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About Us


February results were rough – there is no other way to describe them. We managed only 83% of our revenue target and just 92% of last February’s revenue (although in fairness February 2023 was a pretty good month). While expenses were well under control – and under budget – the result was that EBITA for the month was just 56% of budget and 71% of last year. That’s not a sustainable trend.

Year-to-date the picture is better as we had a decent Q1. Revenue YTD is at 95% of budget and 98% of last year. Fortunately, expenses were 5% under budget and a hair lower than last year, so we are at 91% of EBITA budget, and 94% of last year. The big gaps for February versus budget were print ads (-$171K), digital (-$197K) and events (-$89K).

The chart below illustrates some of the revenue trends versus last year. The main story is that despite some budgeting optimism that had print ads growing by 2%, this revenue line in fact fell 5%, for a total gap of 7% vs budget. The digital growth of 2% was not enough to close that gap. Digital and print revenue are now almost equal parts of the business, with digital a touch higher, so a 5% drop in print ads requires a 5% increase in digital just to stay flat. That is the momentum we’ll need to recover for the remaining eight months of the year.

And following our move to an Employee-Management Partnership (EMP), that recovery is key. I have created a FAQ on the EMP that you can SDB (See Down Below). But one frequently asked question was on timing of when dividends might start. Adam R has worked out a detailed model to help predict just that. And while I was conservative in the town hall, the reality is that if we end this fiscal on budget there will be as much as $280,000 of after-tax profit available for dividends, which amounts to north of $2,100 per employee. That would be above and beyond our regular profit sharing. Models are models, but the reality is that it’s in our hands to get there. And then it really will be in our hands.

Do good work and be good to work with.

Scott Jamieson, CEO 
sjamieson@annexbusinessmedia.com; mobile: 519-410-4000


Virtual Trolls

For more of these Cyber Gnomes, or to dedicate one yourself, visit The Wall!

To Adam R, for Owning It
From Scott J – “Stick-handling a transaction like the recently-closed Employee-Management Partnership (EMP) deal requires a lot of detailed number-crunching and forecasting, and strong financial and transactional expertise. It also requires balancing the needs, sometimes conflicting, of multiple stakeholders. Many thanks to Adam for playing a key role in the deal.”

To Maria, for Being Bold
From Tara – “For years we've looked for an in-house lead retrieval system to service smaller tabletop shows. Maria discovered a QR code system in our badge program that allows exhibitors to scan attendee badges and load info into their contacts on their phone. Best part - it's FREE! Thanks for challenging our status quo, Maria. Scott A will be happy!” Editor’s note: Scott J is also happy.

To Laura B, for Going Beyond
From Michelle S – “With Pero on vacation, I needed to create two addendums using eBLDR which I had not done before - I was used to Listserv. Laura was quick to respond to my email for help to learn eBLDR and immediately jumped on a Zoom call with me to walk me through the system and answer all my questions :). Thank you Laura for going above and beyond!”


Team News

Peter L grabs Six Star in Tokyo
Running any of the World Marathon Majors is an accomplishment. Finishing all six in what’s known as the Six Star journey is a feat on another level. Only 392 Canadian men have completed this arduous circuit, which includes the big ones - Boston, Chicago, New York, London, Berlin and Tokyo. And our Peter L is now one of them. In fact, he is tied for the 10th fastest time for his age group among Canadian men to have completed it. You’ll have to ask him what that age group is. Congrats Peter!

Peter L just after the Tokyo marathon. The medal in his right hand is for completion of the six world majors series. The medal in his left hand is the Tokyo completion medal. The tired smile on his face tells it all.

Danielle joins Mags Can board
Danielle was elected to join the board of Magazines Canada, where she is already serving as secretary treasurer. Danielle has considerable board experience within the industries she has served, understands the company’s needs from the association and its lobbying efforts and will make an outstanding representative on the board. Join me in congratulating her.


What’s Working

Asking questions
We had quite a few people ask questions on the EMP transition, but almost all can be grouped under four main questions – Who is eligible for dividends (everyone); who’s on the executive team and in the broader management buyout group; when might dividends start (this year), and what happens to profit sharing (nothing – it remains the same). I’ve put together a more detailed FAQ sheet on the EMP that can be found here. And as always, drop by my office, stop me as I wander around Simcoe or reach out if you want more detail or have a question I haven’t answered. Questions are normal, as the execution of this unique employee-driven concept is complicated. But the goal and end result are very simple – The after-tax profit of Annex Business Media is now dedicated to the benefits of all 156 employees without exception.

Happy partners
Martin received this thank you letter from the head of the Bakers’ Association of Canada, whose name is also Martin, which is not confusing to our teams at all. It is clear, however, that he’s happy with the work our team is doing in creating a fantastic Bakers Showcase this spring.

“Hi Martin M. I just want to acknowledge what a great job the Annex team has done this year. Excellent results and we are six weeks away! I have shared the budget update with the board. Thanks for all the hard work. It is a pleasure to partner with your company! We are looking forward to the show. Martin B”

Event marketing
Marketing is essential to an event’s success, driving attendance, building credibility, engaging the audience, attracting sponsors, and maximizing overall ROI. That’s a big job for a tiny big box ad. As such, you’ll see more collaboration between events, production, and editors as we freshen up ad design, sharpen our ad copy and re-work how we create and execute on event marketing calendars. Learn more at your next event marketing meeting!

Booking the right room
We’ve added another small meeting room to the mix in GBR, so it’s a good time to refresh the full list of rooms available in both offices, and to remind people to pre-book them in Outlook if they want to be sure they are available. See the full list and - importantly – how to find them all here! Also remember the lunchrooms and other small niches are great spots for ad hoc gatherings.


Michelle's Open Dialogue

With the clocks springing ahead, you may have noticed your sleep patterns have been disrupted. Dialogue includes information to help with getting yourself back on track. These articles cover behaviors that promote better sleep, behaviors to avoid to improve your sleep quality and options available to help you with sleep challenges. If you are still experiencing challenges with your sleep, you can also reach out to Dialogue directly to speak with someone about your specific needs and receive one-on-one care.