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The speakers and workshop hosts

Nobody wants to spend all day listening to boring speakers!  That would just be a horrible waste of time for everyone, and you'd never want to come back to any of our events in the future! 

So that's why we're truly over the moon to announce this year's lineup of speakers and workshop hosts. We have some great speakers talking about a wide variety of topics. 

And because sooooooo many people asked for him to return, we're really pleased to have Jon Payne back! 

Keynote Speakers

Our afternoon keynote speakers are going to blow your socks off!

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Alice Rowan

Founder, Alice Rowan Content Marketing

What the (cluster) f*ck? Convince Google you’re an expert and plan your content faster

In this talk, Alice will take you through her 8-step process to create an SEO-friendly content strategy that tells Google you know your sh*t and potential customers that you have the answers they seek. Scalable from one-person teams through to full content writing departments, these steps make planning content easier and faster. Welcome to the wonderful world of topic clusters.

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Crystal Carter

Head of SEO, Wix

SEO for the Omnichannel
Crystal will cover why you should be thinking about your site as a digital HQ along with different things to consider to make your site work well for social, email, affiliate, and other types of traffic, as well as organic. What Crystal doesn't know about SEO, isn't worth knowing. A regular contributor to conferences like Brighton SEO, MozCon in Seattle, SMX and many others. We're incredibly fortunate to have her at Building Brands! 

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Sophie Miller

Founder, Pretty Little Marketer

Building an engaged community

Online community. We’ve seen them. We’re apart of them. We love them. BUT… What does it take to build them? 


Community is the most powerful marketing tactic you can have in your toolkit, but only few do it well - and building an online community is vastly different to building an online following.


From prioritising your audience over your own agenda and making sure you take the time to understand how you can be the solution to your audience's needs, to creating content that has personality and connects on an emotive level, get ready to learn how you can build the internet's most engaged online community.

About Sophie

Sophie is a freelance social media manager and founder of Pretty Little Marketer. Set up during her second year of university as a struggling student, PLM is her home for inspiring and informing marketers like herself to achieve their career dreams.

Passionate about empowering others to own their journeys and outlive their career dreams free of comparison and full of empowerment, her aim is to help all marketers find their confidence in the industry and build an empire they're proud of.

Morning Workshops 

The morning will be packed with workshops. We'll have 3 streams running at the same time, with 4 sessions, so a total of 12 different workshops. 

Rather than asking you to book these before you come, you'll be free to choose on the day. But please bear in mind, while one stream will take place in the main Alumni Auditorium at The Forum, the other two will run in specialist labs with capacity for 60 to 80 people each. So these are going to be more in demand. 

You'll only get to attend 3 of these workshops, but don't worry, we'll be filming them, and you'll get access to the videos of the ones you missed after the conference finishes. The other solution - bring other colleagues with you so they can attend the ones you're going to miss!

Workshop hosts

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Alastair Banks

Co-Founder, Optix Solutions

Why your Digital Strategy should be your number one consideration for 2023

Alastair will walk us through what a Digital Strategy consists of, the main considerations when putting one together and tips and tricks for useful tools we can use along the way.

About Alastair

Alastair co-founded Digital Agency Optix Solutions 24 years ago while at Exeter University. Nowadays you’ll find him speaking all over Europe on the topic of Digital Marketing and his passion – Personal Branding. He lectures at some of the leading institutions in the world including London Business School and Imperial College. He writes for Forbes on the topic of Digital Marketing and Strategy and that’s where today’s talk comes from.

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Nichola Stott

Founder of Erudite - the SEO/UX agency

Developing a content hub from zero to hero

We will cover brand voice and what makes you special; to keyword research tools and techniques for content hubs that want to grow, support and inform potential readers. By the end of the session you will know about keywords in the purchase journey, competitive techniques to give you the edge, and on-page factors that really matter.

About Nichola

Nichola founded Erudite over a decade ago, following a position as Head of UK Search Partners at Yahoo! where she found her love for all things search. Nichola's professional recognition includes being naked in the BIMA Hot 100 Digital People, winning Best Use of Search at both the UK Search Awards and Wirehive Awards, and co-authoring books including Econsultancy's SEO Best Practice Guide and Hit Me! How to Get Your Small Business to Punch its Weight Online. 

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Jo Pearce and Marcus Bennett

AB Brand & Marketing

Brand: Feeling vs fact

According to PsychologyToday, people react much better to the emotional parts of the brand compared to facts such as USPs and proof points. In fact, brand stories that convey strong emotions are more likely to become viral and generate better results.


Your brand story should come from your Purpose, your Vision and your beliefs. Those brand fundamentals should not be set in stone. As your brand, business and people within the business evolve, grow and develop, so should the desire to continually challenge and improve those fundamentals and subsequently, the stories they allow you to tell.

About Jo

Jo has over twenty years of experience, beginning client side in Marketing with Unilever and working as a Strategist in advertising, communications and media agencies in London. Most latterly, she’s focused on Brand and Communications consulting. Jo has worked across many different sectors, on established global brands such as Unilever, J&J, Kellogg’s and Nissan, but also start-ups and NPD such as Powerade for Coca-Cola. When not working, she is either buried in a book, out on Dartmoor with her dogs, or riding her Irish Sports Horse, Tooreeney Rose.

