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Summer Eventia Speaker Biographies

Please find below a list of speakers at this years Summer Eventia in Glasgow 4th-6th July 2010.

Andrew Barke,
Industry Head for Advertising Agencies  

Andrew joined Google in 2005 and manages the UK Direct Sales Team based in Manchester. He is responsible for building and retaining key agency relationships within the Northern region and advises agencies on how best to grow strategic advertising revenue. He re-located from London in 2005 helping to establish Google’s second UK office in Manchester. Prior to working at Google Andrew worked for handbag.com where he was the Head of Agency Sales and before that he worked for AdLink Internet Advertising and Carlton TV where he managed agency ad sales relationships with media agencies in London.  

He holds a BA (Hons) degree in Business Studies from Manchester Metropolitan University, is married with one daughter.  

David Bennett, Partner, Saffery Champness 

David Bennett is a partner at Saffery Champness who specialises in VAT and the travel industry. David started as a VAT control officer with HM Customs and Excise but has spent most of his career with a number of professional services firms. David spent 15 years with Deloitte where he was the leader of that firm’s team which focused on VAT and travel. In 2007, David joined Saffery Champness to create a new team specialising in the travel sec­tor. 

David’s clients include tour operators, travel agents, online travel retailers, travel manage­ment companies, DMCs, event agencies and a number of trade representative bodies including ABTA and Eventia. 

David is a member of Eventia’s Regulation Committee and has advised ABTA for over 10 years and represents ABTA on the Fiscal Committee of ECTAA (the body representing Eu­ropean travel agent and tour operator associations). David also runs a free helpline service for all ABTA members. 

Outside the travel sphere, David is a trustee of the Hult International Business School in London.

Tim Clark, Director, Velvet Software Ltd 

Tim is a Director of Velvet Software Ltd. Velvet have been producing software for the conference and events industry since 1998, most notably Chaser BUREAU; the RFP enquiry handling system, reg.istrations.com and ConferenceBookings.co.uk; the on-line accommodation booking system. 

Chaser software is in use by over forty UK destinations in addition to Eventia and  VisitScotland who use the Chaser HUB system to distribute enquiries to destinations, venues and suppliers. 

Tim has a passion for software with over ten years' experience working with conference industry clients. He will be presenting the all-new web-based Chaser system that is being rolled out to destinations, venues and suppliers to manage enquiries and generate on-line proposals to clients.

Debbie Donaldson,
Global Development Director,
Grass Roots

Debbie has worked in the event management and live communications industry since 1980.  Roles have included international sales and marketing, and Managing Director of an event management company working in Brussels, Los Angeles and the UK.  

She joined Grass Roots UK in 2006 as Client Services Director, responsible for new business and key account management across the complete portfolio of performance improvement services. Since July 2009, Debbie has been responsible for growth across key international markets for the Meetings, Events and Communications division of Grass Roots.  This includes product and service development; global account management; global marketing and healthcare sector growth.  

Reg Easy - Principal Consultant,
EcoEvents Ltd

Reg Easy is Principle Consultant at EcoEvents - specialising in the application of sustainability practices (including BS8901) in the event industry.

Reg has over 25 years experience in certification, consultancy, and training. He has assisted many organisations to implement sustainability, environmental and quality principles and practices to meet specific business needs. He has worked with organisations and Governments in over 50 countries worldwide – including the Seychelles Government, Icelandic Government and the Government of Mauritius where he developed and implemented sustainable destination management. Reg is also a member of the National Geographic Assessment Panel for Sustainable Destinations. 

Formerly managing director of Green Globe and SGS Certification, In 1992 he wrote the first Green Globe Standard. Reg was also Chairman of the British Standards Committee that wrote BS 7750 (now ISO 14001), and Chairman of the International Independent Organisation for Certification.  

Chris Elmitt, Managing Director,
Crystal Interactive Ltd

A qualified teacher, Chris Elmitt has spent the last fifteen years deploying his classroom management skills in the commercial world, facilitating group discussions on topics ranging from business strategy, stem cell research and consultation on government policy. Chris is Managing Director of audience engagement specialists, Crystal Interactive.  

