Meet the Speakers

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We are pleased to be able to provide our wedding conference attendees with the specialist knowledge of 4 wedding industry experts. They have decades of experience between them in various aspects of the sector and can offer a wide variety of insights into effective wedding marketing, sales, operations and more.

Alison Hargreaves 

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Alison is the founder of Guides for Brides, BeyondWeddings, Big Day Agency and several other online wedding marketing companies with a cumulative 5 million page views per year, giving valuable data and insights to help wedding venues position themselves for maximum growth. She is a well respected wedding venue consultant and speaks at wedding and hospitality conferences in the UK and internationally.

She was Deputy Chair of the UK Weddings Taskforce during the pandemic, gaining a reputation for supporting venues with regular updates and webinars while also supplying ministers with the data required to allow outdoor and unrestricted weddings.

Nikita Thorne

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With a marketing agency background, Nikita leads the Guides for Brides marketing team and runs Big Day Agency. Creatively and commercially driven, her team has gained a reputation for using a data-driven approach to connect wedding businesses with the most relevant couples. During the pandemic, she was integral in strategies to boost consumer confidence and continues to give clients even more opportunities to maximise their growth across a wide variety of platforms.

Nikita is a well-known face for brides and grooms, regularly attending and speaking at industry exhibitions such as The National Wedding Show to speak to couples all about budgeting for their big day as well as being the host of Guides for Brides' podcast. As a bride-to-be herself, Nikita is uniquely able to identify with the excitement and stresses of couples planning right now and offer a different perspective for wedding businesses to see their offering directly from the eye of their potential client.

Nina Beer                                                                                                    

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Nina Beer is the owner and founder of Occasion Queens, the first company in the UK to specialise in ‘On The Day Coordination'. In addition to running a team of coordinators, during her 18 years in the events industry, 6 of those have specialised in weddings and she has run nearly 400 weddings.

Over the years the business has evolved to provide not only specialist coordination services to couples, but also expert consultancy to venues establishing themselves within the wedding industry. This ranges from launching new venues, refreshing existing wedding offerings, to full event management.

Nina's unique experience and insight of still working directly with couples ensures the venues she works with are optimised for success from the very beginning and can offer their clients the service they are looking for. Her clients include exclusive use barns and manor house venues as well as brands such as Fullers Brewery and Hyatt.

This year her work has extended to supporting The UK Weddings Taskforce, working closely on wedding guidelines and ensuring the whole sector's voice is heard at government level.

James Matthews

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James has 25 years of experience in quality-focused hospitality operations, many of which he has spent leading ambitious teams and businesses to reach their full potential. He has won multiple awards, including Top Ten in The Caterers' "Best Places to Work in Hospitality" list for 2021. James was responsible for the growth of Clevedon Hall to be one of the UK's most desirable wedding venues and remains their Chairman whilst also working closely with a number of fast-growing exclusive use wedding venues.

Commercial success, talent development and innovation are the three pillars of James' professional philosophy. He enhances businesses rapidly yet sustainably and creates environments where individuals with the potential to be outstanding are rewarded with highly successful careers.

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