Cygnus Business Media is restructuring its events operations after an organizational review late last year.
The move, which officially began late last month, comes in spite of a successful year for the company’s events, which posted a 4.4-percent gain year-over-year. Resources of its previously centralized expo operations unit will be dispersed among its three principal verticals: construction, public safety and a unified agriculture, technology and transportation group.
One position—director of expo operations, held by Pam Nutting—was eliminated as a result, but Ed Wood, Cygnus vice president of human resources, says cuts will not go further. All other expo operations staff will be absorbed into one of the three affinity groups, reporting to each respective group’s vice president. The transition will take place over the next several weeks as Cygnus wraps up a busy first-quarter event season, Wood says.
“It’s now supporting the affinity group structure,” he says. “We wanted to put the full control—strategy, sales and all the operations functions—under the direct control of that market manager or expo leadership team.”
“Whether you’re looking at expo operations or accounting or audience development,” he adds, “you’ve got either the shared services model where you have a corporate entity that services everybody, or you decentralize those roles and put them in the with the business units.”
Registration, which had been part of expo operations but is now under the purview of Cygnus’ audience development team, will remain the only shared service among the verticals.
“It was a logical fit,” Wood says. “Besides servicing the events and making sure the attendees are all registered, we’re really matching that [events] data up with our other internal databases. [Database improvements] have been a big push for us the last couple of years.”
Though there were no specific affinity groups at the time, the new model is roughly similar to the structure in place before Cygnus underwent a series of major organizational changes following its emergence from bankruptcy in 2009, Wood says.