Judges

Dee Adeosun

Dee Adeosun

Head of Events, MBI

Bio

Dee has over 10 years experiences within the events industry. Dee joined Media Business Insight (MBI) in 2012, within that period she has expanded the awards portfolio as well as launching conferences within the business. When she joined she started off as an event executive and soon rose through the ranks to become the Head of Events. Dee is responsible for looking after a team, as well strategizing where and when events within the company will run. The events within the company are international spanning across 3 continents. Dee is commercially focused as well creatively driven. Since joining MBI, she has seen a significant increase in ROI YOY. 
Stuart Cain

Stuart Cain

Director, Ricoh Arena

Bio

Stuart has worked in sport and entertainment for twenty years and is currently Group Commercial Director for Wasps Holdings, responsible for all revenues related to the Ricoh Arena, Wasps Rugby Club and Wasps Netball.  He is also a Director of IEC Ltd, a joint venture between Wasps Holdings and Compass Group responsible for running all confex business at the Ricoh Arena as well as the on-site DoubleTree by Hilton 120 room hotel.

Prior to this he spent seven years at the NEC Group as Managing Director (Commercial Marketing) responsible for ticketing and registration, sponsorship and media at the NEC, ICC, The Vox, Barclaycard Arena and Genting Arena.  He was also Commercial Director at Wolverhampton Wanderers FC and Glasgow Rangers FC as well as Managing Partner of WPP/Mindshare’s global sport and entertainment consultancy working on projects including the FIFA World Cup, NFL and Olympics.  He started his career in the drinks industry at Bass PLC where he progressed to become European Marketing Services Director for Molson Coors.

Hi is also Senior Independent Director of the Rugby League World Cup 2021. 

Heather Carter

Heather Carter

Director, Blenheim Palace

Bio

After graduating in 1985 from Oxford Brookes with an honours degree in catering management I have spent the last 32 years working in the leisure and tourism business and I have been fortunate to work in some amazing places. After finishing a graduate training scheme with Gardener Merchant, I became a banqueting manager in the City of London organising events at prestigious venues including the Guild Hall and no 10 Downing Street. Then as general catering manager at Kew Gardens, The National Gallery and Liberty Regent Street

I moved to Blenheim Palace in 1997 originally to manage and grow the catering operation but eventually to manage the visitor and events business which has grown from a declining 360,000 to over 800,000 visitors last year with a very successful hospitality and events programme.

At Blenheim Palace we are very proud to have hosted some unforgettable celebrations and work with a number of trusted suppliers to deliver outstanding events.

Graham Copeman

Graham Copeman

Group Hotel Director, The Zetter Group

Bio

With a career spanning some of London’s most iconic luxury hotels, Graham joined The Zetter Group in February 2016 where he oversees the portfolio of three London boutique hotels and the central teams including Human Resources, Engineering, Sales & Marketing and Revenue & Distribution.  The Zetter Group – founded by Michael Benyan and Mark Sainsbury in 2003, known for its sustainable approach, incredible hospitality and individual properties rich with character – is set to expand with its next venture in Manchester to open in 2019.
Dirk Crokaert

Dirk Crokaert

General Manager, The Montague on the Gardens

Bio

Dirk has over 20 years experience in the London hospitality scene, starting his career with Radisson Hotels. He held various positions in several of their London sites before finally moving to Red Carnation Hotels, where he currently holds the position of General Manager at the Montague on the Gardens Hotel. Dirk is well known for his creative and strategic approach and since his takeover of the hotel, 11 years ago, he has worked hard to profile the hotel as a known entity for exceptional and genuine hospitality and care. By achieving a consistent top 10 placement on TripAdvisor over the last 7 years and with the introduction of London’s original Alpine Ski Lodge (currently in it’s 7th edition) followed by the opening of the Summer Beach Bar (2015), he has created a fun and experience-led event space in a traditional hotel setting.
Marshall C. Dallas

Marshall C. Dallas

Chief Executive, Edinburgh International Conference Centre (EICC)

