Focus on Footfall Conference - Speakers

At the Focus on Footfall Conference, we’re proud to welcome a whole host of high street expert speakers, place-management and regeneration professionals, all dedicated to improving and developing our future high streets. From managing research projects to leading their own high street’s transformation, our speakers have heaps of experience, drive, and determination to share with our attendees.

Speakers from previous events are listed below by way of example. When speakers for the Focus on Footfall Conference are confirmed their details will be added. For more information on the topics you can expect to hear about at this year’s event please see our agenda via outline agenda

Clare Bailey

Founder of Future High Street Summit Conferences

Clare Bailey, The Retail Champion, is a leading UK retail expert and sought-after retail speaker. She is a frequent media contributor, regularly featured on BBC, ITV, Channel 5, Sky and Bloomberg TV News, various radio broadcasts, in trade press and digital media, commenting on issues affecting retail and the high street.

Clare is most well-known for championing smaller, independent retailers and for her passion for the emerging social, experiential high street of the future.

She is author of 2 books published by Kogan Page, the first ‘The Retail Champion: 10 steps to Retail Success‘, was published in July 2012. The second, entitled ‘How to Sell to Retail – The secrets of getting your product to market‘, came out in February 2013. Read more about Clare Bailey, Retail Expert

Diane Wehrle

Marketing and Insight Director, Springboard

Diane is regarded as one of the leading experts on retail and retail destinations, with an unparalleled knowledge and expertise in understanding current and emerging retail issues and consumer trends. Diane is a regular commentator on the performance of retail for national broadcast and print media, appearing regularly on BBC and Sky News and her opinion is often quoted in the UK’s national and regional press.

She specialises in delivering intelligence and insights on both current retail performance and long term retail trends to retailers, hospitality occupiers, landlords, investors and place managers. Diane has 30 years’ experience in retail, and is a founding director of Springboard which was established in 2002.

Recently Diane led a £1 million two year project funded by the UK government based on enhancing the customer experience in retail, collaborating with UK universities in Manchester and Cardiff. The project has revolutionised the way high streets are classified, paving the way for the introduction of new innovative strategies for town centres to ensure their resilience in a multi-channel world.

Diane holds an MSc in Property Investment and was recently awarded a Senior Fellowship of the Institute of Place Management, one of only 12 Senior Fellows worldwide. Diane was also been named as one of the world’s top retail influencers by two separate organisations in both 2018 and 2019.

Sophie Hainsworth and Jason Nesbitt

Founders, LoyalFree

Sophie Hainsworth and Jason Nesbitt are the founders of LoyalFree.

LoyalFree is a multi-award winning place app which promotes: Offers, Loyalty Schemes, Tourism Information, Events, Competitions and Interactive Trails for your area. LoyalFree is the only app your BID needs to increase footfall, gather accurate data and satisfy the local businesses in your town or city.

LoyalFree currently work with 14 BIDs around the UK and over 1,200 businesses; both independents and multi nationals.

Dan Coombs

Regional Sales Director, ElephantWiFi

With over 30 years of sales and marketing experience Dan joined ElephantWiFi in 2016 as Regional Director. In this time, Dan has engaged with Place Managers to better understand their challenges and site surveyed over 200 towns and cities UK wide.

He has personally overseen more than 30 town wide ElephantWiFi and GEO-Sense Footfall installations enabling him to be recognised as a specialist within the Smart City Solution arena.

Working alongside and Place Managers has helped us design and develop technologies to enable better informed decisions to be made on their Place.

Michelle Sacks

Deputy CEO, Boston Borough Council

Deputy Chief Executive at Boston Borough Council with responsibility for growth and inward investment with particular emphasis on repurposing the High Street and creating an environment within the Council and within the Borough of Boston as the place to come and do business. The lead on Future High Street Fund and Stronger Towns Fund submissions. Working closely with a range of Stakeholders to develop ideas and initiatives to generate increased footfall in the town centre.

Sam Webster

Councillor for Castle Ward and Portfolio Holder for Finance, Growth and the City Centre, Nottingham City Council

Sam Webster is Councillor for Castle Ward and Portfolio Holder for Finance, Growth and the City Centre. 

Sam came to Nottingham aged 18 to study Government and Politics at Nottingham Trent University. He has lived and worked in Nottingham ever since and has an employment background in the skills, training and apprenticeships sector. Sam volunteered as a Special Police Constable for over 2 years in Nottingham and has been a volunteer board member at Nottingham Credit Union for many years. He’s served on Nottingham City Council for 6 years and was re-elected in May 2019 for a 4 year term.  Sam’s key areas of interest are education, economic development and ensuring the City is clean and green.

Jason Haywood

Retail Expert, Retail Spark

Jason has emerged from 20+ years of running his own businesses and supporting a wide range of independent retailers. For the last 5 years he’s been running retail programmes across the UK, in partnership with local authorities. For this reason he has invaluable insight into what independent retailers need. By seeing what works and what doesn’t he’s developed, and continues to develop, the right support to enable retailer’s growth and help support positive change.