Mark Gallagher

Performance Insights

Mark Gallagher is a renowned keynote speaker on a range of business topics relating to his experiences gained while working in senior leadership roles within Formula One motor racing over the last 30 years. Since 1998 he has spoken for many hundreds of organisations, ranging from national SME’s up to large, global corporations.  Today he runs Performance Insights, providing deep-dive insights into Formula One, and working alongside some of the sport’s greatest stars. He regularly features in the media, working with organisations including the BBC, Sky Sports and ESPN, and consults for a range of companies involved directly in Formula One today.

Mark’s management career in Formula One included more than a decade on the management board of the highly successful, race winning Jordan Grand Prix team, running the world famous Cosworth engine business and establishing the commercial arm of Red Bull Racing which went on to become 4-times World Champions. During his career he has worked with many of the sport’s leading drivers, including former World Champions Ayrton Senna, Michael Schumacher and Jenson Button. Today he works closely with a number of the sport’s major stars including David Coulthard, Mika Hakkinen and Jacques Villeneuve.

Mark’s career in Formula One started in 1983, spending seven years working in the media and as a consultant to Philip Morris International before joining Eddie Jordan’s fledgling Grand Prix team in 1990. He was a member of the team’s management board, having full responsibility for the team’s day-to-day marketing and commercial activities. He became part of the newly created Red Bull Racing management team in 2004, and was invited to lead Cosworth’s return to Formula One as an engine and technology supplier in 2010, overseeing its supply of one-third of the teams on the starting grid.


Aloysius Arlando

President of AIPC
Chief Executive Officer
SingEx Holdings Pte. Ltd.

Aloysius Arlando is the Chief Executive Officer of SingEx Holdings,
a wholly-owned subsidiary of Singapore investment company, Temasek
Holdings. SingEx Holdings comprises several entities focusing on the
venue management and events development businesses. They include
SingEx Venues Pte. Ltd., which manages the Singapore EXPO
Convention and Exhibition Centre, the largest purpose-built MICE venue
in Singapore; and SingEx Exhibitions Pte. Ltd., the event management
arm which develops and manages exhibitions, conferences and other
business events relating to key industries of the future economy.


Since taking over the helm in 2010, Aloysius has built up a portfolio of MICE-related ventures, both regionally and globally, as well as developed its suite of business event solutions and venue management services to new standards. Singapore EXPO and MAX Atria was awarded Best International Venue 2016 by UK’s Exhibition News and Best Business Event Venue in 2018 and 2019 by Singapore Tourism Board, while SingEx Exhibitions was awarded Best Trade Conference Organiser in both years and Best Exhibition Organiser in 2019. Through her head office in Singapore and subsidiaries in Delhi, Guangzhou, and Jakarta, SingEx stages a portfolio of over 20 proprietary trade events in India, China, Indonesia, and Singapore.


Pablo Nakhlé Cerruti

Executive Director, Viparis

Pablo Nakhlé Cerruti, born in 1983, graduated from Sciences-Po Strasbourg and from Ecole de Guerre Economique. Previously he was a member of staff of Christine Lagarde, Minister of Economy and Finance from 2009 to 2011, having been CEO of Prometheus Foundation from 2007 to 2011. He joined Unibail-Rodamco in 2011 as Director of communications and institutional relations. In September 2014 he has been appointed Executive Director of Viparis. In January 2018, he becomes Deputy CEO in charge of operations before being promoted CEO in June. He is also town councilor of Saint-Malo since April 2014 and Community Councilor of the agglomeration of Saint-Malo since June 2019.


André Schneider

CEO, Geneva Airport

André Schneider, after having been a professional musician in major classical orchestras, developed his first experiences when IBM decided to go into services and asked him to create an IT consulting practice in Geneva, working throughout Europe; he then expanded his experience joining the World Economic Forum and was instrumental during his 12 years in creating the world’s leading global multi-stakeholder platform and finally globalizing this concept by expanding it around the world, with special emphasis on China and the Middle East. With his advisory, André has been quickly developing projects and thought leadership in many important issues around sustainable development, like renewable energies, sustainable competitiveness, sustainable mobility, sustainable infrastructure grading and financing and social banking. After this, André has joined EPFL, as Vice-President for Resources and Infrastructures, for three years.

