Meet the Speakers

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Danielle Bounds 

Danielle Bounds

With more than 25 years’ experience in the travel, tourism and events industries, Danielle heads up the sales team at International Convention Centre Wales.

She joined ICC Wales having previously been Sales Director at the Celtic Manor Resort where she helped deliver many high-profile events including the 2010 Ryder Cup and 2014 NATO Summit.

Danielle moved across to ICC Wales in 2019 and is now responsible for driving the UK and international sales strategy for this exciting new venue. The focus of the ICC Wales is putting Wales firmly on the map as a leading player in the business events world.

David Buist 

David Buist

David has been focused on helping businesses to make positive change over the last 25 years.  He leads a Team that hold responsibility for the Cyber Security Services provided by Xperience Group throughout the UK & Ireland, supporting a broad selection of vertical markets.

Working with some of the country’s biggest brands, and partnering with world leaders in technology providing best-in-class digital transformation and Cyber Security solutions.

For over fifty years, Xperience have focused on the needs of their clients, developing innovative solutions that deliver real results. Today, the focus is the same, putting their people, clients, technology, and Cyber Security at the heart of everything they do.

Lesley Whyte

Lesley Whyte 

 Lesley Whyte is senior account director at CUSTARD where she excels in the diligent management of the hospitality marketing consultancy’s B2B PR and marketing accounts.

In addition to delivering bold and pioneering campaigns for venues, associations and industry suppliers, she has vast experience of providing reputational management consultancy to protect brands.

Whether that’s creating and establishing the correct processes and systems, or providing swift and robust responses, she’s a key member of Custard’s issues and crisis response team to ensure issues don’t escalate and have a detrimental impact on an organisation.

Nicky Hunter

Nicky Hunter

Nicky Hunter is PR and Communications Manager at The ACC Liverpool Group, operator of ACC Liverpool, Exhibition Centre Liverpool, the M&S Bank Arena and ticketing agency Ticket Quarter.  Nicky leads on all aspects of crisis communications and has first-hand experience of dealing with major incidents in the 11 years she has worked in the role.  As PR and Comms Manager, she is responsible for external communications across all markets in which the organisation operates as well as internal communications. 

Nicky joined from Paver Smith PR agency where, as senior account manager, she handled accounts including the National Lottery, the Grand National, Marco Pierre White Restaurants and Liverpool Women’s Hospital.

She has 22 years’ experience working in the media industry and, prior to working in PR, was a senior journalist for regional and national newspapers.  She covered a range of breaking news stories and - as a showbusiness columnist on a national newspaper - events such as the MTV Europe Music Awards and the Baftas.

Eddie Dos Santos

Eddie Dos Santos (2)

Eddie dos Santos is Assistant Director of Operations and FM at The ACC Liverpool Group, operator of ACC Liverpool, Exhibition Centre Liverpool, the M&S Bank Arena and ticketing agency Ticket Quarter.  Eddie leads on the security strategy for the campus and associated event security deployment plans.

Eddie has first-hand experience of dealing with major events in the 10 years at The ACC Liverpool Group ranging from party political conferences, high profile international entertainment events to global sporting events. 

Eddie has 15 years’ experience working in the hospitality, leisure and events sector and over this period security has always been a major part of his role.  Eddie sits on the NAA and AEV security forums and the local resilience forums and leads on the Protect Duty preparation for The ACC Liverpool Group.

Nick Dajda


Nick is responsible for product managing Metrasens’ line-up of people screening solutions, used in a wide range of venues and environments around the world to keep people and infrastructure safe.  

Nick has 20 years’ experience developing technology products for markets including the security, safety, and electronics industries.

Dr. Sam Pollock

Sam Pollock (2)

Dr Sam Pollock is a director at Iconal Technology, a Cambridge based science and technology consultancy specialising in homeland security.

Sam worked within the UK Home Office as a specialist on explosives and weapons detection technology and joined Iconal 6 years ago where he currently works on finding and applying new and novel technology solutions to address challenges within security

Dr. Jon Pearson

 Jon Pearson (2)

Dr Jon Pearson is a Senior Consultant at Iconal Technology. Jon has worked commercially in microarray robotics, consumer wireless charging and spent 10 years developing trace detection technology for military and industrial customers.

At Iconal he heads up several of the research and development activities as well as projects supporting the use of innovative security technology in publicly accessible spaces.

Gemma Heyward

IMG 7491

With 19 years experience in events & operations, Gemma has extensive experience in these fields from being client side, having worked within an event agency setting and within large-scale venues.

Having held the post of Head of Events with NEC Group Conventions for the last 8 years along with being Vice Chair for the AEV Event Management Working Group, Gemma has recently moved onto her next challenge and has joined Caffeine&Machine as their Operations Director.

Steve Neal

Steve Neal

Steve joined the NEC Group in March 1991 and has held various operational roles, now as NEC Group Operations Manager he is responsible for managing all aspects of FM Soft Services delivering a 24hr a day 7 day a week security operation for all events at the NEC Campus, the Utilita Arena Birmingham and the International Convention Centre in Birmingham city centre.

Steve works closely with the NEC’s Service Partner OCS to maintain a security strategy that considers how to best respond to mitigate the security risks by making effective use of monitoring systems and security technology to control of access both pedestrians and vehicles.

Steve has a close working relationship with the police and security services and is currently engaged in a Hostile Mitigation Plan and a cctv and control room upgrade for the Group.