Speaker Bios

Paul Barber, Chief Executive and Deputy Chairman, Brighton & Hove Albion FC

Christoph Keese

Paul Barber joined the board of Brighton & Hove Albion FC as the club’s Chief Executive in June 2012 and was promoted to become the club’s Deputy Chairman in November 2018.

In Paul’s eight seasons with the club, Brighton & Hove Albion has reached three play-off semi-finals, finished 3rd in the EFL Championship in 2015/16, and secured automatic promotion to the Premier League in the 2016/17 season. Since then, the club has gone on to enjoy three successive seasons playing at the top level of English football for the first time in almost 40 years.

Paul joined Brighton & Hove Albion from Vancouver Whitecaps FC where he became the first British football executive to lead a club in to Major League Soccer in 2011, and oversaw Whitecaps’ return to the iconic BC Place stadium in the heart of the city’s downtown area for the first time since the early 1980s.

Previously, Paul was Executive Director of Tottenham Hotspur FC, where he enjoyed EFL Cup Final success with Spurs at Wembley in 2008, against Chelsea, and suffered disappointment in the same competition just a year later when Spurs lost to Manchester United in the 2009 EFL Cup Final.

Prior to this, Paul was The Football Association's first ever Director of Marketing, with responsibility for The FA's commercial division, marketing and communications. He was also general manager for the England team at the UEFA European Championships in 2000 and at the FIFA World Cup in 2002.

Paul currently serves as a member of The FA Council as one of the Premier League’s elected representatives, as an International Ambassador for the England national teams, and also represents the Premier League as a member of the Professional Game Board which, with elected representatives from all the major footballing bodies, oversees the running of professional football in England.

Moira Clark, Founder & Director, The Henley Centre for Customer Management (UK)

Christoph Keese

Moira Clark is Professor of Strategic Marketing at Henley Business School and Founder and Director of The Henley Centre for Customer Management. This research centre develops joint research initiatives between Henley and a consortium of organisations who want to further their knowledge and understanding of leading-edge best practice in customer management (www.hccmsite.co.uk).

Moira is a leading expert in the area of Strategic Customer Management; her main areas of research and consulting are in Customer Management, Customer Centricity, Customer Experience and the drivers of Customer Retention and Service Excellence. She has worked extensively in the area of culture and climate, its impact on retention and loyalty, and the critical linkages between employee behaviour and customer retention.

She has researched and published widely on Customer Management, Relationship Marketing, Customer Experience and Service Excellence. Publications include for example, the Academy of Marketing Science, Journal of Retailing, International Journal of Management Reviews and the Journal of Relationship Marketing, amongst many others. She is also co-author of ‘Relationship Marketing for Competitive Advantage: Winning and Keeping Customers’ and ‘Relationship Marketing: Strategy and Implementation’. Her book ‘Business Success through Service Excellence’ examines the crucial factors needed to achieve and maintain service excellence.

Moira is a sought-after commentator on current marketing and Customer Management issues for national press, radio and TV. She also has extensive marketing consultancy experience with leading international companies, sits on a number of advisory boards and is a frequent keynote speaker at many public and in-company seminars and conferences around the world.

Roger Martin Fagg, President, Martin Fagg Associates (UK)

Christoph Keese

Roger Martin-Fagg is an economist turned strategist. He began his career in the New Zealand Treasury, then moved into Airline Business Planning and teaching post-graduates all aspects of economics. He designed and ran the post-graduate diploma in Airline Management for British Airways before joining Henley Management College in 1987.

Roger left Henley in 2008 and is now an independent teaching-consultant who designs and delivers bespoke Senior Management Development programmes for a wide range of companies. He has been external examiner to Bath University, worked with the Bank of England, three of the major UK clearing banks, advised a major London recording studio for 15 years, and regularly talks to SME owners in the UK and Europe about economic trends. He is a visiting fellow to Ashridge, Warwick and Henley business schools.

Roger is a practical researcher. He focuses on how the economy really works and on the links between FT100 reward systems, the behaviour of banks and economic instability. He also researches his clients trading environment as a necessary component of his teaching. His book ‘Making Sense of the Economy’ is in its fourth reprint.

He speaks at conferences around the world on the economic outlook and its impact on business. His quarterly economic update is sent to 1200 SME’s. 

He is a veteran oarsman, and plays keyboards in a rock band.

Simon Foster, CEO, Comexposium (France)

Simon Foster

Simon Foster is CEO of Comexposium. Comexposium has grown from being the largest events organiser in France to become the third largest events organiser globally.

Simon joined the events industry in the early 1990s as a marketing professional, and notably spent 19 years at UBM plc, as CEO of UBM EMEA and UBM Americas. He focuses his work on constantly striving to bring communities together to build relationships and develop business opportunities.

Joining Comexposium in 2017, Simon prioritised the international evolution of the business both geographically and operationally. He focused the internal culture of excellence on growing the many strong event brands and seeking out opportunities for innovation and development.

Simon is on the SISO Board, the AEO International Group, and is a member of the Independent Organisers Network. As well, he is Non-Executive Director and Trustee for the Chiltern Learning Trust.
Simon has lived and work in France, England, the Netherlands, and the United States, and has run businesses and led events all over the world. His favourite way to spend free time is at home with his wife and daughter.

Sophie Holt, Global Strategy Director, Explori (UK)

Simon Foster

Sophie is an experienced event marketer working with a number of respected organisers including CloserStill and Future Publishing. Over her career, she has launched 11 trade and enthusiast events in sectors as diverse as healthcare management and gaming.

Sophie has first-hand experience in the power of customer insight to shape event strategies that deliver sustainable growth. She is passionate about the role of customer experience in the future of exhibitions.

She regularly authors white papers and opinion pieces for the industry press and association bodies including the Global Visitor and Exhibitor Insights Reports for UFI and FaceTime research for the AEO. Having worked with audience insight specialists, Explori since their launch, she works in a broad strategic role as they enter their next phase of growth.

Prior to joining the exhibitions industry, Sophie worked in PR and events client-side, with a number of well-known brands including Avon Cosmetics and Toyota.

Ben Smithwell, Comotion Director of Customer Experience

Christoph Keese

Ben Smithwell runs the CX function at Comotion Consulting. He is a Customer Experience expert, Design Thinking professional and TEDx speaker.
Originally from a research and Marketing background, Ben has spent the last fifteen years leading research teams to unpick the behaviours and needs of customers in order to help large organizations solve intractable problems, think creatively, and design emotionally positive experiences that will generate sustainable revenue growth.

Ben leads the Events practice at Comotion, designing customer-led strategies, developing Voice of Customer programs, and supporting customer-led transformations with several of the major organizer businesses.

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