On September 1, 2016, André has joined Genève Aéroport as its new CEO. André is also the chairman of the innovation board of the Aviation Research Center Switzerland; chairman of World Climate Ltd, the world’s leading media and events platform to accelerate the development of the global green economy; Chairman of equal-salary, providing a certification of equal compensation for women and men; and Vice-Chairman of Global Infrastructure Basel, the sustainable infrastructure forum and summit.


Benita Lipps

Head of Association Management – EU

A passionate design thinker and non-profit innovator, Benita has dedicated her professional career to helping non-profits make an impact. She started her international association career at the European Science Foundation (ESF), where she led the ESF Conference Scheme as the youngest-ever Head of Unit and launched long-impact series such as Graphene Week and the European Gender Summit.


As a board member of the European Society of Association Executives (ESAE), Benita created the ESAE peer-learning education track, providing European association leaders with a platform to share their ideas, concerns and experiences in an engaging format. As Head of Interel Association Management, Benita has been updating the outdated AMC model to offer agile support, smart solutions and strategy design to international alliances, societies and associations.

Her unique blend of strategic innovation and deep sector knowledge helped launch and grow associations such as ELSA Alumni, the Cloud Signature Consortium and ENRIO. A passionate speaker and trainer, Benita believes in the innovative power of diversity and inclusion, the importance of smart strategic management and the power of associations to advance our society.


Carrie Kwik

Singapore Tourism Board, Executive Director Europe

Ms Carrie Kwik assumed the position of Executive Director, Europe at Singapore Tourism Board. Based in London since November 2019, she oversees the Board’s international network in Europe.  Prior to this, Carrie was in charge of the development of the attractions and entertainment industry in Singapore, working with local attraction owners, theatre producers and show presenters, to live entertainment promoters and nightspots owners to ensure a strong pipeline of attractions and leisure events in Singapore. Key projects which Carrie helped to oversee included the new Mandai Nature Park as well as well as the launch of the RFP for the Jurong Lake District attraction site.


Carrie brings with her a wealth of experience and knowledge of the tourism industry, having held various key positions since joining the Board in 1992. Other than Sightseeing & Cruise, the portfolios she has helmed include Executive Director, Business Tourism Development in the Singapore Exhibition & Convention Bureau (SECB), as well as Executive Director Integrated Resorts overseeing the team that supported the opening of Singapore’s two integrated resorts.

Carrie graduated from the University of Hawaii at Manoa’s Travel Industry Management School, with a Bachelor of Business Administration (Honors). She is also a graduate of the Master of Management in Hospitality (MMH) programme at the Cornell-Nanyang Institute of Hospitality Management (CNI).


Christoph Woermann

Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Corporate Bank, Deutsche Bank

Christoph has worked in financial services marketing for over 20 years and currently is CMO for Deutsche Bank’s Corporate Bank covering portfolio based client campaigns including content marketing, thought leadership, in-house publications, media-partnerships, events, digital and social media activities. Christoph trained as an advertising executive at LINTAS, at that time Germany’s largest advertising agency and he holds a Masters degree in economics from the University of Hamburg, Germany. Further training included an Advanced Industrial Marketing Strategy Programme at INSEAD, Fontainebleau, France. In 2018 Christoph was appointed Vice Chair of the Financial Service Group in the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM). He is also a Fellow of the CIM. In 2019 he was recognised as one of 100 most impactful European B2B Marketing Leaders. In addition he is a member of the Brand Advisiory Board of the World Media Group.


Colja Dams

Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
VOK DAMS worldwide  

Colja M. Dams is CEO of VOK DAMS worldwide since 1998. Since the foundation in 1971, the agency has been one of the international market leaders in events and live-marketing. Recognising the importance of the internationalisation of the agency at an early stage and the need to be close to his customers, he opted for networked strategies. With innovative approaches, he repeatedly established new standards in events and live-marketing, which VOK DAMS Strategic Solutions is constantly developing with its finger on the pulse. Today around 300 experts at VOK DAMS create brand appearances for events, trade fairs, road shows and showrooms. VOK DAMS has 19 offices around the world: in Berlin, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munich, Stuttgart and in Wuppertal, Germany. And further offices in Beijing, Shanghai, Hongkong, Bordeaux, London, Madrid, Prague, Tallinn, Vienna, New York, Philadelphia, Sao Paulo and Dubai.


Corinne Menegaux

Managing Director
Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau

Corinne Menegaux is Managing Director of the Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau since November 6, 2018.
University of Applied Sciences of Economics and Business Administration (ESSEC) - class of 89
Work experience
From 2009 to May 2018 - Reed Expositions France - the world's leading trade fair organiser | Senior Vice-President - Member of the Management Committee since 2012
From 2005 to 2009 - Creation of the company GEM | Organisation of easyFairs Franchise shows (8 regional shows per year) Creation of consumer fairs: Cuisinez! and Art Shopping (creation in 2007)
From 2004 to 2005 - easyFairs France (easyFairs Europe subsidiary) | Chairman and CEO
From 2000 to 2003 - Medialive International France (formerly Key3media) | Chief Executive Officer

From 1995 to 2000 - Key3media Group (ex ZD Events) | Product Manager, Marketing and Operations Director, General Commissioner
From 1992 to 1995 - Miller Freeman / Blenheim | General Commissioner Unix Solutions, Windows Europe, Planète Multimedia
From 1989 to 1992 - Groupe Figaro | Project Manager to the CEO Philippe Villin, Director of the Figaro Grandes Ecoles, Head of advertising for the mass retail sector (France Soir) - development
▪ Chair of the IREST Council since 2019
▪ Member of Skal Club International
▪ Member of the Angelina Gourmet Club


Dahlia El Gazzar

Founder of Dahlia Plus

Dahlia has an OMG-attitude about all things tech and experience design. She’s her own brand, with more than a decade of experience in the meetings and events sector, working on both the professional planning side and as an association collaborator, Dahlia is known as the coffee-fuelled ‘go-to’ source for trend-setting solutions, eventtech news, and professional branding expertise.


Her mission is to untether the busy professional from their desktop and office and enable them to be more efficient and productive working from a beach in Mexico [umbrella drink in hand] through their mobile device utilizing smart solutions and apps.


Franck Gervais


Franck is a graduate of Ecole Polytechnique and a civil engineer from Ecole des Ponts et Chaussées (France’s national school of bridges and highways). He started his career in 2001 at the Direction Départementale de l’Equipement des Alpes Maritimes (the Alpes Maritimes regional equipment department) where he was in charge of air bases. In 2004, he was appointed Advisor to the French Minister of Equipment, Transport and Tourism.
He joined the SNCF in 2006 as Director of the Chairman’s Cabinet, before heading up Line 8 of the Transilien Greater Paris regional railway service. CEO of Thalys from 2011 to 2014, he led the transformation of Thalys into a full-function railway company, and was appointed CEO of Voyages-SNCF.com from 2014 to 2017 where, in particular, he carried out the key projects of customer experience and internationalization of the Group.
Franck Gervais joined Accor’s Executive Committee in November 2017


Gerd De Bruycker

Marketing Director - CISCO

Gerd De Bruycker is a marketing director at Cisco Systems, leading Strategy and Planning for EMEA Marketing next to being responsible as the CMO for Northern Europe and leading the EMEA Event Marketing Team. He is specialized in how event marketing is integrated into the overall marketing mix as part of customer journeys and audience touchpoint strategies. He and his Event Marketing team are responsible for Cisco’s top events in the region, like Cisco Live, Cisco’s trade show participation, event strategy and country event enablement services. Before joining Cisco ten years ago, he worked for almost a decade at Microsoft mainly in event marketing roles on a country, regional and worldwide level. He is also a guest lecturer at a high school in Belgium.


Harry Hardy

Senior Vice President, Events & Marketing
D.C. United

Currently serving as the Senior Vice President, Events & Marketing prior to joining D.C. United Harry was the Vice Presidents of Events at global sports marketing industry leader Octagon. In his role he oversaw the evolution of Octagon’s event business from sports events into community, culinary, music, health and wellness events and programming all over the US working with brands such as Walmart, Procter & Gamble, CVS, Pepsico and Guggenheim. During his tenure at Octagon Harry staffed over 100 events in 20+ different markets in addition to managing event teams in San Francisco, NW Arkansas and Indianapolis.

