The Wine and Spirit Trade Association has announced two keynote speakers for its Annual Conference, which takes place on September 18.

Roger Bootle, UK economist and former Special Advisor to the House of Commons Treasury Committee, will be joined by Thomas Matussek, a former German Ambassador to the UK, the UN and India.

The pair will headline the conference and will answer questions from returning conference chair, Alex Forrest, and members of the audience.

Both will provide their viewpoints on the WSTA’s key themes for this year’s conference, which is ‘Business as un-unusual’. Bootle will reflect on his experience inside the UK’s system while Matussek will bring a viewpoint from being on the outside looking in.

The WSTA recently announced the 2018 Conference’s focus on two themes: ‘Business as Un-usual”, looking at the likely change in trading arrangements in an era of uncertain international economics and Brexit, and ‘The Evolution of the Buyer’, looking at the way the purchase of products and services has evolved in recent years, and what can influence a buyer’s decisions in the world of wines and spirits.

The WSTA also recently announced the panelists for the panel session on ‘Evolution of The Buyer’, including Sophie Devonshire, ceo of The Caffeine Partnership; Jerry Perkins, ceo of Wasted Talent Ltd; Sam Bompas, co-founder Bompas & Parr; and Ounal Bailey, co-founder, Wisehead Productions.

WSTA chief executive, Miles Beale, said: “We are pleased and excited to announce that Roger and Thomas will be joining us this year for what promises to be our biggest and best Annual Conference yet.

“Our Annual Conference falls just before the Brexit ratification process, and I am sure Roger and Thomas will provide fascinating takes on the Brexit process, alongside our two key themes for this year.

“In addition to our keynote speakers, for the first time at Conference, our smaller WSTA members have the chance to take part in a unique brunch session with members of the WSTA Executive Board, alongside JF Hillebrand, before the Conference proper gets under way.

“It’s a great opportunity to sit down with WSTA Board members, on a one-to-one basis, to take advantage of their wealth of experience and hear sound advice on issues facing their business, and this year’s conference will have something for everyone.”

Tickets are now on sale and can be purchased at: