Laura Capell, managing director, Sledge
Capell was promoted to the MD role at Sledge in 2012, having spent four years at the company. This year she has focused on expanding the business internationally, particularly in the UAE.
To this end, one of her 2015 highlights has been working to produce Dubai in China - a multi-faceted event that featured an interactive and immersive exhibition. She has also worked to build on the agency’s Sledge Presents… series, which aims to bring people within the industry together to discuss prevalent topics.
Leigh Debbage, creative director, Premier
Debbage leads the creative at Premier, the agency behind two of the year’s most-read stories on Event. First came National Geographic’s tour of a dead T Rex, and then came the installation of Jurassic World’s Mosasaurus on the South Bank in London.
Lee Newton, chief executive, Media 10
Newton leads the team responsible for a wide range of international event brands, including The Ideal Home Show portfolio, Grand Designs portfolio and even Destination Star Trek.
This year saw the company launch a South African division and partner with The Great British Bake Off for a live experience at the Cake & Bake Show.
Leigh Fergus, festival & brand manager, Be:Fit London, Telegraph Events
Fergus re-imagined The Telegraph’s Vitality Show and created Be:Fit London. The revamped event aims to empower women to embrace their personal wellness, while providing a platform for brands, celebrities and wellness providers.
She relocated the event to the Business Design Centre and brought on board more keynote speakers and sponsors, including Reebok and Oatly.
Lex Butler, managing director, Wolf & White
Lex Butler departed Zibrant in spring 2014 and set up her own agency soon after. Since going alone, she has signed with clients such as L'Oreal, Ghd, Tangle Teezer and GQ Magazine, and turned over £1m in her first year.
Butler’s top moment of 2015 was designing and delivering the One For The Boys Charity Fashion Ball for actor Samuel L Jackson at London’s Roundhouse. She also became a mentor for career scheme Fast Forward 15, and joined the advisory boards for Destination Wembley and Confex 2016.
Leyton Ede, managing director, Live Experiences
Ede has continued to lead Live Experiences through 2015, delivering brand ambassadors, logistics, venue strategy, production and creative. This year the agency has worked with brands such as Ray-Ban and Race for Life.
Liz Clayton, group events manager, Haymarket Media Group
Clayton, who is affectionately known as ‘American Liz’ within Haymarket, is responsible for delivering the annual Event Awards. This year she was part of the team responsible for bagging the Eventim Apollo as the awards’ venue, making Event one of the first commercial brands to utilise the space.
Clayton oversees a range of other awards across the year for the media group, including the new format Brand Republic Digital Awards. She has co-ordinated efforts to raise more than £14,000 for the Teenage Cancer Trust across the Haymarket Events portfolio.
Liz Young, head of events, Historic Royal Palaces
In her new role as head of events, Young’s remit is to develop and implement the functions and events strategy across the six Historic Royal Palaces, as well as oversee the commercial services arm of Hampton Court Palace. Young has continued to bring private business into her venues, while also securing deals with the Radio Times Festival and Kirstie Allsopp’s Handmade Fair.
She is currently working with a number of other London venues to define industry standards and pass on skills, experience and best practice in venue management, event planning and operation to the industry’s next generation.
Lizzie Carver, client services director, MCM Creative Group
Carver was part of the team responsible for delivering John Lewis 150 For All, which picked up the Event Award for Creative Event of the Year in October. MCM expects its end of year accounts to show a profit increase of 45%, while the company revamped itself as a marketing communications agency back in September.
Her remits at the company include developing the agency’s divisional propositions and setting out its vision for future achievements as part of the leadership team.
Luke Hodson, director, Urban Nerds Collective
As director of Urban Nerds Collective, Hodson has seen his youth marketing agency grow in numbers this year and gain a number of new clients. High profile events delivered by the collective include a hedonistic launch for Burger & Lobster’s new restaurant and an exhibition for sportswear brand Ellesse.
