Keynote Speakers


Giles Semper

Presentation: "Sharing the placemaking vision - an overseas perspective"

Giles Semper is a Director of the 21-strong placemaking & place management consultancy The means, which has offices in Llanelli (Wales) and London. The means is one of Europe’s leading consultancies in the management and development of Business Improvement Districts (BIDs), setting up the the UK’s third-ever BID, Better Bankside, in 2005. This BID – chaired by Tate – is known as perhaps the most creative in Europe. The means now manages ten BIDs – five in London and five in Wales and has consulted in more than 50 locations. The company is a founder member of the European BIDs Network and has also worked in Singapore, Malaysia and Albania, where it is currently writing the management plan for the new Tirana market. The means is currently building expertise in the Smart Cities agenda, with a view to integrating new technologies into its placemaking projects. Giles himself joined the company in 2002. His role has included stints as Deputy CEO of Better Bankside and Executive Director of Vauxhall One BID in central London, where the BID office is located in the famous Kennington Oval cricket ground and the largest BID member is MI6. His current clients include the Malaysian-owned Battersea Power Station Development Company and Chelsea FC.

As the husband of an American, Giles often gets to visit Main Street operations in the USA, notably in his wife’s home state of North Carolina. Giles’ previous career included nearly a decade working in book publishing, latterly as editorial director in the religious division of HarperCollins. He is a trustee of the Southwark Playhouse (voted London’s best fringe theatre) and enjoys London culture in all its forms. He is also an enthusiastic supporter of Surrey County Cricket Club and Southampton FC.

Claire Siddens

Presentation with Gill Plume: "Delivering the vision on the street"

Claire has worked within the retail industry for the more than 20 years mostly in the development and redevelopment of fully planned shopping centres in Auckland, Tauranga and Christchurch.

She has extensive knowledge and experience in town centre management and Business Improvement Districts (BID) programs from 2000 working for local government, local business associations and their members to create incorporated societies. This work included the facilitation of BID programmes, target rate ballots, develop centre strategic plans, marketing plans, and promotions and associated budgets.

Since 2000 Claire has worked with the Mt Eden Village Business Association leading the association from a voluntary membership based organization to an operating BID Programme for the past 15 years. Mt Eden Village continues to punch above its weight providing value against the BID target rate grant and economic benefit for the businesses of the Village.

Claire is currently part of the BID Programme Team within Auckland Council, responsible for the strategic growth of the programme including the establishment of new BID programmes and the expansion of existing BID programmes. Claire played a key role in the development of the Auckland Council BID Policy (2011) and the revision for 2016.

In her experience working within the BID environment Claire has successfully overseen and guided the establishment of eleven new BID programmes and the boundary expansion of 5 BID programmes with the Auckland region.

Gill Plume

Presentation with Claire Siddens "Delivering the vision on the street"

Gill has a background of working on projects, research, planning, reviews and management   in NZ central and local government. She managed the Auckland Council Business Improvement District (BID) Programme (48 BIDs) for four years until 2016 and is now managing the development of a collaborative innovation hub on the fringe of Auckland’s CBD. Her interests include business association management, small business development and local economic development.

Nicole Maslin

Presentation: "Mainstreet marketing - Helping vision become reality"

Nicole has over 25-years’ experience in local government, across a variety of areas including recreation, youth, culture, events, functions and economic development. For the last 15 years she has worked in Economic Development, managing a range of business and economic programs and services, including co-coordinating 11 special rates and charge programs, and supporting the Associations, businesses, centre managers and associated marketing and management programs.

Nicole is fiercely passionate about the power of businesses working together as a collective to strengthen and position main street communities and understands the important role local government plays as well. She consults in a range of areas impacting and influencing main streets, including business associations and governance, marketing and management, special rates and charges and engagement of businesses. She is also involved in access and inclusion for main streets, organisations and communities through her work with leading Access consultants IATA.

Nicole has played a pivotal role in the development of Mainstreet Australia over the last 10 years as past president and committee member and now as a part time Executive Officer. She has developed a wealth of industry experience, knowledge and insights through this work and has been instrumental in developing funding opportunities, industry conferences and events, professional development and training. She has been a strong advocate for the main street movement, leading on many issues and opportunities that impact and influence main streets businesses and government’s ability to support and build capacity.

Nicole has firsthand experience of business in a main street, as a Bakers Delight Franchisee in her local community with her husband for the last 12 years. She sees and experiences the value and advantages of main street businesses and draws on this in her work and role at Mainstreet Australia.