SmithBucklin Acquires 360 Live Media

The association management company has acquired the live-event experience-design agency to become ‘the go-to resource for associations seeking innovation, reimagination, and big ideas that deliver results.’ 

Association management and services company SmithBucklin has acquired 360 Live Media, an association-focused, live-event experience design agency with full-service marketing capabilities. 360 Live Media has redesigned dozens of association meetings, and has also created innovative, first-to-market events.

According to a press release, both SmithBucklin and 360 Live Media, who share a focus on cutting-edge ways associations can rethink their live events in order to create value, generate non-dues revenue, and foster loyal communities of engaged members, will work together to serve existing clients and the association community.

360 Live Media will continue to operate out of its Washington, D.C., office as a wholly owned subsidiary of SmithBucklin. Don Neal, Founder & CEO of 360 Live Media, a regular Convene columnist, will continue at its helm.

“We want to be the go-to resource for associations seeking innovation, reimagination, and big ideas that deliver results,” Matt Sanderson, SmithBucklin president & CEO, said in the release. “Live events are critical to so many associations because of the significance of event-related revenue and because events bring association brands to life. Championing live media best practices, along with our ongoing commitment to content and to emerging and established digital channels, will help ensure that our client organizations can continually create effective ways to attract, engage, and better serve their members.”

In the release, Neal noted that industry associations and professional societies of all sizes are at inflection points, facing shifts in business models and demographics as well as waves of consolidation and disruptions from technology and other forces. “Associations are more important than ever in terms of their contributions to commercial progress, professional development, industry advocacy, and community engagement,” Neal said. “SmithBucklin and 360 Live Media are committed to helping them become even more vital and influential moving forward.”

“This is an incredible opportunity to add the talent and energy of an award-winning, association-focused agency known for creativity and impact,” Sanderson said. “Don and his team have brought a tremendous amount of innovation and excitement to the association community and we are so pleased to welcome them aboard.”

In making the choice to become part of SmithBucklin, Neal said he recognized it would be joining a 100 percent employee-owned company with industry-leading resources and depth of experience, as well as a strong culture and values that reflect its own. “I have long admired SmithBucklin for its deep commitment to the association community, as well as its ability to provide such personal, high-touch service to so many organizations,” Neal said in the release. “Joining SmithBucklin furthers my personal vision of 360 Live Media as a force multiplier for associations, professional societies, charitable organizations, and those they serve. And SmithBucklin’s mission – ‘to achieve the missions of the client organizations we serve’ – is a perfect fit with 360 Live Media.”

“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,” said Sanderson. “Joining forces, we will serve as a catalyst for associations to imagine ‘what’s next’ and unlock their full potential.”

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