New Business Deals: HMP Global, Levy, CompuSystems and More Forge New Business Agreements, Extend Partnerships

September 28, 2021

As the trade show industry continues its pointed focus on recovery, event organizations are once again making acquisitions, establishing new partnerships and extending existing agreements in preparation for a robust return to face-to-face events. Here’s just a sampling of some of the new business deals that have been happening across the industry since the start of the summer. 

HMP Global Acquires Executive Senior Living Conference & Expo

HMP Global, the world’s largest healthcare event and education company, has acquired the Senior Living Executive Conference & Expo from Argentum, a leading national association supporting companies that operate professionally managed, resident-centered senior living communities, and that represents approximately 75 percent of the industry.

Recognized as the industry’s premier networking and educational event, nearly 3,000 executives from 750 companies representing for-profit and nonprofit assisted living, memory care, independent living, continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs), real estate investment trusts (REITs), private equity, capital providers, industry suppliers, media and academia attend the annual gathering.

The two organizations also announced a multi-year partnership to guide the meeting’s strategic direction and program development. The event, which recently ran Sept. 13-15 at the Phoenix Convention Center, will remain the official meeting of Argentum.

Levy Teams Up with Metro

Levy has been tapped to serve as the exclusive new dining and hospitality partner for Metro Visitor Venues in Portland, Ore. Levy will collaborate with Metro to create and oversee all aspects of food and beverage at Oregon Convention Center, Portland Expo Center, Portland’5 Centers for the Arts venues and Oregon Zoo, including on-site restaurants, cafés and concessions, catering for private and social events, and pre-event and intermission food and beverage service at performances.

Through this collaboration, the duo will aim to provide guests with the very best of Portland represented through local chefs, cuisine showcasing diverse cultures, locally sourced ingredients and sustainable produce from nearby farms. Metro and Levy officials say they are committed to creating business opportunities throughout the region by partnering with local small businesses and working closely with community groups to deliver the best hospitality guest experience.  

Levy serves as hospitality partner for various venues in the Pacific Northwest, including Moda Center, Providence Park, Lumen Field and Woodland Park Zoo, as well as leading U.S. convention facilities, including Javits Center in New York City, Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta and Los Angeles Convention Center.

CompuSystems Extends Contracts with SEMA, ACA and MEMA 

Full-service registration provider CompuSystems signed multi-year renewal deals with the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA), the Auto Care Association (ACA) and the Motor and Equipment Manufacturers Association(MEMA). 

CompuSystems will provide registration, data analytics and lead retrieval for The SEMA Show and ACA’s /MEMA’s Automotive Aftermarket Products Expo (AAPEX), which together form one of the largest U.S. trade show gatherings for the auto enthusiast and auto care industry, respectively. The next SEMA show is set to take place Nov. 2-5 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, with AAPEX scheduled for Nov. 2-4 at The Venetian Expo and CAESARS FORUM.  

“Announcing client renewals is very important to us, as it demonstrates our commitment to our partnerships,” said CompuSystems COO Mark LoGiurato. “We are happy to extend these longstanding relationships by continuing to provide our first-class service and professionalism, as we do for all of our clients.”

Edlen Partners with GWCCA

Edlen Electrical Exhibition Services, the U.S. trade show, convention and special event industry’s largest independent electrical contractor, formed an exclusive utility partnership with the Georgia World Congress Center Authority to be its exclusive provider of utility services, including electrical, plumbing, compressed air and cable.

Edlen Assistant General Manager Shawna Moore, who served as assistant general manager of Edlen’s Mandalay Bay office and has serviced some of the largest trade shows in the country, moved to Atlanta to assist with the transition and lead the team. 

“Edlen is honored to partner with our friends at the Georgia World Congress Center Authority,” said Jim Wetterling, Edlen president and CEO. “We look forward to a long and mutually successful relationship.”

Founded in 1975, Edlen is a national company based out of Las Vegas that services more than 5,000 events annually and provides exclusive, preferred or recommended services in over 200 convention facilities nationwide. 

Massachusetts Dental Society Renews Contract with CDS

Massachusetts Dental Society (MDS) renewed its more than 15-year partnership with Convention Data Services (CDS) for two years through 2023. CDS will provide registration, lead management, CE survey and certificate application and data analytics for the association’s Yankee Dental Congress, New England’s largest and the country’s fourth-largest dental meeting that attracts more than 25,000 dental professionals from across the U.S.

According to David Lawton, CDS chief sales officer, the CDS teams will continue to provide innovative and flexible registration solutions to enhance the on-site experience at the Yankee Dental Congress, set for Jan. 27-29 at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center.

“This past year has been particularly challenging, but no matter what obstacles we encountered, CDS worked tirelessly with us to come up with a solution,” said Alisa Ufland, MDS director of marketing. “I wish all of our partners were as accommodating and easy to work with. I look forward to our continued partnership.” 

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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.