UK-Based DRPG Acquires The Special Event Company in North Carolina

February 1, 2024

U.K.-based creative communications agency DRPG has expanded its global footprint with the acquisition of The Special Event Company (TSEC), a live and virtual event agency based in Apex, N.C., near the bustling Raleigh and the Research Triangle Park area.

Founded in 1987 by Sally Webb, TSEC designs and produces myriad types of corporate events, including conferences, sales and leadership meetings, trainings and continuing education events, galas and award ceremonies, incentive trips, appreciation events, ground breakings, grand openings, expos and trade shows, product launches and town halls, to name a few, as well as a wide range of academic conferences and events. 

DRPG, which was established in 1980 and headquartered in Hartlebury, UK, with locations in London and Manchester, creates and delivers integrated communications solutions and experiences for an industry-wide range of clients and brands, for external and internal audiences worldwide.

Why it matters 

TSEC’s acquisition not only brings a wealth of experience and expertise to DRPG but also positions TSEC for substantial growth in both the global and North American markets with the expanded creative services that DRPG offers. At the same time, the event agency’s acquisition provides a solid foundation for DRPG’s continued growth, with TSEC providing additional innovative event strategies, turn-key solutions and a virtual communication studio.

“We are excited to join forces with DRPG, knowing that this collaboration will not only enhance our capabilities but also contribute to their ambitious growth plans,” said Hunter Gray, TSEC vice president. “Together, we aim to set new standards in the creative communications and event planning landscape.”

What they are saying

According to DRPG officials, TSEC will continue to operate as its own brand but with an extended set of services that will be offered between both companies. The agency’s president and vice president will continue to lead the business, with Webb transitioning to a non-executive director and DRPG Group Director of Events Matt Franks assuming the role of CEO, splitting his time between the U.K. and U.S.

“We recognized there are great synergies between the two companies and culturally the teams are very similar,” Franks explained. “These mirrored attributes and core values gave us the confidence this partnership and fit would succeed in delivering the very best experiences for our clients.”

He added that the acquisition is a strategic step forward for the individual operating businesses within the wider group, providing the ability to deliver stronger live and virtual experiences to clients across the globe.

What’s next  

TSEC’s acquisition is part of a series of investments DRPG has planned for 2024. In January, the group also acquired Manchester, UK-based marketing agency OWB to bolster and broaden DRPG’s offering to the end-to-end communications solutions market.

“This marks a pivotal moment for DRPG’s global and North American expansion,” said Dale Parmenter, DRPG group CEO. “The Special Event Company’s proven track record, innovative approach and booming location provide us with a solid foundation to further elevate our presence in key markets.”

He continued, “We are excited to welcome The Special Event Company and OWB to the DRPG family, and we believe their expertise will play a crucial role in advancing our capabilities and offering unparalleled value to our clients.”

Image caption: From left to right: Hunter Gray, Vice President at TSEC; Sally Webb, Non-Executive Director at TSEC; Susan Fishel, President at TSEC; Dale Parmenter, CEO of DRPG; Matt Franks, CEO of TSEC & Director of Events at DRPG


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