Mike Fletcher, Freelance journalist  

Mike is an established business & lifestyle journalist and social media consultant to the UK events industry. He is Contributing Editor for Visit London, and 2009/10 Vice-President Communications for the UK Chapter of the International Special Events Society (ISES). He's launched three magazines on behalf of Haymarket Media Group & specialises in digital, marketing, media & live events.  

He blogs at www.Journalistfiles.blogspot.com and can be found on Twitter via @Mikeyfletch.  

Richard Foulkes,
Director of Special Events & Productions,

Richard Foulkes is Director of Special Events & Productions at Imagination, one of the world's leading independent integrated communications agencies.  With over 30 years' experience working with leading brands Imagination is renowned for unexpected ideas that liberate creativity.  

Joining Imagination from the Theatre in 1982, Richard was instrumental in establishing the company’s Technical and Production strategy for its event and exhibition activities.  

Moving on from that challenge, he became an influential member of Imagination’s client facing Brand Communications Group, where he was responsible for initiating and implementing face-to-face and marketing projects for a diversity of blue-chip clients including Warner Brothers, Ford, Coca-Cola, Orange and Guinness.  

In 1999, Richard was invited to join the Imagination Board of Directors as Director of Special Events & Productions.  

Since then Richard has worked on an international scale delivering bespoke events and large scale brand campaigns.  

Richard is a keen advocate for ‘experiential marketing’ and has been published in a wide range of International journals including Special Event, Event Magazine, RSVP and Marketing Magazine.  

Richard is President- of the International Special Event Society (ISES) UK Chapter. 

John Greenway 

John Greenway was Conservative MP for Ryedale in North Yorkshire from 1987 until the election of 2010 when he stood down from Parliament. 

Throughout his career in Parliament John Greenway maintained a close interest in the tourism industry and particularly the meetings and events sector.  He was shadow Minister for Tourism and Sport from 2000 – 2003, and whilst he was shadow Minister Mr Greenway was a strong advocate of London’s bid for the Olympics. Mr Greenway regularly contributes to the Politician’s Forum held at the annual IMEX exhibition in Frankfurt. He has been a parliamentary and political consultant to Eventia for almost ten years, and advises the Eventia regulation committee. 

John Greenway is also a member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, where is he current Chairman of the Migration Committee.  He is married to Hanneke, the Director of Brook Green UK Ltd, a London based DMC.

Elling Hamso, Managing Partner,
European Event ROI Institute

Elling Hamso is a Meeting Management Consultant and Managing Partner of the European Event ROI Institute. He has spent most of his career as a senior executive in the Norwegian oil and gas industry and later as a management consultant and manager of an event agency. He has been a member of the European Council of Meeting Professionals International (MPI) and was ranked 5th on Conference & Incentive Travel magazine’s 2006 list of the most influential people in the UK meeting and event industry. Hamso is a Management Sciences graduate and holds a Ph.D. in supplier - customer relationship strategies from Manchester University.

Kenny Holmes, Creative Director,

In 2006 Kenny joined Imagination as Creative Director where he is responsible for developing complex communication programmes across multiple touch points ensuring that brands come to life consistently through all media channels.  

Having graduated from Glasgow School of Art in 1988 Kenny initially worked within the retail, exhibition and leisure sectors for Fitch & Co. and RSCG Conran before joining global branding consultancy Landor Associates in 1996 initially as Creative Director and latterly as global Executive Director for Brand Experience.  

Mark Howell, Director, 2012 Games  

Mark was Press and PR Director at the British Olympic Association from 1997 until 2001, where he headed up the Team GB media delivery for the 1998 Winter Games in Nagano, Japan and the 2000 Games in Sydney.  

Mark worked as Head of Media and Broadcast for the Volvo Ocean Race from 2001 until 2006, after which he was Stakeholder, Marketing and Communications Manager for the Tour de France in London in July 2007.  

At Visit London, Mark leads on Olympic activity for the organisation, including the scoping and setting up of the city media centre and liaison with key agencies and international media. 