Additional key achievements during Harry’s 11 year stint at Octagon include creating and launching the BITE Food Festival a 3 day culinary festival featuring a James Beard Foundation conference, 5000+ attendees and brands such as Tyson, General Mills, Pepsico. Year 3 of this event was used to open and showcase a new culinary school and food market in downtown Bentonville.

Currently serving as the Senior Vice President, Events & Marketing prior to joining D.C. United Harry was the Vice Presidents of Events at global sports marketing industry leader Octagon. In his role he oversaw the evolution of Octagon’s event business from sports events into community, culinary, music, health and wellness events and programming all over the US working with brands such as Walmart, Procter & Gamble, CVS, Pepsico and Guggenheim. During his tenure at Octagon Harry staffed over 100 events in 20+ different markets in addition to managing event teams in San Francisco, NW Arkansas and Indianapolis.

Additional key achievements during Harry’s 11 year stint at Octagon include creating and launching the BITE Food Festival a 3 day culinary festival featuring a James Beard Foundation conference, 5000+ attendees and brands such as Tyson, General Mills, Pepsico. Year 3 of this event was used to open and showcase a new culinary school and food market in downtown Bentonville.


Irina Graf

Founder of MICE Blog

To get to the roots of Irina’s dedication to the MICE market, the year 2011 is particularly illustrative. That is when two career-changing events occurred: While conducting an internship in an events agency in Munich, as part of her tourism studies, Irina discovered that her passion lies within the events sector. When she won a research-based award scholarship with Regent’s University London, her career path took an exciting turn and she decided to change her fields of studies to International Events Management. That same year, she also launched her blog, The MICE Blog, which remained a side project until becoming her full-time business in 2015.


Since then, it has been an exciting path as Irina has expanded her role and served an ever-growing audience.

From the start, Irina’s vision for The MICE Blog has been to connect the global online community of event planners, while providing inspiration, education and networking opportunities, all by highlighting the industry’s best work. The response has been fantastic. Today, Irina and her blog are a trusted resource for planners and MICE industry insiders around the world.


Irina has immersed herself in the MICE market for years. Her Regent’s University scholarship, in fact, opened the door for a BA Honours degree in International Event Management at the European Business School in London. She soon found that this was a great way to forge relationships with other event professionals.


Irina quickly found still more ways to network. In 2014, she founded the #eventprofstalk Twitter chat, and one year later the Event Planners Talk live event series for the global events industry. The Twitter chat, which takes place every Monday evening, focuses on a single topic for each 1-hour instalment. So far, she has led more than 100 chats on themes ranging from innovation, sustainability and education to personal development and event technology. Through her innovative combination of both Twitter chats and live events, Irina has connected the online and offline communities to forge business relationships. By extending the event life cycle, she has created a source of continuing education for event professionals.


Isabel Bardinet

the European Society of Cardiology (ESC)

Isabel Bardinet started her career in the meetings industry in 1988 when she entered SOCFI, a French PCO company, where she organized national, international and governmental congresses, presented many international bids and learnt association management.

In 2002 she took over as Executive Sales Director  at the Palais des Congrès in Paris and actively participated in the creation and development of the “Leading Venues of Paris.”


In 2005, she joined the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) as Congress Division Director and in 2009 became the CEO of the ESC which currently gathers sub-specialty associations, councils, national cardiac societies and working groups, in addition to the main cardiology association, with just over 100 000 members in over 90 countries.

The ESC organises over 12 congresses a year, including the largest medical congress in Europe and biggest cardiovascular disease congress in the world with over 35 000 participants. Given travel restrictions, in August 2020, the ESC organized its first ESC Digital Experience attracting 125 000 registrants to a digital event over 4 days.

