26 June 2017

Upper Street Events (USE) announced today that Julie Harris, formerly Group Managing Director of Immediate Media Company, has been appointed as CEO.

With a wealth of experience in consumer media as well as digital, data, and insight businesses, Julie will lead USE into its next phase of strategic development. Julie joins USE on July 17th and takes over from Andrew Duncan, who was appointed as Interim CEO in February this year.

Julie joins from Immediate Media, the leading special interest media company, where she ran a portfolio of acquisition and investment businesses. She was also a key member of the leadership team that sold Immediate Media to Hubert Burda Media in January 2017. Whilst at Immediate Media, one of the businesses she led was Hitched, the UK’s leading wedding venues marketplace, and in the two years since acquiring it, transformed the business resulting in profits more than doubling. Prior to Immediate Media, Julie was Global CEO of WGSN Group, the world’s leading fashion and retail trend forecasting company, where she grew the business to over 6,000 customers in 87 countries, taking it from a declining business to double digit organic growth in just under two years.

A transformation programme has been underway at USE- changing the way it builds shows that deliver face-to-face encounters between valuable audiences, brands and retailers.  It has invested heavily in deepening its visitor and exhibitor insights, and in building digital capability. Julie will continue this focus and add further acquisitions to this strong platform.

Julie is joining a team that has seen a significant level of investment and change. Mark Kerswell, previously CFO at Centaur Media plc, joined the business in September 2016 as COO and CFO. Andy Baxter, previously with Clarion Events has recently joined the business as Senior Portfolio Director, working alongside experienced Portfolio Directors, Sarah Monk and Chris Holman.

USE Chairman Julian Spooner said: “During his six month term as Interim CEO, Andrew has been a force for rapid change in Upper Street, leading to a number of new initiatives to strengthen focus on the key USE brands. I’d like to thank Andrew for the vision and energy he has brought to the business which has made these changes possible so quickly.

I am delighted to welcome Julie to Upper Street. I know that she will take the company and its great team to the next stage of its plan, adding acquisitions to a strong platform of great events.”

Julie adds: “Upper Street Events is highly respected as a UK leader in consumer events and I’m delighted to have the opportunity to lead this exciting and ambitious company. I’m looking forward to working with the USE team and Livingbridge, to build on what has already been achieved and to unlock the future potential of this business and its highly engaged audiences.”

Editor’s Note:

USE is a leading UK organiser of consumer events with brands including London Art Fair, New Designers, The Knitting and Stitching Shows, The Cycle Show, Country Living Shows, Move It, The Great British Sewing Bee, The Adventure Travel Show and The London Cruise Show. The company was acquired in a management buyout in December 2014, backed by Livingbridge LLP. The company completed its first acquisition, of Escape Events Limited, in December 2016.


Julian Spooner, Chairman:

Bevan Duncan, Investor Director, Livingbridge:

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