Simon Hughes, Director Live Events,

Simon Hughes joined COI in 2002.  Since then he has been involved in a number of high profile events for a diverse range of Government Departments and Agencies.   

He and his team have helped to deliver events such as the G20 London Summit, celebrations for the Queen’s Golden Jubilee weekend, the New Year’s Eve firework display in London and a host of seminars, conferences and roadshows around the U.K.  He has also been involved in designing and delivering numerous  public consultations such as GM Nation, the BBC Charter review process for DCMS, the National Pensions Debate for DWP, the Children’s Plan for DCSF and the current Nuclear Sites Consultation for DECC.    

In his current role he still manages to utilise his production and delivery skills on a regular basis, running high profile events such as senior management conferences, stakeholder meetings and major public engagement sessions including the historic Cabinet meetings held outside London, the ninth of which he and his team have just delivered in Durham.  He was voted the most influential person in the UK event industry in the 2009 Event Magazine Top 100 poll.   

Before joining COI he spent over twenty years working in event production.  He is passionate about getting the end-to-end production process right for live events.  He believes that bringing people together to share ideas, learning and experience remains one of the most powerful communication tools available today.  

The Honorable Mary Jo Jacobi

Mary Jo Jacobi is a corporate director and former presidential advisor with a rare blend of reputation management and branding experience at the heights of the corporate, public and voluntary sectors on both sides of the Atlantic.  

She is non-executive chairman of The idm Group, a non-executive director of Mulvaney Capital and chairman of the Forensic Science Service’s independent advisory group.  Previously she led reputation management for Royal Dutch Shell, Lehman Brothers, HSBC Holdings and Drexel Burnham Lambert, and devised and executed the award-winning global brand strategies for both Lehman and HSBC.  Mary Jo was a non-executive director of Tate & Lyle and was the first woman to chair the board of the Ladies Professional Golf Association.  

Mary Jo was appointed a Civil Service Commissioner by The Queen and was appointed Assistant Secretary of Commerce by President George H W Bush.  She also was Special Assistant to President Ronald Reagan and served on his Advisory Committee on Trade Negotiations.  Her career began in Washington on the staff of the US Senate Commerce Committee.   

A Visiting Fellow of Oxford University’s Centre for Corporate Reputation and Leeds University Business School, Mary Jo also provides commentary on American public affairs for British and European broadcast media outlets. 

Leigh Jagger, CEO, Banks Sadler   

Having got into the world of events accidentally when doing her University `work placement' with the Mercedes Benz Sport Sponsorship team, Leigh then spent the early years of her career organising training courses and conferences for the Oil and Gas industry all over the world.   With a number of senior management roles in the commercial conference industry under her belt, Leigh then joined Banks Sadler as Managing Director in 2000 and moved into the role of CEO in 2007.   

Since joining Banks Sadler, Leigh has lead the team through tremendous organic growth which has seen them grow from a team of 40 to a team of 120 international employees.  Starting out from its base in Camden, Banks Sadler now has offices in York, Paris, Dusseldorf and Sweden.   Banks Sadler can now boast over 30 contracted accounts across both the Event Management and Venue Finding areas, with a client list that reads like a `who's who' of the world's leading companies in their respective industries. 

Pauline Jones 

Pauline has a background of working in Hospitality.  In 1998 She worked for Telford & Shropshire Conferences and went on to set up Black Country Conferences in 2000.  She was promoted to Head of Tourism for the Black Country in 2005 and headed up a £3.6million European Regional Development Fund project.  She wasWest Midlands Regional Chair for BACD and sat on the Board for 3 years. 

Pauline has been working as a freelance consultant since September.  She is currently working with Eventia and the Destinations Chapter.

Andrew Latta, Event Advisory Consultant  

Andrew is an independent consultant specialising in strategic events advice for the corporate sector.  His background covers over 20 years in the meetings and events industry most recently heading up the corporate events globally for Aviva, the world's fifth-largest insurance group and the biggest in the UK.  

