The BLN was formed in 2007 as a counterblast to the plague of expensive and unproductive networking events targeting the tech sector. We want to serve one customer – delegates – giving them the best environment to meet their peers, exchange ideas and establish useful relationships.
We are a small, but perfectly formed, team:
Variously described as ‘a world leader in connecting people’ and ‘the one in the terrible shirt’ Mark is the founder of the BLN and one of the best connected people in the UK tech scene.
He has spent 20 years in the tech sector collecting great people and ideas and connecting them to customers. Before the BLN, he was part of the founding team at Library House, an investment research business based in Cambridge serving the global venture capital & banking communities. He led the business development activities for the organisation & built a network of angels, early stage, venture & corporate investors.
Previously, he has worked with university spin outs; run a 40 person consultancy business; & founded a web portal for the CAD community. Mark has worked in the publishing and information sectors & attended Trinity College, Cambridge. He tweets at @marklittlewood
Hermione is head of the Department of Loud Shouting (AKA marketing) introducing new quality people to the BLN’s events by raising our profile in the high tech community. Before she joined the BLN she spent 14 years marketing Sentec, a fast growing cleantech company, which left her with a lasting affection for engineers (readers, she married one) and fascination with entrepreneurship. She has a degree from Cambridge University (Sidney Sussex college)
Joe is the fresh blood at the BLN, Assisting Hermione in day to day matters of shouting, whilst proudly boasting the self proclaimed title of ‘Vice President/Uber-Overlord (Number Two) of Marketing’.
Joe graduated in July from Durham University with a degree in Business and a dissertation in ‘Social Media Complaining’ in tow. After this, he spent a few months in consultancy before deciding to ‘follow his passion’into marketing where he now channels his inner puppy by enthusiastically doing anything he can to get the word out about The BLN’s conferences.
When not resembling an all powerful puppy, he spends his time training for ill-informed triathlons, playing football, and cleaning his house under strict instruction from his girlfriend. Joe tweets from @josepheglover.
So, Joe managed a whole 2 weeks being the BLN’s “fresh blood” but is practically old news as now, there’s even fresher blood in the office!
Tanya has almost 10 years experience of organising other people. From arranging meetings, events and travel, looking after diaries, building state of the art filing systems to (most importantly) making sure no one runs out of tea. Tanya will now spend her working days making sure the BLN office runs even more efficiently (unbelievable, we know) and keeping the team in check.
When Tanya is not assisting us here at the BLN she mostly spends her time taking selfies with her Bichon Frise, pretending to be an Arsenal fan like her boyfriend and trying to convince herself she really should put the chocolate away and go for a run. Tanya tweets from @tbobbie
Wendi Labbie is the main reason California is so sunny. Her smile energy and enthusiasm are infectious but behind that welcoming smile is a heart of gold and a brain that was wired to organise anything. Wendi earned her degree at California State University, Hayward in Human Development and frequently calls on what she learned in this time in her interactions with the rest of the team. She knows when we are happy, she knows when we are sad and she always knows how to help. She has worked in the Hospitality Industry for most of her career and has handled all of the logistical aspects of the Business of Software Conference for the past 8 years. If you need contract negotiations, registration, menus, hotel accommodations, AV and any part of the operations, Wendi is your go to person. You don’t ever want to be negotiating with her if you are a venue as she will simply smile and talk her way round to her point of view.
Wendi is known as a “Problem Solver” for the team but more importantly the person you need to speak to if you need help with anything at our events. She is our secret sauce. She is the one that can deliver 500 balloons to a speaker at 1 hour’s notice, make sure a guest has a particular brand of breakfast cereal, a can of Red Bull on arrival after the red eye flight. (All of those things are true and more). It would be no exaggeration to say that BoS would not happen without her.
When Wendi is not planning our events she is spending time with her husband and two grown sons, shopping for the hottest new trends and cheering for her favorite sports teams – The San Francisco Giants, the 49ers, and of course the War Hawks at McMurray University for whom her son plays.