We are well into our third year of the Fast Forward 15 programme and I am hugely impressed with the talent of this years' mentees. As we continue the programme the motivation behind the initiative still remains paramount as when I look back to when I started Zibrant over 25 years ago (now BCD M&E), the landscape in the MICE industry has changed dramatically. Consistent and solid growth means our industry is now valued at £26 billion. Growth in the sector has prompted a shift change in the academic aspects of our industry too, with many universities offering courses in events and hospitality, the uptake always high.
With 75% of our industry being female, progression and the advancement of women up the ranks has always been a critical element of how I have developed the culture of my own organisation. For me, its about genuine equality through putting processes into place resulting in happy and motivated staff. A key part of this is mentoring, something which I have benefited from, continue to do and which my organisation sees as an everyday element of growing our pool of talent. The outcome for the company has been celebrated through multiple award wins in events, incentives, our people and recognition of being one of the Times Top 50 companies for women.
We are not alone in this quest, in the United Kingdom, the business and executive search communities have also taken the lead, with initiatives in place to develop candidates by providing opportunities to gain visibility, exposure and confidence. Mentoring is favored as a preferred method of achieving this growth and personal development.
The Fast Forward 15 mentoring programme is a not for profit initiative spanning across our industry, giving access to and insight from some of the leaders in our field; an inspiring portfolio of influential and select talent who are willing to share their knowledge and experience with our stars of the future.
The programme runs for a 12 month period during which time mentees and their mentor work together to achieve objectives and goals. The programme includes 2 group workshops and monthly one to one mentoring and concludes with a graduation ceremony. Supported by industry leaders from both agency and corporate environments the programme is endorsed by the HBAA, MPI and Women's Business Council.
I look forward to continuing another exciting and successful year with our mentees.
P.S. View a short video here from our 2015 launch event explaining why I have been inspired to set up Fast Forward 15 and my top tips for success:
To inspire, encourage and empower women in the events, hospitality and related industry to be the best they can be.
Specifically: Giving 15 women the opportunity to be mentored, encouraged and advised by an industry expert for one year, as well as becoming part of a wider community of successful women supporters.
The Fast Forward 15 (FF15) mentoring programme welcomes applications from women in the MICE, hospitality and associated industry. Are you …
Successful applicants will be required to sign and return a Mentoring Contract prior to the commencement of the programme. This will contain full details and clauses relating to the programme.
Unsuccessful applicants will be offered the opportunity to join the FF15 networking forum providing a platform for discussion across the industry for all women in business related topics. An electronic networking environment, the FF15 networking forum is hosted and administered by BCD M&E (formerly Zibrant.)
We are thrilled to be working with some truly inspirational industry leaders on our 2018 programme and are very excited for their invaluable contribution to the programme.
We are in the process of confirming mentors for 2019, watch this space for the line up!
Jane is lucky to have possibly the best job in the world: leading a team of extremely talented event managers to plan and deliver HP’s most strategically important events. The events range from tradeshows to international conferences, executive events and internal leadership events.
Previous to her current role, she has led teams focused on product marketing, channel marketing and sales engagement.
Jane is passionate about education and, together with another parent, is the founder of an educational charity to build relationships between local businesses and schools.
Jane is married with two daughters.
Josy heads up the BCD M&E central European team covering Switzerland, Czech and of course Germany she’s based in our Dusseldorf office and has led the team brilliantly for five years although has actually been with BCD since 2009.
She combines outstanding product knowledge with leadership of the business and is keen to share some of the challenges that come with working across so many diverse territories and cultures.
A leading industry figure with over 20 years' in the UK meetings industry, Kerrin has a wealth of senior level international business tourism experience within the convention bureau, association, hotel and convention centre sectors.
In her role at VisitBritain/VisitEngland, Kerrin is focused on developing the UK meetings industry and helping to secure international business from key sectors including association, corporate, incentives and exhibitions. In addition, Kerrin is developing the national strategy to win more international events, reinforcing partnerships across Government and industry, and continuing to build Britain’s international brand for business events.
Prior to her current role, Kerrin was Director of Conference and Exhibition Sales at ACC Liverpool, where she played a key role in driving business growth for the venue and the Liverpool City Region, in addition to developing the successful Ambassador Programme, ‘Club Liverpool’.
Kerrin is former chair of the UK and Ireland Chapter of ICCA and has sat on numerous industry boards and groups, including BVEP, ABPCO and The Meetings Show Advisory board.
