panel


 

Gabrielle Austen-Browne

Gabrielle Austen-Browne

Company & Role: Diversity Alliance, Founder

Gabrielle Austen-Browne is a diversity and inclusion expert, delivering consultancy, education and training to the events and hospitality sectors in her roles as founder of Diversity Alliance and the Diverse Speaker Bureau. Gabrielle brings her breadth of experience as an events professional producing and delivering B2C events for clients such as Twitter, Nike, Boohoo & Samsung.  Also experienced in managing venue operations and developing sales strategies for premium hospitality venues, she uses her experience in the industry to inform, support and advise on D&I strategies that are relevant to the sector.

How many events do you organise every year?
30+

What types of events do you organise?
B2C, B2B and Corporate 

Have you/do you work with agencies? 
Yes

What are the award-winning qualities that you're looking for in an agency?
I’ll be looking for agencies that have shown humanity in their work and towards their teams this year.  I'm looking to see diverse teams and inclusive work environments, as well as a demonstrable focus on well being, diversity and sustainability.

 

Veronica Lake

Veronica Lake

Company & Role: The UK-ASEAN Business Council, Head of Events and Marketing

Veronica is an experienced international events professional, currently with the UK-ASEAN Business Council, the UK's leading organisation promoting trade and investments between the UK and ASEAN markets, as its Head of Events and Marketing.
Prior to this challenging role, Veronica worked as Project Manager at a London based DMC and supported the events team of a major Italian corporate association in their MICE activity.
These roles have given Veronica a wide range of experiences which she continues to build on.

How many events do you organise annually?
40-60

What types of events do you typically organise?Roundtables, Conferences, Forums – Layout needs to be shaped around content sharing

Do you/have you worked with an event agency previously?
Yes

What are you looking for from an award-winning agency?
I would focus on quality of their customer service, understand how they adapted to challenges and how they diversified their offer and whether it reflected new demands.
I would also look into how they energised their teams considering the industry has changed so much.

Chrissie Beck

Chrissie Beck

Company & Role: Independent Global Events & Experiential Expert

Chrissie is a creative and innovative events & experiential industry leader with over 17 year's experience in a range of sectors leading stand out strategic projects for global brands such as Shell, Virgin Atlantic and Nissan.
She has a proven ability to tackle big challenges with creative and highly engaging solutions that deliver commercial objectives, in both in-person and virtual format. 

How many events do you organise annually?
12-20

What types of events do you typically organise?Conferences, experiential, meetings, parties, dinners.

Do you/have you worked with an event agency previously?
Yes

What are you looking for from an award-winning agency?Creative, flexible, efficient, friendly, proactive, thorough and innovative!

Robert Kenward

Robert Kenward

Company & Role: Fitability Recruiter

Robert Kenward is a recruitment expert specialising in senior hires within the events, mice and experiential sectors. He is an experienced speaker, mentor, moderator, industry commentator and EDI advocate who is able to convey his expertise and experience to an audience with a vibrant, passionate and vehemently honest approach.  

Robert has over 21 years’ experience of the recruitment and events sectors and brings a unique perspective of hiring from all angles - as a candidate, a client and a fitabilty® recruiter. Robert brings a direct and pragmatic approach to recruitment, matching the personal and career aspirations of candidates to a company’s business growth plans.

Robert has held over 480 pro bono one to one sessions to date with people who need job seeking advice, insight, guidance, support or just a shoulder to lean on. This support was launched during the pandemic and Robert continues to offer these sessions to the industry.

In 2021 Robert launched The Hub.Jobs, a global, industry specific people and jobs board, supported by some of the sectors most regarded associations and initiatives, to help people in the events, mice and experiential sectors find work and for employers and recruiters to find industry specific talent.

Heather Lishman

Heather Lishman

Company & Role: ABPCO, Association Director

Heather Lishman is the Association Director of The Association of British Professional Conference Organisers (ABPCO) which is a dedicated industry association bringing the association events community together to promote and encourage excellence, share, learn and collaborate.  ABPCO membership is open to professional conference organisers, suppliers, associates and destinations who clearly demonstrate the skills, knowledge and experience required to plan and organise major UK and international conferences.

How many events do you organise annually?
12+

What types of events do you typically organise?
Roundtable discussions, a Festival of Learning and Excellence Awards

Do you/have you worked with an event agency previously?
Yes

What are you looking for from an award-winning agency?Creativity, communication and enthusiasm to drive events forward.

Kelly-Marie Frew

Kelly-Marie Frew

Company & Role: P&O Cruises, Director - Events

Kelly-Marie Frew is an Events Director for P&O Cruises, where she is responsible for managing the events, creative & PR strategy surrounding all launch activity for P&O Cruise’s new excel-class cruise ships.
Kelly has both agency and client-side events experience, predominately within the travel and media sectors.
Outside of work, she is a mentor for the Fast Forward 15 Women in Events and Hospitality Programme, which she loves supporting. Kelly is also the host of the Events For Breakfast Podcast, which is the go to guide for advice, top tips and events industry insights for all event professionals, or anyone who has an interest in events.

How many events do you organise annually?
20+

What types of events do you typically organise?
Cruise ship launches, PR and trade events

Do you/have you worked with an event agency previously?
Yes

What are you looking for from an award-winning agency?Creativity, ability to meet the requirements of a brief in a unique and engaging way, capability to measure return on investment, super slick account management/relationship building.

