Director of Marketing and Communications, The Marlowe Theatre Canterbury
John Baker is Director Of Marketing & Communications at The Marlowe in Canterbury. His role includes line management of the theatre’s marketing, communications, box office and development teams, all working together to create the best possible customer journey for audiences. Previous roles have included Marketing Manager at The Churchill in Bromley and Marketing Manager at The Camberley Theatre.
Dr Alison Body
University of Kent
Alison Body is a Lecturer in the School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research, and a member of the Centre for Philanthropy at the University of Kent.
Senior Software Developer, Spektrix
Fraser combines management, strategy and technical expertise to build teams which offer robust software solutions with great efficiency. He is a major player in bringing the Spektrix platform to the cloud, supported by extensive experience in cloud development and the software development lifecycle.
On the more relaxing side of things, Fraser is hugely passionate about exploring exotic countries and the wonders of the world. By night he adopts a more creative streak, attending writing events and publishing flash fiction.
Director and CEO, Oxford Playhouse
Before joining the Oxford Playhouse as Director/CEO in September 2014, Louise Chantal was an independent producer in the UK and New York, utilising over a decade of experience in Marketing and PR in the West End, UK touring and the fringe, including 3 years as the first Marketing Director at Soho Theatre.
Sebastian Cheswright Cater
Freelance cultural sector consultant
Sebastian is a freelance consultant with over 18 years’ experience in the commercial and not-for-profit cultural sector, specialising in marketing communications and business development strategy. As Director of Marketing and Sales at Sadler’s Wells he oversaw a large programme of change, including the creation of a new membership scheme, the implementation of an award-winning visual identity, modernising the social media/content delivery and department, and devising a CRM strategy which increased customer retention.
He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a Director of Dance Consortium, and is an advocate for improving mental health and well being in business.
Director, Result CIC
Jane Cordell has worked as a musician, lecturer, editor, diplomat and is now a Director of social enterprise, Result CIC, which provides coaching and personal development training to marginalised people. Jane became deaf in her early 20s and has worked in Finland and Poland as well as the UK. Her experience of the highs and lows of being one of a tiny number of senior professional deaf women has helped inform her equality campaigning work. She has worked on the Boards of 3 charities, including as Chair of DaDaFest (Deaf and Disability Arts) for 5 years.
Jane is a Fellow of the RSA, won several national awards as a diplomat for her additional work on reforming Polish disability rights legislation and recently also won a Manchester International Women’s festival award for Business of the Year for promoting and improving opportunities for women.
Francesca Di Nuzzo
Senior Consultant, Baker Richards
Francesca Di Nuzzo is a Senior Consultant at Baker Richards, a software and consulting firm which aims to foster a thriving cultural sector by helping organisations achieve their commercial potential. The company has particular expertise in increasing B2C earned income through admissions pricing, membership strategy and segmentation. Baker Richards has worked on hundreds of projects for arts organisations around the world including many of the world’s leading theatres, art museums and visitor attractions.
Francesca’s work spans a wide range of organisations, from theatres to arts festivals, from opera companies to heritage sites. She leads on consulting projects for Baker Richards clients and has recently enjoyed developing inventive approaches to customer segmentation using a range of statistical methods. Her previous conference keynotes and presentations include sessions for Opera Europa, UK Theatre and the Isle of Man’s Tourism Industry Day.
CEO, Boundless Theatre
Rob joined Boundless Theatre in July 2016 as Artistic Director and become sole CEO in 2019. Rob leads the organisation, commissioning new work and developing artists and projects as well as leading strategy for engaging young adults across the artistic programme. Currently working with Arts Council England on the strategic development of the Impacts & Insights Toolkit, Rob is passionate about new ways to innovate around more audiences engaging with theatre and better understanding the impact of the arts on young adults specifically.
Before joining Boundless he was Associate Dramaturg at the Bush Theatre where for three and a half years he ran the Literary Department and was responsible for all playwriting work including the commissioning and development of new plays for production. He has established partnerships with Playwrights of New York (PoNY), delivered projects with Kudos Film & Television and established a partnership with Drama Centre London and Oberon Books on the Student Guide To Writing: Playwriting.
