First batch of speakers announced below – more to follow…

Iain Beaumont

Iain Beaumont

Founder - Venues and Ventures

Iain is the founder of Venues and Ventures, a management consultancy specialising in delivering strong returns on investment across historic venues, rural estates and outdoor spaces. He has worked for some of England’s grandest country estates and leading luxury venues, refining his eye for spotting new opportunities and helping businesses realise their potential.

Layona Bungay

Layona Bungay

Owner - Artifex Designs

Layona is the owner of Artifex Designs, which provides fun, magical and scary seasonal events focussing on Halloween, UV 3D Scaremaze Artwork and provides fully immersive Christmas experiences. Having worked with a variety of entertainment venues across the UK, and who’s screampark artwork was featured in the Guardian and the Times in 2019, Layona is passionate about working with venues to start up or grow their seasonal events to provide fun, engaging and immersive entertainment for all.

Kelly Chandler

Kelly Chandler

Founder - Kelly Chandler Consulting

A regular contributor to Open Air Business, Kelly is a long term preferred service provider for exclusive venues such as Syon Park, Highclere Castle, Spencer House and Stoke Park Club. Kelly’s consulting services to wedding venues draw to prior experience in international conference and event planning, over 15 years of business management, and working directly with discerning couples planning their weddings in diverse locations and forging successful relationships with all components of the wedding industry.

Shelley Coffey BA(Hons), MCD, MRTPI

Associate Director - Rural Solutions

Shelley is an experienced Town and Country Planner and chartered member of the Royal Town Planning Institute with over 13 years' experience within both public and private sector planning. She holds post graduate qualifications in Town and Regional Planning as well as Climate Change and Sustainable Development. Shelley began her planning career in a local planning authority in Lancashire and now is an Associate Director at Rural Solutions, leading on a variety of projects, across all sectors including leisure and tourism, residential and renewable energy, working with clients to maximise the potential of land and assets.

Sheena Corry

Sheena Corry

Owner - The Forge / Wild Bushcraft Company

Sheena is the owner and co-founder of The Forge and the Wild Bushcraft Company. Based in North Wales, Sheena and her husband Jamie offer glamping retreats with a twist. As well as the usual luxury camping facilities, The Forge encourages guests to engage in a wide range of bushcraft activities, ranging from lighting their own campfires to wild food foraging and star gazing, all with the aim of helping guests step off from the modern world and find a deeper level of relaxation and wellbeing. With a background in corporate diversity and inclusion, The Forge perfectly complements Sheena’s career, which focuses on encouraging better mental health in the workplace.

Richard Coulter

Richard Coulter

Co-founder - Canopy

After graduating in environmental management and outdoor education, Richard moved into corporate development training before joining forces with business partner John Maddy to become one of the early pioneers of glamping in the UK, launching Long Valley Yurts in 2007. The pair has worked with the Irish Tourist Board to consult and advise on glamping nationally, and are now bringing together over 17 years of experience to offer consultancy, training and qualifications through Canopy, a new glamping and camping industry association.

Joe Heap

Joe Heap

Director and Programmer - Towersey Festival

Joe is the director and programmer of Towersey Festival, the oldest independent festival in the UK. Established in 1965, it continues to be one of the country’s leading festivals of acoustic, folk and roots music, attracting over 8,000 people annually.

sTEVE hEAP

Steve Heap

Chairman, Events Industry Forum

Steve is the chairman of the Events Industry Forum (EIF) and a contributor to the Purple Guide. He has been the general secretary of Association of Festival Organisers (AFO) since its formation in 1987, is the director of Mrs Casey Music and was director of Towersey Festival for 45 years, having retired last year.

Daniel Holder

Daniel Holder

Owner - The Quiet Site

Daniel owns the Quiet Site in Ullswater, and his pioneering commitment to sustainability has seen over £1million invested in the latest technologies to make it one of the greenest parks in the land. The Quiet Team was delighted to win the ‘Ethical, Sustainable and Responsible’ Award for from Cumbria Tourism for a record 4th time last year and maintains a Green Tourism Gold award.