Isabel Bardinet was president of the AC Forum from 2010 to 2012, creating the association management chapter.  She served as Vice President of the Club des dirigeants of the technopole Sophia Antipolis from 2012-2014.  In 2014, she obtained the Certificate in Corporate Governance from INSEAD. Mrs Bardinet received the 2015 Professional Convention Management Association Chairman’s Award, for her creative involvement of the community in advancing the ESC’ mission at ESC Congress 2015, in London UK, the 2017 JMIC Power & Profile Award, the Lifelong Achievement Award from IBTM in 2019 and was named one of the 25 most influential people in the meetings industry.


Istvan Ujhelyi

Vice-Chair of TRAN
Committee Special Ambassador of UNWTO

Istvan Ujhelyi graduated from the Faculty of Law and Political Sciences of the University of Szeged in 2002. He joined the Hungarian Socialist Party (MSZP) in 1993 where he has served in many leading positions. He was State-Secretary in the Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development (2006-2009) and State-Secretary in Prime Minister’s Office (2009-2010) and in the Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development. Elected MP in the Hungarian National Assembly from 2002 and Deputy Speaker between 2010-2014. Chair of the National Tourism Committee (2006-2010). After the EP elections in 2014 he became Chair of Tourism Task Force in the TRAN Committee where he served as Vice-Chair. In 2019 he is re-elected as MEP, and Vice-Chair of the TRAN Committee. During the past years he has initiated tourism related programmes, as EU-China Tourism Year 2018, and European Capital of Tourism project, aka “European Capital of Smart Tourism”.

Ujhelyi is Founder and President of Europe-China OBOR Culture & Tourism Development Committee, 2016 and Political Mentor of the FreeInterRail-programme (DiscoverEU). In 2018 he was appointed as special ambassador of the UN World Tourism Organisation. He is founder and president of the Confucius Institute in Szeged (Hungary) established by the University of Szeged and Shanghai International Studies University.


Dr James Morgan

Principal Lecturer and Digital Innovator
Digital Innovation Group
College of Design, Creative and Digital Industries
University of Westminster

Dr James Morgan is a Principal Lecturer in Event Design and Technology at the University of Westminster, London and the Founder of Event Tech Lab, a partnership community for event technology companies, event professionals and investors. He was named as one of Eventbrite’s Top 100 Event Professionals in 2016; as well as being awarded the International Live Events Association’s top accolade, the J Robert Graves Pioneer Award for for his services to the association in the same year. He was also voted as one of the Top 20 Industry Changemakers for 2017 by US publication Meetings Net magazine. He was recently voted as one of the Top 100 Most Influential People in the Events Industry in the Eventex Global Awards 2019. As a respected international speaker, writer for Mash Media and previously for Event MB, James judge’s industry awards in Europe, North America and the Middle East each year. As a truly international event professional, he is passionate about researching topics on experience design, attendee engagement and technology.


James Rees

ExCeL London

James has over 25 years’ experience in event organisation and major venue management.

He began his career as a conference organiser for UK-based Water Research Centre then moved into venue management, joining Wembley Stadium Ltd as event manager, later moving into a commercial role.


Future roles included London Arena as Sales & Marketing Director then as Director of Hilton Direct.


He is now a member of the executive team of ExCeL London, responsible for the commercial strategies of its Conference and Events Division, developing a strong national and international clientele in London’s largest conference and exhibition centre.

As a venue owned by Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company (ADNEC), he is also responsible for helping to promote the Middle East region to international event planners.


James is a passionate volunteer leader in the industry and now holds the prestigious role as President of ICCA, the International Congress and Convention Association.


Jan van den Bosch

Directeur Venue
RAI Amsterdam

After a legal career in the eighties I switched to the Meetings Industry almost 30 years ago by joining the RAI. First as account manager, later as an exhibition manager. In 1995 I became Director at the MECC ( then part of the RAI ). Since 2000 I have been Director Venue at the RAI and responsible in the past for Operations but my main attention now goes to the expansion and renovation of our Venue. I am involved in the AIPC for over 10 years, first I supported the AIPC Operations Summit in Barcelona, and more than 10 years I am involved in the AIPC Academy. Since 2013 I am a BOARD member of AIPC and present the Treasurer.


