Emerald acquires Advertising Week

B2B events organiser Emerald Holding has completed the acquisition of all the assets comprising the business known as Advertising Week from Stillwell Partners. 

Advertising Week events run in New York, London, Tokyo, Mexico City and Sydney, with 100,000 attendees and 3,000 speakers participating in its trade shows each year. 

Listed in the New York Stock Exchange, Emerald is a global events business that runs more than 140 annual in-person and digital events worldwide, providing insights and expertise in the fields of design, retail, technology, equipment and security. 

Founded in 2004, the Stillwell Partners team has built Advertising Week into a major global event and thought-leadership platform focused on marketing, media, technology and culture. In addition to live and virtual events, the AW content platform also provides e-learning from some of the world’s leading practitioners.  

Under the deal, 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.

Emerald says the acquisition will provide Advertising Week with access to complementary customers within Emerald’s businesses and greater resources and scale to accelerate Advertising Week’s growth.

The Advertising Week portfolio includes the 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.

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 has staged 117 in-person trade shows, conferences and other events, serving approximately 328,000 attendees and 17,000 exhibiting companies. 

Emerald CFO David Doft 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 organisation 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.”

Emerald Holding reported $145m in revenues for last year and is reportedly expecting $300m this year. The company  has acquired events-based companies in new sectors in recent months, including  in the cannabis and weddings markets. It has also created its own new live and virtual events, such as Web3 gathering D2 Decentralization Deciphered and online mental-health conference Menter.

Photo: Advertising Week. L-R: Co-founders Matt Scheckner and Lance Pillersdorf