This Just In
  • Tom Cindric joins Winsight as President, Exhibitions to oversee National Restaurant Show. Mary Pat Heftman now Vice Chairman of Winsight.
  • Emerald Expositions Events Inc. tapped former UBM exec, Sally Shankland, to serve as its President and CEO. Phil Evans continues as CFO.
  • The division of Informa PLC created by the combination of UBM and Informa has been renamed and rebranded as Informa Markets.
  • Trade Show Executive won three prestigious ASBPE “Azbee” Awards in Chicago. TSE is also a national finalist for Magazine of the Year Award.
  • Informa PLC launched Informa Ventures offering capital, access to markets, mentorship, and expertise to knowledge and information start-ups.
  • Freeman Vice Chair Carrie Freeman Parsons promoted to Chair replacing Don Freeman, who will become Chairman Emeritus in July.
  • Marketplace Events (MPE), producer of 66 consumer shows in North America, acquired the Arizona Bridal Shows from Townsquare Live Events LLC.
  • Nominations for 2019 Trailblazers Opens for Trade Show Executive’s Trailblazers program which recognizes the industry’s up-and-comers.
  • Informa Exhibitions reported a 6.7% jump in underlying revenues for 2018 even as it absorbed the blockbuster acquisition of UBM.

Fern Acquires Two Contracting Companies, Expands into Pacific Northwest

Danica Tormohlen
, Editor-at-Large
April 7, 2019
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CINCINATTI — Fern acquired Seattle-based Triumph Expo & Events and Portland-based DWA Trade Show & Exposition Services. With the acquisitions, Fern will add 60 full-time employees and its first two locations in the Pacific Northwest. Triumph and DWA will both operate under the Fern brand with the leadership from both organizations being integrated into the existing Fern leadership team.

“Both Triumph and DWA are the preferred contractor in the markets they serve while also having a core customer base they serve across North America,” said Fern CEO Aaron Bludworth. “The move into the Pacific Northwest will allow us to serve this growing market for existing customers more effectively.”

In fact, some years, 30% of Fern’s business is on the West Coast, Bludworth said. “Two of our top 10 clients are based in the region.” Among the major events added to Fern’s portfolio: the Portland Auto Show and the Timber Processing and Energy Expo, as well as corporate event clients like Amazon and Intel. 

With 12 offices across the U.S., Fern serviced about 1,110 expositions and events in 2018. The company provided contracting services for six Trade Show Executive Gold 100 Class of 2017 trade shows, including the Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishing Market (January and July), GIE + EXPO (Green Industry & Equipment Show), ICUEE, the International Construction & Utility Equipment Exposition, Performance Racing Industry Trade Show and WWETT – Water & Wastewater Equipment, Treatment & Transport Show. 

“As Triumph celebrates its 20th anniversary, we are excited for this next chapter where we will be better able to meet the needs of our clients directly, regardless of location and with additional services,” said Christine Skrak, Triumph’s Founder and Owner.  

Bludworth told Trade Show Executive that both companies offer a good cultural fit with Fern. “Both businesses are run a lot like Fern, so it should be smooth integration in terms of culture,” Bludworth said. He said everyone will transition over to Fern, but their roles may change. 

“DWA has been serving the Northwest region for over 40 years and being able to combine with Fern will allow us to provide greater opportunities for our employees and allow us to expand the services we offer to our customers,” said Dave White and Patti Beyer, Owners of DWA, which has been in business for 40 years.  

Reach Aaron Bludworth at (513) 562-0432 or abludworth@fernexpo.com.

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