Click on 'Show Detail' to read about each speaker!

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

Through close management of all magazine, newspaper and digital-only news brands mandated through the NLA, Matt’s role is to help maximise licensing royalties for publishers through its core business aim of ‘supporting journalism’, and (via NLA’s portfolio of additional services) develop new ways to help publishers save costs, generate new revenue and protect how their content is re-used.

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.

Managing Director
Terrapinn Holdings

Rob Chambers has more than 20 years experience in media and has worked across a variety of industry sectors in commercial, marketing and leadership roles. As managing director of Total Telecom, Rob has overseen the transformation of the business from traditional print-based publisher to a multiplatform business with a major focus on events in Europe and Asia.

Managing Director
The Stage Media Company

Hugh Comerford has been managing director of the Stage Media Co since 2012 a period of enormous cultural and financial change for the 140 year old theatrical bible The Stage. Independent publishers need all the expertise of larger concerns they just achieve it with less resource and greater ingenuity. Careful outsourcing has been part of The Stage’s turn around. Prior to The Stage Hugh worked at Thomson Financial, Emap and Relx. He also found time to practise as criminal barrister for 10 years.

Founder & President

Andrew started eMagazines to provide a seamless experience for digital magazine readers on a mobile phone. Andrew brings some 20 years of experience as an active participant and innovator in the magazine marketing and technology space.


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.

Co-Founder & CEO

Markus Karlsson is co-founder and CEO of Affino and currently advises companies on digital transformation, and building online businesses with engaged communities. His background and degree are in manufacturing and he sets out to bring the same productivity focus to doing business online.

He has founded and has been a board member of numerous Internet companies, a government advisor to small digital businesses, and has worked with hundreds of large and small companies to develop their digital businesses.

Key brands he has worked with include: Audi, BBC, Casio, Diesel, EMI, MasterCard, Rovio, UBM, UMG, and now Gill, Procurement Leaders, Briefing Media, Ocean Media Group, and many independent media owners. He also works with key associations including the PPA, the Association of Online Publishers (UKAOP) and IMRG (the online retail association).

Group Business Development Director
YM Group

Tom Kilroy is Group Business Development Director at the YM Group. With an impressively successful background in Mail, Logistics and E Commerce. Tom joined the Group in 2018 with a view to build and promote the individual expertise of the 5 different businesses into a seamless Group-wide proposition. Promoting synergies and aligning skills and expertise to foster a united approach and understanding across the various units. Bringing a wealth of experience, Tom is an award winning Director with a strong track record in developing mutually beneficial business propositions, innovations and engendering the spirit of creativity with his teams. Tom has a special interest in the evolution of the printing industry into being more sustainable and environmentally friendly. Introducing YM Group’s Paper Wrap solution to the market as a sustainable alternative to Polywrap is a key focus for Tom, alongside clarifying misconceptions of the cost of change. Tom will expand more on this at the roundtable event.

Business Development Director

Over 20 years experience in the Publishing World. Having started my Publishing career in Regional Press I have been involved in all aspects of the Publishing process – from the advertising sales side, production and through to press sites. Have seen major leaps in technology in that time and have been part of modernisation of the industry. During my career I have installed various publishing solutions in all the UK & Irish National Newspapers as well as many Regional Newspaper and Magazine Publishers.

Co-founder / MD
Think / Wanderlust

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.

Think Publishing

Ian is the founder and CEO of Think Media Group which includes Think Membership Publishing, Think Books, Wanderlust Travel Media and Wanderlust Studio. 20 years old this year, the group has enjoyed consistent independent growth and today publishes 42 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. Ian has won PPA Publisher of the Year and Think itself is a three time recipient of the PPA Independent Publishing Company of the Year.

Speciall Media

Carolyn Morgan has launched, acquired, grown and sold media businesses across print, digital and live events. She was formerly an Exec Director at EMAP, specialising in marketing, events, digital development and strategy. Carolyn was a co-founder of the Specialist Media Show, which she sold to SIIA in 2013. Carolyn has wide experience of niche publishing businesses and advises many independent media owners on digital strategy through her consulting business, Speciall Media.

She is a Non-Exec Director for Thomas Telford, the commercial arm of the Institute of Civil Engineers, and also Executive Grapevine International, an independent niche media business. Carolyn has been a Member of the Council of Nottingham University and of Finance Committee since 2016, and also chairs their Digital Experts Group.


Public Affairs Executive

Amy has worked at the PPA for the past year and a half, raising the profile of consumer magazine and business intelligence publishers among parliamentarians. Alongside her public affairs work, Amy is responsible for sustainability at the PPA and chairs the PPA Sustainability Action Group. Prior to this role, she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Politics and International Relations and a Master’s degree in International Security, both from the University of Bristol. Amy has previously undertaken work experience within the Sustainable Development Policy Team at the RSPB, and interned as a Research and Fundraising Assistant for SPEAR; a homelessness charity based in West London.

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.

Co-Founder/VP of Business Development

For almost 20 years Blake has worked with leading media companies and brands to help create, support and grow their traditional and digital revenue initiatives. Most recently, he has been charged with growing the eMagazines business and working closely with leading magazine media companies. Leveraging new technologies and business models to enable media brands to be more efficient and grow revenue is his professional passion.


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.


Commercial Director

William joined YouGov UK in 2015 and was promoted to a global role in 2016, responsible for taking new innovations to market. Currently, he is the global lead of YouGov’s Audience Data proposition and Head of Sales and Marketing for YouGov Direct – a new audience data platform that has created a fair value exchange for Brands, Publishers and Consumers.

Will read Economics at the University of Sussex, is a keen sportsman and father of two.