Embracing change and looking forward to the future

Our industry’s landscape is changing. To adapt to market expectations, digitisation and smart technologies are playing an increasingly important role.
Regional nuances, the economic outlook, and a need for digital communities to meet in person, will all impact how we plan for the future – the question is how? And to what extent do we value return on investment and the expectations and needs of the visitor?

By analysing behaviours, we can get a good insight into what to expect and how the resources we have at our disposal will impact our own best practices. 

Join us in Dubai, in April, for UFI’s Middle East & Africa Conference, to look to the future and how we can change our industry for the next generation of customers.

Monday 08 April

09:00 - 12:00


10:00 - 12:00

Meeting of the UFI Middle East/Africa Chapter

Craig Newman, UFI President, CEO, Johannesburg Expo Centre Johannesburg (South Africa)
Albert G. Aoun, UFI MEA Chapter Chair, IFP s.a.l (Lebanon)
Maged Mahfoud, Managing Director, ATEX International Exhibitions (UAE)
Nick Savage, UFI MEA Regional Manager (UAE)

(UFI Members only)
12:00 - 13:30

Networking Lunch

Sponsored by
13:30 - 13:45

Official Opening of the 2019 UFI MEA Conference

Albert G. Aoun, UFI MEA Chapter Chair, IFP s.a.l (Lebanon)
Nick Savage, UFI MEA Regional Manager (UAE)
13:45 - 14:30

Keynote: Keynote on Digital Impact & Exponential Change

Enrico Gallorini, CEO, GRS Net (Italy)

The use of Smart Technologies such as the impact of Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality and other emerging mainstream technologies that are already in use in the exhibition environment – how do we see the impact on the region and what lessons can be learnt by way of its introduction should it be necessary? Our speaker shares what the next waves of digital development are and what lies ahead in terms of how we have to adapt our exhibitions to be in line with the expected change in our customer expectations and behaviours.
Sponsored by
14:30 - 15:15

Venues / Organisers – Panel Discussion

Moderator: Chris Kilbee, SVP Construction, dmg::events (UAE)
Trixie LohMirmand, Senior Vice-President, Dubai World Trade Centre (UAE)
Fawzi Ali Tulefat, Director of Exhibitions & Conferences Marketing & Promotion, Bahrain Exhibition & Convention Authority (Bahrain)
Paul Grinnall, COO, Riyadh Exhibitions Company Ltd. (Saudi Arabia)
Craig Newman, UFI President, CEO, Johannesburg Expo Centre Johannesburg (South Africa)

Looking ahead to the future of venues and events in the MEA region, what can venues and trade / public show organisers alike do now to prepare and remain relevant, competitive and financially successful in the next five years? Our experts will give an overview of their respective environments and highlight key elements in how to remain ahead. Experts from different regions give an overview of their respective market nuances and how we can look to the global market place for possible trends in the future.
15:15 - 16:00

Networking Break

Sponsored by
16:00 - 16:45

HR / Talent Management

Diana Salman, Senior Consultant - Human Capital Advisory - PwC UAE (UAE)

The MEA region is in a period of economic change which has a substantial impact on talent management and staff retention. This session will cover how we identify who will affect positive change and support institutional growth as well as a discussion on how to ensure that key players are retained.
16:45 - 17:00

Conclusion of Day 1

Moderator: Chris Kilbee, SVP Construction, dmg::events (UAE)
17:00 - 18:00

Tour of Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC)

19:00 - 22:30

Gala Dinner

Bliss 6 - 6th Floor, Conrad Hilton

Tuesday 09 April

07:00 - 07:45

UFI Running Club

Sponsored by
08:30 - 09:00

Welcome Coffee

Sponsored by
09:00 - 09:15

Welcome back: 2019 UFI MEA Conference

Moderator: Nick Savage, UFI MEA Regional Manager (UAE)
09:15 - 10:15

Keynote: Keynote on Evolution of Value in Trade Fairs

Dr. Anna Holzner, Managing Director, Formentor GmbH (Germany)
Paul Woodward, Chairman, Paul Woodward Advisory (UK)

Value is one of the key themes of an organiser of an event as from it derives future revenues, budgets and above all the perceived worth on which a customer will build their expectations of return on investment (ROI). Knowing this, how will the value of an exhibition be defined in the future?
Sponsored by
10:15 - 10:45

Networking Break

Sponsored by
10:45 - 11:30

How Analytics Can Help To Improve Your Customer Experience – Emirates Airline Case Study

Eliano Marques, Vice President Enterprise Analytics – Head of Data Science Emirates Group (UAE)

Over the past 30 years, Dubai’s Emirates Airline has developed into one of the world’s premier long-haul carriers. Emirates also won World’s Best Inflight Entertainment award for the 14th year in a row at the prestigious Skytrax World Airline Awards 2018. The airline also secured a service excellence award for best airline staff service in the Middle East in 2018.

During this session, Emirates will share how it can leverage customer data and advanced Analytics to maximise the customer experience and lifecycle. It will highlight the importance of advanced analytics in understand key trends and how to take advantage of them to maximise and fulfil your customer base.
11:30 - 12:15

Visitor Insights

Sophie Holt, Global Strategy Director, Explori (UK)

In this session, UFI’s partner Explori drills down into visitor expectations in the region. There will be an overview of visitor perceptions on key trends - from the impact of new technology to sustainability and inclusion. We will also aim to identify MEA regional trends, visitor priorities for the future direction of the industry and the strengths and challenges of trade shows vs. competing information channels.
12:15 - 12:30

Closing Remarks

Craig Newman, UFI President, CEO, Johannesburg Expo Centre Johannesburg (South Africa)
Kai Hattendorf, UFI Managing Director/CEO (France)
Nick Savage, UFI MEA Regional Manager (UAE)
12:30 - 13:45

Networking Lunch

Sponsored by
14:00 - 18:00

Expo 2020 Site Visit


      dubai wtc

UFI Diamond Sponsors

        TCEB new logo 70 2018 REDEFINEGES New 70      
       qatar ntcSZW logo 70      

Silver Sponsors

    ADCVB logo 70    REC logo 70       

             UFI Registration Partner               UFI Software Partner               

         INFOSALONS Logo new 70        Ungerboeck Software International    

UFI Research Partner          UFI Mobile Partner

                logo explori 70             lyon goomeo LR 


UFI Media Partners

logo-CICE 70     logo exhibition-showcase     Exhibition World
Feria y congresos logo 70     Lam Lats   weblogo MA 
grupo radar weblogo     Trade Show Executive     TSNN