Penton Acquires iNET Interactive with Events, Web and Data Services

January 19, 2015

Penton has acquired iNET Interactive, an event and digital information company that focuses on the cloud, hosting and data center segments of the technology sector and includes HostingCon and Data Center World trade shows.

These segments are expected to experience annual growth of 25-30 percent in the years ahead, according to industry experts.   

“A core element of our strategy is creating scaled positions in advantaged sectors.  This acquisition doubles our tech sector footprint, and does so in exceptionally fast growing segments.  The acquisition of this high quality business allows us to take immediate advantage of the rapid growth being experienced in this segment,” said David Kieselstein, Penton CEO. 

He added, “Moreover, we’ll be able to accelerate iNET’s growth as we leverage our excellent shared service growth capabilities.  This is a proven model at Penton, and we’re excited to have found a perfect fit in iNET.”

Here are some of the assets included in the acquisition:

Cloud and Hosting 

•        The premier hosting tradeshow series (HostingCon), including events in the U.S., China, India and Asia

•        The largest online hosting and cloud community (Web Hosting Talk) and leading blog (The WHIR)

•        The largest directory of resources for web developers

•        One of the largest database administrator communities with over 550,000 members

Data Centers

•        The leading data center tradeshow series (Data Center World)

•        The leading position in the Data Center content industry (Data Center Knowledge)

•        The largest data center industry association (AFCOM) with over 40 chapters and 4,500 data center members worldwide, including more than half of the Fortune 500

iNET also strengthens Penton’s fast growing marketing service business with access to data and insights from a combined 7.8 million highly targeted business and technology decision makers.

“The iNET team has worked diligently to build iNET into the strong company it is today.  We are proud to have been recognized for seven consecutive years on the Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing, private companies,” said Troy Augustine, iNET CEO.

He added, “Now, as a part of Penton, iNET will have access to a broad array of corporate capabilities that can be leveraged quickly and effectively.  Simply put, Penton can take iNET to the next level of growth.” 

iNET will join other leading Penton Technology properties such as MSP Mentor, The VAR Guy and IT Connections franchise that serve IT Professional, IT Channel and Business Decision Makers under the leadership of Penton Group President Sanjay Mutha, as Augustine transitions from the business.  “Troy has built an excellent business, and I know he will have continued success as he moves to his next entrepreneurial venture,” said Mutha.

Penton has made several other acquisitions during the past few years, including the Farm Progress Group in 2012 via Fairfax and Aviation Week in 2013 via McGraw Hill Financial.

Other trade shows in the Penton portfolio include New Hope Natural Media’s Natural Product Expos East and West.

SunTrust Robinson Humphrey acted as exclusive financial advisor to iNET Interactive.  The financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. 

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Overview: The award-winning Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) goes the extra mile to make every day extraordinary by offering customer service excellence and industry-leading partnerships. From their dedicated in-house Rigging team to their robust Exhibitor Services, The Center of Hospitality brings your imagination to life by helping you host unforgettable meetings and events. With more than 2 million square feet of exhibit space, world-class services and a dream destination, we are committed to making even the most ambitious conventions a reality. In October 2023, the Orange County Board of County Commissioners voted to approve allocating Tourist Development Tax funding for the $560 million Phase 5A completion of the OCCC. The Convention Way Grand Concourse project will include enhancements to the North-South Building, featuring an additional 60,000 square feet of meeting space, an 80,000- square-foot ballroom and new entry to the North-South Building along Convention Way. “We are thrilled to begin work on completing our North-South Building which will allow us to meet the growing needs of our clients,” said OCCC Executive Director Mark Tester. “As an economic driver for the community, this project will provide the Center with connectivity and meeting space to host more events and continue to infuse the local economy with new money and expanding business opportunities.” Amenities: The Center of Hospitality goes above and beyond by offering world-class customer service and industry-leading partnerships. From the largest convention center Wi-Fi network to custom LAN/WAN design, the Center takes pride in enhancing exhibitor and customer experience.  The OCCC is the exclusive provider of electricity (24-hour power at no additional cost), aerial rigging and lighting, water, natural gas and propane, compressed air, and cable TV services. Convenience The Center is at the epicenter of the destination, with an abundance of hotels, restaurants, and attractions within walking distance. Pedestrian bridges connect both buildings to more than 5,200 rooms and is within a 15-minute drive from the Orlando International Airport. The convenience of the location goes hand-in-hand with top notch service to help meet an event’s every need. Gold Key Members The OCCC’s Gold Key Members represent the best of the best when it comes to exceptional service and exclusive benefits for clients, exhibitors and guests. The Center’s Gold Key memberships with Universal Orlando Resort, SeaWorld Orlando and Walt Disney World greatly enhance meeting planner and attendee experiences offering world-renowned venues, immersive experiences and creative resources for their events. OCCC Events: This fiscal year, the OCCC is projected to host 168 events, 1.7 million attendees, and $2.9 billion in economic impact.  The Center’s top five events during their 2022-2023 fiscal year included:  AAU Jr. National Volleyball Championships 2023 200,000 Attendees $257 Million in Economic Impact MEGACON 2023 160,000 Attendees $205 Million in Economic Impact Open Championship Series 2023 69,500 Attendees $89 Million in Economic Impact Sunshine Classic 2023 42,000 Attendees $54 Million in Economic Impact Premiere Orlando 2023 42,000 Attendees $108 Million in Economic Impact