Following C&IT’s scoop yesterday, Agostini has revealed that following year-long discussions, a deal to buy the flagship trade show and sister event Live Experience is expected to be finalised today.
The deal does not include any staff from UBM, and Mash Media has already recruited two staff to help run the show.
Agostini plans to move the annual event from London Excel and will consider a host of new ideas to improve the show, including a hosted buyer programme.
He said: "International Confex is an iconic event for our industry. I’ve always felt we should own it, but we haven’t been in a position to. Media owners should own their communities and we didn’t – this event fills our space. Last year we bought The Event Production Show and this completes our circle.
"I don’t want the event to be at London Excel. The venue has a three-year deal with Confex, which ends in 2014. We have a host of ideas on how to improve the show, which we hope to implement for 2015. There isn’t enough time to change much for 2014, we can’t be too ambitious as it could fall apart. We need to be sensible.
"We will consider a hosted buyer programme, although it scares me if I’m honest. The Meetings Show UK has done it with partial success. The UK market is very different. UK buyers want to do it themselves."
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