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.

Once Competitors, Now Friends: Connections Housing Acquires Par Avion

Jamie Bartosch
, Senior News Editor
February 9, 2019
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Connections Housing announced this week that it has acquired Par Avion. The two women-owned companies, which have both been in business for 30-plus years, say the acquisition will help them execute superior and seamless events.

Connections Housing, with offices in Las Vegas and Atlanta, is a full-service sourcing, housing and event management company. They serve many of the Top 200 trade shows, and manage more than 350 events each year ranging from 10 to 100,000-plus attendees. Par Avion is a Lawndale, California-based full-service convention housing and travel company.

Acquisition talks began a few years ago at an industry event, when one night Par Avion CEO Toby Brenner sat down and talked with Connections Housing’s owners Nancy Hallberg and Kris Sieradzki.

The two companies were competitors at the time, but Brenner was looking ahead to her potential future retirement. She was scoping out a company that would take good care of Par Avion’s clients and embrace its philosophy to provide well-orchestrated convention housing programs using the latest technology and the highest level of customer service.

“It took a few years. We got to know and trust each other,” Hallberg said. “She decided we were the right company to take over. We kind of vetted each other out. You don’t just go in and buy something. You have to feel like it’s a good fit.” 

Other than sharing some best practices back and forth, the two companies will continue to operate similarly to how they operate now, Hallberg said.

Describing it as "a friendly acquisition" and “a natural fit” for both companies, Hallberg said they'll be stronger together. 

“We told her, ‘You now have two sisters,’ ” Hallberg joked.

Reach Toby Brenner at (800) 927-8137. Contact Nancy Halberg at (404) 842-0000 or

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