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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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