The awards are judged by an esteemed panel of industry leaders and experts in the digital sector.

The judging 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.

From a transparency perspective, we may video aspects of the judging session to show on the evening and give entrants an insight into why a winning entry was chosen.


test list

Tracy Archer | Sales and Marketing Director | Pure Cottages

Tracy is Sales and Marketing Director for the Pure Cottages Group- A holiday cottage agency with 6 leading brands across the UK, that has welcomed over 150k holiday makers over the last year. Her remit is to transform the group into a digital driven business, maximising revenue and delighting the customer at every opportunity in their journey. She has over 30 years of marketing experience working in both local and global agencies in London, Leeds and Manchester.

Liam Bateman | CTO | Silverchip

CTO And software developer, Liam has over 15years 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. Liam is extremely passionate about the importance of developing a ‘real-world curriculum’ within schools and colleges, working alongside students and young people to provide opportunities and routes into the sector.

Andrew Binns | Director | Havas Lynx

Over the last twenty years Andrew has worked for a number of the North’s major communication and marketing agencies. Starting at Mando Group Andrew developed his knowledge of digital marketing and creating impactful campaigns. He then moved to Rippleffect where he created the Strategy division and worked with Premier league clubs and tourism organisations. Andrew then moved into the healthcare arena, heading up Ashfield’s Digital and Creative division where he delivered essential behaviour change projects. Recently, Andrew joined Havas Lynx, the Cannes Lions Healthcare Agency of the year, as a 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 C.I.C

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, founder Lauren Coulman and the team work to engineer strategic and cross-sector responses to systemic, cultural and personal challenges in our society, all with impacted people at the heart of the solutions designed.

Becky Franks | Optimisation Lead | The Co-operative Bank

Becky Franks heads up the Digital Optimisation team at The Co-operative Bank. The Bank 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’. The goal of the Bees is to build co-operative relationships across Manchester that break new ground. With the ambition to strengthen the Bank’s digital connections, host free meetups and events, while also supporting local communities. A big part of their work is to help address the skills and gender gap in Digital and IT careers, by supporting, mentoring and involving young people across the North West.

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. He is also a mentor for Tech Manchester, providing support and guidance for local tech start-ups.

Steph Hamill | Partner and Head of Creative, Brand and Digital Marketing | Capita Consulting

Steph champions the blend of art and science in a digital world, making brands and causes famous, while making a difference. A bespoke, but out-of-the-box creative, her experience blends human behavioural and neuro-sciences, tech, brand and narrative storytelling, digital transformation and traditional media and marketing. Her projects are seen, and loved, worldwide, and she proudly puts her name to several international awards. A digital transformation advocate, Steph’s positivity reflects her outlook on the role digital plays in improving the future and how business and industry can be encouraged to think from a human-centric perspective. After working in European and US cities, Steph again resides in London. When not heading up her department, she’s found giving lectures at Central Saint Martins, speaking at global events such as Khoros at The Guardian, DMEXCO, SheSays, MadFEST and on Radio, is a judge for several awards and writes for varied publications. She advises charities and is a not-for-profit non-exec.

Alex Hamilton | Head of PR & Social | One Brand Magic

Liam Howley | Chief Marketing Officer | Music Magpie

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. This includes control and management of internal digital, marketing and design teams & external agencies, with responsibility for planning, analysing and optimising a multi-million pound marketing budget in the UK for musicMagpie.co.uk and in the US for Decluttr.com.

Simon Landi | Managing Director | Access

Simon is Managing Director and founder of Access, a fully integrated digital development and marketing communications agency with headquarters here 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 / marketing functions. He has worked across all of the agency’s wide ranging clients on both local and global scales, including Stagecoach Bus, BAFTA, WaterAid and UCLan. For the past 13 years he has also worked to develop the agency’s digital business which has ranged from website developments, through to entire company digital transformations. Among other passions, including cycling and travelling, Simon sits on the business advisory board of Manchester Metropolitan University's sports management & marketing degree course.

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. James was also a judge at the 2020 Northern Digital Awards.