Mariam Ahmed, head of events, Shortlist Media
Ahmed’s big project this year was the debut of Stylist Live - a four-day, all-encompassing experience held at the Business Design Centre. The event attracted partnerships with the likes of Ford, Swarovski and Ghd, as well as high-profile speakers such as Nigella Lawson and Caitlin Moran.
Mark Beaver, managing director, Event Concept
Beaver led the merger between Event Concept and Veevers Carter to form the Event Concept Group, which offers services in lighting, sound, video, set and stage design and bespoke floral design.
The new venture has seen the business produce some of its biggest ever events, including a full production for the Mexican Tourist Board and the restaging of a full-scale Japanese opera in the Great Court of the British Museum.
Mark Bullingham, managing director EMEA, Fuse Sport + Entertainment
Bullingham heads up the UK & EMEA function of Fuse Sport + Entertainment, which counts Starbucks, UniCredit and Carlsberg among its clients. The agency is averaging growth of more than 30% per year and works across 17 markets.
Mark Riches, managing director, First Protocol Event Management
Riches leads an agency that delivered more than 3,000 events this year, turning over £25m. In the last 12 months his main personal contribution to the industry has been the creation of the Trailblazer Event Management Apprenticeship Standard. It is currently with the government for approval, with the goal being to employ more than 100 event apprentices by 2017.
Mark Stringer, founder, PrettyGreen
Mark Stringer’s PrettyGreen has seen some big developments this year. The agency launched both a creative studio and moving image content division, PrettyPictures, back in February, while April saw the creation of PrettyGreen Partners & Co - its partnerships and promotions division.
The company has continued to work with long-standing client John Lewis on a range of activations, alongside Under Armour, Smart and the Rugby World Cup.
Maxwell Fellows, head of business development, TBA
Fellows has worked tirelessly in his two years at TBA to raise the agency’s profile. Always present at industry events, he has leveraged his bank of contacts and continued to network to make sure the business is at the forefront of potential clients’ minds.
Fellows has led TBA’s new business drive, which resulted in it achieving its best year to date. The agency has produced events for new client Clarks, and won the multi-million pound contract to design, build and manage the hospitality areas for the Rugby World Cup’s partners.
Melissa Noakes, freelance event manager, formerly Sony Mobile
Noakes departed her role as head of experiential marketing at Sony Mobile this year, however is still keeping busy within the industry. She recently delivered a guest lecture to students studying event management at Sheffield Hallam University, and continues to talk at a number of events, particularly on the subject of women in business.
Meriam Alnaman, senior marketing manager, Kopparberg
Alnaman moved from marketing manager to senior marketing manager at Kopparberg in October this year. The Swedish cider brand’s pièce de résistance is its Urban Forest - a brand experience which, much like the House of Peroni, is gaining cult status on the London event scene.
This year saw the installation move from Dalston to Hackney and grow in size. Katy B headlined the opening night. Alnaman contend she has a "very hands on approach to planning and executing events and festivals".
Michael Boaler, brand manager, Jack Daniel's
Michael Boaler leads on Jack Daniel’s Jack Rock series - a continual programme of music-led activity. The culmination of this was Jack Rocks Your Town, which was awarded the Best Integrated Marketing Campaign at the Event Awards 2015.
Throughout the summer, the brand also had a presence at a number of festivals, including Cornwall's Boardmasters. Here the brand hosted the event’s pre-party, dubbed The Beach Sessions. Boaler told Event the Jack Rocks campaign will continue into 2016.
Michael Brown, managing director, PsLIVE
One of Brown’s personal highlights over the past 12 months was when his agency claimed the title of Brand Experience Agency of the Year at the recent Event Awards, while PsLIVE’s Adidas’ Ace & X activation was one of his standout events. It saw a purpose built structure created at Pop-Brixton earlier this summer, where amateur footballers’ skills were put to the test. This year Brown has also been instrumental in rolling out the agency to seven European markets.