Kaan Yildizgoz

Senior Director,

Kaan Yıldızgöz is based in Brussels and has the global responsibility of UITP membership, events, exhibitions, marketing, training and other business services. Kaan Yıldızgöz worked as Training Director of UITP in Brussels, Senior Manager of UITP Middle East and North Africa Centre for Transport Excellence in Dubai, Loyalty & CRM Director of Turkish Airlines, Quality & Corporate Development Director and Advisor to General Manager in Metro Istanbul.


Kaan Yıldızgöz was member of Star Alliance Loyalty Strategy Committee, Advisory Board Member of International Association of Transport Regulators (IATR) and Training Advisory Board of International Road Union (IRU). Kaan Yıldızgöz lectured as part time teaching staff at Istanbul and Bahcesehir Universities and he was guest lecturer at Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne.


Kaan Yıldızgöz is the first student of Istanbul Technical University who graduated in 2.5 years from 4 years long Management Engineering Programme. He also holds a masters degree from Marmara University in the area of International Business Administration and completed “Infrastructure in a Market Economy: Public Private Partnerships” Executive Education Programme of Harvard University. Mr Yildizgoz has his Phd studies on New Mobility Services.

Mr Yıldızgöz is also author of the books ‘Taxis in the Era of Digitalization’ (2018) and ‘Taxis in the Era of Coronavirus’ (2020)


Marc Coleman

CEO, Unleash

Founder & CEO of UNLEASH. Marc is passionate about building global communities that imagine the Future of Work & Technology.

UNLEASH lead’s the debate on the Work Revolution, creating a unique ecosystem where leaders explore solutions to both the challenges and opportunities posed by a fast changing world fuelled by exponential technologies, societal & political polarisation. UNLEASH play host to influencer's from across the world including; Sir Richard Branson, Arianna Huffington, Sir Bob Geldof, Baroness Susan Greenfield,  Stephen Fry, Esther Perel, Edward Snowden and many more.

In 2019, UNLEASH was listed on Inc. 5000 - the world's fastest growing companies in the top 30% and 212% growth average over 3yrs.

Educated in Ireland, Marc has a Higher Diploma in Quality Control Management, Applied Biology & Physics, a BSc in Microbiology and an MSc in Biotechnology.


Martin Donovan

Publisher and editorial director
of MIX (Hong Kong)

Martin Donovan is the publisher and editorial director of MIX. Based in Hong Kong, MIX is the only English-language online magazine in North Asia read across Asia Pacific and worldwide.


Martin is a British-trained journalist and came to Asia 20 years ago to work on the South China Morning Post. He later specialised in business travel and the hotel industry, which led to him further specialising in meetings, incentives, conferences and business events with the editorship of CEI magazine and later MIX.


He has written about how the industry has evolved in Asia over the past 15 years with rapid development of large hotels and exhibition centres, remarkable growth in China, the opening of convention bureaus, the rise and fall of event suppliers, the entry of associations into the market, technology, destinations and now the slowdown brought on by Covid.

Though the pandemic comes at a significant time for all, it is noteworthy for MIX as the title is now run independently from its previous owners, Panacea Media – the publisher of the Business Traveller titles.

Martin founded Greater Bay Strategies earlier this year, which owns the MIX brand. GBS contains the name of the “sleeping giant” project China is establishing in its southern Pearl Delta area, which is an economic region encapsulating Hong Kong, Macau, Zhuhai and several other municipalities including Shenzhen. The bridge linking Hong Kong and Macau is so far the most symbolic feature of this region, but more is to come including a new region for conferences and events.


Mary Larkin

UFI President, President of Diversified Communications, USA

As Executive Vice President, Mary Larkin oversees Diversified Communication’s US operations as well as the international portfolio of seafood tradeshows, conferences and online reporting, including Seafood Expo Global (Brussels) and Seafood Expo North America (Boston), the industry’s leading events globally. She also oversees events in Asia (Hong Kong) and Diversified’s Integrative Healthcare and Wine portfolio.

Ms. Larkin began her tradeshow and conference career in Europe before moving to the US in 1995 to join Diversified where she held roles in sales and as show director. She was appointed Group Vice President in 2004 and Executive Vice President in 2014. She serves on many industry Boards including the Society of Independent Show Organizers (SISO), Executive Board of UFI (Global Exhibitions Association and Seafood Industry Research
Fund (SIRF). She also serves on the Board of Directors for the Center for Grieving Children in Portland, Maine.