John boasts almost 30 years marketing and sales experience across a number of industries and disciplines. However, his first foray in to the meetings & events world was 13 years ago when he joined a fledgling Zibrant as Head of Marketing which is where he first had the pleasure of working with the whirlwind that is Fay Sharpe.
A marketing and business strategist at heart, possessing the skills to understand business finances, launch and deliver direction in line with business objectives as well as an ability to engage employees through communications strategy. Boasting a can-do attitude which he passionately preaches to his teams wherever they are in the world, he relishes challenges that test resilience and allow him to showcase his creativity and to look at every scenario producing solutions that turn spanners into engines delivering tangible results and amazing work.
An experienced speaker, panelist, judge and advisor to industry events, publications and associations and winner of numerous awards.
World at home is being Married to Hannah who’s an inspirational leader, respected events strategist and best friend. They share two sons Aidan 13 and Jack 16 who keep them on their toes and introduce them to worlds they didn’t know existed, the family is completed by Poppy the scarily faithful Springer Spaniel. Cycling (on and off road), scuba-diving and skiing keeps him fit and feeds his adrenaline needs. Relaxation comes from culinary experimentation (he will soon be appearing on Come Dine With Me) and travelling with family or friends and continuingly asking what’s over the next hill.
Drawing on her military background as well as key lessons she has learned from dealing with a life-changing injury, Kate applies her drive and enthusiasm for personal development to help people and organisations to release their potential.
With a Masters in Classics from Oxford University, Kate has a keen intellect and natural curiosity that help clients to clarify challenges as well as provide collaborative solutions. Front line service in Iraq and
Afghanistan have given Kate valuable experience in leading change, providing solutions under pressure and managing challenging relationships.
Rational and collected, Kate loves making sense of chaos and passionately believes in the importance of becoming comfortable with the uncomfortable. An Improvised Explosive Device (IED) put an end to her tour of Afghanistan and Kate's injuries resulted in her electing to have her leg amputated below the knee, becoming the first British female to lose a limb in combat. As a focus for her rehab, Kate trekked to the South Pole as part of an expedition organised by Walking With The Wounded. This earned her the honour of being shortlisted in the Women Of The Year awards in 2014.
Kate is a trusting and trusted professional who drives for results whilst bringing out the best in those around her, applying the same mentality that has seen her achieve significant professional and personal success to elicit the true potential from others. Balancing an eye for detail with the big picture, and a ready ability to switch focus between people and task, Kate is an energetic lady who thrives on challenges, seeing them as opportunities for progress.
At ease with working at multiple levels, Kate has experience in a variety of sectors including banking, finance, insurance, advertising, communications, manufacturing, healthcare, education and scientific research and development.
Kate is also honoured to be an ambassador for ABF The Soldier’s Charity and a trustee of the Defence and National Rehabilitation Centre (DNRC).
Mark is a founder and director on the Board for FIRST, with key responsibility for the EMEA market operations. "Good to great!" is his daily mantra, and it shows. From the company's inception, Mark has had a huge part in growing FIRST to where it is today, and continues to help elevate the business and its future strategy.
Mark is currently Chair of the event Industry’s event management apprenticeship scheme, driving the take up of apprenticeships whilst also raising learning routes into our industry. He is also an advisor to various global hotels and luxury brands, through their advisory boards, and is a Trustee of the UK’s busiest green space; Jubilee Gardens on London’s south bank. Beyond business, Mark lives in South London with his wife of 20-years and a black Labrador called ‘Bill’.
Nick Gold is the owner and Managing Director of Speakers Corner, a market-leading speaker bureau and consultancy with a portfolio of over 6,500 speakers, servicing over 1,000 events each year across all UK business sectors. He is also a Director of Speaking Office, a bespoke management company for Speakers and Artists. He is a board member and advisor to one of London’s leading restaurant groups, Berber & Q and is on the Board of Trustees for the award-winning charity, Castlehaven Community Association. Nick looks after the Enterprise Development Board there.
He previously worked in the energy sector at Power Costs Inc. (PCI) and Centrica, where he specialised in project management, business development, business analysis and bid tendering.
Nick was formerly the Chairman of the EASB (European Association of Speaker Bureaus), and the Co-Chair of the IASB Convention Committee (International Association of Speaker Bureaus). He has been published extensively across UK media outlets, including: The Telegraph, City AM, Huffington Post UK, GQ.com and Raconteur.
