CLEVELAND, Ohio – June 24, 2022: Marketplace Events (MPE), North America’s largest consumer show producer, is aggressively expanding its holiday show footprint with the announcement of three large holiday show acquisitions and two holiday show launches.
On June 15, the company purchased the Pennsylvania Christmas & Gift Show, which runs at the PA Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg, from Pennsylvania Christmas Show, Inc. One of the largest holiday shows on the East Coast, the event has 500 exhibitors, 30,000 attendees and runs over five days.
On May 4, Marketplace Events acquired the Colorado Country Christmas Gift Show, held at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver, from Showcase Events Inc. It is the state’s largest holiday event.
On April 29, the company bought the Cleveland Christmas Connection, one of the largest holiday shows in the Midwest,held annually at the I-X Center, from Industry Realty Group (IRG).
“By any measure, the three acquisitions are all best-in-class events,” said Tom Baugh, CEO of Marketplace 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.”
MPE has also secured dates to launch two holiday shows – the Oklahoma Christmas Show to run November 11-13, 2022 at the Bennett Event Center and a Holiday Boutique in Atlanta at the newly renovated GAS South Convention Center in November of 2023. MPE already operates five successful home and garden shows in these two cities annually.
Baugh noted MPE now produces 10 holiday shows and will continue to expand its market presence. “Our holiday shows have performed brilliantly – even during the pandemic – so we won’t hesitate to take advantage of any meaningful opportunities to grow our holiday portfolio”.
“As we learned in March 2020, you can’t prepare for what you can’t predict. Event producers are a tough and savvy group. But all of us agree our shared existential challenges of the past 27 months have been extreme. Our show community has rallied together in amazing ways. It’s no surprise many are eager to face a post-COVID future, while for others, it’s the right time to exit,” explained Baugh. “Thankfully, MPE is resilient and well positioned to resume our pre-Covid trajectory and act with urgency on growth opportunities.“
Like all event producers, Marketplace Events was forced to retract their business during the pandemic, with COVID forcing the cancellation of 78 of their shows in 2020 and 2021. At their low point in August of 2020, the company was forced to reduce their staff to only 19 from 150. Even so, the company was able to rebound quickly. They started rehiring in late 2020 and in 2021 were still able to produce 35 shows where local health and safety protocols permitted. MPE is now running their full schedule of more than 70 shows and staffing is back up to 110 employees and growing every day.
“The furloughs in August 2020 were the lowest point for our company,” said Baugh. “We had no choice but to let go of wonderful, talented people. The pain was palpable”. But he enthusiastically added, “Fast forward to today, where more than 90% of our staff are former employees, many who chose to leave other jobs to return to Marketplace Events,” he said. “That’s something we’re very thankful for and proud of. When we were able to invite people back to work, almost everyone chose to return. Amazing!”
The recent holiday show additions bring the Marketplace Events portfolio to 77 annual events in 34 markets, which includes 10 holiday events, 65 home shows and 2 wedding shows.
ABOUT MARKETPLACE EVENTS
Marketplace Events creates vibrant expositions connecting enthusiasts with experts, products and services in dynamic face-to-face environments. The company produces more than 75 consumer shows in North America including home, garden, holiday and wedding shows. The 75+ combined events, in 34 markets, currently attract 22,000 exhibitors, 2 million attendees and another 3 million unique web visitors annually. The company produces some of the most successful and longest-running shows in North America, including market-leading shows in Minneapolis, Atlanta, Indianapolis, Vancouver, Calgary and Montreal—some of which have thrived in their markets for more than 75 years. For a full list of upcoming events visit MarketplaceEvents.com.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Shelly Gepfert, VP Marketing ShellyG@mpeshows.com | 828.275.7646
Click here to view the Atlanta Holiday Boutique announcement video.
Click here for the full calendar of Holiday Shows.