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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.

Piers Bearne, Founder, Collingwood Advisory (Moderator)
Alex Martinez, Co-founder & former CEO, Procurement Leaders (exited 2019)

Carolyn Morgan, Founder, Speciall Media
Julian Turner, CEO, Health Business International
Daniel Pitchford, Co-founder, AI Business

Audience Q&A

12.30  •  Lunch & networking

Two rounds of 45 min discussions on hot publishing topics led by experts. All round tables (except B2B Editor of the Future) will repeat for both sessions.

Session 1: 13:30-14:15 / Session 2: 14:15 – 15:00

B2B Editor of the Future

This round table will run in two different sessions – you can attend either or both.

The B2B publishing landscape has changed immeasurably over recent years, as digital technologies continue to disrupt business models and change how business professionals consume information. It has been a steep learning curve for members of editorial teams, none more so than the editor, who must explore new ways of differentiating their titles in this hyper competitive environment.

Session 1:

a. The building blocks of high-value subscription models – what’s in, what’s out.
b. How editors are developing communities in order to maximise the impact of shared intelligence.

Session 2:

a. What are the skills requirements of a future B2B editor?
b. What are the component parts of a successful future B2B editorial team? Where are the current gaps?

— 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

Launching an e-learning business

Why are B2B publishers ideally placed to launch eLearning businesses? Which publishers have done it most successfully? How do publishers identify opportunities and launch new services?

Doug Marshall, B2B marketing and business leader

How publishers can grow e-commerce revenue

Affiliate marketing makes money but you lose your readers and their data. Learn how European consumer publishers have developed significant revenues from native e-commerce. Get practical tips on how to successfully establish an e-commerce revenue model on your websites and other digital platforms.

Chris Shields, Tipser

How to attract publishing talent

How can you attract the best people to make your media business stronger? How do you construct an appealing role, how do you find people who aren’t actively looking, and how do you run an effective interview and selection process? What are the pitfalls to avoid a poor fit with the team or an early resignation? Practical tips and advice.

Martin Tripp, MD, Martin Tripp Associates.

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

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)

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
Daniel Pearce, CEO, TTG Media
Charlie James, CEO, Corinium Global Intelligence
Martin Tripp, MD, Martin Tripp Associates

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

Carolyn Morgan, Founder, Speciall Media (Moderator)
Ed Tranter
, MD, 73 Media
Caroline Cronin, Head of Events, Burlington Media
Patrick Lewis, CEO, Maddox Events

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 (Moderator)
Max Hotopf, Chair, Healthcare Business International
Lauretta Roberts, CEO, The
Dan Stevenson, MD, Ampere Analysis

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
Carolyn Morgan, Founder, Speciall Media (Moderator)

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

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
Carolyn Morgan, Founder, Speciall Media (Moderator)

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
Paul Newman, Brand Director, Home Interest, Future

Alastair Lewis, Owner, Quested Consulting (Moderator)

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