New owners plan continuity with Florida boat shows

People should not expect big changes to five of Florida’s largest boat and yacht shows.
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Yachts Miami Beach is one of five major Florida boat shows that Informa will manage after its purchase of Show Management.

Yachts Miami Beach is one of five major Florida boat shows that Informa will manage after its purchase of Show Management.

People should not expect big changes to five of Florida’s largest boat and yacht shows organized by Show Management after the company’s sale to London-based Informa, which is among the largest yacht and boat show organizers in the world with the acquisition.

That’s according to former Show Management CEO Efrem “Skip” Zimbalist III and Informa global exhibitions division chief executive Charlie McCurdy, who spoke to Trade Only Today about the transaction Thursday afternoon.

Active Interest Media sold Show Management to Informa in a sale that was announced Thursday; Zimbalist announced his retirement concurrently with the sale.

“As you may know, Informa organizes the Monaco Yacht Show,” McCurdy said. “When I joined the company years ago, I asked [Skip] if there was any chance at some point we could talk about Show Management. The yachting and boating industry is growing and it’s a good strategic fit for Informa. We are very committed to the Florida yachting industry and think we will continue to see growth there.”

“The plan is to not do anything dramatically different,” Zimbalist said. “Informa has a lot of expertise in running shows around the world, so I think Show Management can benefit from their experience, and vice versa. Show Management has a lot of experience running boat shows, as well. I think it’s all good. You won’t see major changes at the boat shows in Florida. If anything, they will be better and stronger and more dynamic.”

McCurdy reiterated the company’s commitment to the Florida and U.S. boating industry, adding that the team there is “looking forward to working with the Show Management team, who literally have decades of experience under their belts, and to support them in their continued success.”

"This sale enables us to invest the proceeds to grow our digital video, online education, marketing services and events in our other verticals,” Active Interest Media president and CEO Andrew Clurman said.

AIM owns Soundings Trade Only, among other boating publications.

“AIM has just finished our best year ever and we now have the resources to fund many exciting new opportunities," Clurman added.

“The sale of Show Management allowed for an easy and logical transitioning of all AIM executive responsibilities to Andy,” Zimbalist said. “As non-executive chairman of the board I remain an active resource for Andy and the team as they continue to lead AIM on its path of growth.”

Informa, which delivers 200 industry events annually, including the Monaco Yacht Show, is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a member of the Financial Times Stock Exchange 100 Index.

Show Management was founded in 1976 and has produced the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show at the Bahia Mar Yachting Center since then. In 2006 the company was purchased by Active Interest Media, the publisher of more than 50 of the country’s leading consumer enthusiast magazines, including Yoga Journal and Yachts International.

AIM’s six groups — the Equine Network; the Home Group; the Healthy Living Group; the Marine Group; the Outdoor Group; and the Creative Home Group — reach more than 40 million readers in 85 countries around the world.

The acquisition of Show Management aligns with Informa’s strategic plan to expand its global exhibitions business in the United States. A global business intelligence, academic publishing, knowledge and events company, Informa completed the 1.2 billion-pound acquisition of Penton Information Services, a leading U.S. exhibition services company, in November.

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