About Marcus

Marcus is a Creative Director with over 15 years London experience. Client experiences includes BBC, Timberland and Coca Cola. Marcus is a member of the Typographic Circle and D&Ad. A passion for playing cricket, exploring the Devon coastline and collecting 1950s cigarette adverts.

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Azeem Ahmad

Founder, Azeem Digital

The title and content of Azeem's workshop will follow soon.

About Azeem

Azeem is an award-winning digital marketer and international conference speaker, with several years of experience in the industry, covering multiple disciplines such as SEO, PPC, Social Media, Programmatic, and Display too. He hosts his own digital marketing podcast called “Azeem Digital Asks”, and runs a newsletter called ‘The Marginalised Marketer’, and has previously been a judge at many search awards across the globe, including the European and US Search Awards.

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David Kilkelly

Founder, Blinkback

Learn to use video effectively in marketing.

David will be looking at what strategies can you put in place to make sure you're building audiences and getting eyes on your content in 2023. 

About David

David runs BlinkBack a video production & marketing service that has been serving businesses in the South West and beyond since 2014. He believes success comes from creating the right content for the right audience. This takes in broader aspects of marketing such as social media, paid and organic strategies and customers journeys.


Abby Millar

Co-Founder, Altum Media

How can your brand win at social in 2023?Social media is forever changing and it's almost impossible to keep up. This workshop will highlight some of the key activities for brand engagement and channel growth for you to take forward into the year ahead. 

About Abby

Abby has spent the last 8 years working with SMEs across the South West to help them reach more customers and grow their brand online. Now Co-Founder of Altum Media, a marketing agency growing consumer brands like Luscombe, Pipers Farm, Dartmoor Whisky Distillery, Fish For Thought and Owens Coffee.

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Jon Payne

Technical Director, Noisy Little Monkey

Using marketing automation to get paid to do nothing.
Timely, contextual and personalised outreach to your customers and prospects is proven to improve revenue and so it's something we'd all love to do. The problem is that reaching out in a personalised way to prospects early in their buying journey isn't something most marketers have time to do and most sales people will only do it for better qualified leads. Jon will show you how to use the most popular tools to do it all, automatically and share how it's improved revenue for his clients.

About Jon

Jon Payne is co-founder of Noisy Little Monkey, the inbound boutique. With consultants focused on SEO, Creative and HubSpot, Noisy Little Monkey are the catalyst for sustainable business growth in the B2B sector.

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Mark Beavan

Head of Agency, That Little Agency

Understanding employer branding – a practical approach

During the course of the presentation we’ll look at how you might want to approach an employer proposition or employer branding project. Using a couple of case studies we’ll look at benchmarking where you are right now, setting ourselves up for success, asking the questions and listening to the answers, distilling this insight down into something meaningful, validating your findings and sharing your story. A whistle-stop tour that should give you some practical ideas to those thinking of embarking on such a project.

About Mark

Mark has almost 20 years’ experience working with clients on how their brand, technology and the web can help them attract, engage and retain the best talent. And he is still going strong. He's worked with some high-profile brands, delivered some award-winning projects, met some great people and had a lot of fun along the way. That Little Agency is his baby.

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Caroline Orr

Marketing & Brand Director, Astley Media

Personal Branding

In Caroline's workshop, you will learn ways to build and maintain a strong personal brand. You will learn how to steer the conversations others have about you and more importantly, you will be able to better pitch yourself to potential clients, employers, investors and more.

About Caroline

This workshop is designed to help you start thinking about your Personal Brand and provide you with practical steps on how to start building and communicating both online and offline, who you are, what you do, what your core strengths and skills are as well as the value you can bring to a company.

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Mark Girvan

Creative Director, Buddy Creative

The title and summary of Mark's workshop session will follow soon.

About Mark

Agency Co-Founder and Creative Director of Buddy Creative, Mark Girvan, has over 20+ years’ experience creating award-winning branding and packaging design for some of the UK’s leading food, drink and lifestyle brands. 


Bethany Joy

Brand voice strategist

The 9 immutable laws of brand voiceCompanies of all sizes and sectors are finally starting to realise the importance of paying as much attention to their verbal identity as they do their visual identity. But how to go about it? In this talk Bethany will be offering us nine principles to guide our tone of voice development - debunking myths and refuting overly-simplistic 'hacks' as she goes.

About Bethany

Bethany Joy is a brand voice strategist, helping businesses pin down their organisational personality and find the language that brings it to life. Over the last 15 years she's worked in a variety of marketing and brand development roles in the UK, the US, and Australia before starting her own business in 2016. She also runs Marketing Camp, a very practical and determinedly non-wanky monthly meet-up aimed at supporting marketers across Oxfordshire.

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Kayleigh Savva

Regional Sales Executive, Adsmart from Sky

Adsmart from Sky – Harnessing the power of TV advertising
This workshop is designed to help you discover how your business (or businesses you are working with) could benefit from appearing amongst major brands on some of the most popular TV channels in the UK. Adsmart from Sky enables your ad to be shown to different households who are watching the same programme which means everyone can advertise on some of the nation’s favourite channels but only to the audience you want to be in front of, for as little as £3K. We will show you how!

About Kayleigh

Kayleigh is the Regional Sales Executive for Devon, Cornwall and Somerset. Her role at Sky is to introduce the South West to Adsmart and educate businesses, agencies and production companies on the benefits of using Sky's platforms within their marketing mix, whether it be for themselves or their clients.  Kayleigh is the main point of contact and support for the above regions.

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Book your tickets here

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