Event: Patron Away Day – 9 & 10 November

Our second Patron Away Day will be on the 9th and 10th November at Springkell House in Dumfriesshire, bringing you together to reconnect, take time out to work on your business and blow the cobwebs away.

The Away Day will be a half day’s residential conference, dinner and drinks with your peers in the magazine industry – all designed to learn, support and inspire each other.

Like the last one, tickets will be strictly limited, and will only be available to International Magazine Centre Patrons. Choose the right tier for you and become a Patron here.

What to expect at the conference

This is a half day conference for people working in and around magazine publishing.

But there’s a twist. Bar one person*, the speakers at the conference will also be the delegates.

Once you’ve booked to attend, we’ll ask you to submit the topic of something you would like to talk about. This could be business or personally focussed; it could be magazine related or something that feeds the industry; it could be an unusual hobby that you think others would be interested to see, or learn how to do.

The topic is entirely up to you, as is the format – it could be a talk, a workshop, a conversation – whatever you’d be happiest with. We suggest 30 minutes for each session, but if you have an idea that would be longer or shorter, just chat to us about it.

We’ll take all the topics submitted, anonymise them, and then put them out to vote on from everyone attending. This means that whoever gets chosen will know that there’s already lots of people who would like to hear from them, which hopefully will reduce some nerves, and make the conference useful and fun for everyone.

Not sure what to pitch? Email Nikki Simpson for a chat.

*Who’s the one person?

After some lovely feedback from our first Away Day, we’ve invited business coach Kirsty Waite back to set the scene for the conference. We worked with Kirsty last year, and know many of you have too, so we know we’re in good hands.

Recalibrate your business. Join me Kirsty Waite to discuss the importance of recalibration in your business, and building a business through choice. The session will set you up for the day, to optimise your time amongst other awesome business owners and help you get the most out of this Away Day. During the session we will explore what it means be fluid, how to learn and adapt to create an intentional business, set goals for the day ahead and give you food for thought on the future of your business. We have the ability to change our businesses at any time we like – make the choice to change now.”

She sounds good doesn’t she? That’s because she is.

Before and after

We’ll have lunch on arrival on the 9th, then the conference with a break in the middle, time to chill out a bit before dinner, then dinner and drinks in the evening. Breakfast will be available on the 10th, and there’ll be a chance for a talk-and-walk with Kirsty (weather permitting) before we head home.

Wednesday November 9th

  • 11am-12pm Arrival and check in
  • 12pm Lunch
  • 1pm Conference Part 1
    • 1pm Welcome and introductions
    • 1.20pm Kirsty Waite, Talk – Recalibrate your business
    • 1.40pm James Hewes, Talk – Why networking is your most important skill and how to be better at it
    • 2.20pm Catherine Saint, Talk – To worry or not to worry? That is the question
  • 3pm Break for refreshments
  • 3.30pm Conference Part 2
    • 3.30pm Heather Pownall, Workshop – Visibility and Reinvention – what are you missing?
    • 4.10pm Nielsen Dinwoodie, Masterclass – How to add hilarity, intentionally – a five point masterclass
    • 4.50pm Chris Wills, Quiz – The November Issue – a quiz for people passionate about print
  • 5.30pm Break before dinner
  • 6.30pm Dinner
    • During Dinner: Helen Coston, Discussion – Selling yourself and your business, it’s easier for some than others!

Thursday November 10th

Timings tbc, but likely

  • 8am-9.30am breakfast
  • 10am-11am talk-and-walk with Kirsty Waite
  • 11am check out and head home


This is a Patron-only Away Day, so if you’d like to attend but you’re not a Patron, please sign up here and we look forward to meeting you.

Tickets include attendance at the conference, your accommodation, all food and drink.

  • £300 per person for a room with sole occupancy
  • £250 per person for a room with shared occupancy. If you would be happy to share but are coming alone please let us know and we will pair you in a twin room with someone of the same sex

Book a second night. If you are travelling a long way, or would like to make a mini-break of it, Springkell House has rooms available on the 8th of November too. Please note these are subject to availability.

  • £150 per person for a second night’s stay on the 8th of November. Price includes dinner, bed and breakfast


Q Where are we going?

We’re heading to Springkell, a beautiful old Palladian mansion set in some beautiful gardens, midway between Lockerbie and Gretna Green. The address is Springkell House, Eaglesfield, Lockerbie, Dumfriesshire DG11 3AL.

Q I’m coming by train, what’s the nearest train station?

Gretna Green is the nearest train station. If you’d like to share a taxi let us know what time you’re arriving and we’ll put you in touch with others coming on the same train.

Q I’d like to car pool – can you put me in touch with others attending?

We’d be happy to. Email us and we’ll introduce you to others coming from your area. Springkell is an 8 minute drive from Junction 20 on the M74.

Q What happens if I book but then can’t come?

As numbers are limited based on room occupancy we will refund you:

  • 100% of the ticket fee if cancelled more than one month from the event
  • 75% of the ticket fee if cancelled between one month and three weeks from the event
  • 50% of the ticket fee if cancelled between three weeks and two weeks from the event
  • 25% of the ticket fee if cancelled between two weeks and one week from the event
  • 0% of the ticket fee if cancelled less than one week from the event

Q What happens if Covid restrictions increase and the event is cancelled?

We will refund all ticket fees.

Q What kind of anti-Covid measures are you putting in place?

We ask everyone attending to take a Lateral Flow Test the morning of the 9th November, and ask you not to attend if your test is positive.

Q I’ve got more questions, who do I speak to?

Please direct all enquiries to Nikki Simpson, she’d love to chat to you.

Feedback from the last Away Day

Here’s what our lovely Patrons said about the last one…

“This event is the essence of community and peer-to-peer support. No big names drafted in, it wasn’t needed. The big names were already there, and the wealth of knowledge and experience in this room was astounding. To hear from the attendees was a stroke of genius. If you wondered what peer-to-peer support looks like, this is it.”

“I spent an amazing 24 hours in the company of some inspiring people – 17 creatives and fellow small publishers. I haven’t laughed or learned so much in a long time, and my head is still slightly spinning.”

“Loved the informal approach and genuine sense of community.”

“It’s incredibly reinvigorating to attend an event like this, the debate and discussion was overwhelmingly positive and supportive and it made me remember why this industry is so important to me.”

“I loved the energy and enthusiasm of the other delegates and the fact that they just ‘get it’. Find your tribe!”

“[I loved] sharing experiences, meeting kindred spirits, the relaxed and sociable atmosphere.”

“I had so much fun connecting with publishers and business owners. For me it was just great to be around others who feel as passionate about publishing as I do.”

“An outstanding event, thank you! Such a unique and innovative concept that provided so much insight, knowledge share, ideas and awesome new contacts. Bravo!”

“There was no difference between speaker and audience, it felt like every voice in the room was equal. Which in turn, made for fantastic conversation.”

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