Bio

Marshall Dallas joined the Edinburgh International Conference Centre (EICC) at the end of 2014 spearheading a new direction for Scotland’s leading conference venue and hitting record profit, ahead of schedule, in 2016. Marshall and the team have welcomed some of the UK and world’s largest associations to the EICC, while hosting leading world figures like former President of the United States, Barack Obama, who made his first major public speaking appearance since leaving the White House at the EICC in May of 2017. With a background in hotels, events and hospitality and as an award-winning Director, Marshall has consistently demonstrated success in financial management, achieving strategic objectives and developing a wide range of businesses with turnovers ranging from £500k to over £30m per annum. 
Stewart Davies

Stewart Davies

Director, GG Hospitality

Bio

With 20 Years’ experience in the Hospitality Industry, Stewart Davies started his career on the Radisson Edwardian Graduate Management Programme, an intensive three-year fast track course. He then became Revenue Manager of the 5* 124 bedroom Radisson Edwardian Hampshire Hotel, in London. Stewart set his sights on the North West and became Hotel Manager of the 5* Radisson Edwardian Manchester Hotel in 2006 and secured a £13 million turnover during his time. His next move was to the 4* City Inn Hotel in Manchester. As General Manager for four years, Stewart played an integral role in the hotel’s £10 million turnover. Stewart secured a double digit GOP growth over four consecutive years and in 2011, Mint Hotel gained the Manchester Hotel of the Year Award, which was the only time a 4* hotel won this award until 2015. Stewart successfully oversaw Hotel Football’s opening nine months as General Manager, which in turn prepared him for his current role as Director of Operations at GG Hospitality.
Ian Edwards

Ian Edwards

Chief Executive, ICC Wales & Celtic Manor Collection

Bio

Ian Edwards has more than 25 years of experience in hotel and convention centre management and currently holds twin Chief Executive roles with ICC Wales and the Celtic Manor Resort. Opening in the summer of 2019, ICC Wales is an exceptional new conference venue for 5,000 delegates. Ian heads up the management team delivering ICC Wales in a joint venture partnership with Welsh Government, having previously managed the opening of the original Convention Centre at Celtic Manor and been part of the launch team at the Edinburgh International Convention Centre. Ian took over as Chief Executive at Celtic Manor in 2014 and since his return, Celtic Manor has been voted the UK’s Best Hotel at the Meetings & Incentive Travel Awards for six of the last seven years. Ian led the resort’s delivery of one of the world’s largest and most prestigious sporting events at the 2010 Ryder Cup, and the largest gathering of international leaders ever held in the UK for the 2014 NATO Summit. Ian was named Hotelier of the Year at the 2015 European Hospitality Awards.
Adrian Ellis

Adrian Ellis

General Manager, The Lowry Hotel, Manchester

Bio

Adrian Ellis is a hotel executive with 25 years’ experience of managing luxury international properties in the UK, Europe and Asia. In February 2015, he returned to Manchester to become the General Manager at The Lowry Hotel. He joined The Lowry Hotel from his role as General Manager of the 318-bedroom Fairmont Baku Hotel in Azerbaijan. Prior to his position in Baku, Adrian was General Manager at Corinthia Grand Hotel Royal in Budapest, Hungary, Le Royal Meridien Bristol in Warsaw, Poland and Le Meridien Changi, Singapore amongst others. Adrian was named one of the top hoteliers in the world by the American Academy of Hospitality Sciences in 2008 and won an Acorn Award in 1993 as one of the top 30 hoteliers under the age of 30 in the UK.
Tarek Gjonnes

Tarek Gjonnes

Managing Director, Venue Lab

Bio

Tarek is Managing Director of Venue Lab, a strategic venue management and consultancy service with an unrivalled portfolio of rare, distinguished properties. With over a 10 year history of identifying the latent potential of disused spaces, Tarek spearheaded Venue Lab to fuel the future of place creation.

Tarek’s commercial foresight has driven some of the most acclaimed development projects of the last decade. In 2008 he trailblazed the transformation of the Boiler House Venue at Battersea Power Station, pioneering the event and Placemaking activation for the iconic site for over four and a half years. Leading the Placemaking activation of Shoreditch’s Tramshed building, he paved the path for Mark Hix’s revered Tramshed Restaurant as well as the regeneration of Clerkenwell’s popular Farmiloe Building which was one of the most used filming locations in London.