Shonali Devereaux

Shonali Devereaux

Company & Role: Diverse Speaker Bureau, Co-founder

She has run her own company. She has led a team that raised up to £10M for charity. She gained an award-winning master’s degree as a mature student. She has done a TEDx talk. And in her spare time, she acts. She now works as a coach, presenter and workshop facilitator who passionately believes that the principles of improvisation can be used to spur innovation and empower individuals to be their best selves.
She is MD of Profeshonali, co-Founder of the Diverse Speaker Bureau, Associate with Conferenceemcees.com and a Senior Lecturer in Events and Tourism at the University of Hertfordshire.

How many events do you organise annually?
50 - 80

What types of events do you typically organise?
Large scale and mega-events, from the Olympics, Paralympics, Commonwealth Games, Asian Games, all three Annual Poiitical Party Conferences and the European Bank Annual Meeting. I have also been involved in fundraising events, organising 70 events annually to raise a target of £10M.

Do you/have you worked with an event agency previously?
Yes

What are you looking for from an award-winning agency?
In my opinion, a successful agency really understands their clients, and goes above and beyond to deliver the client's objectives, retaining them year on year. They also have a firm foot in innovation, so that they are able to stay ahead of the game. Finally a great internal culture, that fosters and upskills event professionals and equips them for the future. 

Kate Holliday

Kate Holliday

Company & Role: Invesco EMEA, Head of Events

Kate is currently Head of Events, EMEA for Invesco managing a team and a portfolio of events EMEA wide. Their portfolio includes large investment conferences, UK and European roadshows, Seminars, roundtables, and lots more.  Like everyone, Invesco has had to embrace the world of virtual and hybrid events and in doing so have managed to adapt and update their approach to events, focusing on sustainability and how they create a positive impact with what they do. Invesco is a global investment management firm with its EMEA HQ in Henley-on-Thames and its US HQ in Atlanta USA.

How many events do you organise annually?
100

What types of events do you typically organise?

Anything from a roundtable to EMEA Flagship event including multiple virtual and hybrid events.

Do you/have you worked with an event agency previously?
Yes

What are you looking for from an award-winning agency?

I will be looking for how agencies approach sustainability not only within their business, but also how they help, support, and encourage clients to run sustainable events.

Amelia Brown

Amelia Brown

Company & Role: 

EVCOM, Marketing and Communications Executive 

Amelia Brown works in Marketing and Communications at EVCOM, a membership association that represents corporate filmmakers and corporate event organisers. Amelia strategises, creates and commissions content for EVCOM’s platforms, both written and visual. They help organise virtual and physical events, support EVCOM’s membership and awards schemes, and lead initiatives to get young people into the industry. They joined EVCOM as an Event Coordinator in 2018.

How many events do you organise annually?
30+

What types of events do you typically organise? We organise a whole range of events from webinars and intimate workshops, to our annual conference and multiple awards ceremonies.

Do you/have you worked with an event agency previously?
Yes

What are you looking for from an award-winning agency?
I will be looking for innovation and creative thinking (both conceptually and when it comes to problem solving). It will also be important to me to see how sustainability, diversity and inclusion are considered by the agency as a whole and within the projects they create.

David Parker

David Parker

Company & Role: 

Royal College of Physicians, Commercial and Events Director

Commercial and Events Director, Royal College of Physicians / Managing Director, Circulus. With 25 years of diverse industry experience and a broad and thorough knowledge of business processes including event and project development, financial analysis, risk management as well as the planning and managing substantial budgets during a whole budget cycle, I ensure that the roadblocks stopping the experts across the organisation achieving excellence and exceeding the challenges set by our customers are removed.
I aim to enable excellence in the People, Product and Processes that support our clients, generate improvement, facilitate opportunities, and deliver an exceptional venue and support exceptional events.

How many events do you organise annually?
120+ (Venue Director)
6 major events (Event Booker)

What types of events do you typically organise?Conferences, Awards, Dinners.  

Do you/have you worked with an event agency previously?
Yes

What are you looking for from an award-winning agency?

An agency willing to risk losing the business by being objective, honest, bold and unafraid.
An agency that delivers on its contract and exceeds on its communication.
An agency with the ability/capacity and planning to meet changes to the Event internally or externally caused.
An agency that has contacts that are extensive allowing unique solutions and “impossible” experiences to be offered.

Jas Myton

Jas Myton

Company & Role: 

Events Specialist

Jas is currently working as an Events Specialist in London. She has previous event and marketing experience across a range of sectors including e-commerce, media, and gaming. 

How many events do you organise annually?
X

What types of events do you typically organise?
Personally, I have a range of experience across events. I've worked in exhibitions, organised networking events, corporate conferences and meetings - just to name a few! I have experience across B2B and B2C event planning, and the pandemic has enabled me to branch out into the world of virtual.

Do you/have you worked with an event agency previously?
Yes

What are you looking for from an award-winning agency?Simply, I would be looking for truly impactful events. Creative, smart and original design thinking that has been implemented through the planning, production and execution of events. I'll be looking for engaging event ideas that leaves attendees with an opinion about a brand or an event; a lasting impression is vital. 

Rachael Kenny

Rachael Kenny

Company & Role

Peak, Event Manager

Having worked across HR, Pharma, Finance and Tech industries, Rachael has a vast knowledge of event practises in different sectors as well as an excellent insight into the event industry as a whole. Her personal favourite is working on large complex events or long-term event programmes - developing strategies, creative ideas & experiential to bring a vision to life.

How many events do you organise annually?
50+

What types of events do you typically organise?
A mix of everything from conferences & hospitality to webinars, roundtable discussions & drink receptions.

Do you/have you worked with an event agency previously?
Yes

What are you looking for from an award-winning agency?Award-winning qualities I am looking for in an agency are those that dig deep into understanding their briefs and really embed a brand and themes across all aspects of the event, from the overall look and feel to those little details attendees will remember forever. Also challenging how things have been done before to bring new and exciting concepts to their events and the industry. 

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