Emerald Acquires HOW Graphic Design Events from F+W

HIL ANDERSON, SENIOR EDITOR
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San Juan Capistrano, CA – Emerald Expositions acquired two event brands in the graphic-design sector from F+W Media, Inc., a Content and e-Commerce Company.

The transaction announced October 14 sent the HOW Design Live trade show and the HOW Interactive Design Conference series to Emerald. Gary Lynch, who ran the HOW brands for F+W, joined Emerald as a vice president and will continue as show manager based in New York.

“HOW is an institution in the graphic design industry and Emerald looks forward to continuing to deliver highly inspirational and educational events to this growing professional community,” said Emerald CEO David Loechner. Loechner added that the acquisition followed Emerald’s strategy of “supplementing organic growth with tuck-in acquisitions of industry leading, high quality businesses.”

Emerald CFO Philip Evans said HOW Design Live emphasized education over exhibits, much like Emerald’s portfolio of shows in the photography sector, such as Wedding & Portrait Photographers International and Photo Plus. John McGeary, senior vice president of the Photo & Jewelry Group, will oversee the HOW events.

“Emerald does a considerable amount of due diligence when considering these deals, and that always brings up some ideas that we can share with management,” Evans told Trade Show Executive. “There may be a few things that we can tweak, however, there is nothing we have in mind currently to change these terrific events,” he said.

The 2016 HOW Design Live takes place in Atlanta May 19-23. The 2015 show in Chicago featured a roster of speakers made up of creative directors from major corporations as well as start-up firms. The event drew about 2,000 attendees and 100 exhibitors, including sellers of software, paper and other products used by graphic design companies and departments of all sizes.

Evans said there were no immediate plans to expand the HOW brand overseas. He also said HOW Design Live was considered a national event and would likely continue to rotate in order to draw attendees from different regions.

Terms of the transaction were not announced. Corporate Solutions advised F+W during the negotiations.

The sale was the second made by F+W this Fall. The company sold World Tea Media and its World Tea Expo to Penton in September.

Reach Philip Evans at (949) 226-5714 or philip.evans@emeraldexpo.com; Jim Ogle, interim CEO of F+W, at (212) 447-1400 or jim.ogle@fwcommunity.com