The awards are judged by an esteemed panel of industry leaders and experts, the judging process is a rigorous two stage process including pre-scoring to determine shortlists and a judging meeting where entries are discussed and evaluated in detail to decide the winning entries.

The 2018 judging panel was as follows:

Arianne Donoghue

PAID MEDIA DEVELOPMENT MANAGER, EPIPHANY |

Having started off her digital career client side over a decade ago, Arianne has worked for both agencies and brands in-house, specialising in all things paid search. She is now back agency side supporting on biddable media digital strategy.

A regular on the conference scene, she’s also an editor and contributor at popular site State of Digital.

Neil McKay

CEO, Endless Gain |

For more than 15 years, Neil has been helping businesses here in the UK, Europe and USA grow their online profits.

He started his career at publisher Media Ventures Group (MVG), helping to build and sell Global Media GmbH to private equity firm The Carlyle Group before leading the UK acquisition of Bigmouthmedia (now part of DigitasLBi). He later led Lakestar Media to success before it was acquired by McCann Worldgroup in 2012.

Neil’s latest venture is Endless Gain – a Conversion Optimisation Agency which launched in January 2016.

Davina Lines

Managing Director, Ecommerce Club & Mixing Digital |

Davina Lines is Managing Director of Mixing Digital and the Ecommerce Club. She brings a wealth of knowledge and a big black book of digital contacts to ensure Mixing Digital’s event management services are of the highest standard. Davina co-founded Netimperative in 1999 and became Managing Director in 2002, stewarding the brand into new product launches and creating one of the most successful events programmes in the digital marketing industry. In the mid 90s Davina cut her digital teeth on New Media Age (now Econsultancy), forming part of the founding team and was responsible for the commercial development of the magazine and its early events from launch in May 1995 to 1999. In recent years Davina launched an ecommerce peer-to-peer community, the Ecommerce Club, which runs regular events in London and Manchester on topics relevant to the retail community.

Elizabeth Clark

CEO, Dream Agility |

Mark Kuhillow

Founder, R.O.EYE |

With a background in traditional direct-response media, I have been involved with digital platforms since 1999. Deeply passionate about client service and the internet, a proven track record in building successful digital businesses is evident.

Brendan Keegan

Senior Lecturer in Digital Marketing, Manchester Metropolitan University Business School |

Brendan has taught digital marketing at Manchester Metropolitan University Business School for eight years after a short career in agency land. With a background in communications and web development, his research interests centre around strategic digital marketing in the services industry. Recently awarded a PhD in Social Media Marketing Campaign Development, he utilised networks of digital agencies in the North West to develop a conceptual framework of campaign strategy development using new and emergent technologies.

Darren Ratcliffe

Digital Director, Six and Flow |

Darren is has worked in the eCommerce sector for almost 20 years cutting his teeth as an eCommerce developer before going on to set up two digital agencies in the past 11 years.   His second agency Digitl was successfully acquired by growth specialists Six & Flow earlier this year where Darren now leads the Digital arm of the business.

Having worked with clients including ebay, JD Fashion PLC, Suzuki GB and Music Magpie amongst others in recent years, he has a great breadth of experience in this sector and joins us for the second year as a judge.

Rory Gilmore

Technical Solutions Manager UK & IE, Nosto |

Rory has worked in ecommerce for 5 years in some capacity or other; starting out as an ecommerce manager in the luxury fashion and lifestyle sector, then working as a freelance consultant, before eventually moving into his role as a Technical Solutions Manager at Nosto. He’s worked with some household names in retail including Cath Kidston, Coast, Gymshark, Richer Sounds and more. Consulting on strategy and best practice for personalisation and beyond.

“I’m passionate about good design and user experience; working with brands to realise their vision online excites me, luckily at Nosto I get to do this everyday.”

Tom Armenante

Ecommerce Manager, Nicole Farhi, Wolsey & BLK DNM |

Tom Armenante is the Ecommerce Manager for the high-end fashion brands Wolsey, Nicole Farhi and BLK DNM. Previously Tom was the Head of SEO at Matalan, where he was responsible for organic growth and working with the internal teams in driving e-commerce performance. During his time at Matalan he oversaw the successful backend migration onto the Shift Ecommerce platform.

Prior to Tom’s role at Matalan he worked at the award-winning SEO Agency, Branded3 where he helped to formulate the search strategy for some of the UKs largest brands. Tom’s experience spans a variety of sectors including outdoor fitness, home renovation and financial comparison.

In his spare time he likes to put his knowledge to good use and is focussed on continuing the successful growth of his niche e-commerce site Gocableties.

Duncan Rutherford

Head of eCommerce, BT |

I’ve over 15 years experience of managing, leading and owning online businesses. From award-winning self-employed start-up, to joining dabs.com in 2007, I’ve experienced Commercial, Marketing and eCommerce roles in a varied career. My current role heading up BT’s eCommerce retail engine (BT Shop) sees me lead the end-to-end Sales, Marketing & Online teams to deliver profitable growth in a challenging market. It’s a unique role enabling me to define the strategy right through to leading the team daily to deliver our core objectives – it’s an entrepreneurial business within a huge organisation! Outside of work I’m a husband to Caroline, Dad to 1 year old Theo and a keen Sailor, Marine Surveyor and Hip-Hop Guru (long-story!).

Kristal Ireland

Head of eCommerce and Retail, LNER |

Previously voted as one of the UK's Top 30 Women in Digital Under 30. A specialist in Social Media and Digital Brand Strategy, Kristal is an award winning, strategic and experienced digital marketing expert. A regular digital conference speaker and industry commentator Kristal has worked in digital for over a decade developing digital solutions for some of the UK’s biggest brands.

Ellie England

Sales Director, Microsoft Search Advertising |

Passionate about digital, women in technology and making a lasting impact, Ellie began her career in sales working in an inner city secondary school 'selling' the importance of modern languages to disaffected teenagers. She got in to the world of digital advertising working for Google for 6 years, before eventually relocating to Manchester and joining Microsoft. As a Sales Director for Bing Ads, Ellie has been spearheading the continued investment in the North of the UK and leads a growing team of search account managers and directors.

Simon Wharton

BUSINESS STRATEGY DIRECTOR, PUSHON |

Having led PushON for 12 years, In 2017 Simon transitioned from Managing Director to Business Strategy Director where he could apply his considerable experience in digital transformation to PushONs digital consultancy service. Simon has spent more than two decades operating within the digital sector, initially in a corporate environment, before becoming embroiled in the early days of the Manchester digital community. Alongside his business partner, Roy Wilding, he pivoted PushON out of an incarnation of a previous successful digital business. Steady planned growth has seen the business gain recognition as one of the North West’s leading eCommerce agencies. The business’ expertise in eCommerce development and its particular skill with online marketing has led to a raft of peer reviewed award wins throughout the North West, UK and Europe.

Simon also has a reputation for “sticking his oar in” to drive the digital sector forward. He is a council member for Manchester Digital, lectures at local universities and was a founder of SASCon, the infamously expert digital marketing conference. He speaks at events, organises events and largely keeps himself busy both in the sector and in the community. He has four children available to keep him stressed and is the gofer for a local under 10s football team. When he finds the time to go out, you’ll most likely find him seeing a loud band somewhere.

Martin Bryant

Media and Technology Consultant |

Martin Bryant is a consultant, speaker, writer, and educator in the fields of technology and media. He works to help technology companies craft a narrative around their products and business. He was previously Editor-in-Chief of international technology publication The Next Web, and Community Editor at Tech North, where he shone a light on the stories of startups and entrepreneurs in the North of England.

Samantha Sargison

Head of Digital and Corporate, Bettys |

With over 10 years’ digital experience working in luxury fashion and jewellery businesses in London, Samantha relocated to Yorkshire last year and began working at Bettys, renowned for its iconic tea rooms and online hamper business. As Head of Digital, Sam is responsible for bringing Bettys to life online; delivering tea, cake and delectable gifts to Bettys enthusiasts around the world.

David Crawford

FOUNDER, THE DIGITAL STRATEGY UNIT |

David Crawford has worked for the last 25 years in marketing and digital agencies of all shapes and sizes.  He was most recently Managing Director of Branded3, one of the UK’s leading search agencies, and has also held senior positions at McCann, BJL and twentysix.  He has worked directly with clients such as American Airlines, UPS and Bentley as well as help a couple of tech start-ups develop and deliver their digital & marketing strategies.  He now works with creative, digital and tech agencies as a Non-Exec Director, Board Advisor and Coach.

Sharon Bradbury

Head of Digital Marketing & eCommerce, National Holidays |

A leading marketing specialist with over 20 years’ experience. Sharon began her marketing career in London with the world’s largest tour operator, TUI UK where she worked in marketing covering both digital and print. She then went to work for an entrepreneur and angel investor for 7 years, heading up the the marketing functions in a number of businesses across travel, leisure and financial services.

In 2015 Sharon became a consultant in the rail industry and worked for some of the best known rail companies in the UK, specialising in improving passenger experience across digital channels. She led a number of high profile website, eCommerce and app developments, driving change in passenger communications and improvements in the way people purchase tickets online.

Sharon now lives in West Yorkshire and is Head of Digital Marketing and eCommerce for leading specialist coach and experience holiday operator, National Holidays.

Gillian Geraghty

Head of eCommerce, Asda |

Lawrence Jones

CEO, UKFast |