Agenda, which holds its main event in Long Beach, Calif. at the moment, is a streetwear and action sports tradeshow that draws about 550 exhibitors each year. Three smaller shows are held seasonally in Long Beach and New York City.
The acquisition—joining a portfolio of quirky, but highly successful niche consumer events like New York ComicCon and Star Wars Celebration—was more a reflection of the show’s ethos and passionate base than it’s specific market, according to Greg Topalian, senior vice president at Reed and founder of ReedPOP.
“We’ve known [Agenda founder] Aaron [Levant] for a number of years,” he says. “Managing ReedPOP, we’ve always been interested in lifestyle and community-oriented events. It’s not that we were just looking for anything in the market segment. It was about very real interest in Agenda. Agenda is not just a show, it really represents a community, and that’s at the center at all of our shows in ReedPOP.”
Topalian hints at expansion both home and abroad—Brazil was named as one possible destination—but is adamant that ReedPOP’s role is merely as facilitator, not as an agent of change. He doesn’t foresee the inclusion of a consumer segment for Agenda any time soon, for instance.
Rather, he says, Reed’s considerable resources and global network will help the show to grow; their customer service programs will increase satisfaction and sales; and logistically, Agenda will be a much tighter ship.
“Basically, it was Aaron and five people that have pulled this off which is remarkable,” Topalian says. “But we’re not looking to make dramatic changes.”
“Any time we invest in a business or do any kind of deal like this, our first approach is to look at it and say, ‘It’s been really successful on its own. Where do we add value?’” he adds. “Reed, certainly, when it comes to efficiency, [can help].”