Matthias Schultze

GCB German Convention Bureau e.V.

Matthias is passionate about driving change and innovation, focusing on future proofing meetings and events as vital platforms for knowledge exchange. With a degree in business administration, he started out in hotel and congress management at Hilton International in Germany and has now almost 20 years of management experience, including as CEO of the World Conference Center in Bonn, which is part of the United Nations Campus. In 2010, he took up his current role as managing director of the GCB German Convention Bureau that represents and markets the German meetings and conference sector on a national and international level, with offices in Frankfurt, New York and Beijing. Together with industry partners, Matthias has initiated various projects, such as the “Future Meetings Space” innovation alliance, that focus on the opportunities and challenges brought about by the digital transformation.

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Michael Duck

Executive Vice President – Asia, Informa Markets

Michael Duck is the Executive Vice President – Asia of Informa Markets and is directly responsible for Fashion, Food & Hospitality and Maritime verticals in Asia and also all trade fair activities in India and many in China. He is also the Group Chief Representative in China of Informa PLC with an office in Beijing.


He was appointed as the first UFI (The Global Association of the Exhibition Industry) Chapter Chairman for Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa in 2000 and in five years grew the Chapter to be the most active and fastest growing in UFI. He also founded the UFI Sustainability Committee which is very active today. Michael is currently Treasurer and a Director of UFI.


Michael has also been an Executive Committee member of the Hong Kong Exhibition and Convention Industry Association (HKECIA) for over twenty years and was Chairman from 1998-2000. A committed Rotarian for the past twenty years serving the Rotary Club of Hong Kong, Michael has been involved in CSR for a long time.



Michael Kruppe

General Manager/ CEO
SNIEC - Shanghai China

Michael is the General Manager of SNIEC - Shanghai, China.
Career background:
Manager at Helm Group in Germany, China and Hong Kong
Worldwide Sales/Marketing and Procurement of raw materials.
General Manager for German and Irish companies in China.
Responsible for setting up sales and marketing strategies in China and Asia, mainly for MNC targeting local and international players in the region.
Setting up 2 new large factories and operations in Shanghai.
Continuing to plan and execute shows as an exhibitor
General Manager - SNIEC Shanghai New International Expo Centre
One of the world's most successful exhibition centre.



Neil Brownlee


Neil is Head of Business Events at VisitScotland, leading a team of 10 dedicated business event specialists based in Scotland and North America. Ultimately reporting into government, he is responsible for the development and implementation of the marketing strategy for business events at a national level for Scotland.   Neil works closely with the city convention bureaux and main conferences centres in Scotland.  More recently the new “Policy Driven Model” has raised business events to a higher strategic level within Scotland, aligning with the Scottish Government’s ambitions for the country across more than 40 policy areas.

With 30 years’ experience in the international hospitality and business events industry, Neil joined VisitScotland in 2008.  His career prior to that included business development with Sodexo; Director of Sales & Marketing at Rocco Forte Hotels and revenue development with Le Meridien Hotels in the USA.

Neil is on the current Board of Directors of the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA), and has spoken at many industry forums, including the UN World Tourism Organisation General Assembly, in Chengdu, China.


Remi Deve

Chief Editor

A specialized journalist in the association management field, Remi has been working for more than ten years in the meetings industry. In 2017, together with Cecile Koch, he launched Boardroom, which has become the global reference point for the world of associations. Targeting associations based the world over, Boardroom doesn’t deal with the meetings industry per se but, instead, covers a wide spectrum of issues of interest to the associations. It also gives voice to destinations, venues, industry organisations, etc. who can help and partner with these associations.


Steen Jakobsen

Assistant Vice President 
Dubai Tourism

Steen Jakobsen is assistant vice president at Dubai Tourism where he oversees Dubai Business Events & City Operations – the official convention bureau of Dubai. Prior to joining Dubai Tourism in 2013, Steen held a role as director of Copenhagen Convention Bureau for 8 years.

