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The inside track on how to grow an independent media business in a changing world

  • Inspiration from innovative media owners who tell you how they transformed their business.
  • Practical workshops on exactly how you can raise your game across print, digital, events, marketing, data, subscriptions and advertising
  • Insights on how to attract and retain talent, develop teams and make the right technology choices


Day 1: Inspire

First hand stories of innovative independent media owners who have developed and grown their businesses


8.30  •  Arrival & coffee

Chair: Carolyn Morgan, Founder, Speciall Media

Keynote interview: How to build a £150m media business in a decade

Rory Brown, CEO, AgriBriefing

  • How The Drum has built a community around peer best practice in marketing and has expanded internationally
    — Diane Young, CEO, The Drum
  • How TTG Media connects its audience, has reinvented a 66-year-old brand, and expanded into travel niches
    — Daniel Pearce, CEO, TTG Media
  • How Haymarket reinvented What Car by behaving like a tech business, and what this has involved for the publishing team
    — Rachael Prasher, MD, Haymarket Automotive

Audience Q&A

11.15  •  Coffee & networking

How do you plan for an exit, how should you reshape your media business and what are the pitfalls in the sale process?  Media entrepreneurs who have successfully exited share their stories.  

Nandini Barasthakur, CEO, Procurement Leaders
Julian Turner, CEO, Health Business International
Daniel Pitchford, Co-founder, AI Business
Piers Bearne, Founder, Collingwood Advisory(Chair)

Audience Q&A

12.30  •  Lunch & networking

Two rounds of 40 min discussions on hot publishing topics led by experts

  • B2B Editor of the Future
    How is the role of an Editor changing? What skills do they need to develop?  What role should they play in developing new products?  How can they connect the community?
    — David Rae, Chief Product Officer, Procurement Leaders
  • Marketing Events
    How can you plan your events marketing to significantly grow your delegate revenues? What are the latest trends in event marketing?  How can you avoid the pitfalls?
    Helen Coetzee, CEO, MPG
  • How to launch a podcast?
    How to develop a podcast format that enhances your brand, and can drive subscriptions or ad revenue? What equipment and skills do you need to get started?  How do you market a podcast effectively?
    Esther Thorpe, Co-Host, Media Voices Podcast and Co-Founder of the Publisher Podcast Awards
  • Registration walls and metering
    How should you set up a registration wall? What data can this give you on reader behaviour? Tips and advice from
    John Barnes, MD Sloop Media
  • Developing new media products
    How should you research a new product? How can you ensure that your proposition is distinct and solves a customer problem?  Practical advice from
    Stephen Farish, MD, Red River Blue
  • Growing event sponsorship
    How can you significantly grow your event sponsorship revenues? What’s involved in developing a high value sponsorship package?  Clever insights and tips from
    Daniel Pitchford, Co-Founder AI Business


15.00  •  Tea & networking

  • How Chemical Watch used customer research to reinvent their subscription product, dramatically increasing their revenues per customer
    — Richard Butterworth, Commercial Director, Chemical Watch
  • How The Lawyer has grown subscriptions to over 40% revenues, and the changing role of the Editorial team
    — Catrin Griffiths, Editor, The Lawyer
  • Book clubs to pop-up parties and festivals – how MarTech Alliance built a community from scratch and established a 1250-audience event
    — Carlos Doughty, CEO and Founder, MarTech Alliance

Audience Q&A

Chair: Carolyn Morgan, Founder, Speciall Media

17.00  •  Networking drinks reception

18.00  •  Close


Day 2: In Practice

Practical workshops on the key strategic issues for independent media owners, with first hand experiences and tips


8.30  •  Arrival & coffee

How have media businesses researched and launched premium data and intelligence products?  How can you do this on a limited budget? Real examples and practical insights plus Audience Q&A

Julian Turner, CEO, Healthcare Business International
Max Hotopf, Chair, Healthcare Business International
Lauretta Roberts, CEO, The
Dan Stevenson, MD, Ampere Analysis

What is the role of print magazines, B2C and B2B, in a digital world?  How can you rethink your print publication to meet readers needs?  Publishers share how they successfully evolved their print publications.  Audience Q&A

Seán Dagan Wood, Publisher, Positive News
Sophie Griffiths, Editor, TTG Media

10.45  •  Coffee & networking

What does it take to research and launch a new exhibition or conference?  Why do publishers have an unfair advantage?  How can you launch an event when you don’t have a media brand? Real world cases and practical insights plus Q&A

Ed Tranter, MD, 73 Media
Caroline Cronin, Head of Events, Burlington Media
Patrick Lewis, CEO, Maddox Events

What changes to culture, organisation and process do publishers need to make to successfully develop digital products, web or mobile, consumer or B2B, in-house or working with an agency?  Experts share their learning and provide practical tips plus audience Q&A.

Laura Jenner, Product Director, Immediate Media
Sophia Dempsey, Head of Product, GMAC Media
Lucia Adams, Managing Editor, i News (moderator)

12.30  •  Lunch & networking

How can publishers develop digital subscriptions?  What can be added to a membership proposition? How to package print and digital? How to sell to enterprises as well as individuals?  Real world experiences and practical tips plus Q&A

Marc Hartog, CEO, British Journal of Photography
Abi Spooner,  Customer Strategy Officer, Dennis
Claire Jenkinson, Sales and Marketing Director, CRU
Nick Blunden, President, Business of Fashion

How can you choose and use the right technology for your publishing business?  From CMS to martech to finance and invoicing.  What changes will you need to make to your teams, their skills and processes to get the best value?  Expert advice and practical tips plus Q&A

Paul Lomax, CDO, NLA Media Access (moderator)
Dele Sikuade, CEO Countersoft, former CTO, Electric Word plc
Bal Cheema, CEO, Odin 360

Other speakers tbc

14.45  •  Tea & networking

How can you learn more about your digital readers from their behaviour and target them with advertising and promotions?  What’s the best practice in social media and enlisting influencers in your market? What’s involved in marketing to enterprises rather than individuals? How can you refresh your email marketing?  Experts advise on new marketing techniques that have worked for marketers and publishers.  Practical tips and Q&A

Shane Redding, Owner, Think Direct & Tutor, IDM
Carola York, VP, Publishing, Jellyfish
Reneé Doegar, Commercial Director, London Review of Books

How do you attract staff with the right skills for the future of your business?  In sales, editorial, marketing and tech roles.  And how do you motivate, develop and retain your top talent?  Smart insights and practical tips

Tracey Gray, Founder, Cresano Consulting
Julian Turner, Strategy & Operations Director, The Day

Other speakers tbc

Audience Q&A

16.30  •  Close


Benefits of attending

  • Be inspired by how other independent media owners have developed their business
  • Hear exactly how they did it
  • Get practical tips on how to apply to your business
  • Share experiences and make new connections with other independent media businesses


Please note: all sessions are subject to change in timing and speakers