GRS Research & Strategy acquires Info Salons Middle East from Freeman

GRS Research & Strategy, the Italian Strategic Research firm specialising in the field of exhibitions, large events and visitor attractions, has announced, 30 May, the acquisition from Freeman of Info Salons Middle East (ME). The value of the deal is not being disclosed.

GRS says its mission is to ‘Humanise data’ for the experience industry, and to provide event organisers and asset operators with the most reliable insights and data strategies to grow customer satisfaction and visitation.

GRS says it intends to support the growth of Info Salons ME “through expertise, knowledge, and resources”.

“I am delighted to announce this important acquisition for the events industry and look forward to enriching the business of Info Salons ME,” says Enrico Gallorini (pictured), CEO and founder of GRS Research & Strategy. “The two entities will retain their brand identities, but they belong together to support the future evolution of the events industry, focusing on the human2human interactions which are core in our market”.

Launched in the early 1990s in Australia by Jo-Anne Kelleway, Info Salons quickly established itself as a global leader in event and exhibition registration services. In 2018 the company was acquired by Freeman.

Today GRS says it is committing to strengthening Info Salons ME’s position as a data intelligence driven registration firm, focusing on new products and technologies to better serve the exhibition industry.

“I am very excited about the new setup with GRS as new owners. They are leaders in research and strategy, and a great fit for the services Info Salons ME provides in data collection, access control and reporting. Info Salons and GRS have a lot of clients in common and we look forward to creating even more value for them”, says Wilbert Heijmans, partner, and new chairman of the Board at Info Salons ME.

Info Salons Group will go on, therefore will be split into Info Salons ME and Info Salons Greater China + Southeast Asia. Info Salons Greater China + SEA will continue under new ownership and both companies say they will maintain their co-operation in supporting their regional clients.

Freeman tells EW that, as it ramps its business and focuses on core client solutions, it decided to divest Info Salons. "To accomplish our goal of continuity of service and experience with customers and the least disruption to employees, the local management teams have agreed to acquire the Info Salons business.

"In the UAE, Enrico Gallorini and GRS are partnering with the current management team for the acquisition. Wilbert Heijmans, the current managing director, is a partner in the transaction and will continue to lead the business in the UAE. In China, the current management team is acquiring the operations in China/Hong Kong. Roxanne Wong, GM, will continue to lead the business in China and Hong Kong

"This arrangement is ideal for both current customers and employees of Info Salons. Freeman looks forward to a strong partnership with Info Salons going forward."

GRS maintains offices in Italy, UAE, and UK. The company provides services in the areas of consumer experience (CX), market research, data analytics and customer strategy for the experience industry. GRS client list includes: Informa Markets, Reed Exhibitions, Messe Frankfurt, DMG, Fiera Milano and Expo 2020 Dubai.

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