As a Dramaturg and Director Rob has worked with playwrights at theatres including The National Theatre, Hampstead Theatre, Bristol Old Vic, Contact, York Theatre Royal and Theatre503. Rob was one of the first recipients of an Artists’ International Development Fund from the Arts Council and British Council and spent time working in South Africa with playwrights and theatre makers at the Baxter and Market Theatres.
Rob is a Board Member for the Bermondsey Business Improvement District, where Boundless are proudly based.
Executive Director, Theatr Clwyd
Theatr Clwyd is the largest producing theatre in Wales. Over the last two years they have produced 23 productions – with over 700,000 people having watched their produced and presented work across the UK. The company employs over 500 people each year including core, casual and freelance workers. Since taking up the post of Executive Director Theatr Clwyd has increased its annual turnover from £5m to £6.9m
Before moving to Clwyd Liam worked as 2015 project Associate for York Theatre Royal – leading on business continuity planning and delivery during the £6 million re-development of their building. He became York Theatre Royal’s Associate Producer in October 2015.
Liam moved to Yorkshire following the offer to produce on The York Mystery Plays 2012 production, went onto produce Blood + Chocolate for Pilot Theatre, Slung Low and York Theatre Royal and then took up post as Interim General Manager for Sheffield Crucible Theatres.
Liam co-founded Sprite Productions, which produced 10 years of Site-Specific Shakespeare at Ripley Castle. He was also the first Producer of The Factory and produced their work at The Globe, The Hampstead Theatre, The Rose, at music festivals, bars and underground tunnels, around the UK and into Europe as well as for BBC Radio 4.
Liam currently sits on the North Wales Arts, Health and Wellbeing Steering Committee, The Wales Arts Health and Well-being Network Steering Group, the SOLT and UK Theatre Workforce Consortium and is a trustee at Creu Cymru.
People Director, Spektrix
Katherine is our People Director and focuses on the development, engagement and wellbeing of our fabulous team. She also works closely with the senior team on helping the business transition through growth. Key to this is attracting and retaining great people and providing them with challenging roles and career opportunities.
Katherine has an MBA from IESE business school in Barcelona and has a background in organisational development and change in high growth businesses. She's a rusty piano player who always wanted to play at Ronnie Scott's.
Client Insight Manager, Spektrix
Sarah works closely with Spektrix clients, supporting them to achieve their business goals and helping them with benchmarking and analysis; tracking progress and making best practice recommendations along the way.
Sarah has a detailed understanding of the sector’s challenges and ambitions, and using her Spektrix and data know-how has helped many organisations reach their strategic ambitions.
Implementation Team, Spektrix
Rosie spent several years working in theatres and in cultural and heritage venues, spending time in box office, sales, communications and management. She joined the Spektrix Implementation Team in April 2018, a role for which she relocated to Manchester. She now spends her time at work on-boarding new clients, and her time outside work exploring the cultural scene of her new city.
As a drama graduate she retains her love of live theatre, but also indulges in music as a member of the local SHE Choir and enjoys exploring the great outdoors of the Peak District.
Freelance Coach for Performance
Gabriela is a freelance Coach for Performance (CfPAC) working with both individuals and organisations. Previously Gabriela worked at the National Theatre for over 8 years having joined to implement the well-known Audience Experience Project and ending her journey at the NT as Deputy Director for Visitor Experience. Prior to the NT, Gabriela managed in several other venues including the Barbican Centre, The Savoy Theatre and the Phoenix Theatre. You can read more and connect with Gabriela on LinkedIn.
Chief Executive, Octagon Theatre Bolton
Roddy has been Chief Executive at Octagon Theatre Bolton since 2012. He is currently leading the organisation through an ambitious change and £11m capital programme that will see the theatre re-open in Spring 2020: bigger, better and braver than ever! In addition to the Octagon, he represents Culture and Sport in the Bolton 2030 Vision partnership, and recently became at Trustee at the Dukes in Lancaster. Prior to joining the Octagon, Roddy worked for several years at Arts Council England in regional and national roles, including Senior Manager for Theatre and Director for NPOs. Earlier in his career he worked in youth arts and venue management.
