2018 Judges

Damian Bailey, Founder & Chairman of the Judging Panel, The Wedding Industry Awards

Damian runs 23 Events Ltd, organiser of The Wedding Industry Awards (TWIA), winner of The Awards Awards Best Overall Event (under 500 attendees) in 2017. For the early part of his career Damian was involved in event management running both his own event company and working for other companies organising conferences and Awards all over the world. He then changed direction and became an award-winning wedding photographer shooting over 500 weddings in 13 years. The combination of Damian’s expertise in both event management and the wedding industry made setting up TWIA an obvious but challenging next move. TWIA receives more than 1500 entries, 25,000 votes and 2,500 event attendees across 9 events each year.

Hazel Batchelar, Group Events Manager, Hospitality Division, William Reed Business Media

Hazel Batchelar has worked at William Reed Business Media since April 2004 and been Group Events Manager for the Hospitality Division for the past 7 years. Overseeing a vast portfolio of over 60 events each year for the Morning Advertiser, Restaurant magazine and MCA , Hazel leads a team of events professionals whose portfolio includes The Publican Awards, The John Smith’s Great British Pub Awards, The Estrella Damm National Restaurant Awards and Retailers’ Retailer of the Year.


Simone Broadhurst, Events Director – Incisive Business, Incisive Media

Simone Broadhurst is the Events Director at Incisive Media, an award-winning B2B information and events business. Simone has been with Incisive for over 16 years and is responsible for developing and launching hundreds of conference and awards programmes. This includes driving the development of the British Insurance Awards and the Fund Manager of the Year Awards at the Royal Albert Hall which combined attracts over 2,800 attendees across 2 nights. Simone has launched events in Europe, Middle East and the US and has worked across multiple sectors including financial, legal and tech.



Tony Craddock, Director General, Emerging Payments Association

An enthusiastic business leader of the UK’s most influential trade association in payments, a lively public speaker and avid networker, Tony is passionate about payments. He’s an evangelist for the difference emerging payments can make. Whether writing blogs, chairing panel sessions at conferences, writing white papers or enrolling CEOs in his mission, Tony shares knowledge derived from over a decade in payments.

Tony conceived and launched the Emerging Payments Association (EPA) in 2012. The EPA promotes the UK as global hub for payments innovation and the interests of the EPA’s 110+ members such as MasterCard, JCB, Vocalink, Amazon, Samsung Pay, and Fiserv.

Matt Dias, Commercial Director , Procurement Leaders

Matt Dias is the Commercial Director of the Events Division of Procurement Leaders, delivering first class events within a profession growing in influence. Procurement Leaders holds event across the world, with flagship events, The World Procurement Congress in London and the Americas Congress in Miami, as well events in Europe, Asia and other parts of the US.

Prior to Procurement Leaders, Matt spent 12 years at Informa PLC and across that time was responsible for number of awards ceremonies as well as multiple conferences and events, across the Pharmaceutical, Maritime, Insurance and Agribusiness sectors.


Beckie Dart, Head of Retail Awards Programmes, Ascential

Beckie Dart is Head of Retail Awards Programmes at Ascential a global business-to-business media company that is home to trusted world class events & information services that inform and connect business professionals in 150 countries around the globe.

Beckie has over 12 years of b2b events experience across multiple industries from Health to Fashion. She has worked across many events formats including conferences and bespoke events but her expertise and passion lies within the awards sector. In her current role at Ascential, Beckie drives the growth, vision and customer experience of Retail Weeks multi-award winning awards portfolio.

Chris Edmonds, Managing Director, Aesthetics Media Ltd

With a 20-year background in healthcare, including experience in practice and as a pioneer of e-learning in eye care, Chris heads up emotive., a multi-award winning healthcare communications agency working with leading global and EMEA life sciences companies including pharmaceutical, medical device and rare disease specialists

Having founded one of the largest providers of Continuing Education & Training for the optical profession, he now sits on the boards of two healthcare focused companies and is on the Executive Committee of the PM Society, an industry body promoting excellence in pharmaceutical medical communications and marketing. He is passionate about engagement in science by young people.

Chris Edwards, Awards Director, Wilmington Media

16 years of experience across event formats from roundtables to LSEs, awards and hospitality has given Chris a unique perspective of what success looks like. Starting with an agency on production and design delivering trade shows and exhibitions then a move to awards and conferences with Wilmington Media. Chris spent 4 years with the awards team at Emap two of which in Dubai launching new products. After returning he spent the 5 years with Procurement Leaders running their awards and event operations across an international portfolioChris has also worked as Head of Events with the British Retail Consortium and has recently returned to Wilmington as Awards Director on the Health Service Journal programme.

Fergus Gregory, Chief Commercial Officer, Zapnito

Fergus is Chief Commercial Officer at Zapnito. In the fragmentation and noise of the internet it’s tougher than ever for trusted brands, including event organisers, to be heard. The Zapnito platform enables our clients to quickly launch websites purpose built to cut through that noise and grow revenue by becoming the destination for expertise for their market. Prior to joining Zapnito, Fergus spent 15 years leading B2B media and awards teams, growing established events and launching new ones across multiple industries and disciplines.


don-halesDon Hales, Founder & Chairman, Awards International

After a successful career in financial services, Don sold his shareholding in his marketing company to the Sun Life Group and embarked on a new career organising major Award programmes.  In 1997, he launched the National Sales Awards and followed this with the National Customer Service Awards.  By 2000 these programmes were attracting combined audiences of 2500 to the annual award dinners.  Since then he has been involved with over 50 different award programmes in three continents and today as Chairman of Awards International, he presides over the UK’s leading organiser of live business awards with events in UK and Dubai.

