interests.  Remodeled Guest Rooms MGM Grand is the largest single hotel in the world with over 5,000 guest rooms and an 850,000-square-foot conference center. It is home to the newly remodeled MGM Grand Studio Tower—700 reimagined guest rooms with a fun mid-century vibe. Nearby, the iconic New York-New York Las Vegas Hotel & Casino recently completed a $63M redesign and remodel of its 1,830 guest rooms and 155 suites. Down the street, Bellagio Las Vegas is sporting renovated rooms in the Spa Tower with sunrise-inspired decor and luxurious soaking tubs in Premier King rooms after a $110-million transformation. Reinvented Luxury Experiences The Luxury Meetings District, made up of Bellagio Las Vegas, ARIA Resort & Casino, Vdara Hotel & Spa, The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, Park MGM and NoMad Las Vegas, is now more connected than ever before. A new interior walkway opened this October for a seamless attendee experience – connecting Vdara, Bellagio, and The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, guests can now walk from Park MGM to Bellagio in around 15 minutes. New on the scene in the Luxury Meetings District is Cathedrale at ARIA, TAO Group’s upscale establishment specializing in exquisite French-Mediterranean cuisine offering elevated private dining experiences that opened in May. Heralded by World’s Best 50 Restaurants, GQ and VOGUE, LPM at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas is opening this fall and will deliver its signature spontaneity and imaginative celebration of France’s Mediterranean cuisine, art, and culture to the unique luxury resort in impeccable fashion.  A “New Wave  for Mandalay Bay A new wave of enhancements and experiences has arrived at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, including Flanker Kitchen + Sports Bar, an 8,445-square-foot restaurant that opened this June, perfect for pre- and post-game eats and drinks. Event planner’s favorite, Chef Michael Mina’s StripSteak, received a full renovation and now includes one of the largest private dining rooms on The Strip. Retro by Voltaggio debuts a one-year residency with a fun take on pop culture of the 80s and 90s with classic American dishes. An exciting addition planned for 2024 is Swingers, a 40,000-square-foot oasis of street food, miniature golf and art at Mandalay Bay. Most exciting for meeting planners, the 2.1 million-square-foot Mandalay Bay Convention Center  is undergoing a complete refresh, with lightened space, added eye-catching art, and improved technology infrastructure for even more flexible space. Energy-efficient digital signage now leads the way with faster internet speeds and new AV options. From renovated guest rooms and meeting spaces to celebrated dining options and dedicated teams, MGM Resorts is dedicated to delivering exceptional and innovative meeting experiences.