Steen served on the Board of Directors of International Congress & Convention Association (ICCA) from 2008 - 2014. He also served on the Board of Directors of Green Meeting Industry Council (GMIC). From 2003 – 2007, Steen was chair of BestCities Global Alliance and today he serves on the Board of Directors of BestCities Global Alliance.

Steen sits on the Executive Committee of Dubai Association Centre which is an initiative between the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Dubai World Trade Centre supporting international associations establish themselves in Dubai.

Steen holds a Master degree in Commerce and Commercial Law from Copenhagen Business School and the University of Sheffield.


Stephanie Dubois

Senior event director


Stephanie is a senior event director at SAP, specifically in charge of SAPPHIRE NOW, the company’s flagship event and a reference in the event industry. She has been involved in various aspects of event planning over the past 10 years, with a particular focus on leading with content strategy, facilitating customer networking,  and always setting the highest quality standards in terms of customer experience. Thanks to her background in business operations, customer references, administration, and teaching, she places particular value on the importance of individual experiences, story-telling, and community building, both for her audience and her team.


Taubie Motlhabane

CEO of the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC)

Taubie is an experienced strategic executive with over 29 years’ workplace experience, over 18 years of which, have been in senior and executive management.


Her current role is CEO of the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC). In this role, Taubie is responsible for the strategic direction and management of this world-class, 5-star rated conference and events venue. Taubie is the current ICCA African Chapter Chair.


She holds a Masters in Global Marketing from the University of Liverpool (UK), as well as a BA in Communication from the University of Bophuthatswana (now North West, in South Africa).

Her career has been forged in both the private and public sector, in the areas of Marketing, Customer & Stakeholder Management, Communications, Events Management, Public Relations, Broadcasting (TV), Print Media, Tourism and General Business Management.


Taubie’s experience includes roles as Executive Director of the Tshwane Convention & Visitors Bureau; Divisional Head: Events at the City of Ekurhuleni; Business Tourism Manager: Association & Inter-governmental Meetings at South African Tourism; as well as Head: Conferences & Protocol at the South African Reserve Bank – where she also managed the Bank’s Conference Centre.


Vivienne Hsu

Chief Business Officer

Viv has worked in communications and marketing for over 15 years. She has worked internationally for both WPP and Omnicom before joining Cognito 7 years ago. Viv has extensive experience working on integrated communications programs across a variety of B2B clients, working with some of the world’s biggest Financial Services, and Technology companies.
She is an experienced leader in helping clients navigate changing regulations and market conditions to build brands and protect reputations.

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Wee Min Ong

Vice President – Conventions & Exhibitions
Marina Bay Sands Pte Ltd

Mr Wee Min, Ong serves as the Vice President of Conventions & Exhibitions at Marina Bay Sands.

As Vice President of Conventions & Exhibitions, Wee Min is responsible for the success of the Sands Expo & Convention Centre and its 3,600 events held annually.

Prior to joining Marina Bay Sands, Wee Min was the Chief Commercial Officer at Suntec Singapore where he oversaw all commercial activities, operations and strategic development for both Suntec Singapore as well as Suntec International (An international venue management consultancy firm that serves convention & exhibition facilities globally).

Wee Min was the overall industry lead for the Annual Meetings of the Governors of the World Bank & IMF (2006), the International BAR Association (2007), APEC Leaders’ Week (2009) and the Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games. Wee Min represents Singapore at various international tradeshows and works closely with international associations to position Singapore as a premier destination for global events.

As a highly respected member of the industry, Wee Min is the first Asian to serve on the Board of Directors of the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) and is a key faculty member for the AIPC Academy which trains senior venue managers globally. Wee Min is also the first Asian to be appointed by the Events Industry Council (EIC) to the CMP Governing Commission which serves as the central governing body of the CMP (Certified Meeting Professional) accreditation for the global meetings industry.

Wee Min is a key member of Singapore’s MICE2020 advisory committee to help chart Singapore’s business events strategy for the future as well as Singapore’s continuing MICE education and professional development framework.

Wee Min holds a Bachelor in Economics from the National University of Singapore with a second major in Political Science. He is Singapore’s first graduate of the Public Venue Management School in Australia and holds the CMP certification from the Events Industry Council as well as the CEM accreditation from the International Association of Exhibitions & Events (IAEE).


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