Andrew is best known for his strategic events thinking and his ability as a key industry influencer.  He is passionate, that through a combination of strategic advice and the implementation of an integrated meetings management programme, organisations can fully realise the value meetings and events can add to the corporate strategy.  

Originally from Western Canada, Andrew graduated from the University of Alberta in 1991.  Andrew has been living and working in the UK since 1999 and is a current board member with Eventia, a past MPI UK board member and is a key supporter of the International Events Industry. 

Denise Macdonald, Director of Meetings, IHG - EMEA InterContinental Hotels Group

Denise Macdonald is Director of Meetings for the EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) division of IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group) where she is responsible for devising and implementing the Meetings strategy and initiatives for EMEA hotels and leads the sales organisation that is responsible for Meetings management of Blue Chip Corporations and major MICE agencies across the EMEA region for all IHG brands globally – InterContinental, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn and Express. 

Denise has over 30 years experience in the hotel industry – both operations and sales.  She has worked for Forte Hotels for over 14 years and IHG for 14. She was born into and grew up in the Hotel Industry in Ireland and has lived and worked in France and Switzerland. She is a graduate from the Shannon College of Hotel Management in Ireland.  

Charles McGhee

Charles McGhee, a former editor of The Herald, Scotland’s most influential quality daily newspaper, launched his own media consultancy in July 2009.

He stood down as Editor of The Herald in December 2008, after three years as editor. Charles moved to The Herald from sister title, the Evening Times, which he edited for six years.

He also worked as consultant editor for the launch of the Sunday Herald in 1998/99, Scotland’s first new quality newspaper for two decades.

Other senior positions held include Deputy Editor of the Daily Record and Sunday Mail, Scotland’s biggest-selling daily and Sunday newspapers, and senior editorial executive roles on Scotland on Sunday, Sunday Times Scotland and Today newspaper. He also worked with the BBC early in his 35-year journalistic career.

Charles is a past president of the Society of Editors and was a member of the Press Complaints Commission (2003-2005).

Councillor Gordon Matheson,
Leader of Glasgow City Council

Councillor Gordon Matheson was first elected to Glasgow City Council in 1999, and is a councillor in Anderston/City. 

He has previously held the positions of City Treasurer and Executive Member for Education. 

He is a graduate of both Glasgow and Strathclyde Universities and has a professional background in both economic and personnel development. He also has experience as a political lobbyist within the charitable sector. 

He has been a board member of a variety of organisations, including the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and the Court of Strathclyde University.

Anthony Miller, Director of Strategy,
Active Events

A strategic business development expert with extensive experience within the digital and experiential marketing space.  A creative thinking, natural entrepreneur who specialises in growing businesses.  From awareness raising, lead generation, new clients and strategic partnerships, to product development and sales management, Anthony uses a range of sales and marketing disciplines to maximise revenue. 

David Preston, Director, EMEA,
Active Network

David Preston is a seasoned executive who has lived and worked on three continents and he has had a wide range of senior management positions in his career including full P&L responsibility as the managing director of various UK based companies. 

An insightful, creative thinker, David is adept at linking strategy to operational excellence and was responsible globally for events marketing management for IBM at its Armonk, N.Y., headquarters. 

David’s passion for enhancing the customer experience with the appropriate use of technology is born out of his background in electro-mechanical engineering from Surrey University, England and combined with his membership of the Chartered Institute of Marketing. 

At ease on either side of the Atlantic, David maintains homes in Wiltshire, England and Vermont, USA.

Tony Rogers  

Tony Rogers is a consultant specialising in conferences, business tourism/business visits and events, and destination marketing and management. Until August 2009 he worked as Project Director for Eventia, and prior to this he spent 19½ years as Chief Executive of the British Association of Conference Destinations (BACD).  

Tony is also an honorary member of the Association of British Professional Conference Organisers (ABPCO), a Visiting Fellow at Leeds Metropolitan University’s UK Centre for Events Management; a member of the European Advisory Council for Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI); and author of several books on the international conference industry. 