Viscount Kelburn

Viscount Kelburn

Kelburn Estate

David Boyle is the next in line to inherit Kelburn Estate, which includes his family home, a 16th Castle. He took over the day to day running of operations from his father Lord Glasgow 10 years ago and has set about delivering diversification projects which include glamping, an expansion of the wedding and corporate events side of the business, seasonal attractions and the Kelburn Garden Party, often referred to as “the best festival in Scotland.” Putting Kelburn well and truly on the map as a destination venue was the family’s bold move to give the Category A listed building a facelift with a difference – Brazilian street art courtesy of 1,500 cans of spray paint. Considered a triumph by Historic Scotland, the estate featured in global news and the Culture Show, with visitors increasing by 25 per cent.

Amy-Lee Fogwill

Amy-Lee Fogwill

Head of Client Success - Hitched.com

Amy-Lee has worked alongside wedding venues of all shapes and sizes across the UK and internationally for over 6 years, helping them to manage their online presence and marketing with the UK’s Number 1 Wedding Planning Website. As Head of Client Success, Amy-Lee combines her previous experience as a Sales Manager for a group of exclusive use wedding venues with her time at Hitched to help deliver results for all her clients. She’s passionate about helping venues navigate the constantly changing wedding market while deepening her understanding of the behaviours and needs of wedding planning couples.

John Maddy

John Maddy

Co-founder - Canopy

After graduating in outdoor education and leadership, John moved into corporate development training before joining forces with business partner Richard Coulter to become one of the early pioneers of glamping in the UK, launching Long Valley Yurts in 2007. The pair has worked with the Irish Tourist Board to consult and advise on glamping nationally, and are now bringing together over 17 years of experience to offer consultancy, training and qualifications through Canopy, a new glamping and camping industry association.

Kate Morel

Kate Morel

Founder - Morel Consultancy / Morel & Co

Kate’s hospitality-dedicated businesses support development projects that include alternative accommodations such as glamping and treehouses. Her consultancy service offers informed advice on how to diversify into this niche sector, and her design service combines her holiday property rental and glamping experience with design and construction to produce creative commercial treehouses and cabins.

Matt Pitts

Matt Pitts

Meadows Advisor - PlantLife

Matt is a meadows adviser at Plantlife, advising and supporting anyone interested in restoring, creating and managing wildflower meadows. Plantlife is a British conservation charity working nationally and internationally for over 30 years to save threatened wild flowers, plants and fungi. Its team of experts work with landowners, businesses, conservation organisations, community groups and governments to help save the rarest flora and ensure familiar flowers and plants continue to thrive.

Tim Rees

Tim Rees

Managing Director - Quality Unearthed

Tim Rees is managing director of Quality Unearthed, Quality Cottages and Quality Villas, three self-catering agencies representing nearly 1,000 properties at the quality end of the accommodation Wales, England, France, Italy and Morocco. With a focus on e-commerce, he is perfectly positioned to give an overview of the current market and its likely movements in the medium term. He has a personal interest in sustainability and founded the Unearthed Festival, an event focused on positive social change through the expansion of consciousness. Tim is currently also working on a luxury treehouse development near London.

Kate Symonds

Kate Symonds

Owner - Round the Woods

Kate Symonds has been running the glampsite, Round the Woods, for the past five years, with two yurts and a roundhouse that her family are building using natural materials. Kate has experience of advising the Church of England and London Wildlife Trust on environmental sustainability and runs her glampsite with eco friendly practices at its core. She lives amongst 20 acres of woodland and meadow, including a County Wildlife Site, with her young family and attempts to live off the land as much as possible while home educating her children.

Louis Thompson

Louis Thompson

CEO - Nomadic Resorts

Louis is CEO of Nomadic Resorts, an interdisciplinary design and project development company servicing the hospitality industry. Using a holistic approach, Nomadic creates sustainable resorts, tented camps, lodges and residential projects that reflect a true sense of place and fit organically into their natural surroundings. Its work includes the Wild Coast Tented Lodge in the south of Sri Lanka, Soneva Kiri on Ko Kut island in Thailand and Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp in Namibia.

Sue Torres

Director - Wicked Events

Sue is director of Wicked Events which has been in operation since 2000 and recruits volunteers for festivals and events around the country. Wicked Events has grown year on year due to the emphasis on treating all with respect and ensuring volunteers enjoy their time.

We will be adding details of more speakers in the following weeks. Check back soon.