New Business Deals: Skyline Exhibits, CloserStill Media and More Make Strategic Acquisitions, Ink New Partnerships

February 7, 2023

As the trade show industry gears up for a busy 2023, event-related companies throughout the U.S. and across the pond are moving forward with strategic acquisitions and partnerships designed to empower and prepare them for a year of robust growth. Take a look! 

Skyline Exhibits

Eagan, Minn.-based trade show exhibit company Skyline Exhibits kicked off the new year on a strong growth trajectory by acquiring two of its authorized dealer offices—one in New York and one in California—as part of a strategic effort to provide a seamless client experience and additional expert resources.

Serving clients in Long Island and upstate New York from its office in Hauppauge, N.Y., Skyline New York is an established provider of high-impact, custom modular exhibit solutions that has worked with companies including Bankers Health Group, T.D. Ameritrade, Kyriba, Fannie Mae and ICM Controls.  

Owner Bob Watson, a 30-year trade show and events industry veteran with a background in custom exhibits, has worked closely with Skyline Exhibits since 2006 and will continue supporting his client base.  

“We look forward to collaborating more closely as we officially join the Skyline Exhibits team,” Watson said. “We are thrilled to be a part of the Skyline team and view this as a springboard for us to reach new heights for our clients, as it offers additional support and expertise with seamless services regardless of their location or venue.” 

Since receiving investment from Gemspring Capital in 2020, Skyline Exhibits has continued to grow over the past two years, investing in production assets and completing dealer acquisitions. According to Skyline officials, the company is preparing for a busy year with new members of the executive team recently added and significant investments made in new technology and equipment. 

“Our clients are ramping up for a busy 2023,” said Anthony Floreano, CEO of Skyline. “This acquisition will help us to grow and provide an even better experience for our clients in the Long Island and upstate New York area.”  

Serving clients throughout the northern California market, including the San Francisco Bay Area, Sacramento and Reno, Nev., Skyline Bay Area is a top-tier dealer boasting more than 20 years in business and multiple dealer awards in recognition of its performance.  

Owned by Chuck Boyle and Lorraine Stewart, Skyline Bay Area has built a loyal client base of more than 1,000 companies, including Guidewire Software, Check Point, Amerit Fleet Solutions, FreeWire and Puronics.  

The acquisition agreement, which unifies two long-term partners dedicated to helping brand marketers with their exhibiting programs, includes Boyle and several key members of his team joining Skyline Exhibits.  

“We have built a strong relationship with Skyline over the years as an authorized dealer and are excited to take this next step,” Boyle said. “Officially joining the Skyline team provides us with additional resources and expertise to ensure our client’s exhibiting experience is seamless and exceeds their expectations.”

This acquisition marks the second to close in 2023 and the third since the company received investment from Gemspring Capital.

CloserStill Media 

U.K.-based CloserStill Media, a market-leading global business events, exhibitions and conferences producer, recently purchased a majority stake in CommerceNext, a leading U.S.-based company focused on the ecommerce sector. 

As a community, event series and conference for marketers at retail and direct-to-consumer brands, CommerceNext produces and hosts the annual CommerceNext Ecommerce Growth Show and the CommerceNexty Awards program, as well as podcasts, webinars, industry research, an executive dinner series and an online community. 

“We are delighted to be bringing the CommerceNext U.S. conferences and events business into ClosersStill Media U.S.,” said Yancy Weinrich, president of CloserStill Media North America. “CSM runs successful ecommerce events in the U.K., Singapore and Spain, so this will allow the teams at CommerceNext and CloserStill Media to collaborate globally with the content, commercial sales and audience development to add even more firepower to the already successful events around the country.”   

Founded in 2017 by ecommerce and marketing technologies industry veterans Veronika Sonsev, Scott Silverman and Allan Dick, CommerceNext has successfully developed an engaged community through the delivery of custom content, B2B events and networking opportunities to its community of ecommerce and marketing leaders.

CommerceNext will retain its existing operating structure with Silverman, Sonsev and Dick leading the business, working alongside CloserStill Media’s U.S. leadership led by Weinrich. 

“Joining forces with CloserStill Media gives CommerceNext the resources to deliver even more amazing conferences and events for our growing community of ecommerce executives,” Silverman said. “We look forward to tapping into CloserStill Media’s deep experience in delivering best-in-class business conferences to bring more value to the CommerceNext community.” 


Leading registration, data analytics and lead retrieval services provider CompuSystems (CSI) recently inked a new deal and renewed an existing agreement with two association clients. 

In December, CSI renewed its contract with the Western Propane Gas Association (WPGA) through 2025. CSI will provide event registration, data analytics and lead capture services for WPGA’s 73rd Annual Western Propane Trade Show & Convention, which attracts more than 200 exhibiting companies. 

CSI also signed a new contract with the Billiard Congress of America (BCA), a non-profit trade service organization representing manufacturers, distributors, retailers and room operators in the billiard and home recreation industry. CSI will supply event registration, analytics and lead management services for the BCA Billiard & Home Leisure Expo (BCA Expo), which is collocating with Amusement Expo International (AEI), which will be held March 27­–30 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.  

“We are excited and thrilled to start this new relationship with BCA,” said Mark LoGiurato, CEO of CSI. “We are confident we can help the BCA team achieve an amazing event experience with our best-in-class registration technology and customer service.” 

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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.