Preliminary Programme Digital Innovation Forum

How to push Digital Innovation

15 May 2019, The NEC, Bimingham, UK

Over the past few years, Digital Innovation has been a very hot topic.

We’ve looked at it from a lot of different angles, studied it, strategized it and filled a lot of slides with it. However, CTOs and CDOs of the exhibition industry are still struggling when the time comes to implement real projects in real events and venues. Hiring the right talents, getting the necessary budgets, resistance to change, disjointed IT landscape, lack of management focus, … there are numerous reasons why our industry is lagging behind in terms of innovation and customer centricity. And in an industry that is still enjoying a healthy grow without thinking too much about being disrupted, not everyone is seeing the urgency.

This is why UFI’s 2019 Digital Innovation Forum will focus on real-life cases, problems and benefits. How can we go behind the buzzwords and actually move forward? How do the most innovative organisers and venue managers find the necessary traction to get real Digital Innovations implemented? The speakers and presenters will share their experiences, both good and bad, and their recipes for getting their organisations more Digital, data-driven and customer-focused.


The Digital Innovation Forum will take place at the NEC, at the Concourse Hospitality Suite 33
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.

Wednesday 15 May

08:30 - 09:00

Networking & Welcome Refreshments

09:00 - 09:15

Welcome & Opening

Moderated by:
Jo-Anne Kelleway, CEO Info Salons Group (Australia)
Stephan Forseilles, Head of Technology & Digital Transformation, Easyfairs (Belgium)
09:15 - 10:00

Different Ways of Creating and Pushing Innovation

with: Peter Tubak, IT Architect, Messe München (Germany)

Innovation is not equal with implementing new technology. It is a direct result of clarity around business objectives and customer value. But do we really know our customer needs? Do we know the possibilities created by new technologies? Is our organization enabling the implementation of changes needed for innovation?
In this session we will discuss the different approaches of finding answers and how to use these information to create new services for our customers.
10:00 - 10:45

Sensing Feeling: Real-Time Human Emotion Sensing for Business

with: Jag Minhas, CEO & Founder, SensingFeeling, UK

Event organisers constantly need to know how their attendees, delegates and visitors feel about the experiences provided to them, but traditional forms of polling and surveying can be costly, suffer from selection issues, and are too far (or literally) 'after-the-event'. Attendees are also increasingly disaffected with surveys - we call this 'survey fatigue'.

But what if your visitor experience could be measured completely passively, ethically, and with instantly accessible results? Jag Minhas of Sensing Feeling will explain how their digital innovation in the field of human emotion sensing can dramatically improve event and exhibition experiences.
10:45 - 11:15

Networking Refreshments

11:15 - 12:45

Presentations: Finalists of the 2019 Digital Innovation Award
Voting by the Audience

Moderated by:
Jo-Anne Kelleway, CEO Info Salons Group (Australia)
Stephan Forseilles, Head of Technology & Digital Transformation, Easyfairs (Belgium)

Presentations by:
Ingo Mann, Product Owner, Deutsche Messe (Germany)
Wilson Tang, VP, Digital Experience, Freeman (USA)
Mr. Narasak, Sen. Executive and Mr. Phumin, Sen. Executive, TCEB (Thailand)
Iacopo Carreras, CEO, Thinkin (Italy)
13:00 - 14:00

Networking lunch - Standing Buffet

14:00 - 14:45

Improving the customer experience in the venue – using digital signage

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

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.
14:45 - 15:30

Using Big-Data to Discover New Audiences and Grow Reach

with: Atul Todi, CEO, 10Times (Singapore)

“Using big-data to discover new audience & grow reach”
Like an iceberg, 90% of potential audience of an event is hidden. Data can equip us to uncover hidden markets and drive higher participation.

In the session, we would discuss technology enabled solutions to identify new regions and territories, map potential businesses, target right point-of-contact and drive conversion with engagement.
We would touch on topics like using AI, content-optimisation and communication automation. Goal for this session would be to take a practical approach to tech-utilisation rather than talking tech-jargon.
15:30 - 15:45

Networking Refreshments

15:45 - 16:30

Digitalization Journeys

with: Ade Allenby, Global Head of Digital and Data Innovation, Reed Exhibitions (United Kingdom)
Baris Onay, Group Marketing and Digital Director, ITE Group (United Kingdom)

There is a wealth of event technology available to the industry to enhance the show experience and make show teams more efficient. How do you select from such a large variety of products. How do you test effectively and learn what works? What types of products are impacting on the customer journey and what future capabilities should we be focusing on?

Two leaders in event innovation talk about their journeys digitalizing events with new technology, and pose some interesting questions for the industry.
16:30 - 17:00

Sum up and Closing

Moderated by:
Jo-Anne Kelleway, CEO Info Salons Group (Australia)
Stephan Forseilles, Head of Technology & Digital Transformation, Easyfairs (Belgium)