Mahal to chair FutureBook Conference

Mahal to chair FutureBook Conference

Sandeep Mahal is to chair the FutureBook Conference 2015.

Mahal, most recently director of The Space, will preside over the event, which takes place on 4th December at the Mermaid Theatre in central London. The full programme and preview of FutureBook 2015 has now been released by The Bookseller, with more than 500 delegates expected to attend what is Europe’s largest digital publishing conference.

Philip Jones, editor of The Bookseller and programme director for FutureBook 2015, said: “I am delighted to have Sandy on board. She brings with her immense experience of publishing, the wider arts and digital media; she is the best bridge to these many different worlds that I know, and yet she has a deep knowledge of publishing and enthusiasm for the sector. She is already working with us, helping to steer the event so that it is both publishing-savvy and outwardly focussed. We will have more announcements along these lines in the forthcoming weeks, along with a special (and remarkable) fifth keynote.”

Mahal said: “Working at The Space brought home to me something we all know but rarely say: no matter what the sector, we are all on the same journey. We are all exploring some big themes: production, distribution, sales, marketing, the changing role of curator, producer, publisher [insert your job title here], the importance of data-driven editorial and marketing, D2C, brand development, mobile internet and the constancy of change itself.

“My role is to be a transparent facilitator – a commère - so that the people on the stage and those in the audience can make a connection. It’s a good title that requires me to stand aside and let the conversation between speaker and audience flow, without adding my own ideas – something that my friends will acknowledge does not come naturally to me!”

Mahal joins 11 other individual FutureBook hosts, who will chair the 12 sessions at the three-stream event. These include Richard Mollet, chief executive of the Publishers Association, Anna Rafferty, director of product, creative and content at Pottermore, and Sara Lloyd, digital and communications director for Pan Macmillan.

Jones said: “We have taken a new approach to the event this year, putting each session in the hands of an expert chair from within the sector who can help guide the debates so that they are of most use to the FutureBook audience. They will join with Sandy is making this year’s FutureBook Conference the most vibrant, innovative, and useful yet. I am also delighted that so many of our speakers—more than half in fact—are female, the best ratio we, or any other, digital conference has ever achieved, and a necessary rebalance for a sector driven by women.”

The full preview and programme can now be viewed here

Early bird booking for the event closes this Friday, visit for more information or to book tickets.