Tim Willoughby joins Mark Allen as Executive Director of MA Exhibitions

May 03, 2020

We are delighted to announce the appointment of Tim Willoughby to the position of Executive Director of MA Exhibitions (MAX).

The main board took the decision to make this appointment because of the challenges which MAX is facing, not least the latest coronavirus crisis, as well as the feeling that MAX’ performance would be enhanced by recruiting someone with more in-depth exhibition experience at a senior level in this company.

This is not to deny the much greater management clarity that exists in MAX following a restructuring of responsibilities last year which has resulted in major improvements. Certainly, the whole events team is working far more effectively than was the case a year or so ago, for which Matt and the whole team deserve lots of plaudits.

Indeed, Tim’s appointment is a vote of confidence in exhibitions. A few years ago, we identified events as being one of two elements in the group where we anticipated considerable growth. The fact that we have grown MAX from virtually a standing start to revenues of £13 million is a very creditable result. What we now need to do is to make MAX even more profitable than it currently is, which also means driving new events.

Tim’s background is steeped in exhibitions. He was Head of Portfolio at Informa, for whom he worked for seven years. He then became the Commercial Director of Babcock International Group, followed by becoming the Managing Director of CS Communications. Tim was then appointed Director of Events for EMAP, with particular reference to Retail Week. Since 2016 he been the Chief Operating Officer for Ocean Media Group, a media company with £16 million revenues and an EBITDA of £4 million.

Responsibilities will be divided with Matt playing an enhanced role in marketing and content creation and Tim focusing on the running and organisation of most of our events on a day-by-day basis, the exception being the SEN, Nursery World and Music and Drama Expo exhibitions for which Matt retains control as their portfolio director. Our profitable awards events, which deserve more senior management time, will remain the ultimate responsibility of Matt.

The other portfolio heads - Association events, Industry Dynamics, Ground Handing International, Manufacturing and Engineering and Hospital Medicine conferences – will report in to Tim. It is also hoped that Tim will play a role in galvanising and supporting more events for Farmers Weekly, which is a priority for the brand.

Tim, who will become a member of the board of MA Exhibitions, will be joining the company on 16th March. I believe he will make a big difference in ensuring enhanced success for MAX. I am sure you will make him feel very welcome.

Kind regards

Mark Allen