Rebecca has been at Virgin Atlantic for nearly 17 years in a variety of roles but all with a focus on MICE travel. In this time Rebecca has managed operational teams, ensured consistency of global service delivery, had client liaison for the leading UK MICE agencies and developed key relationships with industry partners. Throughout her time with the organisation Rebecca has been committed to developing innovative initiatives to showcase Virgin Atlantic's, and more recently Delta Air Lines, MICE offering, raising the profile and enhancing their reputation as a market leader. In her current role as Manager, Partnership Development (MICE), Rebecca is responsible for identifying and driving the commercial strategy for the groups market. Rebecca is passionate about developing a network of key partners and stakeholders to gather insight and understanding into buying behaviour, trends and identify un-met needs of MICE customers.
Rebecca has represented Virgin within the MICE sector at many industry events and speaking engagements. Pushing boundaries on how airlines should support the MICE sector and encouraging industry buyers to see the airline experience as part of the overall event and not just a mode of transport. Bringing aviation and events sector closer together.
A full time working Mum, Rebecca is passionate about women in business and especially that of working mums. Internally supporting Virgin Atlantic’s own Women networking group.
Balancing a role that requires overseas travel and evening events along with being a mum makes for a strength in planning and organising. Rebecca enjoys travel and watching her daughter, who is a keen young performer, take part in many shows.
Moya is an exceptional senior business executive, whose expertise is in developing new business ventures and maximising the commercial potential of organisations.
Moya has considerable experience in the unique venue sector having worked at St James Theatre (New Zealand) and Sadler’s Wells before joining the Royal Opera House as Head of Commercial Programming in 2004. During her 12 years at ROH, Moya oversaw all commercial events at the venue, bringing in major events such as the Bafta Film Awards and the Oliviers, as well as researching and developing additional commercial opportunities for the ROH brand and ROH productions. These included setting up the UK cinema distribution network for live broadcasts of opera and ballet from the Royal Opera House and creating and launching new retail outlets – both physical and online.
Moya was also Chairman of venue marketing consortium Unique Venues of London from 2005 – 2016, utilising her experience in the sector to promote the unique venue scene in London and further grow the membership.
Moya joined RIBA as head of venues in October 2016 where she is responsible for leading and developing the venue and events teams in London and Liverpool to ensure they continue to increase their commercial contribution to the charity and fulfil their remit to encourage more people to engage with and explore architecture.
Caroline has over 30 years of experience designing, delivering, teaching and researching events. She has been a founding member of organisations involved with furthering the importance of events, including the Association for Events Management Education, which she currently chairs. Having worked in leisure, providing events from county shows to international sports events, she moved into academia. Once at Bournemouth University, Caroline developed some of the first higher education qualifications in events management and established its world leading Events & Leisure Department.
Working tirelessly to blend education and practice, Caroline has been recognised for her contribution by being elected Vice Chair of the Business Visits & Events Partnership (BVEP). BVEP is the umbrella organisation that represents the UK leading trade and professional organisations, government agencies and other significant influencers in the business visits and events sector.
Caroline is passionate about advancing the profile and performance of the valuable people within the events sector. Having led major departments in leisure and events she has the experience and interest to contribute to the Fast Forward 15 programme.
Caroline has researched, presented and published on music festivals, music tourism, the event experience, the planning and sponsorship of events and event education. She is currently investigating creativity in events, supported by the Events Industry Forum and the professionalisation of the event sector supported by BVEP. She keeps ahead of developments and has just completed a project creating a Virtual Interactive Environment for Event Planning.
A highly experienced trainer with 20 years’ experience and hundreds of connections in the events industry. She was winner of the IEAM ‘2014 Outstanding Contribution to the Entertainment and Arts Industry awards and has been selected to be a mentor for the third year running on the Fast Forward 15 mentoring program. Justine also sat on the committee for the In-house Corporate Event Awards
Justine is now excited to be taking on the role as Managing Director for The Event Talent Agency and using her passion of connecting her event industry networks with high quality event talent.
Justine has spent the past 6 years as Course Director at Event Academy. And 5yrs prior to that with the international event management training Institute, placing 1000+ graduates into roles and tutoring them through to successful qualification.
Justine has also worked with some of the UK’s largest companies and charities to plan and deliver first class events and live experiences (see below).
She has a BSc degree in Psychology at St Mary’s Honours College, Maryland, USA, before embarking on a recruitment career for a year. She then pursued her other passion, events, as an account executive. In this role she developed her business experience and gained solid account management and logistical event skills.
