International business-to-business media group Tarsus acquired 80 percent of the issued share capital of Connect this week. Connect President and CEO Chris Collinson will remain in place, along with the company’s current staff. The Connect brand, including all events and publications, will continue under the same name.
So what does the acquisition mean for you? We talked with Douglas Emslie, Tarsus
group managing director, about the future of Connect.
What excites you most about Tarsus buying Connect?
Tarsus buying Connect is an opportunity to continue to grow the main events. Having visited [Connect Marketplace in Grapevine, Texas] in August, there are so many new things that can be done. It’s exciting to keep that fast-growing product, keep that innovation and keep delivering value to our customers.
What do you love about Connect as a company, from an events perspective?
The thing I love about Connect is how the trade show brings the buyers and sellers together, and the fact that they’re actually doing business there. Of the 30 people I spoke to at the [Grapevine] event, they said this is the No. 1 event where people actually get together to do business.
What about from a media perspective?
I love the fact that the editorial fits in with the show and fits in with the education. It’s a fantastic integrated media opportunity for the client.
How will the acquisition allow Connect to continue to bring value to our clients?
We have a best practices program we run worldwide in terms of what’s good in sales, marketing, operations, and [we’ll focus on] how we can continue to improve the product and the value we give to the customer. Tarsus is based in 19 different countries around the world, so there’s an opportunity to take this offering—which is already great in the United States—to other locations where people are demanding this type of face-to-face, transactional event.
What can Connect’s clients expect in the coming year?
There will be continued opportunities to meet new people. We are focused on how we bring in more buyers, and how we bring better education and more qualified buyers to the audience who wants to get in contact with them. The key is the suppliers coming to the buyers, having a good experience and wanting to come back.
How about from the supplier side: What can our hotel and CVB clients expect?
The key change from a supplier perspective is offering up new markets and new planners to them. A lot of new events are scheduled for 2017, whether they are new verticals or new regionals. Hopefully for 2018, we can offer that on an international basis as well.
What about our readers of our print magazine and websites? Should they look for changes in the year ahead?
I would hope so because media is changing dramatically. Going back 10 years ago from print media, now it’s all about the interaction. It’s about video; it’s about Twitter; it’s about education. It’s moving to be more integrated but also doing new things to add value. In the old days it was about selling ad pages and space. Now it’s far more involved and intricate in terms of terms of what we can do to help people do business together.