Digital, Innovation & Technology Conference - Speakers

At the Digital, Innovation and Technology Conference, we’re proud to welcome a whole host of high street expert speakers, place-management and regeneration professionals, all dedicated to transforming our future high streets through the use of digital solutions, technology and innovation. From managing research projects to leading their own high street’s digital revolution, our speakers have heaps of experience, drive, and determination to share with our attendees.

When speakers for the next Digital, Innovation and Technology Conference are confirmed their details will be added below. 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

Dr Jackie Mulligan

CEO and founder of

Dr Jackie Mulligan is CEO and founder of – a multi award-winning digital platform that enables people to browse local businesses, book services and buy products with click and collect after normal opening hours.
Jackie has used her experience, expertise and doctoral research into psychology and behaviours to develop with a vision to help create happier communities, economies and places to live and work. The platform helps local businesses by enabling them to promote themselves as a unified front that crucially makes it easier for customers to support local businesses and their own economies and communities – diverting online browsing to local spending.

Sophie Hainsworth and Jason Nesbitt

Founders of LoyalFree

Sophie Hainsworth and Jason Nesbitt are the founders of LoyalFree. LoyalFree is a multi-award winning place promotion 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 and visitors in your town or city. LoyalFree currently work with 15 BIDs around the UK and promotes over 2,000 businesses; both independents and multi nationals. The pair were invited to share their ideas at the 2019 World Town’s Leadership Summit in Tokyo and have picked up numerous accolades for their innovative work in helping the high street.

Dan Coombs

Regional Sales Director, ElephantWifi

Dan Coombs has been involved in sales and marketing for over 30 years and as such has built up a wealth of knowledge.  Dan has been the Regional Sales Director for ElephantWiFi for the last 4 years and has been working very closely with many towns and cities regarding wireless infrastructure WiFi and Footfall data.  In this time Dan has surveyed over 200 towns and in doing so has a great understanding of what is required and how to achieve results.

Polly Barnfield, OBE

CEO of Maybe*

The AI-powered Maybe* platform provides tools that enable organisations to know their customers better, communicate with them efficiently and to measure the impact their social media activity has on their overall business results.

Maybe* is one of the companies that have been selected to contribute to the UK Governments High Street Task Force.

Polly was named as one of the 100 most Influential Women in Technology by Computer Weekly Magazine.

Andrew Goodacre

CEO, Bira

CEO, Bira

Andrew joined the British Independent Retailers Association (Bira) in September 2018. He was previously CEO for the Residential Landlords Association (RLA) and prior to that a senior manager with the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).

Since joining Bira, Andrew has focused his energies on improving the services for members. He has also been campaigning to reduce the burdens on independent retail businesses and saving the town centres and high street throughout the UK.

Roger Smith

CEO, Grounded Places

Roger Smith comes from a 20+ years background in retail finally responsible for Store Format Development, journeying through a range of disciplines from Store Group Management, Resource Planning, Space Planning, Retail Marketing, Category Management & In-Store Display with a short stint with a global creative agency where he sat on the Exec Board supporting strategic development and deployment. At the same company he led brand clients to more effective retail solutions through the provision of retail insights which led him on to starting nearly 10 years ago.

Now the owner & Managing Director of he leads a multi-channel retail research agency specialising in shopper behaviour with an enviable client list including such as:

Coca-Cola, Dulux, M&S, Black & Decker, Holland & Barrett, Sky, Phillips, Walkers and many more.

His business mantra to his client is “Turning insight investment into increased conversion & profit” as the outputs of his work come with clear insight and related actionable recommendations

Recently coming together and working in partnership with Clare Bailey “Grounded Places” has been launched to bring a similar mantra and measurable benefits to the high street for local authorities / Business Improvement Development groups and independent retailers / visitor / experience centres