Today Venue Lab offers the event and property industries a unique chance for agile collaboration, accelerating worth and long-term value for all those involved. Tarek’s intuitive finger is always firmly on the pulse as he crafts worthwhile uses for Meanwhile leases, envisions innovative Placemaking strategies, strengthens revenue for the properties Venue Lab manages and builds an exclusive portfolio of ground-breaking venues.

Tom Gray

Tom Gray

Chief Executive, The International Centre, Telford & Southwater Event Group

Bio

As Chief Executive of Southwater Event Group, Tom directs The International Centre, Telford, the Group’s three hotels and Stagecraftuk, its event production arm. Tom has helped to put Telford firmly on the map as a key national events destination, overseeing an increased Group turnover of almost 70%. Whilst internally he manages the executive, management and operational teams, he is an inspiring champion of customer service, leading the staff team to ensure our clients and guests are always our number one priority. Enthusiastic about promoting Telford as a business and leisure tourism attraction, Tom believes this modern, forward looking town is the ideal place to meet, visit and invest.Tom is a keen sportsman, having in his youth played tennis at national level and is also a life-time supporter of Wolverhampton Wanderers. 
Richard Harrison

Richard Harrison

Head of Conference Centres, Warwick Conferences

Bio

Richard is Head of conference Centres at Warwick Conference and oversees 4 venues that welcome over 100, 000 visitors a year and work with many big commercial organisations. Richard has led a number of multi million pound projects creating innovative spaces within the business most recently he led a team in the creation of a new £5.5 Million event space which opened in January 2017. Richard has served as a Director of Conference Centres of Excellence including a two year term as chairman and has held seats on the Meeting industry association Board (Mia) and the International Association of Conference Centres (IACC) Education in hospitality Global Project Group.
Shaun Hinds

Shaun Hinds

Chief Executive, Manchester Central

Bio

Shaun leads the team at Manchester Central in its mission to drive business growth through the development of its three key assets; its experienced team of people, its world-class facilities and its outstanding levels of service. With a focus on innovation as a means to achieve this, Shaun is passionate about maximising opportunities as Manchester cements itself as the UK’s second city and the heart of the Northern Powerhouse. Prior to joining Manchester Central, Shaun previously led international operations at BridgeStreet Global Hospitality and has more than 25 years’ experience working across hospitality, property and business service sectors. Having held leadership roles across a wide range of business functions, Shaun is in prime position to steer Manchester Central through its next phase of growth.
Amanda Jenkins

Amanda Jenkins

Head of Operations, IQPC

Bio

Amanda joined IQPC in 1998, initially in a Delegate Sales role but she soon moved across into a logistical role, focussing on event delivery for Sponsors & Exhibitors.  From there, she took on Speaker Coordination as well and ultimately grew and developed the Operations department from scratch.  When Amanda first joined IQPC there were approximately 40 employees in the London office and she has seen the company grow to the size it is now with three separate business units, employing in the region of 250 people, delivering in excess of 140 international events ranging in size and complexity, from conferences to dinners and awards ceremonies across a range of industry sectors.  As Operations Director for the London office she currently heads up two Event Management teams, the Customer Services team and the Venue & Contracting team, all of whom are ultimately responsible for sourcing & negotiation with suppliers and venues, as well as seamless event delivery to exceed the expectations of our valued delegates, speakers, sponsors and exhibitors. 
Mark Jones

Mark Jones

Managing Director, Wyboston Lakes

Bio

Joining British Transport Hotels in 1974, Mark decided in 1982 that East Africa was calling. He was General Manager Victoria Falls Hotel and in Kenya, Group Operations Director with LONRHO Hotels. He ran safari operations in the Masai Mara and Serengeti and managed Leading Hotels of the World – the Norfolk Hotel and Mount Kenya Safari Club.

Returning to the UK in 1996, he joined Center Parcs as UK Operations Director. In 2001 he was appointed as Operations and Project Director of the Millennium Eden Project in Cornwall.

