Programme Operations and Services Forum

Productivity improvements in operations and services using SMART technology

14 - 15 May 2019, The NEC, Bimingham, UK

The UFI Operations and Services Forum is a “must attend” event for all those operations professionals who wish to gain insight into the different forms of SMART technology that are currently in use to optimize operations and more precisely in the areas of logistics, security, safety, navigation or mobility.

The programme is composed of strong, concrete case studies that will back up the theory on topics such as IoT data collection and deployment; IoT for venue management and the bimacademy; facial recognition for entry control and a close look at Voyage Control and the deployment of the “Air Traffic Control” model to venues.

The Forum also provides a great opportunity to step back and reflect on how we can do things better, using tools that are available for a seamless, optimal customer experience whilst maximizing efficiency.

Delegates will also have the unique opportunity to vote for their preferred choice for the 2019 UFI Operations & Services Award.

So, register today to join us in Birmingham from 14 – 15 May! The Forum will take place just before the UFI European Conference from 15 – 17 May.


The Operations & Services Forum will take place at the NEC, at the Concourse Hospitality Suites 31-32.
These suites are located in the atrium area of The NEC and can be accessed either via the Piazza Main Entrance or from Birmingham International Train Station. Once inside the Piazza area of the NEC, take the escalators from the Piazza area up to the skywalk follow the signs to Concourse Suites / Halls 6 – 20.
Once at the end of the skywalk please take the escalators down to the atrium and follow the signs to Concourse Suites 27-34. The event will be clearly sign posted.

Tuesday 14 May

13:00 - 13:30

Networking & Welcome Refreshments

12:30 - 13:30


13:30 - 13:45

Welcome and Official Opening
Results of the Operations and Services Survey

Moderator: Giacomo Lucchini, Chair of the Operations and Services Working Group (Italy)
Stefan Eckert, Vice-Chair of the Operations and Services Working Group (Germany)
13:45 - 14:30

Voyage Control: Inbound Logistics Management System in Use

James Swanston, Founder of Voyage Control (UK)

Voyage Control was purpose built to help venues manage their logistics more efficiently, delivering value to clients, improved operations and security as well as reducing the impact of air pollution and congestion on the local community. Now operating in multiple sectors around the world, James will talk about how to best manage deliveries for venue owners and event organisers.
14:30 - 15:15

TIM (Smart District): for a SMART Exhibition Venue (IoT data)

Cesare Sfondrini, Business Marketing Platform & Market Place, Telecom Italia S.p.A. (Italy)

From the Expo in Milan in 2015 to data driven exhibitions, the IoT data collection provides massive potential for business development and operational efficiency.
15:15 - 15:45

Networking & Refreshments

15:45 - 16:45

BIM for Venue Management

Ignasi Perez Arnal, CEO, BIM ACADEMY (Spain)
Pep Coll Amargant, CEO, EiPM (Enginyeria i Project Management) (Spain)
María Elena Alonso Mayor, Project Manager, FIRA Barcelona (Spain)

BIM (Building Information Modelling) is a process involving the generation and management of digital representations of physical and functional characteristics of places and facilities.

For exhibition venues, BIM can be a powerful tool for business and operations, taking into account the continuous interphase between the venue itself (building and facilities) and the momentary constructions, booths and exhibition elements.

FIRA BARCELONA is currently implementing BIM for business and facility management & operational goals in its venues.
17:00 - 18:30

Bear Gryll’s Adventure

Test your limits on some the world’s most incredible, mental and physical challenges. Escape the ordinary and achieve something epic at The Bear Grylls Adventure. Participants get the unique opportunity to join an exclusive behind the scene site visit The Bear Grylls Adventure park. James Thomas, General Manager of The Bear Grylls Adventure, will take the Operations and Services Forum delegates to places that the general public cannot access.
18:30 - 21:00

Networking Dinner - Air Restaurant, Resorts World Arena

Enjoy a relaxing networking dinner with your colleagues at the Air Restaurant in Resorts World Arena.

A shuttle bus service will depart from Air Restaurant and will stop at the Garden Inn Airport Hotel and the Hilton Metropole Hotel on a continual relay from 21:00 to 22:30.

Wednesday 15 May

08:30 - 09:00

Networking & Welcome Refreshments

09:00 - 09:15

Welcome & Opening of Day 2

Moderator: Giacomo Lucchini, Chair of the Operations and Services Working Group (Italy)
Stefan Eckert, Vice-Chair of the Operations and Services Working Group (Germany)
09:15 - 10:00

The Use of Facial Recognition in Operations and Services

Danny Stevens, Founder and CEO, Fielddrive (Netherlands)
Pim Schoonderwoerd, Product Manager, IT Services, Rai Amsterdam (Netherlands)

Two companies, Fielddrive and Zenus, worked closely together to fine-tune and trial face recognition technology to create the world's fastest event check-in.

Their solution entails a seamless and secure online experience with fully-encrypted biometric data. No photos are stored at any stage, yet attendees’ faces are recognized as soon as they approach check-in, and their full-colour badges printed… instantaneously!
10:00 - 10:45

Improving the Customer Experience in the Venue – Using Digital Signage

Tae-Won Song, Vice President, Head of Enterprise Solutions Samsung SDS LTD Europe (Germany)
Stefan Eckert, Senior Vice President, Koelnmesse GmbH, Cologne (Germany)

Samsung SDS LTD Europe Koelnmesse has invested in digital signage in 2018 using Samsung technology. The speakers will share their thoughts behind this joint effort, pointing out how the process was managed, what the results and learnings were. Some of them might be applicable for the whole industry.
10:45 - 11:15

Networking Refreshments

11:15 - 12:45

Presentations: Finalists of the 2019 Operations & Services Award
Voting by the audience

Best Practice examples from the exhibition Industry. UFI Operations and Services Award finalists will present their best practice projects for “Productivity improvements using SMART technology”.
Join the presentations of Coconnex, IFEMA and Tuyap and decide who wins the prestigious 2019 UFI Operations and Services Award.
12:45 - 13:00

Wrap up and Closing

Moderator: Giacomo Lucchini, Chair of the Operations and Services Working Group (Italy)
Stefan Eckert, Vice-Chair of the Operations and Services Working Group (Germany)
13:00 - 14:00

Networking lunch - Standing Buffet

14:00 - 15:30

Venue site tour of the NEC

The venue tour will start at the NEC - Atrium Gallery at 14:00 and will end at NEC Piazza Entrance
Please visit the Practical Information page for Shuttle bus service to and from the hotels