This is an afternoon of cutting edge content led by industry leaders. Split between peer-to-peer networking sessions and captivating seminars, it’s a must-attend day for any sales, marketing or events team member from this sector.

Gary Exall

Gary Exall is Managing Director at Simpli-Fi Limited and Operations Director of Trusol Limited. He co-founded Simpli-Fi in 2009 to provide WiFi ‘as a service’ across the venues, live events, construction, leisure and education sectors. Gary has been providing tech consultancy for venues and live events for the past 15 years through both businesses Trusol and Simpli-Fi.

Gary advises clients such as GLL who operate approximately 350 venues across the UK with sporting venues such as the Copper Box Arena and the London Aquatic centre Olympic Park in the portfolio.

“We realise the growing need for connectivity with technologies such as live streaming, event apps, VR & AR being the driving force however there is still a huge amount of work to be done to educate and push the venues infrastructures forward in order to support these technologies”

Caleb Parker

Caleb Parker is an American entrepreneur in London.

He's a founder, director, advisor, investor and consultant, with a keen focus on innovation and technology, and interests in the MICE market, sharing economy, and future of work. He currently serves as: TV Show Host of The Future in 15, Founder & CEO for Bold, Board Member for Select Event Solutions, Tech Chair for HBAA, and advisor to multiple startups.

He is the former CEO of (2013-2016), the world's largest online marketplace (at the time of his exit) to search, book and pay instantly for meeting rooms in over 130 countries. Prior to joining, Caleb co-founded a technology startup in 2012 to create the first global distribution system for on-demand office & meeting space.

Mike Gwynn

Mike Gwynn spent his early media sales career at Haymarket, VNU and IPC before moving to The Builder Group. He then became Market Development Director at Jane’s Information Group, the defence information and conference specialists.

His most recent role was as Sales Director at ITE where he was responsible for international sales to its portfolio of exhibitions and conferences in emerging markets, notably Eastern & Central Europe and North Africa.

Mike now works with event companies, venues and associations to transform their sales operations..

Deep Walia

Every organisation dreams of enjoying perfect customer engagement – and Deep Walia has created DIGICOOL help deliver just that. Deep founded DIGICOOL eight years ago after recognising that there was a growing need in the market for a strong digital partner to link customers and the experience they expect, using services ranging from branding and identity to website design and development, UX/UI and marketing materials. After studying Business and Financial Services at London Guildhall University, Deep explored the exciting London property market for several years. He then expanded his portfolio to share his broad expertise in metrics, advanced data analytics and digital marketing with other businesses.

Today, Deep’s global team serves businesses around the world in sectors including events, technology, air shows – for example, Farnborough International – and the luxury market. He says: “I’m always driven by the need to be optimal, swift and competitive, and I combine boundless optimism with a promise to listen."

Mathew Beech

Mathew Beech is a Client Marketing Director at event and venue industry marketing and comms agency Patch. Mathew’s has worked with over 50 venues in his career covering nearly all varieties of of event space including Royal Palaces, some of London’s best-known landmarks, sporting venues, academic venues, purpose built conference centres and disused industrial and retail units converted into event space.

With over 10 years’ event industry marketing experience he’s a specialist in strategy, media relations, social media and digital marketing and has Google certification in analytics. Some of his recent achievements include helping a new client hit their income budget for the first time in fifteen years, achieving more organic impressions on social media in 24 hours than a brand had generated for the past 18 months and helping one of his venue clients win Story Events award for best social media marketing at a show.

Kim Wright
Central Hall Westminster

Kim is Head of Technology at Central Hall Westminster, a large conference and events venue just opposite Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament. Kim not only manages the day-to-day IT services and networking, but oversees the entire communication and connectivity infrastructure. This includes the ongoing development, safeguarding, and management of the entire WiFi network, not only for both clients and delegates, but also for the entire workforce on site.

Kim has worked in the industry for over 16 years and at Central Hall Westminster since 2010. During her time she has overseen many significant changes including installing an entire new WiFi network, a service that used to be desirable but is now an expected requirement. Her talents lie within being able to bring an historical building into the 21st century and she particularly enjoys being involved in the live gaming and live broadcasting events that are hosted at Central Hall Westminster.


1.00 – 2.00

Arrival and welcome refreshments

2.00 – 2.40

The True Value of Free WIFI?

What do clients actually need and what do they think they need? At what cost? How can we price invisible? What are we doing about this as an industry? Isn’t it time for standardisation of venue Wifi pricing?

Speakers: Gary Exall, Caleb Parker

2.50 – 3.30

The Evolution of Venue Sales

Intense competition among venues with event space, coupled with the fundamental changes that are occurring in business buying behaviour, means that selling effectively has become more challenging than ever before. You cannot assume you will remain successful simply by doing the same things that have worked for you in the past, especially in the face of demanding clients who expect more and more from venues.

The impact on selling methodology is profound. The qualities, skills and behaviours of outstanding modern salespeople are far removed from those associated with the formulaic approaches devised in the 1970s which are still prevalent in the majority of sales teams.

The objective of this presentation is to illustrate what separates the excellent from the average salesperson, and how this applies to selling venues.

Speaker: Mike Gwynn

3.30 – 4.00

Tea break

4.00 – 4.40

Is your venue website pulling its weight?

Your website should work as hard for you as the rest of your sales and marketing team does. Generating and converting leads, being fun to interact with and presenting an engaging shop window that’s a genuine representation of everything good about your venue. Does it? How do you measure the effectiveness of your website and ensure the optimum user experience – one that converts window shoppers into clients.

Speaker: Deep Walia

4.50 – 5.30

The role of social media for an academic venue

As a website visitor and client acquisition tool, social media just doesn’t offer the same return compared to spending the same time on other digital channels. So if it provides one of the lowest ROIs for acquisition, then what should its role be for an academic venue?

This presentation explores what social media does for a venue business beyond acquisition, how to ensure your social media activity adds value to your brand in the right way, how to explain and monitor the value being added and what social media best-practice looks like for an academic venue. You’ll discover how your brand can stop being a dull social media publisher with a captive audience of followers and become an active and valued participant of our industry’s online community.  

Speaker: Mathew Beech