Events, Meetings & Webinars

Emerald Acquires Advertising Week Global Event Platform

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Addition of Leading Event and Content Business in the Advertising, Marketing, Media and Technology Sectors Continues Emerald’s Expansion Efforts

Advertising Week Leadership Team Renews Long-Term Commitment

Emerald Holding, Inc. (NYSE: EEX) (“Emerald” or the “Company”) today announced that it has completed the acquisition of all of the assets comprising the business known as Advertising Week from Stillwell Partners.

Advertising Week (AW) is a premier global event and thought leadership platform focused on marketing, media, technology, and culture. Founded in 2004 in New York, AW’s award-winning global event franchise includes: AWNewYork (NYC); AWEurope (London); AWAsia (Tokyo); AWLATAM (Mexico City); AWAPAC (Sydney).

In addition to live and virtual events, the year-round global content platform also contains best-in-class e-learning from some of the world’s leading practitioners (AWLearn), and original audio, video, and editorial content (AW360).

The acquisition of AW signifies another step forward in Emerald’s 365-customer engagement strategy of delivering connected, best-in-class experiences through seamlessly integrating in-person events, content and commerce. Through this acquisition, Emerald will build on its prominent position in the B2B marketing sector where it successfully serves the marketing technology community via its Demand Gen Report media platform and B2B Marketing Exchange in-person event series.

For Advertising Week, the acquisition provides access to complementary customers within Emerald’s businesses – including small and medium-sized businesses across varied sectors and its well-established retail and design portfolios – and greater resources and scale to accelerate Advertising Week’s expansion and growth.

Acquisition Highlights:

  • Advertising Week, the leading B2B event and content platform in the advertising, marketing, media and technology sectors with its flagship edition of Advertising Week in New York, as well as Advertising Week Europe in London, Advertising Week Asia in Tokyo, Advertising Week LATAM in Mexico City, Advertising Week APAC in Sydney and expansion plans for Advertising Week Africa in Johannesburg.
  • Advertising Week has more than 100,000 annual attendees at its hybrid events; over 3,000 speakers per year; produces more than 1,000 video content hours and generates more than 25 billion event PR impressions.
  • Advertising Week has resiliently served the advertising, marketing, media and technology communities throughout the pandemic while diversifying its event offerings into virtual and hybrid editions. In addition, Advertising Week has continued to build its offerings both globally and year-round via development of new original content franchises and digital education under the AWLearn platform.
  • Following the acquisition, all Advertising Week employees will join Emerald, including Co-Founder and Advertising Week Chairman Matt Scheckner, Co-Founder and Advertising Week CEO Lance Pillersdorf and Advertising Week’s Global President Ruth Mortimer, who will continue to lead the day-to-day operations of the business, utilizing their exceptional knowledge and experience in the event and content platforms.

Hervé Sedky, Emerald’s President and CEO, said, “This exciting potential to join forces with Advertising Week represents an important next step in the implementation of our strategic initiatives and underscores our commitment to evolve and grow our customers’ businesses 365 days a year combining creativity and innovation with the Emerald platform.” Since the reopening of most municipalities in June 2021 through Q2 2022 to date, Emerald, under Sedky’s leadership, has successfully staged 117 in-person trade shows, conferences and other events, serving approximately 328,000 attendees and 17,000 exhibiting companies.

Emerald CFO David Doft, who has led the conversations for Emerald, added, “We have long admired Advertising Week’s best-in-class reputation for being ahead of the curve serving the influential advertising, marketing, media and technology sectors which I have experienced personally as both an attendee and sponsor over the course of my career. Its signature blend of thought leadership on the business of the business with highly curated experiential events will diversify our collective product offerings, enhance our growth profile and enable us to deliver even greater value to our clients and customers over the long term.”

Matt Scheckner, Stillwell Partners Co-Founder and Advertising Week Chairman, said: “Fueling growth is at the heart of this partnership with Emerald as we seek to unlock the future opportunities put in place to date. Moving beyond organic growth by integrating with a larger organization with additional resources is the right next step in our evolution as a business for today, and for tomorrow. We chose Emerald because it clearly values the unique aspects of our brand, have committed to our leadership team led by Lance and Ruth, bring an intuitive knowledge of our industry, and are passionate about supporting growth.”

Lance Pillersdorf, Stillwell Partners Co-Founder and Advertising Week CEO, added: “After completing our first phase of global expansion pre-pandemic, we are now focused on our next phase of growth. The momentum of change in the global marketing industry through the impact of rapid cultural and technological evolution has provided us with multiple growth opportunities. Accelerating these growth opportunities around content, education, further global expansion and our proprietary technology is at the heart of this partnership with Emerald. Herve, David and the Emerald team are the perfect growth partners to help us realize these plans.”

Stillwell Partners was exclusively represented and advised by Reed Phillips and John Kaiser of Oaklins DeSilva+Phillips.

Cautionary Statement Concerning Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains certain forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to, Emerald’s expectations regarding the strategic and financial benefits from the acquisition of Stillwell Partners. These statements involve risks and uncertainties, including, but not limited to, Emerald’s ability to successfully integrate Stillwell Partners business; the expected levels of Stillwell Partners revenue and profitability growth; and economic, competitive, governmental and regulatory factors outside of the Company’s control that may cause its business, industry, strategy, financing activities or actual results to differ materially. See “Risk Factors” and “Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements” in the Company’s most recently filed periodic reports on Form 10-K and Form 10-Q and subsequent filings. The Company undertakes no obligation to update or revise any of the forward-looking statements contained herein, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

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