Moss gathers MacroArt and rolls on forward

Following the acquisition of MacroArt by US brand experience company Moss in November 2023, EW hears from  two of the protagonists (Moss CEO Jason Popp – pictured – and MD of Moss UK Michael Green) about the deal and how it is shaping their companies’ future strategy:


Tells us about the strategic vision behind Moss’s acquisition of MacroArt?

Jason Popp: “I’ve known MacroArt for years now. They were a supplier of ours when I was running GES’ international business, and our team always respected the work they did for us.

“When I moved to Moss and started thinking about international expansion, they were naturally on the list. Helpfully, we share the same vision and many of the same resources around sustainability and culture so that felt great from the outset.

“We also use the same print equipment and share a dedication to continuous improvement and quality, so that also made the due diligence pretty straightforward. And, of course, the UK market is a really important exhibition and live event market. Global brands are based in the UK, so having an ‘on the ground’ presence is an important piece of the puzzle for us.”


How do you envision the integration of MacroArt's expertise and resources into Moss's global network benefiting clients both locally in the UK and internationally?

JP: “This is an exciting part of the acquisition. Essentially, you have the experience and skill of combining and working with four separate companies — the UK, Germany, Poland, and the US. We've already seen this in action on a large project with all four businesses, and it is a powerful combination.

“All customers, regardless of geography, will be able to take advantage of our production facilities in the USA, Germany, Poland and the UK.”


What specific enhancements or expansions in capabilities can clients expect with the transition to Moss?

Michael Green: “We’ve got a lot of exciting things planned. We’ll be introducing rental items as part of our expanded offerings, which will help with sustainability in the events and exhibition sectors. On top of that, we’ll also be expanding our range of sustainable fabrics and substrates.

“As MacroArt, one of the things we’re most proud of is our commitment to sustainability from fabrics to software to help us track our carbon footprint and so on. Now we’re part of a global business that shares the same values as us, we can add to our sustainable practices.

“And, it’s not just sustainability where we're aligned. As Jason mentioned, we share many of the same values – including service and quality. Now, with greater production capacity and better technological integration between Moss and customers, we can turn around projects faster but with the same quality our customers have come to expect.”


Could you elaborate on the international strategy and how your sites in the US, Germany, Poland, and the UK work together to support on a global basis?

JP: “It’s all about being responsive to our clients’ needs. We use the same equipment and colour profiles across sites, which means we can shift production as needed.

“In fact, at the moment, we’re undertaking a complicated project for an international client where we will be utilising skills, production capacity and personnel from all four countries to deliver an experience that, I believe, no other single production partner could deliver.”


As Moss aims to create high-quality branded experiences worldwide, how do you plan to maintain a consistent level of excellence while also embracing diverse cultural contexts and client needs?

JP: “A very interesting question. All our locations are staffed by experienced and committed professionals who deliver excellence every day. This is a shared value and was one of the key reasons that MacroArt was such a good fit.

“Our local teams run our businesses. That way, we make day-to-day decisions as close to the customer as possible. This ensures we’re extremely responsive and offer products and services that meet local needs.

“Alongside our local focus, centrally, we collaborate to ensure that clients get the best thinking, newest products and the highest quality. This includes things like equipment choices, colour management, R&D on new sustainable products and global procurement decisions.”


Sustainability seems to be a key focus for both MacroArt and Moss. How is that integrated into your operations and client solutions?

MG: “This is a huge focus, and we invest a lot of time and energy in R&D in this area. Because we make things, we’re uniquely positioned to move the needle on sustainability and have an obligation to do so. Sustainability itself is a big issue, and so to make a difference we are focused on minimising waste and reducing our carbon footprint.

“We were one of the early adopters of carbon tracking, and we are using that data to accurately reflect our emissions across many aspects of the business. All activities are measured and scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions are tracked on the basis of ‘what gets measured gets managed’. In the UK we're a zero-to-landfill company.”

JP: “Our German business worked closely with our supply chain to identify an exclusive Moss fabric made from 100% recyclable materials, including a portion of reclaimed ocean plastic. Additionally, our US business collects all of its manufacturing scrap fabrics, which then get used as the soft interior for punching bags. This saves an enormous amount of waste from going to landfills or being incinerated.”


How do you anticipate the transition to Moss impacting the company culture and employee engagement within the UK and across Moss's global network?

JP: “Our employee culture is a critically important part of who we are and, honestly, it’s one of the things I’m most proud of at Moss. Understanding the company’s culture we’re acquiring is part of the due diligence process, which was an essential item for me.

“MacroArt has many of the same values as Moss. It cares about the team working there and the community and environment it operates in. It has a leading programme that takes in apprentices and trains them in the intricacies of our business, thereby giving those apprentices valuable new skills and a job in which to apply them. This was all important, so we’re simply trying to build upon that.

“We hold in-person town halls quarterly, and I record a weekly ‘one take’ video each Thursday that’s distributed globally with any timely and pertinent updates.”

MG: “Transparent communication is vital in any fast-moving business. We're always looking at our culture and open to ideas from staff about what we could improve and how we could implement those improvements.

“I'm very proud of the culture we’ve fostered as MacroArt – we're open and honest, we offer people opportunities, and we help as much as we can to help those people succeed in whatever goal they’re trying to achieve within the business. Knowing that Moss also holds these values already means we are working within a shared culture across the wider business.”


In what ways does Moss aim to differentiate itself in the events industry, especially considering the competitive landscape and evolving client demands?

JP: “The scope and scale that we get with our global operations means we can always bring new ideas to our clients from around the world. We are also able to get scale efficiencies so we can robustly reinvest in the business so we’re able to stay current on technology and equipment.

“We invested over $3 million in new equipment last year alone. Few competitors can match that, meaning our capacity and quality can keep up with new market trends, such as the sustainability initiatives we've already touched upon and our expanded product offerings.”


Looking ahead, what are your aspirations and goals for Moss as it continues to expand its presence and offerings worldwide?

MG: “We couldn't be more excited about our growth prospects. In the UK, we have the chance to expand our product offerings, and we have more resources than ever to invest in the business. We can pass that on to our customers, who will reap huge benefits.

“As MacroArt, we did an amazing job of constantly expanding our presence and client portfolio. Now, as part of Moss, we’re ready to take the next step in that journey.”

JP: “In terms of the offerings, we do a lot of specialist lighting work, and we’re seeing that light and audio are increasingly popular ways to make an impact, whether on the trade show floor, at an event, or in a retail setting. I’d love to continue to enhance our capabilities and product offerings there.

“We’re also seeing that our clients globally are becoming more comfortable interacting with Moss digitally. This is a big difference-maker for us, as we’ve already invested in creating customer-facing digital tools and excellence in building API links between client-facing ordering systems and Moss operational systems. I look forward to seeing how quickly this takes off in the coming years.”