Retail event manager George Little Management (GLM) has acquired the events group of Vertical Web Media (VWM), the companies announced.
Terms of the sale were not disclosed.
Included in the deal are VWM shows Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition (IRCE), touted as the leading ecommerce event in the United States, along with allied events Internet Retailer Mobile Marketing & Commerce Forum (MMCF) and Internet Retailer Web Design and Usability Conference (IRWD).
VWM will retain full ownership and management of all media properties, including Internet Retailer Magazine, websites, newsletters and databases.
IRCE, which attracts more than 9,000 attendees and 600 vendors to the annual four-day conference at Chicago’s McCormick Place, remains scheduled for June 4-7 of next year. The show’s organizers will continue to operate as an independent sales, marketing and operations unit, but will be overseen by GLM. Despite the sale, VWM will still aid in providing content for the conference portions of shows.
Charlie McCurdy, CEO of GLM, says providing ecommerce solutions for GLM’s existing base of retailers and suppliers was one of his first directives upon assuming control of the company in August of last year.
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“As we were doing research to determine what would be beneficial, we found that a large number of the independent retailers and suppliers GLM services were rapidly adopting online resources for supporting their sales and distribution,” he says. “We saw the need for leadership like VWM and IRCE [have], then found an opportunity to buy the company’s events group and operate it going forward.”
GLM also expects to collocate ecommerce resources from IRCE’s network with its own, McCurdy says.
“The basic benefit is that the retailers and suppliers who attend our shows like the New York International Gift Fair, National Stationary Show and Surf Expo are all looking for ways to enhance their access to the marketplace through the Internet,” he says. “[We’re] bringing some of the information and conference content to those individuals who would very likely not have reason to attend the IRCE event itself.
Plans to expand the ecommerce brand to Europe and Asia are likely coming, but McCurdy could not provide a definitive timetable on when expansion would occur.