Since then Justine has worked in both the profit and non-profit sectors on a consultancy basis and has an extensive experience of working with many event agencies. Clients and employers have included WWF-UK, Haagen Dazs, Mars and AXA. Her consultancy and training over the years has meant that Justine’s list of contacts within the events agency is unparalleled.
Justine also co-ordinates a number of international hospitality and sporting events (working alongside celebrities and VIP’s including HRH The Prince of Wales, Martin Clunes and Matthew Pincent) as well as collaborating to secure a range of corporate sponsorship deals.
Justine began her lecturing career 11 years ago and her role has been Course Director for Post Graduate and Diploma Courses from the outset. In addition to the strategic development of courses she lectured on her areas of expertise and develops students’ individual skills and soft skills as they prepare for either their work placement or the job market. Much of her time has been spent building relationships within the industry to place students in solid work placements.
Justine has a particular interest in NLP and Mindfulness for training and development and has completed a number of related courses in this field.
She lives in the South of England with her partner and two young boys. Justine loves to entertain and socialise and has a passion for tennis which compliments her joy of good food!
Andrew Mosley was born in July 1965. His school years were spent at Oundle in Northamptonshire. He is degree educated in Hotel and Catering Management.
Andrew’s hotel general management career spans over 24 years, running hotels for Shire Hotels, Corus and Regal hotels, QHotels and De Vere Hotels including time as Director of Operations at The Belfry. He has also held Regional Director roles in addition to his General Management responsibilities.
Andrew moved to his current role as General Manager of The Grand Brighton in May 2010. Since joining he has ensured the Hotel has re-established itself as a first choice venue for business and leisure. The business employs over 300 staff. The Hotel has seen significant business growth in the since 2010 assisted by a £5miilion refurbishment in 2012/13. Work included a new restaurant (called GB1), which was awarded 2 rosettes in 2014, and a new Spa which opened in May 2013. All the hotel bedrooms and meeting rooms were also refurbished.
In 2014 Andrew oversaw the sale of The Grand by De Vere to Wittington Investments. Wittington are committed to further extensive investment in The Grand which has now already commenced including the installation of air conditioning to all bedrooms and the complete refurbishment and restoration of the hotel’s facade.
The Grand is committed, whenever possible, to supporting the local economy – assisted by it’s new found independent status and underpinned by its commitment to local suppliers in its restaurant and the support offered to local charities. It has a Gold accreditation with the Green Tourism Business Scheme.
Andrew sits on the Board of the Meetings Industry Association and was chairman from March 2014 to February 2016. The Grand is Gold accredited under the Association’s AIM higher scheme
Andrew is a strong participant in Brighton’s business community. This includes the work he does by sitting on the Board of Trustees of Rockinghorse - a local children’s charity supporting the Royal Alexandra Hospital
Andrew lives near Southampton and spends his time out with his family and friends. He also enjoys cycling and listening to music.
Tony is a business leader with a strong background in Finance, Business Management and People Development at Ingram Micro, the words largest IT Distributor, where he has held a number of Senior Management positions in the UK and overseas.
As a qualified CIMA Accountant Tony’s current role is that of the Ingram Micro UK Finance Director where he is accountable for all aspects of finance. This includes Mergers & Acquisitions, Commercial Decision Taking, Strategic Planning & Budgeting, Adherence to US Corporate policies, Working Capital Management and Specific Finance Projects. He is also Black Belt qualified in Six Sigma.
In 2017 Tony was recognised in his field when he was selected as a winner of Finance Monthly Magazine’s CFO Awards. In awarding Tony this accolade the magazine acknowledged his influential leadership beyond that of the traditional FD; as an ambassador for the UK Alzheimer’s Society, delivery of motivational keynote presentations, social influencer status and his drive to pass on his knowledge and experience through the Fastforward15 women in business mentoring program.
As a Commercially minded FD Tony’s approach to this role is influenced by his non-conventional background.
As a teenager he competed for the country in the Long Jump and then attained a BA Joint Honours degree in Music and Sports Science. Over the last +10 years he has established himself as an ambassador for The Alzheimer’s Society raising more than £100k in funds for the cause, by a series of madcap challenges which have included cycling Land’s End to John O-Groats, Kayaking the length of the Thames and back to back Paris and London marathons with a cycle in between. The awareness raising peaked in 2015 when on April 25th, as he was preparing to leave Mount Everest the worlds’ highest Mountain, Nepal was hit by a magnitude 7.8 Earthquake.