Executive Producer and Acting Chief Executive, National Theatre of Scotland
Brenna Hobson is an experienced arts administrator and producer. Recently moving from Australia to the United Kingdom, she is currently the Executive Producer and Deputy Chief Executive for the National Theatre of Scotland.
Prior to this she was the Executive Director and co-Chief Executive for Belvoir in Sydney, Australia’s fourth largest theatre company. During Brenna’s tenure Belvoir established an international presence with productions at BAM and on Broadway in New York, the International Ibsen Festival, Theater Der Welt, the Barbican Centre, Southbank Centre, the Holland Festival, Weiner Festwochen, the Taegu International Musical Festival in Korea and Bharat Rang Mahotsav International festival in India amongst other appearances. The company also prioritised equal representation of artists under her leadership achieving gender parity in directing and writing and making inroads into the promotion of the work of culturally diverse artists, most notably First Nations artists.
Prior to her work at Belvoir she was the General Manager of Jigsaw Theatre, a children’s theatre in Canberra and Production Manager for Bangarra Dance Theatre, Australia’s premier indigenous performing arts organisation. Brenna’s career began at Belvoir in 1994 when she started out as an Assistant Stage Manager, rising to Head of Production. As an independent producer Brenna has produced Vital Organs (B Sharp), Now that Communism is Dead My Life Feels Empty (B Sharp, Seymour Centre, and Malthouse Theatre / Melbourne International Arts Festival), The Suitors (Old Fitzroy Theatre) and the documentary With Hearts and Hands.
Brenna’s previous board roles include; Company Secretary of the Belvoir St Theatre Limited Board, membership of the Company B Ltd and Arts on Tour boards as well as a membership of the Seymour Centre’s Artistic Advisory Panel and the Walsh Bay Arts Precinct steering committee in Sydney.
Brenna holds a Masters of Management (Arts Administration) from the University of Technology, Sydney. She served on the Sydney Opera House Trust from January 2014 to May 2017 where she was on the Audit and Risk Committee.
Director - Audience Insight & Innovation, Arts Council England
Owen joined Arts Council England from The Space where he was Head of Audience Development and Distribution, working on over 70 commissions, across a range of art forms. Before The Space he worked at Amazon in the Video Games category, where he was responsible for developing audience and revenue-generating strategies. Prior to that, Owen was at Global Radio, working with some of the UK's biggest media brands on digital properties.
Artistic Director and CEO, Battersea Arts Centre
Tarek is the Artistic Director and CEO of Battersea Arts Centre. He was previously Interim Director for Theatre at Arts Council England. He has also been an Artistic Director as part of Up Next – a takeover initiative by Artistic Directors of the Future, Battersea Arts Centre and Bush Theatre, designed to catapult visionary artists into leadership roles in the UK’s theatre industry and broaden representation. Previously, Tarek was one of the founders and Associate Artistic Director of The Yard Theatre in Hackney and also Resident Director at the National Theatre Studio. Credit as Director include Qudz and Shiver (both at the Yard Theatre and also written by Tarek Iskander), Minotaur (Unicorn Theatre) and A Winter’s Tale (Batumi Drama Theatre/British Council Georgia). Prior to embarking on a career in theatre, Tarek worked for many years in senior and executive roles with the National Health Service.
Executive Director - Audiences and Development, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic
Millicent Jones is Executive Director, Audiences and Development, at Liverpool Philharmonic, overseeing marketing, communications, fundraising, facilities, catering and front of house operations. Liverpool Philharmonic is one the world’s oldest concert societies and throughout its history, has been at the heart of Liverpool’s cultural life. The organisation is comprised of the award-winning Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and its associated ensembles and concert series; Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, one of the UK’s premier arts and entertainment venues; the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Choir; Liverpool Philharmonic Youth Company incorporating a Youth Orchestra, Choir, and Children’s Choirs; and an extensive learning programme which is recognised as a national leader in its field in its quality, reach and impact.
Prior to this she worked as Marketing Director at San Francisco Performances, the city’s presenter of chamber music, jazz and contemporary dance. She has also worked with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Detroit Symphony Orchestra and University Musical Society (Ann Arbor). She has a degree in Music from University of Chicago and an MBA from University of Michigan, and is author of Washington DC from the Air (2000), and The World’s Greatest Tenors: Carreras, Domingo, Pavarotti (1996).
Head of Development, Opera North
Deborah is currently Head of Development at Opera North and has nearly ten years’ experience in arts fundraising, both revenue and capital, in London and Yorkshire. Previous roles include Director of Development at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts and Fundraising Manager at Sheffield Theatres. Deborah is a passionate advocate of peer networking and continuing professional development, and acts as a Regional Associate for Arts Fundraising & Philanthropy. She is also Vice Chair of Harrogate Theatre Trust.
Sales and Customer Care Manager, Sheffield Theatres
Caroline is Sales & Customer Care Manager at Sheffield Theatres where she has led the Sales Team and overseen customer care across the organisation for 8 years. Prior to working in Sheffield, Caroline spent 12 years at West Yorkshire Playhouse where she was Sales Manager and then Head of Customer Care.
She has initiated a programme of Dementia Friendly work at Sheffield Theatres and delivers training across the organisation for customer care and as a Dementia Friends Champion.
Head of Diversity, Inclusion and Future Talent, MediaCom
Nancy is the Head of Diversity, Inclusion and Future Talent at MediaCom, the UK’s largest Media agency. Having been in the Industry for 20 years, Nancy is responsible for driving diversity and a strong sense of belonging in the agency. One of MediaCom’s flagship initiatives is their Mental Health Allies programme, which has strengthened company culture beyond measure.
Head of Audiences & Insight, Royal Shakespeare Company
Becky is the Head of Audiences and Insight at the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon. This means she takes a lead on researching audiences, visitors, donors, staff and the general public, customer-led website development, CRM and database analytics.
Becky has worked at the RSC for the past nine years but brings with her experience from the commercial market research sector having worked with companies such as Coca-Cola, Johnson & Johnson and Danone as well as spending ten years working as a consumer insight specialist at Jaguar Land Rover.
The main challenge in being a data person is communicating in a way that people can understand, especially in an artistic environment and Becky is passionate about using her creativity to bring data to life and tell stories rather than just delivering numbers.
Ash is Managing Director at Substrakt, a digital agency whose clients include Bridge Theatre, Shakespeare’s Globe, Royal Court Theatre, Santa Fe Opera, Turner Contemporary, American Repertory Theater, ENO, Sage Gateshead, MCC Theater and Opera North among others.
Ash has worked in digital roles in the cultural, higher education and charity sectors for the past 15 years. He has a keen interest in how user experience, content design and data-informed decision-making can have a positive impact on the relationships cultural organisations build with their audiences.
Achates Philanthropy Ltd
Having successfully led the £70m campaign for the Darwin Centre at the Natural History Museum, Caroline became the first Director of PEN International, heading up 145 Centres in 105 countries and an an advisor to Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Professor Wangari Maathai.
In 2014, Caroline established Achates Philanthropy Ltd and in 2016 the first Achates Prize for cultural philanthropy was awarded.
Agile Delivery Manager, Spektrix
Keisha is a passionate facilitator and advocate for agile delivery methods, supporting and creating high performing teams. She joined Spektrix in January as an Agile Delivery Manager working predominantly within the Engineering department. With 10 years of experience within the technology sector, she has turned her sights to the arts. Keisha is happiest when running around with an oval-shaped ball or doing anything outdoors.
Kate has been working in the arts sector for nearly 15 years. From a part-time job during university at The Bridgewater Hall (where she accidentally fell into ticketing) to managing box office teams and fundraising roles, her venue experience covers concert halls, producing theatres, receiving houses and arts centres.
Before joining the Supercool team she worked at Spektrix, offering customer support and business consultancy to organisations across the UK and Ireland, and the USA. At Supercool she helps clients get the most out of their websites. She loves finding smart tech solutions and keeping up to date with trends and challenges across the sector. She is a self confessed (massive) data geek, and loves using data insights to inform decision-making and find new opportunities for our clients.
Communications and Fundraising Director, Sheffield Theatres
Claire Murray is Communications & Fundraising Director at Sheffield Theatres. She has over 20 years’ experience working in the arts sector, specifically in produced and presented theatre. She has held Marketing and Communications roles at Royal and Derngate in Northampton and De Montfort Hall in Leicester, as well as running her own consultancy for 2 years specialising in CRM system implementation.
