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2007 Top Innovators: Charles McCurdy, CEO, Apprise Media/Canon Communications

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Charles McCurdy Division: Small
Title: CEO
Company: Apprise Media/Canon Communications
Comment: Since taking the helm of Canon in March 2006, McCurdy has been on an acquisition tear, buying several shows in the advanced manufacturing space.

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When Charles McCurdy, CEO of Apprise Media, took on the additional role of CEO of subsidiary Canon Communications in March 2006, Canon had several print titles and trade shows targeting advanced, technology-based manufacturing markets. But McCurdy, one of Primedia Inc.'s founders, didn't get back into operations to sit still.

Shortly after taking over, he oversaw the acquisition of Reed Elsevier's U.S.-based industrial and manufacturing events portfolio, plus a trade title, Powder/Bulk Solids. He moved quickly to combine three of the main shows in the deal—Assembly Technology Expo, National Manufacturing Week and Quality Expo—under one roof.

Earlier this year, Canon acquired the Plastics USA trade show from the Society of the Plastics Industries and will co-locate the event with its existing PLASTEC trade show.

"A co-location strategy tends to get larger and growing levels of high-quality attendees who can deliver lead generation sales to exhibitors," McCurdy said. "Attendees get more value because there's more content."

Canon also recently acquired London-based Octo Media, with a portfolio that includes Medical Device Technology and the Medical Device Technology Exhibition & Conference. The deal expands Canon's trade show presence in Europe.

McCurdy has also had his sights on other media. In March, Canon acquired Appliance from Dana Chase Publications, along with the "Appliance News" e-newsletter and ApplianceMagazine.com. McCurdy said he intends to cross- market the publication with National Manufacturing Week to take advantage of overlap among advertisers.

"We've coordinated various properties to address marketplace ambitions rather than just provide an ad schedule and an [exhibiting] booth," McCurdy said of Canon's strategy.

In January, Canon introduced "Advanced Design & Manufacturing," a quarterly digital publication that features the latest innovations in advanced manufacturing. McCurdy plans to cross-market the online magazine with several of Canon's advanced manufacturing events in the U.S.

"You need to anticipate the best use of your customer's marketing," he said, "and make sure your clients are reaching the right audience at the right time in the right context."

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