Secaucus, N.J. – Northstar Travel Group acquired Meetings Quest and other assets from Schneider Publishing and will add them to its Meetings Group portfolio, which is led by both the Meetings & Conventions and the Successful Meetings brands.
The deal also includes the TEAMS Conference + Expo, which will form the foundation of Northstar’s new Sports Division to be led by Schneider President and CEO Timothy Schneider. The new division will be part of the Northstar Meetings Group. Northstar will also acquire Schneider’s databases of contacts in both the meetings and sporting event industries.
“This acquisition is another important step in the transformation of Northstar into a marketing solutions company serving all key segments of the travel and meetings industries,” said Tom Kemp, chairman and CEO of Northstar Travel Group, which itself had been acquired by the buy-out fund Wasserstein Partners IV in June 2016.
Schneider said joining forces with Northstar would provide a boost to the entire portfolio. “Finding the right strategic partner with the necessary capabilities over a range of areas — event management, digital media, and database marketing, to name a few — was important to me to scale the business,” he said.
The TEAMS Conference + Expo and its associated magazine, SportsTravel, make up a B2B platform bringing destinations and other vendors together with the producers of sporting events. The next edition of TEAMS takes place October 30-November 2 in Orlando. “Sporting events are an exciting, fast-growing, specialized meetings-industry segment, catering to diverse audiences with distinct needs,” said Kemp. “Schneider Publishing’s SportsTravel brand and their TEAMS Conference have built a reputation as a key partner to sports-event organizers and the destinations and hoteliers who serve them.”
Meetings Quest takes place this year in Atlantic City on June 28-29. Meetings Quest is now one of more than 50 face-to-face events that Northstar produces in the retail travel, corporate travel and meetings industry. The annual Meetings Quest is presented by Association News, which will be added to a print portfolio that includes Meetings & Conventions and Successful Meetings.
“Our strategy to serve the widest variety of meeting planners, and the suppliers who serve them, is further enhanced with the addition of Association News and the Meetings Quest conferences,” said David Blansfield, Executive Vice President and Group Publisher of Northstar’s Meetings Group. “Schneider Publishing’s extensive databases and relationships complement and expand our capabilities in the corporate, association, and specialty meetings markets, as well as provide an immediate leadership position in sports.”
And speaking of sports, the transaction also gives Northstar the rights to the Shamrock Shootout Golf Classic, the longest-running golf tournament in the hospitality industry. The tourney is the exclusive golf tournament of the IMEX America trade show in Las Vegas. It had its origins in 1987 when a round of golf played on a cold and blustery St. Patrick’s Day in the Washington area by James T. “Jimmy” Dunn, who had launched Meetings Quest three years earlier. The event became a highly-anticipated feature of the annual ASAE Springtime conference before being moved to IMEX in Las Vegas. Schneider acquired Meetings Quest from Dunn’s company in 2012 following Dunn’s death in 2000.