Claire’s wide ranging experience covers change management and leadership, fundraising, brand and digital development, CRM system implementation, marketing, PR and customer care strategy.
Claire joined the Senior Management Team at Sheffield Theatres in August 2009, prior to the Crucible reopening following its £15m redevelopment. Upon reopening, the Theatres faced the enormous challenge of reengaging with the audience after an 18 month closure period. Claire led the marketing and sales team through this period, growing audiences and increasing revenue over the course of the next three years. She then took on responsibility for visiting company programming and fundraising. In the case of fundraising, Claire has led the team to secure a 103% increase in revenue fundraising income over the last five years.
Prior to Sheffield, Claire was running her own consultancy business offering theatres senior communications and project management expertise. Claire’s clients included Theatre Royal Plymouth and Plymouth Pavilions; HQ Theatres including Wycombe Swan and The Orchard Theatre, Dartford; the BBC; Ticketing Network East Midlands (Nottingham Theatre Royal and Royal Concert Hall, Dance4, Lakeside Arts Centre and Nottingham Playhouse).
Claire was also Head of Marketing at Royal and Derngate, Northampton for seven years where she was part of the Strategic Management Team which led the organisation during the £15 million capital redevelopment project. In Northampton, Nottingham, Plymouth and Sheffield Claire has led large scale CRM system implementation projects. Prior to her time in Northampton, Claire was part of the marketing team at De Montfort Hall, Leicester.
CEO and co-founder, Spektrix
Michael is the CEO of Spektrix, the business he co-founded in 2007 after experiencing first hand the lack of great technology on offer to the arts industry. He's passionate about the role that the arts and entertainment can play in making the world better, and while he initially worked as a theatrical lighting designer, he quickly realised that his calling was instead to support arts organisations by providing them with the tools and support needed to build strong relationships with their audiences and develop their revenue streams.
Michael has a degree in Computer Science from Cambridge University and previously trained at RADA as a lighting designer. He a is a Trustee of Leeds Playhouse.
Community Manager - North America, Spektrix
As Community Manager for North America, Jonathan connects the North American Spektrix Community, bringing them insights and strategies to promote best practice and client collaboration.
Working out of the New York office, initially in Support and now as Community Manager, Jonathan has obtained a wealth of knowledge and built relationships with clients across the continent. As a Florida native, Jonathan naturally enjoys spending most of his free time outside soaking up the sun.
Director, Baker Richards
Debbie is Director of Baker Richards, a software and consulting firm which aims to foster a thriving cultural sector by helping organisations achieve their commercial potential. The company has particular expertise in increasing B2C earned income through admissions pricing, membership strategy and segmentation. Baker Richards has worked on hundreds of projects for arts organisations around the world including many of the world’s leading theatres, art museums and visitor attractions.
Debbie has a proven track record in working with clients to create effective strategy that delivers increases in earned income. Her extensive consulting experience includes work in North America, Australasia and Europe, as well as in the UK. She is a regular speaker on pricing and behavioural economics at conferences around the world and delivers the Shared Ambition programme, bringing marketing and fundraising together, on behalf of the AMA as part of the Arts Fundraising & Philanthropy programme.
Unable to find a proper job, Michael founded Cog Design in 1991. He still runs the agency, working exclusively with arts and culture clients, delivering branding and websites with an audience focus. Beyond the studio, Michael grows veg, keeps chickens, is Executive Chair of the National Campaign for the Arts, a mentor at University of the Arts London, and a collector of (photos of) 'No Photography' signs.
Box Office Manager, Town Hall Symphony Hall Birmingham
Rebecca has managed the Box Office team at Town Hall Symphony Hall in Birmingham for the past 3 years. By prioritising the staff experience she is able to deliver an excellent customer experience which meets the strategic aims and ambitions of the organisation.
Writer and Artist, Touretteshero
Writer, artist and part time superhero, Jess Thom co-founded Touretteshero in 2010 as a creative response to her experience of living with Tourettes Syndrome.
