Connect Meetings (www.connectmeetings.com), a market leading US business travel and meetings event organizer, headquartered in Atlanta, GA, has announced the acquisition of 80% of its issued share capital to Tarsus Group (www.tarsus.com), an international business-to-business media group.
JEGI CLARITY (www.jegiclarity.com), the leading investment bank for the B2B and B2C events sector globally, represented Connect Meetings in this transaction.
Connect Meetings is a leading provider of trade shows in the United States, serving the business travel and meetings sector through a combination of national, regional and vertically focused events which are supplemented by an integrated media offering and additional marketing solutions.
Connect Meetings has developed and manages a series of events across the United States held throughout the year that bring together meeting professionals and planners with suppliers to the business travel and meetings sector. The meetings are arranged on an invitation-only, appointment-based format, which deliver efficiencies for both suppliers and planners.
Connect Meetings live events (or Marketplaces) are exclusive and invite-only, bringing together a curated group of meeting planners with suppliers, including destination marketers, hotels, convention centers and technology providers, for a series of appointment-based discussions to drive business development leading to transactions in the short-term. They offer efficient, streamlined business development in a cost-effective manner to both suppliers and planners.
Business travel spending continues to rise in the US and has increased from US$234 million in 2009 to an estimated US$310 million in 2017, a compound growth rate of 4.3%. This growth has been supported by strong expansion in hotel stock and growth in US GDP over the period. The Board expects this dynamic to support the growth of the business.
Connect 2016 Marketplaces – a combination of national, regional and vertically-focused events – are expected to have brought together 6,000+ suppliers/planners and have resulted in 85,000+ pre-set appointments.
Connect Meetings’s current CEO will remain in place, with an intention that he stay with the business in the long term. Connect Meetings’s established senior management team will also be retained as part of the acquisition.
Douglas Emslie, Tarsus Group Managing Director said, “Following the recent acquisition of Intex in China, which brought two world class exhibitions into the Group – Music China and CES Asia, we are delighted to be acquiring Connect Meetings in the US. The US and China are two of the world’s largest exhibition markets and both are a key area of focus for Tarsus. These acquisitions tick all of the boxes of our Quickening the Pace strategy. We are also pleased to have acquired Connect Meetings as companies of this size and quality are increasingly difficult to find.”
“Connect Meetings is a strong brand, led by an entrepreneurial team with a track record of delivering exceptional growth. There is a great opportunity to quicken that growth further by expansion and replication within the US and other selected territories and to launch into new verticals. I would like to warmly welcome the Connect Meetings team on board.”
Working with JEGI CLARITY to sell the company made what could have been a daunting process smooth and seamless. Their upfront advice regarding strategic options, their knowledge of the global B2B and event industry and relevant buyer pool, and their experience in M&A proved invaluable. We look forward to growing as a company under the Tarsus Group and thank JEGI CLARITY for helping us exceed our goals. I highly recommend the firm to any entrepreneur.
Chris Collinson, President, Connect Meetings