SmithBucklin Expands its Events Footprint with New Acquisition

Association management company SmithBucklin’s acquisition of Washington, D.C.-based 360 Live Media expands the reach of the professional services firm, which currently has offices in Chicago and D.C. It also brings a new focus to the production of live events.

“We want to be the go-to resource for associations seeking innovation,” SmithBucklin President and CEO Matt Sanderson says. “Live events are critical to so many associations because of the significance of event-related revenue and because events bring association brands to life.”

360 Live Media is a marketing and experience strategy company. It specializes in everything from event design and theme development to membership research. Through rebranding, more targeted marketing strategies, and what the company calls “reinvention” of client events, it has seen marked success in raising attendance and revenue.

Don Neal, founder and CEO of 360 Live Media, says the timing of the acquisition is a result to the current state of the industry surrounding professional associations and societies. As technology and changes in demographics have disrupted the status quo, management and strategy companies such as SmithBucklin and 360 Live Media are reevaluating and adapting. He says, “Associations are more important than ever in terms of their contributions to commercial progress, professional development, industry advocacy and community engagement.” And the two companies hope to push that influence even further.

“Both 360 Live Media and SmithBucklin have been successful by hiring great people who believe in the impact of associations and want to make a difference,” Sanderson says. “Joining forces, we will serve as a catalyst for associations.”

Neal will continue as the head of 360 Live Media, and the company will operate out of its current Washington office. But it will be a wholly owned subsidiary of SmithBucklin.