Since 2011 he has been Managing Director of Wyboston Lakes Ltd. the largest privately owned business of its kind in Northern Europe. The company has been a Sunday Times Top 100 Company to work for since 2014.

Sarah Lawrence

Sarah Lawrence

Business Events Partner, B&Q

Bio

With over 20 years’ experience of managing large scale events, Sarah is extremely passionate about everything associated with experiential events and communication.  She has a wide and varied career within the event sector and worked within the financial, blue-chip and event agency environments before joining B&Q in September 2014.  Sarah is responsible for designing and delivering all of the strategic events in line with company objectives.  These range from large scale conferences, bespoke gala award ceremonies to national roadshows and product exhibitions.

Sarah’s strengths consist of developing new processes and ways of working. She strengthens partnerships between internal stakeholders, venues and third-party suppliers to deliver highly effective and engaging events with clear purpose that have ROI and ROO. In addition to her love for event management and everything that encompasses, Sarah is a keen advocate for mentoring and advising young people entering into the events and hospitality industry and providing them with the confidence and tools to succeed.

Dale MacPhee

Dale MacPhee

General Manager Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh – The Caledonian

Bio

Originally from Nova Scotia, Canada, Dale has lived in Europe for 20 years, in locations including Bucharest, Prague, Istanbul and London.

After graduating in Political Science at Dalhousie University, Dale joined the Hilton Halifax for a summer job as Front Desk Receptionist 25 years ago. She has worked for Hilton Worldwide ever since, joining their luxury division, Waldorf Astoria as their first female General Manager in 2010.

Dale’s leadership style has allowed Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh obtain several accolades through the years and in September 2017 Dale was awarded Hotelier of the Year by Business Women Scotland Magazine.

Kerrin MacPhie

Kerrin MacPhie

Head of Business Events, Visit Britain/VisitEngland

Bio

Kerrin, a leading industry figure, has a wealth of senior level international business tourism experience within the convention bureau, association, hotel and convention centre sectors.

In her role at VisitBritain/VisitEngland, Kerrin is building the sector and help secure major international business events across the UK, developing the national strategy to win more international events, reinforcing partnerships across Government and industry, and continuing to build Britain’s international brand for business events.

Prior to this, Kerrin was Director of Conference and Exhibition Sales after 11 years with ACC Liverpool where she has played a key role in driving business growth for the venue and the Liverpool City Region, in addition to developing the successful Ambassador Programme, ‘Club Liverpool’.

Kerrin is former chair of the UK and Ireland Chapter of ICCA and has sat on numerous industry boards and groups, including BVEP, ABPCO and The Meetings Show Advisory board. 

Sarah Netherway

Sarah Netherway

Director of Global Events, The Association of Corporate Treasurers

Bio

Sarah is Director of Global Events at the Association of Corporate Treasurers (ACT), a Royal Chartered professional body that educates and represents the global treasury community. Sarah has over 10 years’ experience in the events industry, in both in-house and agency roles, for a variety of sectors. With an events logistics background, Sarah has since progressed to Director of Events and is responsible for leading the award-winning event department at the ACT in their delivery of an innovative programme of 35+ events per year across the UK, Europe, UAE, Africa and Asia. Commercially-focused, she thrives on running best-in-class, creative events that meet the commercial needs of the business and drives growth year-on-year.
Danny Pecorelli

Danny Pecorelli

Managing Director, Exclusive Hotels and Venues

Bio

Danny Pecorelli is Managing Director of Exclusive Hotels and Venues, a family-run, independent group of country house properties situated across the south of the UK. Each has a unique combination of individual personality and design, but adopts a common flair for innovation and exceptional service.

Founded in 1981 by his father Giuseppe Pecorelli, Exclusive Hotels and Venues is now a group comprising of four hotels: Pennyhill Park in Surrey, South Lodge in West Sussex, Lainston House in Hampshire, and The Manor House in Wiltshire, with an 18 hole golf course on the estate The Manor House Golf Club. The group also has two venues: Royal Berkshire in Ascot and Fanhams Hall in Ware. Exclusive Hotels and Venues currently has a collection of award-winning hotel restaurants, two with a Michelin Star. Accolades include 2 Hotel Cateys for South Lodge and Pennyhill, AA Hotel Group of the Year and AA Eco Hotel Group of the Year.

