Ad:tech Sold to British Daily Mail Owner's Trade Show Unit

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The Ad:tech interactive marketing trade show, a survivor of the dot-com boom, has been sold to dmg world media, a wholly owned subsidiary of British media giant Daily Mail and General Trust PLC.


JD Events, run by CEO Joel Davis out of Trumbull, CT, was the seller after acquiring it from Imark Communications in 2002. It will continue to manage Ad:tech while dmg sets up a new sales and management team under the newly formed Ad:tech Expositions LLC in San Francisco.


"It's the best thing for the Ad:tech franchise," Davis said. "JD Events is a small shop, and the shows are growing exponentially along with the interactive sector, and we honestly were not in a strong position to manage that growth, given our size."


Sales terms were not disclosed. The Jordan, Edmiston Group Inc., a New York media investment bank, brokered the deal.


Ad:tech's acquisition satisfies dmg's ambitions to establish a technology-focused business in the United States and overseas. The firm annually produces more than 300 trade and consumer shows and fairs, with 45 related magazines, newspapers, directories and market reports.


Ad:tech's ownership change comes at the height of an expansion spree, with conferences this year in San Francisco, Chicago and New York as well as London and Shanghai.


The sale also comes a month after the Direct Marketing Association shut its competing net.marketing interactive marketing trade show. The event, created in 1997, suffered from poor attendance and few exhibitors. More interactive content will be featured in other DMA shows.


A year older than net.marketing, Ad:tech was structured similarly: both a conference with sessions and an exhibition. But unlike net.marketing, Ad:tech seems to have got the crowds back. Its New York show in November is said to have attracted 7,000 attendees and 200 exhibitors.


Despite divesting Ad:tech, JD Events is not leaving the events and exhibition business. In the fall, it acquired a show in the entertainment industry called ShowBiz Expo and is working on another acquisition in healthcare.


"Our whole business is to launch or acquire and build shows, and when they get to a point where they're outgrowing our ability to manage them, then we'll look for good, healthy homes where they can prosper," Davis said. "If we're successful at that, then we, too, will prosper."


Mickey Alam Khan covers Internet marketing campaigns and e-commerce, agency news as well as circulation for DM News and DMNews.com. To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting www.dmnews.com/newsletters


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