Michael White, founder, managing director, Itch
White created Itch in 2002, and has worked, among other things, on the agency’s now 13-year relationship with Virgin Media V Festival, developing its sponsorship strategy and activating its presence on both sites. He cites this as the best event he’s been involved with and said it’s been brilliant to evolve the strategy as audiences and engagement have evolved throughout the years.
Michael Wyrley-Birch, chief operating officer, EMEA, TRO
Wyrley-Birch ensured the business achieved all its key financial objectives last year, and under his leadership TRO has continued to invest in insight and innovation, growth and talent, to ensure it is able to serve its clients with the most effective and creative experiential solutions. The year 2014 was a record period for recognition, with the agency bagging 33 awards and commendations.
In 2015, TRO was recognised internationally with its first ever Cannes Lions and a Clio Sports Award for the Lucozade Sport Conditions Zone – the most awarded campaign in TRO’s history. This year has also seen Wyrley-Birch oversee the opening of a new TRO in Madrid, to support the growing business in Spain and the wider EMEA region.
Natasha Warren, head of group events, News UK
Warren heads up a nine-person team which sits within News UK’s marketing department, managing approximately 300 events a year. She has more than 10 years of newspaper marketing experience, and joined News UK seven years ago. Warren states one of her career highlights was delivering an event with actor Russell Crowe.
Neil Crespin, chairman, creative director and owner, MCM Creative Group
Crespin is owner of MCM Creative Group, which recently restructured as a marketing communications agency. The agency has been delivering live experiences for consumer and corporate audiences, including John Lewis, for more than 15 years. Crespin, who has previously worked for LBC London Radio, has previously described his greatest achievement to date as buying out MCM from its parent company.
Neil Hooper, board creative director, Circle Agency
H&M’s Box of Wang campaign is one of Hooper’s highlights over the past 12 months. Picking up awards in media, digital and experiential award categories, the activation crossed boundaries in content sharing and joining together global conversations in social media.
From its interruptive nature in a central London location, the box became a destination for fashionistas looking to gain an exclusive sneak peek at the forthcoming H&M x Alexander Wang collection. Hooper was very proud of the work, as it heroed what experiential marketing can achieve when it becomes an inclusive part of broader campaigns. He is also part of the Live Event Creatives group - a collection of senior thinkers and shapers within the industry.
Nic Cooper, chief executive & founder, Sledge
Cooper’s continued leadership of Sledge are among his contributions to the industry over the past year. He has helped to ensure the agency has upheld its production values for clients within the UK and across the US, Dubai and now China.
Cooper has also focused considerable attention on assisting others outside of Sledge, for example with start up company Crowd Reactive - a live event, social media activation company that works with global brands and agencies. He has also thrown Sledge’s production and resource weight behind the Ugandan based charity Childsi foundation, organising the charity’s fundraiser in the UK to great success.
Nick Adams, managing director, Sense
Adams has worked in live and integrated marketing for over 18 years, and founded Sense in 2004. His hands-on approach to the work ensures clients have regular access to his time and experience.
Nick Morgan, chief executive The Fair, part of The Big Cat Group
One of Morgan’s biggest achievements is noted as being the development of the group into specialist event production with The Fair, and experiential with House of Experience.
Both agencies have achieved exponential growth in the last year. The Fair has delivered events for a total audience of over 300,000, meanwhile House of Experience has worked on global campaigns for clients such as TransferWise. Morgan has also been a speaker at a number of high profile events including Confex, and is a guest lecturer at a range of further and higher education institutions.
Nick Wigley, chief executive, Goose Live Events
Nick has worked in the events industry for more than 30 years. In 2010, Goose bought the commercial rights to the Silverstone Classic, and undertook the creative direction and commercial strategy for the event’s development.
