The trade show industry is seeking new ways to generate revenues and engage its clients because of the damage made to its physical events. Just as the Outdoor Retailer Winter Market is starting its new OR Winter Online edition (Jan. 6 - March 19, with Summit Days on Jan. 20-23), its parent company, Emerald Holding, announced the completion of its acquisition of PlumRiver Technologies, the international provider of the Elastic Suite software solution.

Emerald, which also owns Surf Expo and many other U.S. shows, said the takeover would accelerate its “strategy to provide 365-day-per-year engagement of its customer base regardless of location.” PlumRiver’s technology allows vendors to interact with buyers in the digital space, integrating its software in the brands’ ERP systems to manage orders, real-time inventory and product merchandising. It uses print-free digital product catalogs. Its B2B solution has been adopted notably by several companies in the sporting goods sector, many of which are also clients of Emerald. PlumRiver, founded in 2000, expanded the range of its capabilities and clients in 2018 with the acquisition of CenterStone Technologies, which operated the rival iVendix B2B platform.

Emerald launched several new digital product offerings in the course of 2020, many of which are centered around the transactions between buyers and sellers. The show organizer said the takeover of PlumRiver will help it to offer a larger spectrum of bundled solutions to its customers – from product discovery and lead generation to transaction – across in-person, face-to-face events as well as “year-round, digital opportunities.” Hervé Sedky, president and CEO of Emerald, said that PlumRiver’s B2B e-commerce solution would also bring “an additive subscription-based revenue stream” to his company.