Skip to main content

British Marine Digital Spring Expo 2021 Agenda


To help our members choose the right session for them, the content of this year’s Digital Spring Expo has been themed around 3 key areas; ‘Road to Recovery’, ‘Participation & Tourism’ and ‘Trade’.

Tuesday 16th March – Road to Recovery

Road to Recovery is the focus of day one and will aim to aid businesses chart a post-Brexit course and COVID-19 recovery. Keynote speaker Martin Beck, Senior Economist at Oxford Economics, will deliver a speech titled “Light at the end of the tunnel”, addressing the year ahead for British businesses and the challenges and opportunities presented by the global pandemic.

09:00 - 10:00: Welcome from Lesley Robinson, CEO of British Marine, and Ian Cooke, President of British Marine

An overview of the sessions coming up over the next three days of the Digital Spring Expo and an update on the British Marine National Agenda

Keynote speaker Martin Beck from Oxford Economics

Keynote speaker Martin Beck, Senior Economist at Oxford Economics, will then open the event with an invaluable speech titled ‘Light at the end of the tunnel’. After a rollercoaster of a year, this session is ideal for those who are preparing for the season ahead, planning budgets, resources and looking to best navigate the uncertainties of COVID-19 and a post-Brexit world. 

Martin’s presentation will commence with a 2020 review of the UK economy and will then look at the 2021 challenges and opportunities presented by the pandemic and Brexit, and what these may mean for British businesses.

Focusing on the positives, Martin will cover how the lockdowns have resulted in pent-up household savings and how the prospect of a ‘staycation’ summer will affect the UK economy. This will be supported by his insights into the success of the vaccination programme thus far and the government’s roadmap for reopening the UK economy. 

Martin will also make the case that the impact of extending the COVID-19 support schemes, the prospect of a synchronised global upturn and the Brexit deal should be seen as opportunities for an economic uplift. However, there is still the possibility of economic risk, for which Martin will give thought to the permanent damage to the economy, questioning if the government could go overboard with future efforts to reduce borrowing and also whether inflation will re-emerge.

About the speaker

Martin Beck is a senior economist at Oxford Economics who are partners of Western Union Business Solutions. He is responsible for forecasting and monitoring the UK economy and works on a variety of UK macro-related consultancy projects. He contributes regular articles to a number of publications and is also responsible for forecast for the Irish economy.

Prior to working for Oxford Economics, Beck spent nearly two years at Capital Economics, where he worked on Capital’s UK macro and consumer services. He was responsible for producing UK macroeconomic analysis and forecasts on a national, sectoral and industry level. Before joining Capital, he spent 11 years as an economist at HM Treasury, where he worked in a variety of macroeconomic, microeconomic and policy roles.

10:30 – 11:15: Working with the media

Join Hugo Montgomery-Swan, Editor of Powerboat and RIB magazine, for an in-depth session on working with the media. The session will consider the role the media plays in effectively linking the industry with water sports enthusiasts, and how you can maximise this relationship. 

Find out about how you can work with the media successfully, the do’s and don’ts of press releases and what publishers look for in a story. Hugo will also discuss the common misconception of ‘is print media dead’? 

The session will end with a Q&A. If you wish to submit a question in advance, please e-mail  


  • Hugo Montgomery-Swan, Editor of Powerboat and RIB magazine
  • Adrien Burnand, Head of Marketing and Communications at British Marine

11:30 – 12:00: Networking

Cameras on and be ready to chat! Meet other members for a friendly networking session around today’s ‘Road to Recovery’ theme, covering Brexit, COVID-19 and the year ahead. A number of smaller breakout rooms will be available for you to join.  

13:00 – 13:45: Shaping UK laws post-Brexit – have your say!

With many UK laws no longer under the influence of EU membership, Brexit has given the UK the opportunity to bring about change and remove unnecessarily burdensome red tape in legislation.

Join this active session to discover which EU laws have transposed into UK law following the end of the transition period, including the Inland Waterways Directive, RCD, Red Diesel and timber regulations. Voice your opinion as the panel ask for examples of EU-originated regulations which should be reviewed.


  • Brian Clark – Head of Public Affairs at British Marine
  • Ross Wombwell – Head of Technical at British Marine
  • Jonathan White – Head of Participation at British Marine
  • Will Hayter - Cabinet Office Director

14:15 – 15:00: VAT: What’s changed?