This year's festival saw a 100,000 strong audience as Wigley and Goose created an historic motorsport wonderland, broadening the appeal of historic racing to new audiences. Celebrating 25 years of the festival, a number of new features were added - many exuded nostalgia in respect of the inaugural event.
Nico Tuppen, managing director, Iris Worldwide
During his time at Iris Worldwide, Nico has helped drive forward the agency’s growth in the UK and its overseas offices in New York, Delhi, Singapore and Sydney. Key clients include Adidas, Diageo, BMW, Samsung and Domino’s.
Nigel Nathan, managing director, Olympia London
Nathan has more than 30 years experience in the exhibitions industry. Among his key highlights was transitioning the Earls Court business to Olympia London. With seven years of planning, he persuaded the industry to embrace Olympia with an award-winning rebrand and a fresh approach to business.
Approximately £45 million was invested in redesigning the infrastructure to combine heritage and high tech; creating a space for the modern event organiser. As chairman of the Association of Event Venues, Nathan has also spearheaded a three-year research study into the UK exhibitions and live events sector.
Paul Dwan, Rugby World Cup 2015 general manager, Coca-Cola
Dwan landed the role of Rugby World Cup 2015, general manager for the Coca-Cola Company in November 2014, and has undoubtedly had a busy year with activity as part of Coca-Cola’s sponsorship of the international sporting tournament. He has previously worked at Diesel UK and Diageo.
Paul Saville, joint managing director, Wasserman Experience
Saville has spent the past 11 years at Wasserman Experience (previously Ignite), and has been instrumental in establishing it as the award-winning brand experience agency it is today. He is responsible for creating a number of world first, including a social media powered lightshow for EDF Energy at London 2012, a multi-sensory firework show for Vodafone – NYE 2013 which had a total media reach of 639 million, and an open-air, air-conditioned fan zone - Brazil 2014 Fan Zone, Qatar.
Over the past year he has led the agency to double its turnover to £31m, win seven new clients and maintain staff retention of more than 92%.
Peter Duthie, chief executive, SECC and SSE Hydro
Duthie began his role as chief executive of the venue in April last year, and with it assumed full responsibility for the entire business operation of the SECC and SSE Hydro.
He originally joined the company in 1984 and was previously made commercial director in 2008. As well as being responsible for all commercial activity on the SECC campus including sponsorship, Duthie has also managed strategic partnerships, joint ventures, acquisitions and disposals during his time at the company.
Peter Kerwood, marketing director, Concerto Group
Kerwood has worked at Concerto Group as marketing director since 2012. He also founded his own company Socialsuperstore in the same year, and has previously worked at Altitude 360 London and Merlin Entertainments Group.
Peter Krajnak, UK country director, Slido
Krajnak has been instrumental in the company’s successful entry into the UK market with its product sli.do. He has helped bring this new technology to the events industry, and increase the take up of the audience interaction tools, which previously weren’t being used to their full potential. He has supported many events that have used sli.do exceptionally well – more than 450 in the UK alone in the past 12 months.
Philippa Bowers, client services director, Fisher Productions
Bowers has 22 years of production experience and has sat on the board at Fisher Productions since 2005. Over the past year she has led a growing team to deliver diverse projects for high end property, retail, media and fundraising clients, including personally delivering a prominent fundraiser for a high profile client, involving a full size concert orchestra and dozens of global celebrities; plus a large interactive exhibition for a prestigious luxury brand.
One of Maggs’ greatest personal achievements during his time in the industry was leading the team that conceptualised, designed, engineered and delivered the London 2012 Opening Ceremony 'Olympic Rings of Fire', which won an Event Award in 2012.
His contributions to the industry within the last 12 months include formalising agency Brandfuel's creative technology department. He uses this as a platform to gather and share knowledge within the industry, to better connect people with events and to keep advancing the experiential sector. He recently spoke at Event and C&IT’s Creative Edge event in Brighton, and is due to speak and share insights at another three further conferences this year alone.
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