Arena Autumn Event 2019

The importance of brand reputation in an ever-competitive market

​The Arena Autumn Event 2019 will delve into the power of the brand in an ever-competitive market. We’ve put together an exciting programme of expert dynamic speakers who will explore how strong, recognisable brands are pushing boundaries and disrupting the market to gain the crucial competitive edge to deliver growth. A strong brand needs protecting, so they’ll also discuss the importance of reputation management, particularly when standing out from the crowd, and reputation recovery if a brand is damaged in some way.

Join the conversation #ArenaEvents19

Buy Tickets

Single Tickets Excl. VAT

  • Members £159
  • Non-members £199

Tables of 10 Excl. VAT

  • Members £1,431
  • Non-members £1,791

Event Timings

8.30am Arrival, coffee and breakfast
9.00am Welcome by Lorraine Wood, Director of Arena
9.05am Keeping up brand momentum: Fiona Speakman, Client Director of the Food Team, CGA
9.30am The power of delivery: Andre Johnstone, Business Development Director, Wagamama
10.00am Leveraging simple technology to transform profitability: Paul Whyte, Managing Director, Best Food Logistics
10.30am Networking and coffee
11.00am When the going gets tough - brand recovery: Mark McCulloch, Founder, Supersonic Inc
11.30am Protecting brand reputation at the 'shop floor': Malcolm Muir, Director of Consultancy, Venners
12.00pm Who will be our Hospitality Hero? 57 Hospitality Heroes winner announcement
12.15pm Canapes and drinks reception
1.00pm Three-course seated lunch with wine
3.00pm Closing speech by Steve Norris, Chairman of Arena
3.15pm Close

The Event

The Arena Autumn Event 2019 will delve into the power of the brand in an ever-competitive market.

We’ve put together an exciting programme of expert dynamic speakers who will explore how strong, recognisable brands are pushing boundaries and disrupting the market to gain the crucial competitive edge to deliver growth.

A strong brand needs protecting, so they’ll also discuss the importance of reputation management, particularly when standing out from the crowd, and reputation recovery if a brand is damaged in some way.

The speakers joining us on Monday 30 September are:

Andre Johnstone, Business Development Director, Wagamama: The power of delivery

Andre has been in charge of Wagamama’s delivery business for the last year. Before that he was the brand’s marketing director, helping to steer it to over five years of market outperformance by ensuring the brand stays close to its customers and offers innovation across the customer experience.

Andre will reveal how Wagamama is pushing boundaries with new delivery initiatives.  Recognising delivery as a significant area of opportunity, Wagamama is one of the top brands on Deliveroo.  Andre will talk about its investment in delivery-only dark kitchens that prepare takeaway food and alcoholic drinks for delivery only.  He will also give a sneak preview of their new Grab and Go concept!

Paul Whyte, MD, Best Food Logistics: Leveraging simple technology to transform profitability

Paul Whyte is a business transformation and turnaround expert with experience spanning a number of sectors and countries.  In 2017, he was appointed to lead the turnaround of a large Contract Logistics business with customers including Burger King, PizzaExpress and KFC.  Over the past two years, Paul and his team have transformed a heavily loss-making business, formerly known as Bidvest Logistics, into an instantly recognisable, service led and profitable brand, Best Food Logistics. 

Paul will give an insight into how, operating in a poor service industry, Best Food Logistics has successfully differentiated itself through innovating with simple technology that utilises Big Data to lock in and continually demonstrate exceptional service levels and value to its customers.  This has allowed the business to negotiate increased pricing across its customer base.  Best Food Logistics now receives glowing recommendations from its customers, is profitable and poised for growth.

Mark McCulloch – The Food & Drink Marketer, Founder, Supersonic Inc: When the going gets tough - brand recovery

Mark McCulloch is one of the leading food, drink and hospitality brand and marketing minds in the world. Mark has over 20 years brand, marketing, digital and social media experience, holding senior positions at lastminute.com, Barclaycard, YO! Sushi and Pret a Manger. He co-founded brand and marketing agency WE ARE Spectacular Ltd in 2012 and now runs premium brand and marketing strategy consultancy Supersonic Inc.

Mark will share his vast expertise and knowledge, focusing on how brands recover after a disaster. Using real hospitality examples, he will tell the stories of brands that have found themselves in potentially reputation-damaging situations and how they recovered and learned from the experience, if indeed they did.

Mark also produces the Mark McC Supersonic Food Marketing Podcast, which has reached number 20 in the iTunes business charts and is a regular Top 100 podcast.  Click here to have a listen

Malcolm Muir, Director of Consultancy, Venners

Malcolm heads the consultancy arm of Venners, a business solutions company that provides auditing solutions for the hospitality sector, aimed at maintaining company reputation and compliance.

Malcolm’s operational and analytical experience has driven the business’ expansion into consultancy, health and safety and compliance auditing services. He has unprecedented knowledge of large-scale operations, having controlled Venners stock and profit management at major events such as Ascot, the Olympic Park and Music Festivals and ensures the wealth of data available for every project helps achieve maximum profit and control.

Malcolm will discuss how getting strong central systems in place will protect the brand on the front line and look at ways to make sure the systems are understood and followed on the shop floor. Drawing on real-life examples, he’ll show what can go wrong, how reputational damage can be limited and repaired if it does and some simple steps to prevent things going that far. 

Relevant industry insight

Keeping up brand momentum

CGA's Client Director of the Food Team, Fiona Speakman, will also deliver a relevant business insight session. Utilising CGA’s unique data as well as the Brand Momentum report produced in conjunction with Stone & River, Fiona will explore which brands are remaining relevant in a saturated market as well as delving into the casual dining arena and looking specifically at the Italian dining sector and the way that this sector in particular is performing in the face of so much volatility. She’ll also be sharing actionable insights to better respond to this ever-changing market.

Join the conversation #ArenaEvents19

Event Bookings Terms and Conditions: 

​For bookings cancelled 28 days or more before the event, a full monetary refund will be given. For bookings cancelled between 21 and 28 days prior to the event, a credit against a future event will be given. No refunds or credits will be given less than 21 days before an event. No refunds or credits will be given for non-attendance of the event​.