Jess has written in the mainstream and disability press including The Guardian, The Observer and Disability Now. In 2012 she published Welcome to Biscuit Land – A Year In the Life of Touretteshero, with a foreword by Stephen Fry.
Jess has performed at Glastonbury, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, DaDaFest, Unlimited Festival and Shambala. She gave her Broadcast from Biscuit Land as part of On Stage: Live from Television Centre on BBC4 in 2015. In 2018 her one-hour film Me, My Mouth and I was broadcast on BBC2.Jess has spoken widely in the media about her life with Tourettes, including on Woman’s Hour, This Morning, and The Saturday Night Show in Ireland. She has given a TEDx talk on The Alchemy of Chaos at the Royal Albert Hall and features in Annalisa is Awkward documentary on BBC Radio4.Jess is committed to increasing opportunities that allow the experiences of people living with Tourettes Syndrome to be heard, and to ‘changing the world one tic at a time Jess’s style is engaging, playful and personal and can be tailored to suit the needs of individual events. Jess speaks on a wide range of creative and disability-related subjects in a number of different contexts.
Results-driven arts and entertainment consulting
The Results Group for the Arts (TRG Arts) is a data-driven consulting firm that teaches arts and cultural professionals a patron-based approach to increasing sustainable revenue.
TRG Arts believes in the transformative power of arts and culture, and that positive and profound change in the business model of arts organisations can lead to artistic innovation and the ability to better inspire entire communities.
Programme Producer, Arts Marketing Association
Bea Udeh is the Programme Producer at AMA. Bea manages the Audience Diversity Academy and Digital Lab programmes and produces the Inclusivity and Audiences Day conference.
Bea is also a writer, published author and poet educator. Her writing skills span writing critical and cultural articles for arts, leadership and marketing publications.
Founder and CEO, Cause4
Michelle Wright started her career as a violinist and after leading marketing and fundraising departments in the charity sector, she set up B-Corporation and social enterprise Cause4 in May 2009. She has since has undertaken major strategic and business development projects, including campaign developments with a number of national charities and consultancy work for FTSE 100 brands.
Michelle also specialises in philanthropy, having developed a number of major philanthropy projects for charities and corporates, and having set up new philanthropic foundations for sports stars, artists and entrepreneurs.
Cause4 has won multiple awards for its fundraising and philanthropy projects including being voted one of the top 50 scale-ups in the UK by Silicon Valley Comes to the UK in 2016 and in the top 10 philanthropic organisations in the UK by Real Business Magazine. Michelle was voted the most influential women in fundraising in 2018 by AI Global Excellence Awards.
“Having started my training in musical theatre, I’ve continued to learn my craft from various acting schools such as LAMDA, Royal Central and Guildhall. Currently, I’m completing my PhD in the sociology department of Goldsmiths College, University of London, and am a research fellow at Royal Central School of Speech and Drama.
Theatre to me is a medium through which I deepen my understanding of humanity, and enrich my awareness and creativity to think on the big questions. Having been motivated by Sir Ian McKellen, I feel energised to demonstrate my support for independent theatres like Park Theatre. I have come to know the ethos of Park Theatre as community driven, being at the forefront of theatre production supporting new writing, and promoting inclusivity and equal representation, all of which compels me to give them my unbidden support. Because these issues matter so much to me, taking out a membership type with Park Theatre that I feel I can afford, is the most inspired way in which I can ensure my enduring support for these values in the performing"
UK Managing Director, Spektrix
As our UK Managing Director, Alice leads Spektrix's committed client facing teams in London and Manchester. Alice's mission is to ensure that the customer experience is first class and that our clients are looked after from their very first engagement with Spektrix, to supporting their ongoing success and growth.
After graduating from the University of Birmingham with a degree in Dance and Theatre Arts, Alice began her career working for a range of small arts education organisations. Delving into an array of projects from fundraising to training, management to events, she then went on to work for a local authority where she led the regeneration of their arts provision for young people. In 2006 she joined Trinity College London to lead the Arts Award and progressed to oversee the development of their international performing arts offer. Alice is also a Trustee of The Big Draw and Westminster Arts.
Alice was drawn to Spektrix by the clarity of its mission for the arts as well as its innovative approach to people and business.