Postponed to 16 September, 2020

Further info soon.

IMPORTANT: Postponement of the Visual Media Conference 2020 to 16 September, 2020.
It is with regret that we need to announce the postponement of the Visual Media Conference 2020, which was due to take place at the Rose Bowl, Leeds on Tuesday 7 April 2020.

The Visual Media Conference (VMC) team has been busy with Backstage Academy exploring how to create a meaningful and user-friendly online experience. This version is 3-Dimensional with speakers and their presentations  transported into a virtual world. It's your chance to see the latest thinking as we offer a sneaky peaky to what VMC in September will hold.


PROGRAMME – Virtual Visual Media Conference

Robert McClements - VMC Founder and Curator. Introduction (3 minutes)

James Sommerville - Known Unknown, Former VP Global Design Coca-Cola.

'Fake it or Make it', Brand authenticity (15 minutes)

Jonathan Geldart - Director General Institute of Directors.

Leadership - from the North Pole to the board room (10 minutes)

Charles Jarrold CEO, BPIF - industry update (10 minutes)​

Now in its 7th year, VMC is a free one-day event that provides a vivid insight into the effectiveness of digital technology in marketing and communication, from the brand to the consumer.

This year the theme is “Fake it or Make it”, addressing the falseness of news, abuse of data, Google stats, Fake followers, greenwash and importantly the obverse – trustworthiness and authenticity.

With speakers on branding from Coca-Cola to the North Pole, Two Sides on the nonsense and truth about environmental data, HP with cutting edge technology and Communisis on Artificial Intelligence, the VMC conference promises a rewarding blend of knowledge, information and insight.

“It gets better and better every year. We’ve listened to what you told us you wanted so be prepared for some surprises - illusions and facts!” Robert McClements, CDI President

VMC 2020 Programme



The registration and exhibition opens at 8.45am, with the speaker programme starting at 9:30am. The event finishes with networking drinks at 4.00-5.00pm, where you can talk more to the exhibitors and network with fellow peers.


2020 Speakers coming soon...

James SommervilleFounder of ’Known Unknown’ - former VP Global Design, The Coca-Cola Company

James Sommerville

Founder of ’Known Unknown’ - former VP Global Design, The Coca-Cola Company

Flying in from Atlanta to VMC, James will speak to his international experience both agency-side and client-side. Over 5 years he rebranded many iconic global beverages including all of the company’s “billion dollar brands”. With a blend of global success and Yorkshire realism he will share a unique perspective of what he now feels will differentiate companies and brands across the next decade, without having to fake it.

Jonathan Geldart

Director General, Institute of Directors

Jonathan is an international speaker who will share his survival techniques, based on the vital importance of truth in leadership, in adventures from the board room to an arctic trek. We will also learn his vision for IoD in addressing the opportunities and challenges created by global trends and the emerging importance of Generation Alpha.

Jonathan GeldartDirector General, Institute of Directors
Adrian OddsDirector of Strategy & Market Propositions, Communisis

Adrian Odds

Director of Strategy & Market Propositions, Communisis

Adrian will bring to life a way to use Artificial Intelligence to cut through the noise ensuring that customer’s cases are handled in the right way. What factors really contribute to great customer experience and a higher NPS (Net Promoter Score)? This is a management tool that can be used to gauge the loyalty of a firm’s customer relationships. It serves as an alternative to traditional customer satisfaction research and is claimed to be correlated with revenue growth. Customers want to complete their missions in as simple and convenient a way as possible – so could we focus on doing that really, really well?

Jonathan Tame

Managing Director, Two Sides

From “European forests are shrinking” to “Electronic communication is more environmentally friendly than paper-based communication” Jonathan will bust popular myths about print and paper!
Whilst print is often preferred above other mediums and is highly effective for organisations building and strengthening their brands, print, paper and paper packaging has an image problem. Companies and even governments are telling customers and consumers that print is bad for the environment, encouraging them to move on-line. Recent global research by Two Sides shows the extent of this misunderstanding, that paper and print causes deforestation, is a wasteful product and is not well recycled. The reality is that paper and paper packaging, made from trees, is a natural, renewable and recyclable material and is the sustainable communication and packaging of choice.

Jonathan TameManaging Director, Two Sides
Professor George LodorfosDean of Leeds Business School

Professor George Lodorfos

Dean of Leeds Business School

The Dean of Leeds Business School at Leeds Beckett University, George has 16 years’ experience as a senior academic in the fields of entrepreneurship and the strategic management of technology and innovation. His research interests are primarily in the areas of enterprise, innovation, organisational change and consumer behaviour. Also, he has particular interest in the factors contributing to the sustainable growth of businesses.

Sabine Geldermann

Director, drupa

As director of the largest printing technologies exhibition in the world, Sabine has a unique international perspective on the world of print.

drupa provides crucial impulses for print, media, packaging production, and industrial applications – ahead of drupa June 2020, Sabine will present how the world’s leading trade fair for printing technologies creates outstanding networking opportunities and potential for excellent business dealings. The world’s leading trade fair for printing technologies creates outstanding networking opportunities and potential for excellent business dealings. This is where innovations are brought into the market, new business models are developed, and new partnerships are formed. drupa 2016 – 260,000 visitors from 183 countries.

