CloserStill Media and Justin Opie and Graeme Howe have today announced that they are acquiring eCommerce Expo from UBM.
Howe and Opie formerly owned IMP events, from where they launched a number of highly successful technology events in the 2000s including Adtech UK and eCommerce Expo in 2006 (subsequently acquired by DMG and UBM respectively) Thereafter, Justin and Graeme joined the trade association for the ecommerce industry, IMRG. IMRG was a founding partner of both the event and the awards, and remains a key industry partner of the expo, being integral to the success of the event.
Justin Opie says, “We are absolutely delighted to be back running the event. These are exciting times for the ecommerce sector and the market generally. The UK leads innovation in the ecommerce sector and the event is the industry showcase. We look forward to working with the retail community, solution providers and industry stake-holders to help the event become the definitive and interpretive event for ecommerce in Europe."
Howe and Opie are partnering with CloserStill Media to run eCommerce Expo. Howe comments “We are delighted to have partnered with the team at CloserStill who have an incredible track record of investing in and operating award-winning exhibitions in related sectors and we share a common vision for the potential and importance of the event. We also continue to work with the existing teams to explore new and innovative ways to foster even closer relationships between the market and the show’s audiences.”
CloserStill was established in 2008 with co-founders Phil Soar, Phil Nelson and Michael Westcott having previously run Ithaca Business Media. There they ran Internet World as well as a number of other highly successful events. CloserStill Media was named by the Financial Times this April as Europe’s fastest growing exhibition company and also won the 2017 Exhibition News’ Awards for Best Business Exhibition and Best Exhibition Marketing.
Alexia Maycock, Marketing Director of CloserStill adds. “This is a massively exciting investment for us all. Between us, the team now running eCommerce Expo have been responsible for running the UK’s most successful marketing and technology events of the last two decades at the phases when they were growing the fastest and delivering the most for their exhibitors”
eCommerce Expo runs 27-28th September at Olympia. The event content will be a key component of how the team plan to develop it and make it more relevant for senior buyers going forward. As the first part of this they are also today announcing a new “Digital Customer Theatre” supported by IMRG at the 2017 event. Speaker highlights include Wickes, Diageo, Vodafone, Sainsburys, Mattel, notonthehighstreet.com and Eurostar sharing the latest experiences they have had and their plans for harnessing technology. The focus of the team will be to use this as a first step to build on the seniority of delegates by making the event more strategic and visionary in its content proposition.
Maycock adds “Even before the deal was done we had put in place a cracking new additional programme; recruited a team of telemarketers; and developed an additional multi-channel marketing campaign to back this up. We will be targeting the UKs biggest organisations by marketing spend which we will then be building on for 2018. We will be working clsoely with the industry to take the event to the next level”
There has been a fantastic response from the community in regards to this new venture:
‘We were pleased to hear that IMRG and CloserStill are getting involved in TFM – it’s important that we can rely on these events to provide genuinely actionable insight for our teams, and we look forward to seeing how they evolve the proposition to be really compelling for businesses such as ours.’
Neil Sansom, Woolovers
‘The market for events in our space has become very congested and we need to select the ones that will deliver the most useful insight for our teams. We are confident that the team behind TFM will develop it into a must-attend for event in the calendar.’
Johanna Fawcett, Zizzi
‘We are delighted to be working closely with the organisers to help evolve the show proposition to really reflect what businesses like ours want to hear about and make the content compelling, relevant and informative.’
Mark Wright, Jack Wills
‘Bringing together the powerful data that IMRG offers with the reach of TFM, eCommerce Expo and Top 50 Companies, this acquisition is very exciting news for those in retail. I look forward to being involved in helping shape the development of them and seeing the benefits of knowledge and the network they make available to my team.’
Madeleine Melson, Amara
Mayfield Merger Strategies acted as adviser to CloserStill Media
About CloserStill Media
CloserStill Media were established in 2008 and now run more than thirty exhibitions in five countries with 200 staff and offices in London, New York, Hong Kong and Singapore within the technology, healthcare and learning sectors. In the last seven years they have won 30 major industry awards including being six times winners of the Best Business Exhibition and in 2016 were awarded “The Most Respected Exhibition Company” by the Association of Exhibition Organisers. For the last two years they have featured in the Sunday Times International Track of the hundred UK companies with the fastest international sales growth. Their events include Cloud Expo Europe, Big Data World, Data Centre World, the London Vet Show and Learning Technologies.