Northstar Travel Group announced Monday that it has acquired the Burba Hotel Network (BHN) and its portfolio of hotel investment conferences—and said that with this deal, event revenues at the company now surpass print for the first time.
The terms of the deal were not disclosed. But CEO Tom Kemp said in a companywide memo that the acquisition is the largest in Northstar’s history.
“The BHN transaction is another important step in our strategy of expanding our event portfolio as well as to move into related market segments such as hotels and hospitality,” Kemp wrote in the memo.
Jim Burba and Bob Hayes, founders of BHN, will continue to run the portfolio as Northstar’s Hospitality Group. The group will report to Alicia Evanko, SVP of Events, and Bob Sullivan, president of Northstar’s Travel Group.
BHN, based in Costa Mesa, Calif., consists of 10 events and conferences globally. These include the Alternative Ownership Conference Asia Pacific, which takes place in Singapore, as well as the Hotel Investment Conference Europe, which takes place in London. Northstar Travel Group already owns several international events, including CruiseWorld China Shanghai, and Phocuswright Europe.
The BHN portfolio also includes ALIS, the largest hotel investment conference in the world, which is sponsored by the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA). Northstar Travel Group will co-produce ALIS with the AHLA.
Northstar is only the latest media company to shift its sights toward events, as print revenues decrease across the media landscape. Similar recalibrations have happened at Informa and UBM. Event revenues grew 1.2 percent across the B2B space in 2016, while print revenues dropped 8.6 percent, according to Connectiv’s BIN Report.