In 2018 Tony will be returning to the high altitude mountains when he attempts to climb the highest mountain in Europe, Mount Elbrus in Russia. He will be raising funds for both The Alzheimer’s Society and The Willen Hospice based in Milton Keynes.
Andrew has over 25 years meetings and events experience helping to build a start up company of 5 staff based in the UK to become a global event management business with a presence in Europe, Asia and North America with over 300 FTE's.
Consulted on behalf of a number of global blue chip companies Andrew has had the opportunity to work across all the major industry sectors including delivering a number of global strategic meetings management programmes (SMMP).
Over the past 10 years he has opened businesses across Europe, Asia & North America setting up operational & commercial teams. Andrew has sat on a number of industry advisory boards and he is presently Chair of EVCOM the UK's largest association representing the Digital, Visual Content and Live Events sector.
Since leaving Ashfield M&E in July 2016, Andrew has delivered a number of consulting projects for agencies, venues, destinations & corporate clients.
Travelled extensively on business and pleasure with India being the only major continent he has not had the pleasure of experiencing.
A self-motivated, results orientated professional Andrew believes in building strong business relationships that make a difference to the clients that he works with.
Hamish is an experienced Destination Sales and Marketing focused director responsible for managing teams promoting some of the world’s most dynamic destinations for their European Business Events promotion including Las Vegas, Thailand, and is the European Manager for Dubai Business Events.
An experienced sales, marketing and strategic tourism leader with specialised MICE sector knowledge of the tourism industry. With over 20 years’ experience delivering substantial, pragmatic and strategic leadership for primary projects, and working with all levels of management, Hamish have devised and implemented sales and marketing operating plans, with innovative solutions, for a variety of clients. By setting metrics and KPI’s and accurately measuring outcomes the activity has enabled clients to grow their profile and business profitability.
Effective in boosting sales revenues and impacting unit recognition, productivity, and membership through advanced leadership and implementations whilst focused on adhering to client values and understanding the economic, reputational and social capital benefit of tourism for destinations.
Expert in the delivery of interconnected marketing actions and the measurement of outcomes over outputs ensuring efficient and effective financial returns for marketing strategy and spend. Proficient in identifying latest trends and pattern analysis, spotting anomalies and the resolution of diverse operational issues and future challenge identification.
Skilled capabilities in selection, recruitment of talent, excellent presenter, communicator, and trainer with success targeting large business community groups, benefitting performance and reputation.
Recipient of multiple national, industry, and organisational awards for superior leadership, performance, and contributions. Awards include the M&IT Personality of the Year Award 2009 for contribution to the industry, the 2011 Chartered Institute of Marketing Travel Marketing PR Award and 14 MIMA Awards for both on and offline marketing.
We were privileged to work with more industry leaders on our 2018 programme:
Caroline Jackson (Bournemouth University), Kate Philp (Corran Consulting Ltd), Hamish Reid (Dubai Business Events), Justine Kane (Event Academy), Andrew Winterburn (EVCOM), Mark Riches (First Agency), Andrew Mosley (Grand Brighton), Jane Culcheth-Beard (HP), Tony McMurray (Ingram Micro), Moya Maxwell (RIBA), Nick Gold (Speakers Corner), Rebecca Duncan (Virgin Atlantic Airways), Kerrin MacPhie (Visit Britain), Josefine Voss (BCD Meetings & Events), John Kelly (BCD Meetings & Events
Growth and development can span across your career. Your category selection and application will help us understand what you would like to achieve out of the Fast Forward 15 programme.
Applications for FF15 2018 open on 1st December and close on 9th March 2018.
We welcome applicants from women at whatever stage of their career who are looking for support to progress and develop.
To apply to be a mentee please download and complete the form below, we'll then review your application and be in touch as soon as possible. If you have any queries please don't hesitate to drop us an email.
Please return the completed form to firstname.lastname@example.org
Dates for 2018 FF15 programme
Celebrate all things 80s at our retro games night!
A night of nostalgic 80's gaming fun & music at EGG London, in celebration of International Women's day, SMARTWORKS & FF15.
You're invited to celebrate International Women's day and rewind to the 80's with the music, dance and style of a generation!
A fun networking night with a fusion of interactive games, raffles and surprises.
A charity benefit event brought to you by Fast forward 15 (class of 2017/18).
Join us to support SMARTWORKS, a Charity that assists women back into work with confidence and style!