Mark Sale,
Business Development Manager,
Air Partner plc

Mark Sale joined Air Partner plc, the aircraft charter company, in 1999 to establish the Group’s travel consultancy. In 2004 he moved into Commercial Jets charter broking and currently focuses on Business Development for Air Partner in the C&I event business.   

Mark has organised a range of complex flight itineraries for large groups, including one involving an in-flight rock concert and another with magicians providing on-board entertainment.   

Prior to joining Air Partner, Mark gained industry experience during 20 years as a travel agent, latterly specialising in corporate and music industry business travel. He has arranged travel for some of the world’s most demanding celebrities.  

Mark Saxby, WorldEvents,
Group Sales & Marketing Director

Mark has been Sales and Marketing Director at WorldEvents for nearly 3 years. During his time at the company, he has overseen a strategic review of the business which has culminated in the communication of the company's vision and strategy, and seen a re-brand of the business at the beginning of last year. As part of this strategy the company is both growing its international operations and increasing its full service offer. His responsibilities as a Board Director are inputting to the company strategy and as Sales and Marketing Director for creating awareness of WorldEvents, enhancing the company's reputation and developing both existing and new client relationships. He also has responsibility for the creative and production team. Since he joined the company it has doubled in size and is now ranked in the Top 3 by C&IT Magazine.

Prior to joining WorldEvents Mark was Managing Partner of a leading Marketing Communications Group called Poulter where he was part of a management team that conducted an MBO. Mark was with the company for 10 years before taking an exit. Prior to this he was with Saatchi & Saatchi for 10 years, the last two of which were spent as Managing Director of Saatchi & Saatchi Design.

Dr Lesley Sawers, Chief Executive,
Scottish Council for Development and Industry

Dr Lesley Sawers became Chief Executive of SCDI in March 2008. 

Lesley previously held a number of senior posts in the public and private sectors.  She joined SCDI from Glasgow Chamber of Commerce where she was Chief Executive. 

Previously she was Strategic Communications Advisor to the Board of VisitScotland, Scotland’s national tourism agency joining from Royal Mail Group where she was Director of Scottish Affairs and Chairman of the Royal Mail Group Advisory Board (Scotland).  She also spent nine years at ScottishPower in a number of senior and has also worked in strategic management consultancy in London, Europe and North America. 

She has a degree in economics from Glasgow University and a PhD from the Institute of Retail Studies in Stirling University.  She was also awarded an honorary doctorate from Strathclyde University business school and was awarded the Lord Provost’s Award for Enterprise and the Evening Times Business Woman of the Year in 2008. 

She currently holds a number of external directorships in the public and private sector, including Non Executive appointments on the Board of VisitScotland and EventScotland.  She is also a member of the Board of Glasgow City Marketing Bureau and Chairs BusinessClub Scotland, the network established to drive forward business engagement in the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Didier Scaillet,
MPI Chief Development Officer

Didier joined MPI on a full-time basis in 2000 and currently serves as Chief Development Officer. Based in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg at the MPI EMEA office, Scaillet is responsible for the expansion of the MPI community and value propositions into new regions and countries as well as, on a global basis, MPI new products and services development, knowledge management and the MPI Foundation. Previously Vice-President of Global Development, he led the opening of new offices in Singapore and Doha, the launch of MPI first educational conference in the Middle East in April 2008 in Dubai and alliances to create MPI’s first chapters in Asia and Latin America. 

From 2000 to 2006, Didier Scaillet was Director of European Operations and Global Development. His duties included the membership administration of over 1,800 members; the leadership of the MPI Foundation Europe fundraising and project management activities; co-ordination of Chapters strategic board retreats and monitoring of operations. Key achievements while holding this position include a 20% average annual growth of European membership and a 25% annual growth in revenues. At the same time Didier Scaillet was in charge of the team leadership for the European conference and the European Chapter Leaders’ Forum and the establishment of strategic partnerships with supplier organisations. 

In 1994 he started as Conference Coordinator at GIC Management S.A. (now part of the MCI Group), in Brussels, Belgium. He was then appointed Conference and Membership Manager before becoming Partner and promoted Associate Director. 