Exclusive now employs over 760 people, has an annual turnover of £52m and has secured the coveted title of being one of the ‘Best Places to Work in Hospitality’ for the last 3 years, with Acorn award winners and just a great team of talented people. 

Kate Sargent

Kate Sargent

Deputy Managing Director Bioscientifica Ltd

Bio

Kate is the Deputy Managing Director of Bioscientifica, a Society owned commercial agency providing PCO services, publishing and association management to UK and European Societies and Associations.  Based in Bristol, Kate has over 17 years’ experience in the events industry working in the charity sector and now specialising in association and society services.  Kate previously held the Head of Events position at Bioscientifica and has spent the last 10 years shaping a team that includes a specialisation in venue management for events. Prior to joining Bioscientifica, Kate worked with the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA) managing 40+ events in the UK each year, this position followed a very successful appointment at the Meningitis Trust (now Meningitis Now).
Paul Schnepper

Paul Schnepper

General Manager, The Adelphi Hotel, Liverpool

Bio

Paul Schnepper is an experienced General Manager and business leader with 20 years’ experience in Central London, and over 17 years in Scotland, the Midlands and the northwest of England. He has a proven track record in successful new openings in the budget sector through to 5 star properties, as well as refurbishment projects and re-branding exercises within an environment of leading international brands as well as privately owned businesses. He is a very knowledgeable, enthusiastic individual with great experience in hotel general & multi-unit management.
Ian Taylor

Ian Taylor

Director – Conventions & Exhibitions, NEC Group

Bio

Ian joined the NEC Group in 2014 as Venue Sales Director of the NEC, one of Europe’s leading exhibition and event centres. In 2016 his role evolved to include sales leadership of the International Convention Centre (ICC) and the Vox Conference Centre. The NEC Group is one of the top venue management companies in the world and this joined up approach to sales across its UK based venues creates a stronger overall proposition, giving customers greater choice, but with the same passion for event excellence that has characterised the NEC Group’s businesses for over 40 years.

With a sales background in conferences, exhibitions and events, Ian’s previous role as Commercial Director at Marketing Birmingham saw him leading the positioning of the city as an inward investment and events destination. Ian and his family live in Birmingham and are passionate ambassadors of the city.

Alistair Turner

Alistair Turner

Immediate Past-President, International Live Events Association (ILEA)

Bio

Alistair Turner is Managing Director of EIGHT PR & Marketing, a specialist creative agency servicing the events industry. Alistair has over 20 years experience, working closely with the key trade associations as well as the UK government. In his involvement with the UK government, he was secretariat for the All Party Parliamentary Group for Events, and project managed the groups’ Enquiry into the International Competitiveness of the UK Events Industry in 2013. He has also been a government advisor on the 2012 London Olympics and the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games.

Within industry associations, he is past-President of the International Live Event Society (ILEA UK Chapter) and a special advisor to the National Outdoor Events Association (NOEA). He also sits on the Business Visits & Events Partnership (BVEP), the umbrella body for the UK events industry.

Michael Watton

Michael Watton

Venue Director, Farnborough International Exhibition & Conference Centre

Bio

Michael joined the Farnborough International Ltd executive team in February 2016 as Venue Director, with specific responsibility for the development of the £30m Phase 2 project, scheduled to open early in 2018. With an events industry career spanning over 25 years, Michael has worked in senior commercial roles in some of the world’s most recognisable venues.

Prior to joining FIL, Michael helped develop venues as diverse as the International Convention Centre and National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham, where he became Sales Director in 2006, The Dubai World Trade Centre, where he was Director – Commercial for the venue division, and most recently at Bluewater in Kent. During his career, Michael has worked with some of the world’s most prestigious event organisers in all sectors of the industry, including exhibitions, conferences, corporate events, sport and live entertainment. Michael is also a member of the AEV Board.

Also confirmed

Pauline Mills , Head of Event Operations, Wilmington Healthcare 

 

Subscribe for more information