Among former Informa, Penton and UBM executive Paul Miller’s early initiatives after taking over as CEO of Questex late in 2018 was a reorganization of the company’s media and events properties, reducing the number of divisions in the portfolio in an effort to foster more cross-brand collaboration and, ideally, open up new opportunities for brands that were already serving adjacent markets, such as travel and hospitality or beauty and wellness.
In the year that followed, Questex—and Miller and chief marketing officer, Kate Spellman, in particular—have increasingly emphasized the “experience economy” as the lens through which the company plans to pursue both organic growth and acquisitions, including the trio of conferences and related publications it purchased from Informa plc at the end of 2019.
As Miller articulated it in December, he observed that all of the company’s served markets shared a common theme of “helping people live longer and live better”—a broad concept, certainly, but one that Miller believes puts the Questex portfolio at an advantageous position as he anticipates more businesses in its served markets embracing the customer experience as a greater differentiator than pricing or product features.
This week, Questex made the new strategy official, rolling out an updated corporate branding and website and organizing its verticals into three buckets: “Live better” (its hospitality, travel and wellness brands), “Live longer” (life science and healthcare) and “Enable experience” (technology, media and telecom).
“This is the filter we will build off of,” Spellman tells Folio: via email. “Experience is a key component, elevating our event experience and focusing on the content that our audience needs and wants to consume. Internally, we use a report called QInsight that identifies the top trends our audience is consuming. We use this information to inform our event and digital content and, shortly, to share with our clients for marketing content.”
As an example, Spellman points to the company’s hospitality vertical, which includes, among other properties, the monthly magazine Hotel Management, a three-day investor-focused conference in Germany, a two-day conference for hotel owners and operators in the UK and a global series of hosted buyer events—an “infinite loop of investment and optimization,” she says, serving “every point in the value chain.”
“If you look at the burgeoning wellness economy in the hospitality space, there are natural adjacencies,” she adds, such as the industry’s embrace of the CBD trend or the rise of hotels offering in-room fitness amenities. “We’ve broken down the silos and our teams are working together when there is a connection.”