Tradeshows, conferences and events have, next to e-media, become the fastest growing business sector for publishers-b-to-b and consumer. They’re relatively easy to launch, but companies are also watching the market closely for deal opportunities. Buying an event, however, is unlike any other acquisition. Here, via Nick Curci, president of Corporate Solutions, an M&A firm specializing in events, are the top elements to pay special attention to when investigating an opportunity.

1. Competitive event analysis
2. Opportunities for revenue growth and cost savings
3. Business magazine alliance opportunities
4. Association alliance opportunities
5. Evaluate the staff and overall organization
6. Determine risk of key personnel staying on after the acquisition and a plan should any key personnel leave shortly thereafter
7. Evaluate pricing of exhibits and conferences and compare to competitive event
8. Determine if the existing brands can be expanded into new markets domestically and internationally
9. Gather as much industry information as possible from associations and business publications to determine the strength or weaknesses in the overall industry that the events serve
10. Make sure that the events have signed long term contracts with the venues and that the venues do not have expansion or construction plans in the next few years
11. Research other venues for possible competitive launches in nearby cities
12. Review all vendor contracts, especially with hotels, decorators, speakers, publications and associations
13. Interview the decorator
14. Interview the largest exhibitors and sponsors with the aid and permission of the seller
15. Determine the quality of the lists and databases of clients and customers.