European probiotic conferences given fresh push via William Reed acquisition

By Shane Starling

- Last updated on GMT

Microbiota will be held in Paris on December 13-14, 2011
Microbiota will be held in Paris on December 13-14, 2011
William Reed Business Media (WRBM), the publisher of, has taken control of two leading European probiotic conferences – Probiotech and Microbiota – from French firm Gate2Tech.

In five years these events have established themselves as vital knowledge exchange hubs for both businesses and academia operating in the international probiotic area, and their presence will be enhanced under new management, said WRBM executive director of the food division, Franck Metzger.

He said the acquisitions were inline with WRBM’s brand extension strategy which had seen the company become an active conference producer with a number of its own face-to-face and virtual conferences since England-based WRBM took control of then French online publisher, Decision News Media in April, 2009.

The fifth edition of Probiotech, with a broad academic-business agenda, was held in Milan, Italy, this year and will move to either Dublin, Ireland, or Copenhagen, Denmark, in 2012. Microbiota focuses on cosmeceutical-pharmaceutical applications with genomics as the key scientific thread. Its third edition​ takes place in Paris on December 13-14.

Accelerated growth

“Microbiota and Probiotech are two events that have acquired a good reputation and are positioned in growing areas of the industry,”​ Metzger said.

With our brands, reach, marketing power and industry specialists we will accelerate the growth of these events.Our strategy is to leverage our brands and develop synergies in the markets we know well.”

Metzger highlighted other WRBM brand extensions that included jobs, virtual events, and global data services.

“With the NutraIngredients brand we have a strong awareness in the global nutrition market and a strong understanding of what our customers and readers are looking for," ​he relayed.

"Our teams are industry specialists and so are best positioned to provide useful and valuable information to our audiences of R&D, management, marketing and regulatory business people.”

Increased quality, reach

Gate2Tech director Jean-Michel Pommet said the events were already benefitting from the broader reach and expertise of WRBM, which had partnered with Probiotech in Milan this year.

“This is a great match of abilities and I am excited about this partnership because it will enable us to increase the quality and scope of Microbiota and Probiotech and to reach a broader audience,” ​Pommet said.

“It was a great offer from WRBM and it is the right time to take the events to the next level.”

Metzger said there was no inherent conflict between existing virtual events and face-to-face events in the probiotic or any other sector.

Although the business of face-to-face events like exhibitions and conferences is very much correlated to economic cycles, we believe face-to-face is a strong business long-term and one that is complementary to virtual events,”​ he observed.

“These kinds of events don’t offer the same features. While both provide high value information and an opportunity for suppliers and their customers to be in contact, nothing will replace the networking buzz of a face-to-face event.”

Under the deal, Pommet will remain as the director of the conferences for a three-year period.

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