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UFI partnership to boost North American numbers

UFI has just announced a new partnership which aims to expand the association’s numbers in North America.

It comes ahead of the Global Congress in Las Vegas, which will see exhibition industry leaders descend on the city in November 2023.

Other top stories this week include the launch of a new feature from Spotify to create a tailored feed of live events in your area, a new CEO at BPA and good numbers for Hyve in the first half.

We also take a look at Marketplace Events, who have expanded their holiday portfolio with three acquisitions.

Spotify launches tool to find personalised live events

Spotify has launched a new in-app feature to help users discover live events in their local area – tailored to their tastes.

The Live Events Feed sources listings from ticketing partners—Ticketmaster, AXS, DICE, Eventbrite, See Tickets  and more – to create a platform to inform about upcoming shows with favourite artists.

It replaces the Concert Hub and includes a number of updates to help fans find their creators’ live events.

René Volker, senior director of Live Events, said: “We know how important live events are to creators and to the broader music industry, and how much live has suffered during the pandemic.

“With shows coming back, and listeners excited to see their favourite artists perform live again, we think this is the perfect time to explore new ways that Spotify can further support the industry.

“There’s a whole slew of folks who have been dedicated to research, designing, and developing these products over the last few quarters, and I’m really excited to finally unveil what we’ve been working on.”

UFI partnership to boost North American presence

UFI has teamed up with MAD Event Management as it works to expand its presence in North America.

The aim is to create stronger links with the region and to grow the membership base there ahead of the global association of the exhibition industry’s congress in Las Vegas in November 2023.

MAD president Martha Donato and Marty Glynn, CEO, have become the official representatives of UFI in the region and will work to promote and support the business interests of members.

Martha said: “For many years, we’ve been working to build our international connections in the event industry. Getting to know Kai Hattendorf and his team at UFI has been instrumental in our ability to network and seek opportunities globally.

“As the UFI representatives in North America, we will share our enthusiasm for and endorsement of UFI’s programs, research, and world-class conferences with our peers in the region.”

UFI has been instrumental in supporting the sector through the challenges brought on by the pandemic, thanks to its unique global community of around 800 member businesses in over eighty countries.

Christmas comes early for holiday organiser

A major consumer show producer has expanded its holiday show portfolio with three acquisitions and two new launches.

Marketplace Events has recently purchased the Pennsylvania Christmas & Gift Show, the Colorado Country Christmas Gift Show as well as the Cleveland Christmas Connection, one of the largest holiday shows in the Midwest.

It follows a successful rebound from the pandemic, which saw it drop its workforce from 150 to just 19 during the height of the pandemic.

Tom Baugh, CEO of Marketplace Events, said: “By any measure, the three acquisitions are all best-in-class events. Tens of thousands of shoppers visit these shows each year and consider them part of their annual holiday traditions – as do an overwhelming majority of exhibitors.”

The organiser has also secured dates to launch two holiday shows – the Oklahoma Christmas Show at the Bennett Event Center and a Holiday Boutique in Atlanta at the newly renovated GAS South Convention Center.  MPE already operates five successful home and garden shows in these two cities annually.

BPA announces new CEO

BPA Worldwide has announced its new CEO after a unanimous decision.

Richard Murphy has been named in the position and will also take on the role as president.

He comes with 30 years of experience with the organisation and takes over from Glenn Hansen, who introduced the Reporting Standards for Digital Events project to create a reporting framework for virtual shows to tackle the lack of standards for online.

Richard said: “It is both a great privilege and responsibility to lead BPA Worldwide as we build a strong future. My focus is on growing our BPA Media membership through new product, solution and service development – expanding BPA iCompli Technology Assurance to meet the rapidly evolving needs of the digital advertising ecosystem and optimizing the BPA Media Exchange to provide BPA Media members with access to best-in-class programmatic tools to maximize their digital advertising opportunities.”

Glenn announced his intent to retire in June next year but  has been named executive strategic advisor in the meantime to focus on BPA iCompli Sustainability and Event Audit practices.

Hyve reports faster than anticipated recovery

The first half of Hyve’s financial year saw faster than anticipated revenue recovery, with momentum continuing into the third quarter.

Total revenue for the period demonstrated a full recovery on a pro-forma basis, underpinned by the continued strong customer demand for market-leading in-person events, despite on-going challenges.

It is now in the second busiest quarter for the group’s streamlined portfolio structure, following the sale of the Russian business in May.

Mark Shashoua, CEO of Hyve Group, said: I am pleased to report another quarter of strong trading. The trends we saw emerge post-pandemic continue to hold true – in particular, our customers continue to spend more with us than before, demonstrating the huge value which in-person events offer and proving that our strategy of focusing on only market-leading events is paying off.

The group has been focussing on an omnichannel future with five tech-enabled meeting programmes which took place during the quarter.

Forward bookings for the full year are currently £122.3 million, which excludes £6.5m of bookings for the August Chinese events. This also excludes revenue for events in Ukraine which continue to be postponed until further notice.

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