head of national events
Pride of Britain

Michelle started her career in radio as Commercial Producer at Piccadilly Radio (now Key 103/The Hits Manchester). After a stint at JWT she became Group Commercial Director, looking after Smash Hits PollWinners Party and Tour, Party in the Park events around the country and Kiss/Mixmag Club Night launches both around the country and in Ibiza. Michelle left Emap and started work at ClearChannel which rebranded as Live Nation, at that time the worlds largest promoter of live music. Madonna and U2’s Global Tour, Download and Wireless festival to Live 8 provided some memorable moments. 

Michelle was then Executive Producer on Q, Kerrang, Mojo and Empire magazine for almost 5 years and then had a stint at WarChild.   

Working and creating SohoCreate festival in its inaugural year was a fantastic project and eventually she moved on to her current role, Head of National Events at the Mirror looking after the Pride of Britain awards, Pride of Sport Awards, Animal Hero Awards and NHS heroes amongst other projects.

"The event industry is a mystical beast.  Seldom do people who attend truly understand the work that has to take place before and during so that they can enjoy an experience.  It’s great to be able to shine a light on the great work that people do. I will be looking for creativity, attention to detail, big ideas and faultless delivery." 

Judging panel

Chris Wareham

Managing Director
MASH Staffing

michelle linaker

head of national events
Pride of Britain

Joost Dop

Chief Executive Officer, EMEIA

Andy Dougan

Head of Experiential & Growth
Geometry Global

Nathan Homan

Creative Director
Rouge Events

Mariam Ahmed

Events Director

Rosa Chapman

Client Services Director

Jonathan Emmins


Victoria Archbold

managing director
Hearst Live

Damian Clarke

The Current Collective

Kyra White

Head of Brand Activation
Benefit Cosmetics

Jasper Goossen

Managing Partner
Apenkooi Events

Michael Gietzen

Group Managing Director

Ben Turner

Managing Director
Wonder London

Rachel Bateman

head of experiential

Duncan Welsh

Head of Events
Serpentine Galleries

Stacey Knight

Commercial Director
CSM Live

Sian Baker

Managing Director - Content and Production / The Producers

Jonathan Owen