Sabine GeldermannDirector, drupa
Jon BaileyCEO, ProCo

Jon Bailey

CEO, ProCo

Jon Bailey has over 20 years’ experience of cutting edge digital print technology and is dedicated to keeping print relevant. He sits on the global board of DSCOOP, one of the world’s largest digital print user groups with over 7,000 members where he continues his mission to show people why it really is better, printed. Jon’s passion for print combined with his approach to leadership and culture make for an engaging and interesting look at the world of marketing operations. Once a local traditional print company in Sheffield, ProCo has been transformed into a 140-strong, dual site marketing operations business which is recognised as one of the world’s most innovative print and direct mail production facilities.

Andrew Pike

UK & I Marketing Manager, HP Indigo & IHPS

Despite working in Print for over 11 years, Andy is in fact, a millennial. A demographic that are changing the world we live in. With hundreds of messages being thrown at us every day, Andy understands the importance of marketing that stands out, and has a huge part to play in today’s world. Print brings huge strengths that when enhanced by the power of digital engagement, result in great brand loyalty.

Andrew PikeUK & I Marketing Manager, HP Indigo & IHPS
Professor Peter Grindrod

Professor Peter Grindrod

Every day we are bombarded – by the news, social media and every other emerging medium. From a terrorist attack to a product recommendation by a blogger or influencer. Thus we observe behaviour (events, transactions, expressions) and we must infer or construct ‘the truth’. We design many algorithms to distil ‘truth’ from both observations and our subjective experience and expectations – in almost all cases we find truth is malleable, subjective, and time dependent. None of these consequences is surprising in retrospect – companies need more radical mindsets.

Beatrice Klose

Secretary General, Intergraf

Beatrice will be on hand with the international Intergraf Steering Group to offer a perspective on the industry across borders. The steering group is made up of UK (Dale Wallis, BPIF Membership Director) as Chairman, Germany, Denmark, France, Netherlands, Portugal, Italy, Hungary, and Belgium.

Beatrice KloseSecretary General, Intergraf
Felicity BurchCBI Director of Innovation and Digital

Felicity Burch

CBI Director of Innovation and Digital

Learn how to create the conditions that enable businesses to come up with new ideas, invest in research and development (R&D) and adopt new technologies. Prior to taking her current role, Felicity spent two years as the Head of Innovation and Digital, where she led the CBI’s successful campaign for the government to commit to a target for R&D expenditure, as well as agenda-setting work on technology adoption…

Professor Stephen Russell

Director, Future Fashion Factory

Demonstrating that your mind can be tricked into thinking your hand is feeling something that doesn’t exist. Try it yourself at VMC. Digitalisation in the fashion and textile industry is changing the way products are designed and how aesthetics, appearance and authenticity are communicated. This talk will introduce the Future Fashion Factory’s industry-led collaborative R&D programme and explain how these challenges are being addressed by new approaches to making and faking.

Professor Stephen RussellDirector, Future Fashion Factory
Mehjabeen PatrickDirector, Creative England

Mehjabeen Patrick

Director, Creative England

Mehjabeen has some revealing insights to share about how truthfulness wins and just how to present a successful creative pitch – winning business, funding or an equity investment. She is Creative England’s Chief Financial and Operations Officer, responsible for the implementation and running of all operating functions across the company. With extensive experience as a Finance Director, Mehjabeen oversees all investment activity for the company and has a keen interest in growing its commercial activities and diversifying its income streams.


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Founding Partners

Media Partners




  • Testimonial
    I think the Visual Media Conference is a great occasion for all of our industry to gather together. It’s a fantastic opportunity to listen to brands like Nestle and Jaguar, understanding how they use traditional print as well as digital to cut through and execute to their consumers.
    Rob Shaw,CEO, Jaywing
  • Testimonial
    Encouraged by the levels of interest from attendees and speakers we’ve been able to curate an event for 2020 that will bring the very best of international brand stories and some amazing on-line innovation as well as the psychology of effective marketing communications - Fake it or Make it tackles the issues you told us are important, myths or lies!
    Robert McClements,President, CDi
  • Testimonial
    The Visual Media Conference embraces the fluidity and constantly evolving nature of communication channels, delivering a programme designed to inform and inspire. The conference explores customer centric marketing and considers the impact of customer age on channel choice. We’ll hear from big brands and many experts from design, print, digital and marketing. I hope you leave inspired with many ideas to benefit your own businesses.
    Charles Jarrold,CEO, BPIF
  • Testimonial
    As the digital world evolves, we need to think differently and communicate in a totally different way. Print has a big part to play in future of communication and the Visual Media Conference plays a crucial role in communicating this. HP are proud to have been a founding partner.
    Andy PikeUK&I Marketing Manager, HP Indigo & IHPS
  • Testimonial
    I am delighted to be part of an event that fosters innovation and creativity. I believe that knowledge transfer is essential when aspiring to become a market leader and the VMC provides a reservoir of knowledge ready to be transferred.
    Professor George LodorfosDean of Leeds Business School
  • Testimonial
    At Parkside, we see events such as VMC as critical to our sales and marketing strategy. Being able to share our packaging developments with both brands and companies from their supply chains is key to our development, learning and success.
    Joanna StephensonMarketing Partner, Parkside Flexibles


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