Conference Programme

Wakefield Business Conference includes an engaging seminar and workshop programme.
Confirmed speakers are outlined below but we will keep adding additional seminars and panelists in the run up to the event.  Do keep checking the website, don’t miss out and make sure you have booked your free delegate place in advance.

08:00 – 09:00
The Establishment



Business Breakfast, sponsored by BT
Start your day off right with a early morning networking opportunity and delicious breakfast buffet. Tickets are only £10 and are available to purchase via our booking system soon.

Catering Supplier WBC 2018

Networking Sponsor WBC 2018




09:00 – 15:00
Exhibition Areas

Major Hall

Minor Hall

Conference 1

Wakefield Business Conference 2018 opens!
Come and meet our exhibitors. Grab a coffee and make new contacts and catch up with your existing ones in the networking areas. Get your tweets on the social feed screens using #WakeyConf on Instagram and Twitter.

09:30 – 10:20
Major Hall

Seminar 1 – Wakefield and the Northern Powerhouse

Andrew McPhillips, Chief Economist, Northern Powerhouse Partnership

Andrew joined the Northern Powerhouse Partnership (NPP) in 2017 and is responsible for the NPP’s research output, ensuring that the best evidence and economic thinking informs policy proposals. Most recently this resulted in the organisation’s report, Educating the North, focused on the disparity of educational outcomes between the North and the rest of the country.

Andrew previously worked in a similar role at Yorkshire Building Society, creating economic scenarios to determine the organisation’s business planning and advising the board on the economic outlook. He has also worked in the Department for Education, as Strategy Advisor, and as an economist at the Department for Work and Pensions and Department for Transport.

Andrew will talk about the role of Wakefield within the growth of the Northern Powerhouse.


10:35 – 11:25
Major Hall

Seminar 2 – The Vision for the Wakefield District

Paul Swinney, Head of Policy and Research, Centre for Cities

As Head of Policy and Research, Paul oversees the research programme and strategy of the Centre. He has published on a wide range of subjects relating to city economies, including the development of UK cities over time, the role that city centres play in the national economy and the trading relationships UK cities have with the rest of the world.

Paul is a regular regional and national media commentator, including print, radio and TV, and speaks at conferences across the UK on subjects relating to the performance of city economies.

Paul will speak about what positive growth looks like and how Wakefield could achieve this.

12:00 – 13:15
The Establishment

Business Lunch with Special Guest Speakers, sponsored by BT

Hear from special guest speakers from the British Chambers of Commerce and BT. Aimed at business owners/directors, there will be wonderful selection of freshly prepared food will be made available for you to enjoy

Tickets are only £15 and are available to purchase via our booking system soon. Tickets for both Business Breakfast and Business Lunch are available for £25.


Networking Sponsor WBC 2018


13:40 – 14:30
Major Hall

Seminar 3 – The Role of Wakefield Businesses

The final seminar will explore the role that Wakefield Businesses could have in promoting their own businesses as part of a wider vision for the district.  How can we equip our businesses with the knowledge, messages and tools to promote our collective vision and in so doing help differentiate their own businesses from their competitors?

09:00 – 15:00
Conference 2









09:00 – 10:00       NGC Networks

10:00 – 11:00       Capital B Media: ‘Promoting Your Business For Free’

PR consultant and former journalist Kate Betts will explain how you can promote your business for free using social media, the press and broadcast media. Kate, director of award-winning Yorkshire-based communications agency Capital B Media, will look at how you can raise your brand’s profile online and offline without paying for advertising. Whether it’s a news item in the local paper, a feature in the trade press or a social media campaign, PR is a great way to enhance your reputation. The workshop is suitable for anyone who wants to grow their business the smart way.

11:00 – 12:00       Wakefield College

13:00 – 13:30       Nova Wakefield District: ‘Introduction to the VCSE Sector in Wakefield District’

Nova is the support agency for the voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector in Wakefield District. Nova has over 300 VCSE organisations within its membership, which undertake a vast range of work. In this workshop, we will provide you with an introduction to the VCSE sector, explore how the sector operates, and talk about the contributions it makes to the economy in Wakefield District. We will also provide details on how other sectors can add value to, and work with, the VCSE sector.

13:30 – 14:00       SFB Group


15:00 – 17:00


Networking Drinks & Canapés, sponsored by BT

The conference is over, you’ve made some excellent contacts but now it’s time to relax and unwind with a nice cold beverage and some delicate bite-size canapés at this trendy ‘Establishment’. Free to attend and free drinks vouchers will be made available!


Networking Sponsor WBC 2018


Social Media

Stay tuned across all the social networks; Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter for the latest news updates relating to WBC 2018:

   Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce



   Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce