Over the past 10 years, the Education Market Association (EDmarket) has embarked on a significant rebranding and turnaround primarily driven by the success of the EDspaces event, our most substantial source of revenue. This was possible due to the support of our members, partners, and an industry focused on providing students with the very best products and environments for student success.
But despite our best efforts to weather the disruptions to meetings, travel, and commerce, the COVID 19 global pandemic forced a postponement of our in-person event and a pivot to the EDspaces Digital Event. Although successful by virtual meeting standards, the digital conference in no way came close to generating the anticipated revenue of previously planned event in Charlotte, putting the future viability of EDmarket in jeopardy.
We are excited to work with the Emerald team to deliver the high-quality content the industry has come to expect.
On December 18, 2020, the EDmarket membership voted unanimously to approve the sale of EDspaces to event producer, Emerald, who expressed interest in this space as a natural extension of their design division which currently runs multiple events in the commercial design space including: International Contemporary Furniture Fair, Hospitality Design Expo and Conference, The Well Conference and more. Many of these events are produced in conjunction with association sponsors and are made stronger by relationships with our existing partners, AIA and ASID, for example. The transaction closed three days later, providing the association with the financial resources to continue to represent and serve the educational products marketplace both today and into the future.
As part of the Asset Purchase Agreement, EDmarket will remain the primary sponsor of EDspaces and still be responsible for the education conference during the show. This agreement has allowed us to recapitalize EDmarket to continue operations and establishes a 20-year sponsorship agreement resulting in an ongoing revenue stream for EDmarket based on the top line revenue of the event.
In essence the sale has:
- Replenished association reserves ensuring EDmarket will remain viable
- Protected significant EDspaces 2020 Exhibitor Deposits deferred to 2021
- Ensured EDspaces will continue to be the premier event for the education facilities market
- Guaranteed EDmarket remains the Primary Sponsor of EDspaces and the education session thought leader for the event
- Generated an ongoing revenue stream for EDmarket without the liability or cost structure of managing the event
- Provided EDmarket the capital to reimagine the association to better serve a changing market
- Establishes a cost discount for EDmarket members in attending or exhibiting in future EDspaces events.
The EDmarket team will be working closely with Emerald’s EDspaces team for a smooth transition and will play an integral part in the conference content development. Joe Tucker, Loraine Coleman and Scott Beyer have joined Emerald and will remain key resources for exhibitor success and continuity. The remaining EDmarket staff members will support the Board of Directors’ refocusing efforts to improve membership value and enhance growth and opportunity for the education market to continue as a key resource and connector to the education marketplace. We are excited to work with the Emerald team to deliver the high-quality content the industry has come to expect.
As we move in 2021, we encourage all EDmarket members to continue to participate in EDspaces and work with us as we develop new benefits and value propositions for membership. Here’s to the future!