British Company Acquires Majority of Urban Expositions

Urban Expositions, the trade-show organizer that recently acquired the WomensWear in Nevada event, revealed that a majority share of its venture was acquired by Clarion Events, a nearly 70-year-old enterprise based in London. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

On Sept. 1, Urban Expositions, headquartered in Kennesaw, Ga., announced that the acquisition had been made some time before the WWIN purchase in mid-August but did not give a specific date for when the transaction closed.

Urban Expositions said its current executive management team, staff, office locations, brands and events will remain the same and that managing partners Doug Miller and Tim von Gal will retain significant ownership and continue to oversee all facets of the business.

“We are thrilled to partner with such a well-established, international event organizer as Clarion,” said Miller, Urban Expositions’ president and chief executive officer. “We look forward to working closely with the Clarion team to start a whole new chapter for our respective companies.”

Urban Expositions, founded in 1995 by Miller and von Gal, the company’s chief operating officer, started out in the trade-show business by organizing its first event—the Philadelphia Gift Show. The company holds a number of gift shows around the country, including the California Gift Show in Los Angeles (recently renamed LAMKT).

In 2008, Urban Expositions branched out to start trade shows in the fields of aviation, food service and restaurants, jewelry, and gaming. It also holds a Halloween and Party Expo in New Orleans and a P3: Progressive Pet Products show in Chicago.

For a while, it organized a textile-related trade show called Material World & Technology Solutions, an event held in Miami Beach, Fla., that focused on the textile, trim and sourcing sectors of the apparel industry. The show was extended to Los Angeles for a brief time. Material World & Technology Solutions was shuttered in 2009.

But Urban Expositions, under the new Clarion Events ownership, dipped back into the apparel trade-show business with its purchase of WWIN, held twice a year in Las Vegas at the Rio All-Suites Hotel & Casino. WWIN was founded in 1998 by Specialty Trade Shows Inc., whose principals are Jeff Yunis and Roland Timney.

“We are extremely excited about the new opportunities our Clarion partnership will deliver,” von Gal said.

Clarion was founded in 1947 and is one of the oldest events operations in Britain. It organizes more than 200 trade shows in 35 countries.