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M&A| Exhibition World12| January 2011| THE MAGAZINE FOR THE GLOBAL EXHIBITION COMMUNITY WWW.EXHIBITION-WORLD.NETWe have just returned from Brazil where we hadthe opportunity to make a presentation aboutM&A trends to a number of the Brazilianexhibition organisers during the meeting of theassociation UBRAFE.It's public knowledge that there has been businessdevelopment activity in the recent past with UBM,Informa and Clarion busy launching or acquiringshows. Reed of course has been active in Brazil formany years having partnered with the largest organiserAlcantara Machado.It is clear Brazil has the necessary attributes forinternational organisers by way of venues, privateorganisers and good existing events. In addition, unlikeother emerging markets, there is no conflict of interestcaused by venue operators acting also as exhibitionorganisers. The mindset of exhibition organisers isclearly focused towards M&A and Brazil's economy isriding high, so we should see a lot of activity over thecoming year. Back to a more traditional market, and Reed Exhibitionshas acquired Australian player Life Instyle. The companyorganises two annual events covering high-endhomewares and lifestyle products together with top-endchild and baby boutiques through its brand Kids Instyle.The acquisition is small and strategic, complementingReed's giftware portfolio. Reed has been quiet on theacquisition front, leaving all the headlines to other majororganisers. Maybe this will whet the appetite for more.Brand Events signalled a greater focus in its strategy ofinternational brand replication by selling Who Do YouThink You Are Live to the BBC. Unlike brands such as TopGear Live and Taste, Who Do You Think and La DolceVita, sold earlier this year to Single Market Events, haveno real replication potential. ITE Group picked up all shares in InternationalExhibition Company CJSC (Zao MVK) in Moscow, with 20exhibitions in the furniture, packaging, pumps andmeasurement industries.Finally, a positive move in the technology arena.German magazine and web media company, HubertBurda Media, has acquired Amiando through its Xingsubsidiary (which Burda also acquired last year).Amiando provides event registration and ticketingservices for exhibitions and events, including virtualevents, and provides an integrated online service whichalso encompasses website development, participant listmanagement and social media. Xing, a social network for business professionals,has identified this as an area of added value for its 10million members who it says organise around 100,000events via the Xing platform. This is a logicaldevelopment which capitalises on the growth in eventsgenerated by online business communities andpromoted via social media. The difficulty of keeping up with the fast pace oftechnology development and monetising tech offeringswas highlighted by Fish Software's decision to exit fromthe exhibition market with its real-time RFID visitortracking technology. This is a brand new concept forthe exhibition sector and with companies like Ciscodeveloping and marketing its own RFID networks, wewill hopefully still see this idea introduced to the sector.It hits at the heart of the challenges for face-to-faceevents: how an exhibitor effectively targets a crowdedexhibition floor.DealmakersMayfield Media's Steve Monningtonon the latest internationalmergers and acquisitions activity.Steve Monnington