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Three Meetings Industry Acquisitions You Missed This Week

Convention Data Services, SMG, and Okanda are all now part of something bigger.

Mergers and acquisitions continue to change the landscape for meetings industry buyers. Just this week, three companies announced news that will change their offerings.

Brand experience and event company Freeman is focusing on the connection between attendee data and the event experience with its acquisition of Convention Data Services.  In a statement on bringing CDS, a registration and lead management company, into the Freeman organization, Freeman CEO Bob Priest-Heck said, “The registration process is highly connected to an event’s customer experience,” adding that it will enable Freeman to “offer a valued suite of digital products across the event life cycle.” CDS President and CEO John Kimball will report to Richard Maranville, Freeman’s chief product and platforms officer. Both CDS and InfoSalon, which Freeman bought last year, provide digital registration tools and attendee data analysis that can be used to personalize meetings and events.

Another business announcement this week confirms the completion of a merger between venue owner and management company AEG Facilities with convention center operator SMG to form a new entity, ASM Global.  The two companies will together own or manage more than 300 meeting and event venues, from the Staples Center in Los Angeles to sports arenas in London.

Finally, global meeting venue booking platform Spacebase is expanding its reach across Europe with several recent acquisitions. A just-announced deal to buy Okanda, another German meeting room booking platform, will provide access to an additional 1,600 stand-alone and hotel venues, bringing the number of available spaces to nearly 10,000 in Europe and the United States. And in April of this year, Spacebase bought eventsofa,  a B-to-B booking portal, following on the 2017 acquisition of Craftspace.

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