CEO of the new i2i Group (a division formed out of the old Emap structure) Mark Shashoua, has his sights on international growth. Emap has been restructured into three distinct businesses servicing events, information services and publishing.
As announced on 28 March, Emap has been split into three independently operated companies: i2i Events Group, the former Emap Connect business encompassing exhibitions, large-scale conferences, live events and festivals; 4C Group, covering information services including the WGSN and Customer Insight brands; and Emap, the publishing business.
The overall group has been rebranded Top Right Group in recognition of its new standalone position above the multi-faceted business. Shashoua, who joined Emap last November, told CN the new structure was about recognising the specialist and distinct nature of the group’s three core offerings and allowing them to grow.
“This is the reason why I came to Emap,” Shashoua told CN. The catalyst for change is group CEO Duncan Painter, who joined Emap six months ago and has since recruited specialists to head up each operating unit.
“Whenever people think of Emap, it has always been as a publishing group. But over the past 10 years, we have become more of an events organiser and a data company,” Shashoua continued. “Publishing is 20 per cent of the whole group now, while events represent half our total turnover.
“As anyone in our industry knows, publishing, events and data are completely different businesses. What we have done is restructure into three standalone companies under the Top Right Group to recognise the different demands of each of our offerings, the culture and our behaviour.”
Shashoua said i2i’s future was all about growth. Over recent months, he has made significant investments into staff and added people into four key areas: Content, customer services, hosted buyers and international sales. In total, i2i has 280 people covering well-known brands such as Spring Fair International, Pure London, the Energy Event, BETT, Naidex, World Retail Congress and the Lions Festivals.
“Formerly, this group has had is amazing events but hasn’t looked to grow them,” Shashoua explained. “We’ve barely launched in the last few years and we haven’t been looking for other markets for our customers to grow into with us.
“We’ve made a massive investment into our team and will continue to do so in the next 12-18 months as we’re pushing for growth. Our biggest investment has been into international sales.”
Key growth markets are China, Latin America, Singapore and the Middle East. Organic growth, geocloning and acquisition are all on the cards, Shashoua said.
“Our events will all carry on as before, but we can do these our own way,” he added. “As a standalone business, we have our own strategy, investment and growth plans. Customers want to be serviced in different markets, not just the UK, so our growth plans are significant.”
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