Premiership Rugby CEO Mark McCafferty will reflect on progress on-and-off the field when he considers 20 years of elite professional club rugby in England and a range of other key subjects at Rugby Expo 2016 at the Ricoh Arena, Coventry, on November 3.
McCafferty, who has overseen radical change in many facets of the game since taking the helm at Premiership Rugby in 2005 and is consistently ranked among the most influential individuals in the sport, will take part in a wide-ranging conversation with conference moderator Kevin Roberts.
The session kicks off a day of top level discussion and debate involving the people behind the biggest names in club rugby, examining the opportunities and challenges facing the sport and those who run it.
Heath Harvey, chief executive of Aviva Premiership and European champions Saracens and Nathan Bombrys, managing director of Guinness Pro12 winners Glasgow will be joined by David Armstrong of Wasps and Mike Rush of St Helens Rugby League club on a ‘Club Council’ which will discuss the hottest topics of the day in an hour-long session. The CEO Council meets with no pre-set agenda and questions from the panel moderator and audience will be of the moment, drawn from the key rugby issues of the moment and reflecting the concerns of both union and league codes.
The current and future impact of technology on the business of rugby clubs will come under the spotlight in a discussion featuring Stuart Mison, head of sport project at Microsoft, Derek Palmer of Ticket.com and Russell Glenister, founder of tracking and analytics company SnapRapid whose work is changing the way sport bodies value and deliver sponsorship in the digital age.
Rugby Expo 2016 will be kicked-off by Bill Beaumont, incoming chairman of World Rugby who was in Rio to see rugby sevens make a triumphant Olympic Games debut and the event’s strongest-ever line-up will also see Barney Francis, head of mould-breaking rugby broadcaster Sky Sports, deliver the first ‘Game Changer’ lecture on the relationship between the sport and media in an economically, socially and technologically evolving world.
Now in its 8th year Rugby Expo has become established as the premier conference and exhibition for club rugby at all levels. While Day One (November 3) focuses on the professional game the following day concentrates on the community and grass roots clubs through a series of fascinating sessions organised in conjunction with bodies including the RFU.
In addition to the must-see conference sessions, Rugby Expo offers an exhibit platform for many of the sport’s leading suppliers of equipment, product and services.
Rugby Expo director Jonathan Wilson said: “We’re delighted to welcome Mark McCafferty back to the Rugby Expo stage on the
20th anniversary of professional rugby union. The superb surroundings of the Ricoh Arena under the ownership of Wasps, provide an appropriate reminder of just how far the spectacle, presentation and business of the sport have changed during that time and we are looking forward to sharing mark’s insight into the development of the game up to this point and in the years ahead.
“With such a strong speaker line-up and so many critical topics to discuss, Rugby Expo 2016 looks set to be the most informative and insightful to date.”