Didier Scaillet holds a B.Sc. in Hotel & Hospitality Management and a Master Degree in Economics. He is fluent in French and English as well as having a good command of Dutch and German.

Deborah L Sexton, President & CEO,
Professional Convention Management

Deborah Sexton joined the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) in March, 2005 as President and CEO. In conjunction with this role, she also serves as President of the PCMA Education Foundation.  

A 30-year veteran of the meetings and convention industry, Sexton previously served as President of the Chicago Convention and Tourism Bureau (CCTB). She joined the CCTB in 1994 as Vice President of Sales and Services, and under her leadership, the Bureau's sales team broke all former sales production figures and the services department successfully expanded the benefits available to customers. In February of 2000, she was promoted to Executive Vice President, where she oversaw the Bureau's membership, sales, and services departments, and then became president in February 2002.  

Prior to joining the CCTB, Sexton was principal for Sexton Hospitality Services, a sales and marketing consulting firm for hotel management companies. From 1987-1989, she was Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Coastal Hotel Group. Throughout her career, she also has held sales and marketing positions with Sonesta International Hotels Corporation, the Hyatt Regency Chicago and the Midland Hotel Chicago.  

Sexton currently serves the Convention Industry Council (CIC) as Chair of the Board. She also is an active member of the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE), the International Association for Expositions and Events, Meeting Professionals International (MPI) and Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI). She formerly served on the Foundation Board of Trustees of both ASAE and DMAI, and was an officer of the Board of Directors of MPI. In addition to the MPI Board term, Sexton served a second term on the MPI Board Executive Committee. Sexton is an ASAE Fellow.

Sexton advances her commitment to industry education by serving on the Advisory Boards of both the University of Central Florida, Rosen College of Hospitality and the Kendall College, a Chicago institution dedicated to hospitality and the culinary arts.  

She has received much industry recognition, including being named one of Meeting News' 25 most powerful people in the meetings industry in 2008, 2007, 2005 and 2004. Also in 2008 she was named one of Tradeshow Week's 100 most influential people in the exhibition industry and she was inducted into the BizBash Chicago Hall of Fame. In 2010 she received the highly coveted Asia-Pacific Incentives & Meetings Expo (AIME) Outstanding Contribution International Award for best practice and overall commitment to the industry.  

In 2007 Sexton received the MPI Chicago Area Chapter's (MPI-CAC) highest honor, the Kathy Osterman Award, she was one of the 2006 New York Society of Association Executives Woman Meeting Industry Stars, and earned the MPI-CAC Presidents Award in 1990. Sexton was also recognized by the Chicago Hospitality Community Hotel Woman of the Year Award in 1988 and the Chicago Society of Association Executives (now Association Forum of Chicagoland) Distinguished Service Award in 1986. 

Claire Smith, CMP
Vice President, Sales & Marketing Vancouver Convention Centre   

Claire Smith has built a strong reputation as an involved and informed leader in the Global Meetings Industry over the last 20 years.  

As the Vice President, Sales & Marketing at the Vancouver Convention Centre, Claire is responsible for strategic business development, leading and directing the sales and marketing team, as well as positioning the facility in the global marketplace.   

Prior to the Convention Centre, Claire ran her own consulting firm where she provided business development strategies, process improvement and training for convention venues, bureaus, associations and event management companies around the world. 

Through various industry affiliations, Claire has been a featured speaker and session facilitator at meeting industry conferences in both North America and Europe. She is very involved the international congress market and Chairs PCMA’s International Task Force. 

Dr Dominic Swords

Dominic Swords is a Business Economist and Independent Strategy Consultant and Visiting Professor at Henley Business School.   

He has a background in the City working in Economic Intelligence at the Bank of England during the 80s and has since worked in a number of international Business Schools. 

Dominic is a regular speaker at corporate conferences on the business impact of economic change.  He is a frequent contributor to a number of TV and Radio programmes including the Radio 4 Today Programme, BBC Financial World Tonight, World Business Report, BBC News 24, the Money Programme and CNBC’s ‘Strictly Money’. 

