Marketplace Events in festive spirit on the acquisition trail

US-based Marketplace Events (MPE) has made three acquisitions and two launches including, most recently, buying the Pennsylvania Christmas & Gift Show from its former parent Pennsylvania Christmas Show. That event attracts 30,000 visitors and 500 exhibitors and is run at the PA Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg.

The latest acquisition follows the buyout of Colorado Country Christmas Gift Show from Showcase Events in May – the state’s largest holiday event – and Cleveland Christmas Connection from Industry Realty Group in April.

MPE says it now intends to launch in Oklahoma and Atlanta. The additions will give the company a portfolio of 77 consumer events each year across 34 market segments.

MPE is North America’s largest consumer show producer and is expanding its holiday show footprint including with the two planned show launches. 

“By any measure, the three acquisitions are all best-in-class events,” said Tom Baugh, CEO of Marketplace Events. “Tens of thousands of shoppers visit these shows each year and consider them part of their annual holiday traditions – as do an overwhelming majority of exhibitors.” 

MPE has also secured dates to launch the two new holiday shows – the Oklahoma Christmas Show to run 11-13 November, 2022 at the Bennett Event Center and a Holiday Boutique in Atlanta at the newly renovated GAS South Convention Center in November of 2023.  MPE already operates five home and garden shows in these two cities annually.

“Event producers are a tough and savvy group.  But all of us agree our shared existential challenges of the past 27 months have been extreme,” Baugh added. “Thankfully, MPE is resilient and well positioned to resume our pre-Covid trajectory and act with urgency on growth opportunities.”

Covid had previously the cancellation of 78 of MPE’s shows in 2020 and 2021 and a low point came when the company reduced staff to only 19 from 150. Even so, the rebound has come quickly. In 2021 MPE produced 35 shows where local health and safety protocols permitted and is now running a full schedule of more than 70 shows with staffing back up to 110 employees.