Keynote speaker and expert panel revealed for Brands & Retail Pitch Smarter Conference

Published on: 5th January 2022

Ryan Beaird, Event Director of the Brands & Retail UK conference – sponsored by global technology business Fabacus – has confirmed the retail buyer panellists and keynote speaker who will close the event, which takes place at the British Library on 20 January 2022 (9am till 6pm).

“I am delighted to have the support of a great group of prominent licensing retail buyers,” says Ryan. “To confirm, we have Karen Hewitt, co-founder of, Ruth Golightly from George at ASDA and, to round off the panel, David Lucas from Studio Retail. They will all bring a huge wealth of experience to the audience Q&A – and I look forward to hearing their thoughts on the retail industry for licensed products.

“I am also very grateful that Stephen Phipson CBE, the CEO of – the UK manufacturers organisation – will be the conference keynote speaker and will close the event. is the leading voice for UK manufacturers and I am sure the licensees attending will be interested to hear his speech.

“To confirm, the event is 100% taking place. We will adhere to the current government rules and for peace of mind for the attendees I have reduced the audience from 250 to 150, allowing people to spread out in the theatre if they wish – but as a result I now have a very limited amount of seats left.”

Brands Retail UK politely requests that all those coming take a Covid test before the conference and, in line with government guidance, masks will need to be worn inside the theatre during screenings.

The after-event party takes place from 6pm till 9pm at the Ivy Club. The Club is asking that attendees provide proof of a negative Covid test on entry and that masks are worn when entering the premises.

“I have put aside some tickets for consultants, service providers and agents that wish to do some networking in the evening and invite them to come along to watch the panel and keynote from 4:30pm. Tickets cost £75 each for the party, which runs from 6pm till late,” says Ryan.

“I want to thank all the brands taking part and also the event sponsor Fabacus for their continued support.”

The event is free for licensees and retail buyers. Limited tickets are available at

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