Conor McNicholas Leo Wilkinson

Fee Band

  • Conference Speakers£2.5k to £5k
  • Reputation, IT & Online Business, Branding & Marketing, Creative Thinking, Customer Service & CRM, Retail, Business Strategy

Having transformed the NME from weekly music stalwart to a brand stretching from TV to tours, Conor moved to help companies including Barclays, Argos and Adidas to produce exciting new content, overhaul their internal structures, and connect with consumers who should now be seen more like an audience.


Conor McNicholas is an award-winning creative content, brand and disruption consultant. A former Editor of the NME, he considers how the online world can help change how an organisation interacts with its customers, as well as how they fundamentally operate. Faced with a constant barrage of information and content that can seem almost impossible to cut through, Conor looks at how brands can make themselves heard, stay relevant, and generate a coherent, productive conversation.

Whilst at the NME Conor found the renowned weekly being squeezed between a struggling music industry and an audience connecting with bands directly online. By establishing tours and live events, TV and radio stations, awards and other spin-offs he helped move the NME from a print publication to being a successful music brand. He then went on to edit Top Gear magazine and relaunch both print on online formats.

Conor took the lessons in dealing with disruption to the wider business and marketing world as it dealt with competition from online and a new, instantaneous media environment. Leaving journalism he led the creation of an innovative data-led content agency, working with the likes of Adidas and Lexus on their marketing strategies. By looking at how technology is being used, and its possibilities, he has helped businesses including Virgin Media, Reckitt Benckiser, Volvo and The National Lottery tackle specific problems and review their internal processes beyond marketing and communications.

Working with Barclays, Conor helped build a content editorial team and encouraged them to question the established sign-off system, shortening the website content process from over six weeks to just seven days. Away from marketing he helped make Argos the most successful online retailer in the UK on Black Friday. By harnessing social media, making decisions in real-time, and challenging them to again breakdown their internal processes, the retailer surpassed even Amazon during the cut-throat 24 hour period. His work has highlighted structural problems in an age when social media spreads messages (bad and good) within minutes and the demand for new, relevant content is constant.

Conor tackles the disruption all businesses are experiencing and looks at how they can stay one step ahead. In the realm of brand and marketing he examines the messages, values and images you portray and how they connect with your audience (who should no longer be thought of as consumers) as well as your own people. Named as one of the 1,000 most influential people in London by the Evening Standard he’s also been sued by Morrissey, featured in Russell Brand’s autobiography and been held responsible for the Kaiser Chiefs, so there have been problems along the way.


JLA Speakers Breakfast


We’re on hand to help you find the perfect speaker, presenter or performer for your events. Call or email our London office and use our agents' experience to expertly match you with the right person for your programme!

From time to time we send out emails announcing new speakers and free tickets to our showcase events including Speakers Breakfasts and the JLA Real Variety Show. Please tick the box below if you would like to receive these emails.

Don't miss anything!

We will never share the data you submit here with a third party. Information is stored in a database in order to service your enquiry, but is deleted once it is no longer required. You may request to have this data removed at any time.

JLA Presents

Event - 30/04/2024 - 9:00 am

Speakers Breakfast

Understanding AI Now

Priya Lakhani and Anne-Marie Imafidon

We were joined at 87 Barts Close by three brilliant speakers on a panel that delved into the complex world of Artificial Intelligence. Over the hour our panellists de-mystified AI, speaking about AI’s immense promise for enhancing our lives, alongside the apprehension it has generated regarding job security, privacy infringement, and ethical considerations.


87 Barts Close, 87 Bartholomew Close, London, EC1A 7EB


Event - 06/02/2024 - 9:00 am

Speakers Breakfast

Looking Ahead to International Women’s Day

Samira Ahmed, Eniola Aluko, Julia Gillard, and Alex Mahon

We were joined by four fantastic speakers to look ahead at International Women’s Day. With the theme of this year’s event being #InspireInclusion, we were lucky enough to hear from four women who have each blazed a trail in their respective fields: CEO of Channel 4, Alex Mahon; the former Australian Prime Minister and Chair of Kings’ Global Institute of Women’s Leadership, Julia Gillard; one of the leading voices in football, Eniola Aluko MBE; and broadcaster and journalist, Samira Ahmed.


Bishopsgate Institute, London