Rob Linton | Director of Key Accounts | MiQ

As a Director of Key Accounts at global programmatic media company MiQ, Rob oversees the operational and commercial teams in the Northern UK business. Starting out as a trader in 2013, Rob now leads agency relationships and advises brands across multiple sectors, including travel, retail and direct to consumer, on programmatic strategy and execution. An expert in digital, and a key industry player, Rob is a champion of North England’s vibrant digital community. He educates brands on digital marketing, providing tutorship and workshops specifically for businesses undergoing transformation. A seasoned speaker, and MiQ representative at Manchester India Partnership events, Rob is also ‘Digital Futures’ Ambassador with Manchester Digital, and teaches digital marketing at local high schools.

Nathan Milnes | Head of Business Marketing | GC Business Growth Hub

Nathan has over 28 years’ experience spanning both client and agency senior roles, initially in leading London CRM and integrated agencies, moving to the North West 16 years ago to client side as Head of Marketing for Phones4u, with responsibility for increasing development of CRM, online and direct sales, driven by extensive multi-channel digital marketing. Nathan is a multi-channel, results driven senior marketer developing effective marketing and teams, including global marketing roles at NCC Group and senior roles in agencies including Amaze One and Social - always with a digital focus. Nathan is currently Head of Business Marketing at GC Business Growth Hub, responsible for development of marketing strategies and delivery across multi-channels including the organisation’s high profile annual event Venturefest, raising the profile and awareness of The Hub and marketing of an extensive range of business services and support for growth of GM and NW SMEs, supported by digital and integrated teams and agencies.

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 & defence industries as well start-up environments across the UK and Europe. Sunil hosts conferences that provide training, insights and direct access to experts on the hottest topics in industry. He also regularly speaks at industry events and on expert panels worldwide.

Sarah Novotny | Digital, Creative and Tech Sector Business Support Lead | GC Business Growth Hub

Sarah is passionate about bringing effective business growth strategies to the community behind Greater Manchester’s (GM) Digital, Creative and Tech sector. With almost a decade of experience in growing teams and businesses, she always strive to bring improvement by connecting creative minds and establishing environments which accelerate growth. Sarah brings an international perspective and is well known for her straight to the point way of approaching business support. She has had the pleasure of working with teams in blue chips, Scale-ups, SMEs and Start-ups, and prides herself in bringing learnings around strategy, sales, innovation, pricing and productization from all these adventures into her ambition to interlink and align industry needs with the GM sector support offering. Currently Sarah is leading several programs for the GC Business Growth Hub including Greater Connected, Amplify and the Creative Scale-Up Programme which are delivering to the GM Digital, Creative and Tech sector network.

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 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 – helping brands inhouse their digital marketing and drive better commercial outcomes. He is passionate about building a people-focused agency that invests time and resources into people which, along with leading technology, produces excellent results and delighted clients.

Ricardo Seixas | Managing Director | One Day Agency

Along his 15+ years international career in the digital space spanning 4 continents, Ricardo worked for consumer brands, start-ups, 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, I Saw It First, including Digital Agency of the Year. Across his experience, he led innovative digital projects for L’Oreal, Telefonica, Sanofi, Ambev and world’s top agencies.

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 GM localities and the Health & Social Care Partnership, he is focussed on delivering the GM Digital Strategy which was crowdsourced in 2017 through two #GMdigital Mayoral Summits and events led by Andy Burnham, the Greater Manchester Mayor. The current scope of work includes digital skills and inclusion, growth of GM’s digital economy, full fibre and 5G connectivity, cyber security, helping residents make smarter use of their data in GM, and running the GMCA’s own ICT. Phil believes wholeheartedly in the philosophy underpinning the GMCA’s Digital Team: “Big enough to matter, small enough to know each other, and hungry enough to make things happen” and works with some amazing people, across all sectors, who are combining their talents with digital opportunities to create a better Greater Manchester for the people of the city region. He is the current chair of iStandUK, the local government information standards body, and is a member of the Digital Futures Strategic Advisory Board at the University of Manchester.

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. Klarna are a rocket ship and are changing the game! Kevin is very proud to be a part of the Klarna revolution!

Matt Whalley | Head of Delivery (Manchester) | BJSS

Matt is responsible for all things BJSS in Manchester, and is a member of the UK Management Team. He graduated with an MComp degree in Computer Science from Loughborough University, and was gratified to find he was able to turn his software development hobby into a career. Quickly learning that he preferred solving real problems for people rather than building software that never get used, 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 enjoys the highs and lows of the people side of delivery, moving into leadership roles. So these days he no longer builds the software himself, coding vicariously through the successes of the BJSS Manchester delivery teams!