Rohit Talwar, CEO, Fast Future 

Rohit Talwar is a global futurist and award winning professional speaker who leads Fast Future Research - a consultancy which specialises in studying the future of travel, tourism and the meetings sector. 

Fast Future has undertaken a range of studies on the future of travel and tourism, aviation and events. They are currently running Convention 2020 - a multi-client study looking at the future of the events industry.

Scott Taylor, Chief Executive,
Glasgow City Marketing Bureau

Scott Taylor is Chief Executive of Glasgow City Marketing Bureau (GCMB), which is responsible for the brand, Glasgow: Scotland with style.  The Bureau is engaged in national and international activity including marketing & public relations; convention sales, event sales, hotel reservations, airline route development, meetings and incentives sales; event creation, attraction, management and marketing; conference and event accommodation bookings.  A graduate of Strathclyde University, Scott’s career spans both the marketing and tourism industries.  He has held a number of directorships in Glasgow and is chair of the Strategic Major Events Forum for the city.  He is a Council Director of Glasgow Chamber of Commerce and a member on its Board of Management, a member of the Board of Management of Central College, a member of the Shadow Board of the City of Glasgow College, and was previously Chair of the Greater Glasgow Hotels’ Association.

GCMB awards include:
Best UK Convention Bureau 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010
Best Sports Marketing City 2010
Marketing Excellence Award Scotland for PR 2007

Paul Tilstone,
Chief Executive of Institute of Travel & Meetings (ITM) UK & Ireland and Managing Director of NBTA Europe

Paul Tilstone initially joined ITM in December 2004 as a board director, after 16 years working for Travel Management Companies, including time as sales & marketing director at P&O Travel.  He took up the post of chief executive in August 2005 with a brief to develop the organisation in the areas of education, research and membership.   

He has worked to move the focus of the association to how businesses manage stakeholder interaction through multiple meeting modes and the parts travel and technology play.  He took up an additional post as managing director of NBTA Europe after the European’s network launch in January 2010 in partnership with ITM. 

Sarah Webster, Director,
Webster Wright Marketing Communications

Sarah Webster is Director of Webster Wright Marketing Communications, a consultancy specialising in PR, training and education for the events industry.  

She was Executive Director of Eventia’s forerunner, the Incentive Travel and Meetings Association, between 1990 and 2000.  Before this, she managed both the public relations and the broader sales and marketing activities of the Monaco Government Tourist and Convention Office, with the specific brief of promoting Monte Carlo’s conference and incentive travel facilities to the corporate market.  

Having begun her career as a technical copywriter for Philips Electronics in the Netherlands she subsequently became Deputy Editor of a holiday magazine before working for three PR consultancies specialising in travel.  

Sarah provides PR and communications consultancy to a range of events industry and marketing clients, and presents seminars on events industry issues.  

In 2005 she also became co-Director of Grapevine HR, an independent consultancy providing HR services to companies in the events and travel sectors.  

In 2009 Sarah received Eventia’s Outstanding Achievement award for services to the Association and was appointed its first ever honorary lifetime member.   

Sam Wilson, Director, EcoEvents Ltd  

Sam Wilson is director at EcoEvents – who specialise in the application of sustainability practices (including BS8901) in the event industry. 

Sam is passionate about sustainability and has a knack of being about to communicate and simplify what it means and how to implement it. Sam is an Eventia spokesperson for sustainability and has written articles for several leading industry publications on the topic. She created a matrix for the combined standards ISO14001 (international Standard in Environmental Management) and BS8901 (the recently launched British Standard for a Sustainable Event Management System) and assisted DRP Group to become the first communication and events agency in the world to achieve this combined accredited certification. Sam currently sits on the governing council for a Global Certification Body, and is working with Local Authorities, RPM, drpgroup, the Environment Agency and Gallowglass.

Sam has been in the events industry for over ten years – but previous to this she trained in social psychology and social biology, and also modeled internationally with Select Model Management in London and Milan.

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