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Industry-leading judges revealed for inaugural Digital City Awards in March


**UPDATED – the Digital City Awards venue has changed to the Albert Hall**

The first-ever Digital City Awards will celebrate talent and performance both nationally and internationally in the digital sector – and will be judged by an independent and influential panel.

Forming part of Digital City Festival, which arrives in Manchester in March, the Digital City Awards take place on the evening of March 12th at the Albert Hall in Manchester, closing out the large-scale Digital City Expo, which is set to bring together the entire digital sector.

The wide-reaching awards event will celebrate the impact and innovation on show at the wider festival, which will feature five days of digital-first events. These include networking opportunities, panel discussions and Digital City Expo at Manchester Central.

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The awards are designed to reflect just how wide-ranging the digital industry really is, and entries are being accepted both nationally and globally. Categories include the Digital Event of the Year, Young Digital Leader of the Year, Tech for Good Award and AI Innovation of the Year. See all the categories here.

If you think you could be in with a chance of winning an award, entries are open until January 17th. Just click here to get started.

Once all the entries are collected, it’ll be up to the panel of influential judges to create each shortlist. The judging is completed through a rigorous, independent process, and the shortlists will be revealed on Prolific North the next day.

The judging panel includes names known across the country’s digital scene, with names from Havas, the Co-op, Music Magpie and Klarna making the decision. Let’s meet the full judging lineup.

Judges for the Digital City Awards 2020


Liam Bateman

CTO, Silverchip

CTO and software developer Liam has over 15 years’ experience in the digital industry, working with some of the UK’s leading companies and brands.

In 2010, with his friend and business partner, he co-founded Silverchip, an award winning digital agency in the heart of Manchester City centre, boasting an impressive client list and being renowned for its bespoke software development.

Silverchip is the Lead Sponsor for Marketing Show North at Digital City Expo, supporting the industry-leading gathering of specialists held across two days in March.


Andrew Binns

Director, Havas Lynx

Over the last 20 years, Andrew has worked for a number of the North’s major communication and marketing agencies.

Recently, Andrew joined Havas Lynx, the Cannes Lions Healthcare Agency of the year, as Director. Andrew is Vice-Chair of the Chartered Institute of Marketing and a Head Judge for the prestigious Communique Awards.


Kirstie Buchanan

Sales and Marketing Director, CTI Digital

As Sales and Marketing Director, Kirstie provides insight and leadership for the business development strategy and direction of CTI Digital and many of its major clients.

Driving growth in client services, new business and marketing functions, she is known for being a big idea conceptual thinker who sees and harnesses market-shaping opportunities.


Lauren Coulman

Founder and CEO, Noisy Cricket

Noisy Cricket builds people-powered movements through bringing diverse voices together to create social change.

Working purposefully and collectively on the root causes of social issues, Lauren Coulman and the team work to engineer strategic and cross-sector responses to systemic, cultural and personal challenges in society.


Becky Franks

Optimisation Lead, The Co-operative Bank

Becky Franks heads up the Digital Optimisation team at The Co-operative Bank, which is proud to be the only UK high street bank with a customer-led ethical policy and a purpose to make a positive difference to the lives of their customers and communities.

Alongside her role as Optimisation Lead, Becky formed and leads the ‘Digital Bees’, whose goal is to build co-operative relationships across Manchester that break new ground.


Adam Friday

Digital Director, One

Adam is Digital Director at award-winning integrated marketing agency, One – Brand Magic. He has more than 17 years’ experience in the industry, starting as a developer before moving into project and account management.

He now leads the production of digital marketing strategies for a number of sectors and blue-chip brands with a focus on user experience and effectiveness.


Liam Howley

CMO, MusicMagpie

As Chief Marketing Officer at MusicMagpie, Liam is tasked with the development and direction of the business’s strategic marketing plans to maximize brand growth, customer acquisition, conversion and retention through online and offline channels. 


Simon Landi

Managing Director, Access

Simon is Managing Director and founder of Access, a fully integrated digital development and marketing communications agency with headquarters in Manchester and offices in London.

With over 30 years’ experience in delivering successful marketing campaigns, and 20 years running Access, Simon is responsible for the company’s vision, management of the agency’s planning and client service, as well as new business and marketing functions.


James Lees

Marketing Director, Mabo

James has worked in digital marketing since 2004 and has delivered huge success for both retailers and agencies alike. Although his career has been predominantly based around search, he has managed campaigns through numerous digital channels with some fantastic results.

James is the Marketing Director of Mabo and oversees all external marketing operations for the company; something which saw Mabo be crowned as Best Small PPC Agency at the 2018 European Search Awards. 


Sunil Mistry

Head of AI, Scan Computers

Sunil works at the forefront of technological advancement, within artificial intelligence. He has implemented successful projects within healthcare, education, financial services, commercial, aerospace and defence industries as well startup environments across the UK and Europe.


John Readman

CEO & Founder, Modo25

John has been working in digital marketing for over 20 years and has successfully grown several global digital marketing agencies and marketing technology businesses. He has helped some of the world’s largest brands shape their online proposition, including Pepsi, Asos, Honda, Vistaprint and Sigma Sports.

As CEO and founder of Modo25, John is the driving force behind the vision to turn the world of digital marketing inside out.


Ricardo Seixas

Managing Director, One Day Agency

Ricardo has worked for consumer brands, startups, software houses and digital agencies. Most recently, and after being a lead at Google, he restructured and led Media Agency Group’s digital division ClickTap Media, collecting multiple awards with brands like Liverpool ONE and I Saw It First, including Digital Agency of the Year.


Phil Swan

Chief Information Officer and Digital Lead, Greater Manchester Combined Authority

Phil leads the GMCA’s digital programme which includes collaboration with public and private sector partners across the city region to drive economic growth and social impact.

Working closely with the ten Greater Manchester localities and the Health & Social Care Partnership, he is focussed on delivering the GM Digital Strategy which was crowdsourced in 2017 through two Mayoral Summits and events led by Andy Burnham, the Greater Manchester Mayor.


Kevin Ward

Head of Retail Sales, Klarna

Kevin has led successful sales teams within retail finance for well over a decade now, onboarding most of the UK’s most recognisable brands.

He enjoyed several internal promotions during his time at Enterprise Rent-a-Car, Barclays, and Close Brothers. He is currently accountable for the Growth Fashion and all Non-Fashion verticals at Klarna.


Matt Whalley

Head of Delivery (Manchester) at BJSS

Matt is responsible for all things BJSS in Manchester, and is a member of the UK Management Team.

Matt has spent the majority of his 17-year career to date in consultancy roles in a range of industries including telecoms, financial services, retail and the public sector. Over time, Matt found he thoroughly enjoyed the highs and lows of the people side of delivery, moving into leadership roles. These days he no longer builds software himself, coding vicariously through the successes of the BJSS Manchester delivery teams.

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