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Mash Media, a London-based publisher and event organizer, announced Sept. 20 its official acquisition of the International Confex exhibition from UBM Live.

International Confex is UK’s leading annual exhibition for the events industry. The three-day show, which celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2013, joins the Event Production Show in Mash Media’s live events portfolio.

“I am delighted to officially welcome such a well-loved event as International Confex into the Mash stable,” said Julian Agostini, managing director, Mash Media. “I have been an admirer of the show for many years and this is an exciting and significant acquisition for the company.

“International Confex is an iconic event for our industry. I’ve always felt we should own it, but we haven’t been in a position to. Media owners should own their communities and we didn’t – this event fills our space. Last year we bought The Event Production Show and this completes our circle.”

With plans to move International Confex from London Excel, where its three-year contract will end in 2014, Agostini is also working on a deal to buy Live Experience, the flagship tradeshow and sister event.

“We are relishing the challenge of continuing UBM’s good work by making International Confex the essential exhibition for the meetings and events industry.

“I don’t want the event to be at London Excel. The venue has a three-year deal with Confex, which ends in 2014. We have a host of ideas on how to improve the show, which we hope to implement for 2015. There isn’t enough time to change much for 2014, we can’t be too ambitious as it could fall apart. We need to be sensible.”

Along with a change in venue, Agostini is considering adding a hosted buyer program to the show.

“We will consider a hosted buyer programme, although it scares me if I’m honest. The Meetings Show UK has done it with partial success. The UK market is very different. UK buyers want to do it themselves.”

Agostini purchased International Confex for an undisclosed sum and is expected to finalize a deal to acquire Live Experience on Sept. 20.

Mash Media publishes leading titles for the meetings, exhibition and live events industries, including Conference News and Exhibition News. Financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

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