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Advisory board

Simon Foster

Group CEO at Arcg

Joining the Industry almost 30 years ago, as a marketing manager it the passion, the excitement, and the people in events that he enjoys. He has led many businesses globally, launching products, building partnerships and in-region businesses, while delivering strong profits through organic growth and acquisitions.

Throughout, he has always sought sustainable growth through understanding and serving the customer, embracing change and creating more effective and innovative ways to bring people together. Continuously building teams and processes that thrive from disruption and change and propel my teams and events, and the overall industry, forward.

He joined Comexposium as CEO in August 2017 with the aim to lead an international transformation and deliver a sale of the business for the PE shareholders. Prior to Comexposium, he was with UBM plc (now Informa) for 19 years, as CEO of UBM EMEA and UBM Americas. He is Chairman of the Association of Exhibition Organisers (AEO) International Group, has been on the Society of Independent Show Organizers (SISO) Board and chaired the UFI CEO Summit in 2020.

Liz Irving

Liz Irving

Executive Vice President - Head of Marketing, Technology & Customer Experience at Clarion Events Inc. - North America

Liz’s endless curiosity, desire for learning, and passion for building relationships infuse her responsibilities as the Executive Vice President- Head of Marketing, Technology and Customer Experience for Clarion Events. With over 20 years of experience in the events industry, she is focused on delivering results by creating brand strategies and providing innovative approaches that meet her customers’ needs.

In her current role, Liz oversees the strategic direction and integration of the marketing and technology functions across North America. These are led by insight, marketing effectiveness, digital and virtual platform development and innovation. In addition, she is responsible for virtual product strategy development where she partners with Clarion’s portfolio directors to identify growth opportunities to enhance our existing events and develop new digital offerings. She constantly has her eye on the customer experience and how to continuously evolve what our events offer to increase the value we provide face-to-face and digitally.

Anna Knight - Informa Markets

Anna Knight

VP, Licensing at Informa Markets

Anna Knight is VP of the Licensing business within Informa Markets. She has over 16 years of experience working within both start-up and established events-led organisations (Centaur, UBM, Informa). She transitioned from managing marketing teams in exhibitions and conferences to running multi-million pound event and media portfolios. Currently leading a global team based in London, Santa Monica and New York working within the brand licensing industry. Anna has profound experience in launches, high-growth events and turnaround projects within EMEA, North America & Asia.

Sophie Holt

Sophie Holt

Managing Director at Explori

Sophie is an experienced event professional, having worked with a number of respected organisers specialising in launch events. Over her career, she has launched 11 trade and enthusiast events in sectors as diverse as healthcare management, AI and gaming.

Sophie has first-hand experience in the power of customer insight to shape event strategies that deliver sustainable growth. She is passionate about the role of customer experience in the future of face-to-face marketing.

She leads the operational teams at Explori and regularly authors white papers and shares insight with the industry at conferences around the world, including the Global Visitor and Exhibitor Insights Reports for UFI and SISO.

Prior to joining the exhibitions industry, Sophie worked in corporate events, with a number of well-known brands including Avon Cosmetics and Toyota.

Away from work, Sophie is an avid traveller, having ticked off many “off the beaten track” destinations including Djibouti, Turkmenistan and El Salvador. Before being grounded by the pandemic she hit country number 51 - the secretive Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

Robert Millar

Director at Devonshire & St Andrews

Robert is a strategic advisor with over 20 years’ experience of working globally at Board level with major brands across multiple industries. His area of expertise is in helping businesses create sustainable growth by focusing on strategic transformation – combining the ability to develop long-term strategies with the more practical actions required to deliver change. ​

He has led over 40 major programs of work across multiple industries including TMT, Financial Services, Retail, Utilities, B2B, Logistics, Real Estate, Utilities and Events.

He is responsible for the development of internationally recognized thought leadership in the discipline of customer-led change that has been proven across a multitude of successful strategy, innovation and transformation programs. He has spoken at numerous conferences, business events and universities, and have been quoted across multiple publications on this topic.

Adam Malik

Founder and CTO at The Media CTO

Adam is a passionate technologist with over 20 years of experience in innovating and applying technology to business models in media, events and online communities. He has launched numerous events and media products and started several media businesses.

In 2011 he ran his first virtual event pioneering the use of webinars and online content delivery to support live events and deliver digital/virtual events.

He now works with mid-sized media and event businesses sharing his knowledge in digital transformation. He has developed the Digital Health Check and Digital Accelerator programmes to apply the latest digital technologies to innovate business models through digital transformation, product design and drive down costs through service automation and technology rationalisation.

James Hampton

Director of Operations, Associations at MCI UK

Since 2017, James has led the operational delivery for MCI UK’s association customers. James has a wealth of experience supporting associations with commercial strategies and resourcing associated with their flagship meetings be they f2f, fully virtual or hybrid.

Laura Davidson

Laura Davidson

Director at Tag Digital

Laura is one of the co-founders of Tag Digital. A paid media agency that supports event organisers reach their goals using search, social, programmatic and video. Laura has helped grow the agency through working with the world’s leading organisers and delivering campaigns for over 2000 events per year largely across EMEA and North America, earning the company “Barclay’s International Expansion of the Year”.

Laura is focused on the strategic growth of the company through new product innovation, scaling up the team and entering new markets.

Simon Parker

Simon Parker

Managing Director at CIBSE Services and Chair of the AEO

Simon has over 30 years of experience in Events having run global portfolios of events for Miller Freeman, UBM and informa. Most recently he was as MD/ EVP at UBM/ informa where he ran a business of events, digital and content products with over 400 colleagues in London, the Middle East, Turkey and Asia. He is currently Chair of the AEO and has sat on the Council there for the last six years.

Donna Shaw

Donna Shaw

COO at Rego

Donna has over 35 years of cross Industry experience. Artistic roots and origins from behind the lens in the TV and film industry followed a path into production artist casting. Entrepreneurial spirit led her to launch her own full service agency APS in the Exhibition and Live Event Industry before similar existed providing all elements from inception , stand design and build to professional staffing, logistics and POS through to delivery , born out of a strong sales base for a number of blue chip companies.

Believing that results are achieved through operational excellence and effective management led to the collaboration and formation of the bespoke Staffing Agency Smooth Events Limited , the Sales Specialist Agency Shine Events Limited and along with the Acquisition of Shinesmith Academy evolved into the group company now known as Rego. Their unique flexible resource model of accredited experts trained in their own Rego Approach© are supported by robust technology. Coming fully circle in her event journey to deliver the 360 experience enabling growth and increased productivity for all.

Timothy Skennion - Advisory Board | ExpoPlatform

Timothy Skennion

Managing Director at Derabo Advisory Group

Timothy Skennion is the Managing Director of Derabo Advisory Group a growth-focused advisory firm that partners with businesses to optimize performance across all functional areas and drive long-term value for the organization and their shareholders. As an advisor to the executive teams and boards of Derabo’s clients, Tim provides agile and customizable solutions that augment the production of their management teams, helping to fill critical functional gaps and support the achievement of both near-term and long-term objectives. Tim also serves as an informal executive resource to many startups, private investment firms and accelerators. As a career revenue leader, Tim’s niche is in helping organizations identify and maximize their full revenue potential through Innovation, Process and People, by building and implementing highly productive revenue programs.