Following the announcement that Elevate organiser Quartz Sequoia Events would be acquiring two sporting trade shows – COPA and Elite Sport Expo – from Prysm Group, EN caught up with Quartz founder and EN Thirty Under 30 member Max Quittenton to learn more.
Hi Max, how did this acquisition come about?
There was a conversation that we had with Prysm in the summer of last year about the fact that we were in similar spaces, there was a bit of crossover and overlap, and from that conversation we felt that it made sense to think about acquiring their shows.
With what we were trying to achieve and what they were trying to achieve it made sense that they came under our ownership and it allowed Elevate to get to where it needed to be a lot quicker than it would have taken growing it organically.
By bolting these two shows into Elevate we’re now covering areas of the market that we were covering already but much more comprehensively, and very quickly. It all made sense to all parties and the exhibitors within Elevate viewed it as something not detrimental to them in any way. If anything it’s a bonus and helps open up options in new markets for them. There was no reason not to do it.
It was clear that we could either compete against each other for the next few years and probably take chunks out of each other or work out an arrangement where we work together.
Was there ever a discussion around Prysm acquiring Elevate?
That wasn’t something we discussed. We both agreed very early on that Elevate acquiring COPA and Elite made most sense for everyone.
How will it work going forward?
Elevate covers the whole subject of physical activity, physical therapy, sports science etc., and the subjects which Elite Sport and COPA cover fit within that remit. It’ll probably gradually become one event that caters to different audiences but essentially what binds it all together is the common interest that they share in physical activity.
What has been the feedback from exhibitors at COPA and Elite Sport?
They could see that there was logic in it all being organised by one organisation. We’ve got to make sure we don’t lose the connection and the brand value that exists within that community, and we’ve got to make sure that’s looked after properly and they still feel they have an event that is their own.
And the three events co-located in May 2018, how did that go?
Elevate last year had a combined day one and two audience of just over 4,000, and this year with all three shows co-locating we’ve all benefitted from an audience of 8,100, all essentially in the same hall and interacting with all sorts of different exhibitors. It made a lot of sense for the current crop of exhibitors from all three shows.
The shows are booked in for the same time next year, and we’ve walked away with a rebook that’s – just the Elevate rebook for example, last year we had a rebook of 25 per cent and this year Elevate rebooked 83 per cent. That’s a good way of illustrating the mood of the exhibitors within Elevate.
Elevate launched in 2016. Now it’s year three, it’s a bit more established, it’s a date in people’s diaries and our exhibitors are generally investing more, not just in the size of stands but also what they bring to the event and how they work it into their calendar. That made a massive difference; the event this year had a totally different look and feel.