Saul Leese revisits one of EN’s most popular web stories to find out what impact Easyfairs acquisition of Futurebuild has had.
Following Easyfairs’ acquisition of FutureBuild in September, EN caught up with Futurebuild’s event director Martin Hurn and Easyfairs director Lourda Derry to find out what impact the deal has had on the fortunes of the show.
Hurn, who has been in the construction business for 16 years and was at the heart of the deal, said: “The show remains pretty much the same and any changes to its format have all been light touch. But where Easyfairs have really added value is on the event technology side using platforms like Poken to drive ROI for exhibitors and deliver increased customer care. This is where we will start to see a huge impact and acceleration around our event.
“Easyfairs have also boosted our sales team. Because we’re up against competitors that have larger sales teams behind them, Easyfairs were able to come in and add to that. We’re an event that is very content rich but our visitors want to see more products and innovations and working with Easyfairs can help us to achieve this. We now have more time to go after growing trends and issues like climate change and we’re able to properly tackle green issues and new initiatives around Future Home Standard.”
Derry explains that Easyfairs doesn’t believe in tampering with anything that inherently works: “I’ve seen through many integrations at Easyfairs over the past 13 years and the one thing we don’t do is pick apart a team. What Martin has done on this event is get deep inside the market and gain substantial knowledge and its business as usual in relation to their proximity to the markets, seeing their clients, brand management, where they work; none of that has changed.
“What we have been able to do, because of the growth and infrastructure of Easyfairs, is quickly bolt on a full finance team, operations, HR systems, additional sales resources and marketing support. It hasn’t been a large pendulum swing from taking a smaller independent and turning into a larger business but simply supporting it with our infrastructure. We’ve taken away the business services side for Futurebuild, which they would have had to do themselves previously, so now they have the resources and time to concentrate on what they do really well.”
Derry believes the brand is the right fit for Easyfairs. She said: “Futurebuild is about driving change, about showcasing innovation and what Easyfairs has achieved as a brand itself fits perfectly with this. We believe in serving our community, delivering the right content, showcasing the right brands and attracting the key headline speakers and ministers. This show is so relevant right now across so many different sectors.
“People that come to our event are the influencers in the market and it’s our job to inspire them. Curating a show, satisfying the specifying needs of 6,500 architects that visit our event is no easy task but I believe our new, strengthened team has every component to deliver exactly that. Futurebuild has already set itself apart from other shows in the market, and we will continue to do so in 2020 and beyond.”