William Higham


A global authority on Innovation and Strategy, Will predicts how future customers are going to behave, and recommends the best strategies clients should use to reach them.

He’s the man who championed Strictly Come Dancing to the BBC, warned the drinks industry about the New Sobriety, and saw the Wellbeing Consumer coming a mile off.

His engaging and inspiring talks leave audiences excited to face the future: armed with new, smarter ways to handle tomorrow’s consumers; and an arsenal of opportunities for innovation-led growth.

His keynote talks have inspired thousands globally: from conferences organised by the Financial Times and Harvard Business Review to corporate events for Walt Disney, Barclaycard and Primark.

Will runs strategic consultancy Next Big Thing, helping clients from Amazon to HSBC understand what their customers (and employees) will think, do, expect, demand and buy in future.

He wrote the first practical handbook for trend strategists: ‘The Next Big Thing: Forecasting Consumer Trends For Profit’ (Kogan Page, 2009), which has since been translated into five languages.

He’s been interviewed across media: BBC to Bloomberg TV, Fast Company to The Times. He presented a TV show for CNBC, and written for The Economist, Advertising Age and Huffington Post.

Will made his name in the Music industry. Working at Sony, Virgin and Universal, he marketed artists from Michael Jackson to The Rolling Stones. His fascination with music fans led him to the Research industry, as a consumer trends consultant for brands from Levis to BT: and later as managing director of research company OnePoll, whose clients include Kelloggs and Findus.

To book William Higham as the keynote speaker for your corporate event, function or conference, simply contact the Champions Speakers agency by emailing agent@championsukplc.com or by calling a booking agent directly on 0207 1010 553.

When at corporate events, William is known to cover the following topics:

  • Building a Faster Horse: Five reasons why consumer-led innovation is the easiest way to boost your bottom line.
  • Three BIG Words: Why Control, Comfort and Community are what your customer will want tomorrow – and what it means for your business.
  • Securing the ‘Smart Employee’: How to hire, and retain, the right talent to make your company fit for tomorrow.
  • Culture Club: You can’t progress without innovation, and you can’t innovate without an Innovation Culture.

See what people had to say about William when they hired him for corporate events:

“His insights into the attitudes & behaviour of UK consumers proved highly useful”Wayne, Head of Entertainment, BBC

“William’s presentation was extremely high standard. I look forward to working with him again.”Amy, EMAP Conferences

“William is a rare talent, cutting through the hype to reveal what is really round the corner.”Jo, Insights Head, Omnicom Group

“He delivered a really engaging talk that was well-received by the audience.”Nico, Chairman of ‘Media Futures

“It was a great pleasure to work with such a professional speaker as William Higham.”Birgit, Baltic Conferences, Estonia

“We hired William Higham for two events as part of the Trade Horizons Roadshow, which ran across the South West in Summer 2018. This series of events was designed to support the growth of South West businesses through international trade. William went beyond the usual whistle-stop tour of emerging trends in technology, offering unique perspective on what companies need to know to remain competitive in the 21st century. William framed these insights in a compelling, entertaining and convincing manner, encouraging delegates to rethink their approach to consumer behaviour and psychology.” Jim, Business West

“Let me start off by saying Will was amazing.  We had a few technical issues during his presentation and in fact two of his videos didn’t play despite us checking these.  He continued on without these playing and carried this off perfectly we couldn’t have asked for more of Will.  He then went on to do a piece for camera and network with our delegates when a lot of speakers would have just wanted to escape the nightmare scenario,  so please pass on our sincere thanks to him.” – Vanessa

“William was thought provoking, had an engaging style and certainly set an agenda and context for change. The presentation definitely fitted in with the tone and context we were aiming for, so certainly pleased with the brief. Many thanks to you and William, it was great working with you both.” – Mike, Philips

“Will has the unique skill of being able to identify those trends which are important and those which are just fads, then translating them into a commercial opportunity for your business.” – Alex, Head of Insight, Sainsbury’s

“Will’s talk was a great way to start our strategy conference. He brought new, provocative insights into evolving consumer behaviours, inspiring the audience to think of new ways to serve tomorrow’s consumer.” – Matt, Director of Strategy & Business Transformation, Primark

“William gave us great insights into how consumer attitudes are changing, and how companies will need to adapt to better appeal to tomorrow’s new ‘smart’ shopper.” – Michaela, Senior Editor, Financial Times Global Conferences

“Will offered a unique perspective on how companies can remain competitive in the 21st century, in a compelling, entertaining and convincing manner: encouraging delegates to rethink their approach to consumer behaviour.” – Jim, Department for International Trade, South West