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Managing Director
Mash Media

Julian Agostini started Mash Media from a back bedroom in 1995. The business now has over 35 channels to serve the events industry on every platform.

Although starting as a publisher of magazines and directories, Mash has evolved and, at times, lead the market in how it produces information to ensure the event organisers stay ahead of the curve.

Mash’s whole mission has been to grow the events industry and so from this unique position, events have become a major part of the Mash offering and perfectly complement the publishing side of the business.

Mash is now burgeoning organisation and synonymous with the industry it serves but Julian would tell you that there have been many mistakes along the way, which he is happy to share for others to learn

Mark Allen Group

Mark Allen is the chairman of the family-owned Mark Allen Group, which he founded in 1985 and which has grown to its current size of £50 million revenues and net profits of £7 million. The company now employs 434 people in four locations – Herne Hill, Dartford, Guildford and Wiltshire – and is involved in 12 different industry sectors. The group publishes 97 different magazines and organises more than 200 exhibitions, conferences, events and awards every year.

After graduating from Durham University, Mark was a journalist, first with the Sheffield Star and then the Daily Express. In 1974 he became the launch editor of Reed Business Information’s social work weekly, Community Care, which a couple of years ago his company acquired. After 10 years with Reed, latterly as a publisher, Mark worked briefly for Thomson in the same capacity before he effected a management buyout of two medical journals.

He is married with four children, one of whom, Ben, is employed as the CEO. Mark is a trustee of Richmond the American International University in London and he is an ambassador for the homeless charity, Alabare, and the children’s hospice, Julia’s House. He has a keen interest in the arts and music and plays (very badly) the tenor saxophone. A keen walker, Mark has a passion for cricket and rugby.

Head of Publisher Services
NLA Media Access

In an increasingly challenging industry, magazine publishers are more than ever aware of the need to find new ways to monetise their content whilst ensuring the protection and legitimate use of that content is not compromised. That is why NLA media access are held in such high regard within the industry, consistently growing licensing revenues for magazines whilst concurrently developing a burgeoning suite of ‘publisher’s services’ allowing both B2B and B2C brands to build cost saving efficiencies and innovative solutions into their businesses. Join our roundtable at the PPA Festival to hear more.

Founder & CEO
Collingwood Advisory

Piers Bearne is an entrepreneur and investor who has built and sold his own media businesses, and who has worked on M&A for major buyers, both as CEO and consultant.

Piers sold his first exhibition business, Rock Media, to Imago Group in 2006. As CEO of Clarion Conferences, he was involved in the sale of Clarion to VSS in 2008. More recently, he sold Tank World Expo to ArtexisEasyfairs, led the sale of TowerXchange to Euromoney and sold SmartRail World to DVV Media International.

As Chairman and shareholder with GFC Media Group, Global Transport Forum, Bio-Based World and World Retail Insights, he works on strategy, resourcing, sales maximisation and value creation in conferences, exhibitions, digital communities and intelligence reports, and co-hosts London’s Media Entrepreneur Meetups.

Piers previously worked on off-market acquisitions for Clarion Events, ITE Group plc and i2i Events Group (now Ascential plc). He has presented target acquisitions to CEOs and Boards, and understands the value drivers and risks from a buyer’s point of view. Through Bio-Based World, he led the acquisition of World Bio Markets from GreenPower Conferences.

Chairman & Director of Scaleup Advisory
Collingwood Advisory

Julian Graves has worked across a wide variety of industry sectors and in a number of capacities, from content to marketing and business leadership.

With a deep understanding of data, customer insight and relationship management, he has harnessed the power of brands to create and manage highly successful and sustainable businesses with turnover in excess of £30m and teams of 70+.

He has sold, acquired and restructured assets and businesses to maximise growth potential; and conceptualised, developed and installed new business IT systems and processes and extended traditional bricks and mortar enterprises into the digital world.

Julian is Non-Executive Chairman of Spectrum Gaming Group and Clarion Gaming. Like Piers, Julian backs his beliefs as an investor and is currently an active shareholder in a global training business as well as a recent MBO.

Co-Founder and CEO

Stephan Heck already founded his first start-up during his computer science studies. After a few years at Daimler he founded Sprylab in 2007 and since then has been advising publishers on digital strategies. The process of turning a brilliant idea into a great digital product fascinates Stephan and his team equally.

Sprylab helps publishers in the digital age with groundbreaking solutions such as Purple DS. For 12 years publishers like News Corp, TI Media, Axel Springer, Hubert Burda Media, Bauer Media and Aller Media have trusted the solutions of Sprylab.

Product Director
Immediate Media

Currently a product director at Immediate Media, Laura has more than 20 years’ experience in online media. She started out as a Sub Editor at what was then Ziff Davis, before moving into product development and site management. She worked across numerous consumer and B2B titles, including relaunching GameSpot in the UK as site manager and running it for 2 years. Later at CBS Interactive she was a B2B product manager for ZDNet and then TechRepublic.

Her passion has always been working with and around premium content; finding ways to serve customers with really good content that makes a positive difference to their day/life.

Wanderlust Publications

Tilly is the co-founder of Think Media Group which includes Think Membership Publishing, Think Books, Think Travel and Wanderlust Travel Media. 20 years old this year, the group has enjoyed consistent independent growth and today publishes 40 magazines and websites in both the consumer and B2B spaces. The group specialises in niche markets and publishes in diverse sectors including engineering, optometry, heritage, the arts, zoology, travel, brewing, health, conservation, accountancy and management.

Tilly is also non-executive director and co-owner of Welbeck Publishing Group (formerly Carton Books), a director of L’Effet, the Luxury Shopping Rewards app, Chair of the Liberal Democrats Business & Entrepreneurs Network, sits on the Development Board of the National Youth Theatre and is the recipient of the PPA Individual Achievement Award.

AI Business

Daniel is the co-founder of AI Business, a self-funded start up established in 2014 that has grown to become the world’s largest AI news platform. AI Business also delivers events, including The AI Summit, which brings together over 30,000 attendees representing the largest multinationals across 6 global events. Daniel is also the co-author of the 2017 book ‘AI Transforming Business’ and continues to publish thought-leadership articles which bring business together with AI.

Chemical Watch

Julian is a founder of two B2B media companies in the sustainability field, Chemical Watch and Environment Analyst. Both businesses operate on an enterprise membership model, packaging a range of information services including events, news and data into the membership wrapper.



He is also a former Visiting Fellow at Oxford University.

As a Partner at Innovation, he has directed projects all over the world helping news operations to re-invent their products and stay relevant with shifting audiences. He has worked and advised hundreds of media companies on every continent. He serves on the Advisory Board of several media companies around the world.

He has been listed as one of 'The World's Leading Innovators' in Journalism and Media' by Journalism UK Site.

Mr Senor is a highly-sought commentator on the media industry, speaking at global forums and quoted frequently in leading publications such as The Economist and The Financial Times.

He is also the co-editor of two annuals books; Innovation in News Media and Innovation in Magazine Media, written on behalf of WAN-IFRA and the FIPP respectively.

He is a former journalist and presenter for PBS's NewsHour, EBN-Wall Street Journal TV, CNBC Europe. And he served as London correspondent of International Herald Tribune Television. His work has been nominated for an EMMY and his television programme, Media Report, was voted by viewers as Europe’s Best Business Programme. He continues to work as a live events and television host and presenter globally.

In addition to his passion for the media business, he is a campaigner for disabilities via means of fundraising expeditions to the ends of the earth.

He has skied unsupported to the North Pole, crossed the Western Sahara, trekked the Amazon and organised the first-ever expedition to the South Pole of a team with physical disabilities.

A Spanish national, he was born and raised in Barcelona and educated in Europe and New York. He is conversant in six languages.

Founder and Owner
The Big Wheel Consultancy

Julian Thorne is the founder and owner of the The Big Wheel Consultancy which provides specialist marketing consultancy and data insight services to publishers seeking to maximise their membership, subscription and/or recurring revenues. He is the author of The InPublishing Guide to Retention Strategies for Publishers.

Before founding The Big Wheel back in 2014, Julian held various senior executive positions including, CEO of Dovetail Services, Marketing Director at Saga and Circulation Director at Dennis Publishing. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Direct and Digital Marketing and regular speaker at industry events.