Join our panel for a discussion with the industries top queries on VAT since our transition out of the EU.

Simon Anslow will give an update on our current status VAT with Philip Easthill and Brian Clark discussing their recent lobbying efforts. Mark Da Costa will be on hand to ask the burning questions from consumer and business perspective

To submit your questions beforehand please email  


  • Simon Anslow – Partner – VAT Services at PKF Francis Clark
  • Philip Easthill – Secretary-General at European Boating Industry (EBI)
  • Brian Clark – Head of Public Affairs at British Marine
  • Mark Da Costa - Argo Nautical

15:30 - 16:15 Statistics & Research: the benefit to members

Alastair Wilson and Brian Clark present our findings from the British Marine Boat Sales Report followed by a presentation on how British Marine helps members using surveys for statistics and data.

The session concludes with an interactive Q&A to see what other research projects British Marine members would like undertaken in the future.


  • Brian Clark – Head of Public Affairs at British Marine
  • Alastair Wilson – Senior Researcher at British Marine
  • Alastair Walton – Chairman of Boat Retailer and Brokers Association (BRBA)

Wednesday 17th March – Participation & Tourism

Participation & Tourism is the focus for day two as another ‘staycation’ summer approaches. A key focus of the day is identifying the resources available to our members in helping them to attract new customers and increase watersports participation in the UK.

08:30 – 09:30: Networking hosted by Ben Taylor

Ben Taylor kicks off day 2 of our Digital Spring Expo with a networking hour open to the wider marine industry.

With three breakout rooms centred around the themes of Participation and Tourism, engage with like-minded members to discuss and share ideas around these topics. 


  • Jonathan White – Head of Participation at British Marine
  • Jason Ludlow - Onyx Events
  • Liz Rushall – Director at Rushall Marketing
  • Ben Taylor – Founder at Taylor Digital

10:15 – 11:00 Leveraging changing consumer and market trends

The leisure marine marketplace is changing and our businesses need to adapt with it.

In the first part of this session, Liz Rushall of Rushall Marketing will cover watersports participation and consumer trends and encourage members to identify new business opportunities aligned with the changing market.

Following this, Jason Ludlow of Onyx Events and Jonathan White of British Marine will present the new On the Water website which will connect end consumers with watersports and boating providers with the ultimate objective of getting more people On the Water. British Marine look forward to members signing up free of charge to this new portal for the 2021 boating season.


  • Jonathan White – Head of Participation at British Marine
  • Jason Ludlow - Onyx Events
  • Liz Rushall – Director at Rushall Marketing

11:30 – 12:15: Maximising opportunities in marine tourism

Join tourism professionals to discuss the year ahead for Marine Tourism in the United Kingdom. Kurt Janson from the Tourism Alliance will focus on how to maximise the opportunities presented to UK businesses by COVID-19.

Martin Latimer, Simon Limb and James Stuart from the Scottish Giant Strides project will then present delegates with a case study followed by practical advice on how to implement the findings from the Giant Strides project in your region.


  • James Stuart - One Planet Consulting
  • Jonathan White – Head of Participation at British Marine
  • Kurt Janson - Tourism Alliance
  • Martin Latimer - Blue Sea Consulting
  • Simon Limb - Sunbird Yacht Sales

12:30 – 13:00: Networking

Cameras on and be ready to chat! A great opportunity to connect with other marine professionals in a relaxed environment. A number of smaller breakout rooms will be available for you to join. 

14:15 – 15:00: Engagement and Performance: Social Media 101

Elizabeth Flynn from The MTM Agency will be presenting how you can engage your customers both professionally and personally through the power of social media.

As the summer approaches, this session is not to be missed if you’re considering how to fire up your marketing for the season ahead, whether you are looking to dip your toe into the world of social media for the first time or you're already an experienced user looking to increase your reach and engagement.  

2020 saw a surge in the power of organic social content and it overtook paid social media for the first time. Elizabeth will look at how to use organic social content to tell your brand story and connect at a deeper level with your customers...and why wouldn't you, it’s completely free!

You'll learn top tips for choosing and using the variety of different social platforms to best suit your business. Find out how to engage and excite your audience through fantastic content and discover how to develop an effective personal social brand - alongside your business brand.

