Bold Moves at Emerald Expositions
David Loechner, CEO of Emerald Expositions, had a busy 2013. Midway through the year, a private equity firm acquired Nielsen Exhibitions, which he was CEO of, and renamed it Emerald Expositions. Then, just before the end of the year, Emerald acquired GLM Shows.
Loechner spoke about some of the challenges and opportunities that accompanied these transitions in the opening conference session, entitled “Bold Moves,” of the Society of Independent Show Organizers CEO Summit in Las Vegas Monday.
He then spoke with Expo Executive Michael Hart as well.
Expo: What has been the greatest challenge you’ve found in this transition?
David Loechner: I’m not really finding any challenges I didn’t expect. Carving out a place for Emerald Expositions is a challenge in itself. Then integrating GLM into that when Emerald is just beginning to get an identity on its own has been a challenge too. It’s going to take some time to find out what all the benefits of these integrations is.
Expo: What do you see as the greatest opportunities?
Loechner: As we continue to integrate GLM, we’ll find more opportunities for customers. Obviously, we can take advantage of the scale, but the cost savings is really just icing on the cake.
Expo: What keeps you up at night?
Loechner: I’m not worried about what we can’t control. It’s the sense of responsibility I feel. To exhibitors and attendees, I worry that what they’re doing together is important. I’m responsible for a lot of things, but I’m still just a trade show guy. My favorite thing is to be at the show.
Expo: You talked a little about Emerald’s activities in the digital space. Why is that important?
Loechner: We have over 70 web sites to provide preparation for our exhibitors and attendees. Online is the best way for them to prepare. It’s imperative they connect, so we’re working to accomplish that.
Expo: What will ultimately make Emerald Expositions successful?
Loechner: Successful businesses are the ones that serve their markets best.