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WSTA reveals keynote annual conference speakers

Published:  28 August, 2018

The WSTA has announced two keynote speakers in advance of its annual conference.

Roger Bootle, one of London’s best-known economists and former special advisor to the House of Commons Treasury Committee, will be joined by Thomas Matussek, a former German Ambassador to the UK, the UN and India.

The duo will headline the conference, which takes place next month, and will answer questions from returning conference chair, Alex Forrest, and members of the audience.

Both are poised to provide their viewpoints on one of the WSTA’s key themes for this year’s conference – ‘Business as un-usual’, which will be looking at the likely change in trading arrangements in an era of uncertain international economics and Brexit - Bootle from his experience inside the UK’s system and Matussek from his experience “on the outside looking in”.

Alongside ‘Business as un-usual’, another key theme of the conference will be ‘The Evolution of the Buyer’, which will be looking at the way the purchase of products and services has evolved in recent years, and what can influence a buyer’s decisions in the world of wines and spirits.

“Our annual conference falls just before the Brexit ratification process, and I’m sure Roger and Thomas will provide fascinating takes on the Brexit process, alongside our two key themes for this year,” said chief executive Miles Beale.

Panellists for the panel session on the latter include Sophie Devonshire, CEO of The Caffeine Partnership; Jerry Perkins, CEO of Wasted Talent Ltd; Sam Bompas, Co-founder, Bompas & Parr; and Ounal Bailey, Co-Founder, Wisehead Productions.

For the first time at the conference, WSTA’s smaller members have the chance to take part in a unique brunch session with members of the WSTA executive board, alongside JF Hillebrand, which renewed its sponsorship deal of the conference earlier this year, signing up for a further three years.

“It’s a great opportunity to sit down with our board members, on a one-to-one basis, to take advantage of their wealth of experience and hear sound advice on issues facing their business,” said Beale.

This year’s WSTA conference is taking place at the Royal Institution of Great Britain, London, on 18 September 2018.