Marcie Incarico – Owner  – Mix Media & Out There Events

Marcie founded Out There Events (OTE) in 2001, following a successful career in sponsorship & promotions at Bauer commercial radio group.  The business has grown to became a leading, award winning corporate events agency with clients across the UK in the private, public and charity sectors.

In 2012, the business ventured into the world of publishing through the acquisition of Mix Media which publishes the leading interior commercial design magazine, Mix Interiors. This business delivers the Mixology Awards  – the largest and most respected awards ceremony in the sector. We were delighted in 2017 for this event to be awarded winner at the coveted inaugural Awards Awards for Best Event by a Publisher for over 700 Attendees.

Melissa Irving, Group Event Director, Construction & Engineering EMAP

Melissa Irving is Group Event Director for the Construction & Engineering and Healthcare & Local Government portfolios at EMAP Publishing Ltd, a content, subscription and networking business, representing a host of industry leading brands across construction, health, local government, fashion and architecture.  Melissa joined EMAP in 2006 as an Executive Conference Producer and now holds a senior position managing operations and content teams across awards, conferences and bespoke events.  With 15 years event experience, Melissa has a keen eye for new product launches and continues to deliver exceptional year on year performance for events serving Construction News, New Civil Engineer, Ground Engineering respectively, Nursing Times and the Local Government Chronicle.

donalkeenandadDonal Keenan, Director, Awards & Operations, D&AD (Design and Art Direction)

Donal has spent much of his career at D&AD (Design and Art Direction), having first started in 2007 Donal has worked his way through the Awards Team, where he now operates as Awards Director of D&AD’s international awards programme, rewarding the very best in global design and advertising. In 2013 new projects meant Donal also acted as a consultant managing the development and operational launch of the Kyoorius Awards in India, a now well-established regional Awards rewarding the best in Indian Design and Advertising.

In London, Donal has overseen many developments in the expansion of the Awards programme, through the recent additions of public relations and media awards and the development and running of D&AD’s latest initiative the D&AD Impact Awards in partnership with Advertising Week based out of New York.

Christina Liessem, Head of Awards, C Squared

Hailing from Germany with a diploma in Business Administration & master in marketing, Christina is heading up the award-winning awards team at the Festival of Media & M&M Global. A proactive, make-it-happen kind of person, who gained experience in a variety of industries, spanning from music to sports and arts, including working for the Olympics in London, Secret Cinema – and as a computer game tester. Always drawn to festivals, Christina got the call up during Sundance in March 2015 to join Cannes Lions looking after various Lions before joining Festival of Media in November 2016 – and has probably seen 5000+ case films in her career, so always good for a tip on how to submit an entry. Outside work she is part of the GB tag rugby team.

Jenni O’Donovan, Head of Events, Civil Society Media

Jenni oversees the live events portfolio at Civil Society Media, an independent media company servicing the charity sector. Since graduating from the University of Exeter in 2008, Jenni has worked on a broad variety of events, from international conferences and exhibitions through to mass participation, networking and training. In her current role, she manages both content and operational delivery, and has overseen the growth of Civil Society Media’s event portfolio by 60% through launching several creative new products and refreshing existing formats. The Charity Awards, the company’s flagship event, won ‘best judging process’ at the inaugural Awards Awards ceremony in 2017.


Sarah Payling, Event Director, Ocean Media Group

Ocean Media Group own the main route to market for the affordable housing sector in the UK. The portfolio is diverse with publications, data, digital and events. My main responsibility is for the 30 events in this portfolio including Europe’s largest housing event.

I sit on the senior management team at OMG and my main remit is to grow our portfolio through providing excellent content and understanding all our key stakeholders needs.


Andrew Perry, Founder and Director, Perry Events

Based in London, Andrew has over 15 years’ experience in the events industry. A successful Head of Awards Dinners, Andrew had responsibility for growing events worldwide in the financial sector at Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC. After 5 years at Euromoney, Andrew felt he had achieved all he could in that role and moved into sales to develop his skill set working for companies such as World Trade Group and Clarion Events. He is former Managing Director of Oil & Gas Awards.

In 2016, Andrew set up Perry Events, a boutique events management consultancy that is already working with some of the flagship publications of business and financial publisher Euromoney Institutional Investor. With experience across all types of events, Andrew fully understands the needs of individual clients, corporate and personal. It is this knowledge, along with his exceptional event management skills, that are the backbone of Perry events.

paul-sagooPaul Sagoo, Founder, The Asian Awards

Paul Sagoo is the founder and Director of Lemon Group International Ltd, a UK-based investment company.

In 2009 he founded The Asian Awards, which focusses on awarding the worlds best Asians across a multitude of disciplines. The Asian Awards is now into its 7th year and has grown to become one of the biggest events in the UK. Previously the events twitter hashtag #TheAsianAwards trended worldwide for 3 hours at the top spot. Paul consults to businesses across the globe often with a hands on approach and is working on a number of new initiatives such as The Newton Awards which will honour the very best British scientists.

He has strong experience in helping businesses achieve strategic commercial change in terms of growth, operations, sales/biz dev, acquisition, mergers, investment and turnaround. Paul regularly speaks on a number of interest areas such as diversity, business, entrepreneurship, motivation and corporate development.

Also confirmed

Geoff Curran, Commercial Director, Energy Live News