Thursday, 14 August 2014

Immediate Media and WDYTYA? Live (Scotland)

I've been reading posts by folks upset about WDYTYA? Live, being held in Glasgow at the end of the month, being cut back from three days to two.  Susan Jensen wrote to tell me she and her husband planned a trip around that event including hotel reservations; now those plans are disrupted causing considerable inconvenience. Susan is far from being the only disappointed client. Irish uber-blogger Claire Santry called it Disgraceful.

Why the change?  An email from Annie Dodd, Marketing Manager for Who Do You Think You Are? Live, explains it's "due to changing circumstances," which says precisely nothing! It sounds like a business decision taken because registrations were lagging, and to be fair a nearly empty hall can be depressing for both visitors and exhibitors.

The WDYTYA? Live events are organized by Immediate Media Ltd which is no small organization. It's growing. Earlier this year Immediate Media announced the acquisition of Future Publishing’s Sport and Craft titles. Incidentally, Future Publishing's genealogy magazine Your Family Tree was not part of the deal, but one wonders how much longer it will survive on the crowded UK magazine shelves.

Immediate Media has over 950 staff in London and Bristol, over one million subscribers, a brand reach of over 25 million UK consumers monthly and revenues of £150m per annum. It publishes Radio Times (which generates 60% of the company profit), BBC History, and Lonely Planet Traveller among many others. With the decision to curtail the Glasgow event the company has surely lost considerable goodwill, maybe they don't care about the market in a country that may soon vote to become foreign to London and Bristol.

One bitten twice shy. Beware of committing to the WDYTYA? Live event scheduled for Birmingham in April 2015.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I feel for people planning to travel to this. I live in Durham UK which is not too far from Glasgow but was still disappointed in one being dropped as the weekend is my free time to attend conferences like this.

It is a loss and typically a North South divide issue!!