Speakers 2017

Speakers will come from all aspects of the international drinks business and will discuss Future Trends, Brand Creation and Development, Digital Marketing, Global Distribution and Sustainability offering a new ways of thinking to our business.

Zoe Lazarus, Global Future and Culture Planning Director, Diageo

Zoe Lazarus is one of the best known, most experienced and well-regarded trend experts in the communication industry, whose work has included advising brand owners, agencies and international press on the future direction of creative and consumer culture. Currently Zoe helps Diageo navigate and act upon the key consumer, category, and cultural, technological and competitive shifts taking place in the increasingly diverse global environment in which it operates. A highly experienced strategic insight and future trend forecaster, Zoe looks to future proof business models by anticipating change and ensuring cultural relevancy of marketing, brand and innovation strategies. With an agency background (sparks & honey, Lowe & Partners, Ogilvy & Mather) previous clients have included Pepsico, Nissan, Merck pharmaceuticals, Motorola and Smirnoff. Zoe is regularly quoted in mainstream and industry press on a range of cultural and consumer insight knowledge – Sunday Times, Guardian, Ad Age, Stylist, Internationalist and Riposte and is a regular keynote speaker at industry and external conferences inc. Cannes Lions, Eurobest and now Global Drinks Forum.

Mark Meek, CEO, The IWSR

Originally from South Africa, Mark joined the IWSR in December 2013, bringing with him a wealth of experience in the publishing and business information industry. Mark is tasked with firmly setting the IWSR as the world’s most-trusted data and insights company for the global drinks industry. He has over 20 years’ experience working for world-class organisations, having worked at The Guardian and Independent newspapers in various commercial and editorial roles, as well as at Datamonitor and Progressive Digital Media (owners of Canadean) as CEO.

Nick Blacknell, Global Marketing Director, Havana Club

Nick Blacknell has held various positions in the drinks industry – starting as the Buying Controller of Oddbins Wine Merchants in the UK before moving into spirits.  As UK Director of Absolut (then part of Seagram’s Ideal Brands Division), Nick was an early adopter of the premium spirits/ cocktail trend, many years before it became mainstream and pioneered new ways of engaging with the trade and the bartender. Nick moved to Plymouth Gin as Global CEO before taking positions as Brand Director of both Beefeater Gin and Jameson Whiskey. Nick can now be found at the helm of Havana Club Rum as International Brand Director, based between Paris and Cuba.

Ivan Bell, Group Managing Director, Stranger & Stranger

Ivan started his career as a multidisciplinary graphic designer in London back in the 80’s and became fascinated with consumer brand packaging for alcoholic beverages. For the past 17+ years he has worked alongside Kevin Shaw, founder of Stranger & Stranger, in building the award winning packaging consultancy and overseeing design from their locations in London, New York and San Francisco. Stranger’s client base is diverse, from well known global brands to new start-ups. Ivan is passionate about brands that disrupt and stand out.

Greg Dillon, Brand Strategy, Stranger & Stranger

Greg is a brand strategy consultant with Stranger & Stranger who specialises in helping to create, build and fix brands in the whisky and spirits industry. He also authors the award-winning GreatDrams.com, Food & Drink Blog of the Year 2017 and he also has a book on whisky coming out in the Autumn. You can find him on Twitter @GreatDrams, Facebook.com/GreatDrams and Instagram @GreatDramsGreg.

Dan Gasper, COO, Distill Ventures

Co-founder of Distill Ventures, Dan started his career in the corporate drinks world working for Allied Domecq, Beam Global and Jose Cuervo International. In 2008, he recognized that the start up drinks scene was where his passion really lay, so he started his own business and began to work with start up businesses both inside and outside of drinks, helping founders launch and scale many of Europe’s most successful food and drinks businesses. Hugely passionate about all aspects of the drinks business, Dan spends his days at Distill Ventures supporting many of the invested brands as well as searching the world for the next generation of successful drinks brands, giving him a unique perspective on the global start up scene.

Adrian D. Parker, Vice President, Marketing, Patrón Spirits Company

Adrian D. Parker leads the global brand experience for Patrón Tequila, leveraging content, social media, events, public relations and trade education to drive demand for the #1 ultra-premium tequila in the world. Previously, Adrian was Global Head of Social and Mobile Media for Intuit’s QuickBooks and TurboTax professional software division. He also served as Director of Social Media and Digital Strategy at RadioShack Corporation where he led the company-wide customer engagement strategy.

Adrian’s agency and client side experience has produced successful programs for Foot Locker, ESPN, Nike, adidas, Liz Claiborne and Body Shop among others. Named one of the top Digital Marketers of The Year by Crain’s Magazine in 2013, Adrian also accepted a Forrester Research Groundswell award as recognition for top-performing B2C digital campaigns in 2011.  He has been honored by “Black Enterprise” magazine, “The Network Journal” and INROADS for his bold marketing strategies that helped transform American business.


Trash Tiki – Wastefree Punk Pop Up from Award Winning London Bartenders

Iain Griffiths of Mr. Lyan and Kelsey Ramage of Dandylyan have created a global initiative to address the issue of mass consumption the booming craft cocktail culture has created globally. With an online platform and regular international pop-ups, the aim of Trash Tiki is to show consumers and the bar industry the potential to create more environmentally minded drinks. Griffiths and Ramage’s combined goal is to put some feeling back into the increasingly emotionless topic of sustainability whilst inspiring others to follow suit.

“From ramen joints to high-end hotel bars, the purpose of taking Trash Tiki around the world is to see how cuisines and cultures waste different flavours by putting them in the trash rather than using the. Ultimately we will create a platform that is global in every sense of the word full of recipes and resources that allow the International community to see the breadth of potential behind the products we’re wasting every day” says Griffiths.

Ramage adds “An established bar has the additional challenge of always having to keep an eye on the day to day operations meaning drastic change can be hard. Operating for the time being as a pop up gives us the chance to be more dynamic and reactive, evolving and growing whilst still operating in the parameters of a normal bar. We hope this will enable the Trash Tiki platform to become a source of inspiration and knowledge that showcases the changes that the modern bars need to be more waste efficient and sustainable.”
Producing zero waste and helping to reduce the environmental impact of other bars. Trash Tiki is unapologetically different and will be a one of a kind bar.

Jacob Briars, Chairman, Global Drinks Forum 2017

More speakers will be announced soon.