Session highlights include

  • Integrating your social media within your wider marketing strategy
  • How to develop your personal social brand alongside your business activities
  • Top tips for creating organic social content that generates engagement (this will include taking and using images and video for social use, recommended apps and free tools to help you create fantastic content)
  • Managing comments and handling negative feedback
  • Working with 3rd parties - including influencers

About the speaker

Elizabeth has over 18 years experience working in digital marketing. After graduating from Solent University with a degree in advertising, connecting with brands and business with customers has always been her passion. Elizabeth’s role at MTM is to lead the agency’s social media offering, whilst managing some of the agency’s biggest integrated accounts, working with Airbus, Fairline Yachts, Promarine Finance and British Marine. 


15:15 – 16:00: The Green Economy – it’s actually blue!

A Green Economy aims to sustain and advance economic, environmental and social well-being, and as an industry we are facing increasing demand and social pressure from consumers for services and products that achieves these aims. Together we need to consider everything from propulsion, materials and reducing pollution levels to the technology and infrastructure that can achieve this.

Join this session to understand the challenges and steps the marine industry needs to take in order to successfully transition to a Green Economy.

There will be a Q&A at the end of the session. Questions can be submitted in advance by email to  


  • James Scott-Anderson – Environmental Executive at British Marine 

Thursday 18th March – Trade

Spring Expo concludes with a day focussing on Trade, particularly what opportunities are available globally, including funding support for businesses and new customs procedures following Brexit.

10:15 – 11:00: Maximising global trade opportunities

Join our expert panel as we look at the opportunities available to you in reaching new customers overseas.

Discover the headline results from British Marine’s recent International Survey which will help develop and improve British Marine's services for those members that trade internationally or are looking to trade internationally. The key findings from the survey will be presented by Head of Public Affairs, Brian Clark. 

Mark Hamson from the Department for International Trade (DIT) will discuss the government support packages for international trade.

Paul Gullett from Wave International Ltd and British Marine President Elect will discuss his own experience of trading internationally and how to maximise opportunities in a global market. 

Finally, Udo Kleinitz from ICOMIA will present their Distributors Guide, a tool to help companies learn how to export to new markets, and the ICOMIA stats book that provides market intelligence from around the world.


  • Brian Clark – Head of Public Affairs at British Marine
  • Mark Hamson – Department for International Trade
  • Paul Gullett – Managing Director at Wave International Ltd
  • Udo Kleinitz – Secretary General at ICOMIA

11:30 – 12:00: Networking

Cameras on and be ready to chat! A great opportunity to connect with other marine professionals in a relaxed environment. A number of smaller breakout rooms will be available for you to join.  

12:30 - 13:15: Funding support

This session will provide practical advice and guidance on funding support, delivered by leading finance specialists. 

Ian Stock of 3Spheres UK will begin with a guide to taking the first steps in finding support available to your business. This will be supported by representatives of EP Barrus and Hyper-Motive detailing their experiences of applying for and obtaining funding for their marine Hydrogen Fuel Cell project. The session concludes with a Q&A with Jan Freeman of Elevate Corporate Finance Consulting, who will be on hand to advise and answer questions on forecasting and launching funding projects.


  • Jan Freeman - Elevate Corporate Finance and Non-Executive board member at British Marine
  • Ian Stock – Director at 3Spheres UK
  • Ross Wombwell – Head of Technical at British Marine
  • Phil James – Senior R&D Engineer at EP Barrus
  • Liz Harber - Hyper-Motive

13:45 – 14:30: Completing new customs declaration for EU trade

Join leading logistic experts GAC Pindar as they present practical guidance on where, how and when to complete customs declarations for importing and exporting goods between the UK and EU now the transition period has ended. This session will provide a detailed overview on new requirements and how to implement the right customs strategy for a business to move products cross-borders successfully.


  • Jeremy Troughton - GAC Pindar
  • Beth King - GAC Pindar
  • Ross Wombwell – Head of Technical at British Marine

15:00 – 16:30: Working together to achieve Net-Zero emissions

The UK marine industry is quickly developing alternative propulsion related technologies and capabilities as we journey towards Net-Zero Emissions by 2050.

Find out the progress so far in this session with a brief overview of the current market in the UK followed by British Marine members showcasing their alternative propulsion systems and products through elevator pitches, presentations and demonstrations.


  • Ross Wombwell – Head of Technical at British Marine


Click here to register!

Full terms and conditions can be found here.

Please note that British Marine would not in any circumstances sell the attendee list for this event. If you receive such a request, please treat it as SPAM.