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 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 then a fantastic project and eventually on to her current role to become head of National Events at the Mirror looking after 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 turn up and attend.  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

Victoria Archbold

managing director
Hearst Live

Fran Derry

board director

michelle linaker

head of national events
Pride of Britain

Sarah Baumann


Chris Wareham

Managing Director
MASH Staffing

Jiri Bures

Executive Creative Director
Imagination Ltd

Chris Whittle


Daisy Andrew

European events manager
Seedlip Drinks

Scott Cullather


Emma Lax

strategy director
Cake, Havas

David Herbuck


Jim Campling

president, UK marketing partnerships
Live Nation

Jason Megson

vice president, managing director
George P. Johnson

Damian Charles

group managing director
The Current Collective

Rachel Bateman

head of experiential

Nathan Homan

Creative Director
Rouge Events

Taj Sur

business director
Savvy Marketing

Alistair Bryan

UK chief operating officer
Momentum Worldwide

Kate BM

Business Development Manager Sales Events
The London Reign Showclub

Sarah-Jane Benham

Managing Director
Kru Live

Hayley Lawrence

managing director
Brand and Deliver