Speaker Bios

Albert G. Aoun, UFI MEA Chapter Chair, IFP s.a.l (Lebanon)

albert aoun LR

Born in Lebanon in 1950, Albert Aoun graduated from Broummana High School and later earned his Bachelors of Business Administration degree from the American University of Beirut in 1972. Upon his graduation, he joined the Marketing and Sales Department at Middle East Airlines till 1976 after which he left to settle in Saudi Arabia at the beginning of the Lebanese civil war, where he worked in the management of an industrial and contracting group. In pursuit of a greater vision, he helped to start the Riyadh Exhibitions Company in 1980 which built a program of specialized international trade exhibitions that was the first of its kind in the Arab region. In 1994, he formed with his brothers the International Fairs and Promotions “IFP” in Lebanon. Today, IFP Group embodies more than ten companies based in Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Iraq, UAE, and Egypt. IFP international trade exhibitions were granted the UFI Certification, which with dedication and keenness made IFP Group to become one of the leading organizers of international trade fairs, events and conferences in the Middle East.
Albert Aoun holds today the position of Chairman of IFP Group and board member of all its subsidiary companies. Moreover, he is a member of the board of Riyadh Exhibitions Co. Ltd, and is a board member of a number of active Lebanese companies. He was also elected as a board member of UFI. Albert is married and has three daughters.

Enrico Gallorini, CEO, GRS Net (Italy)

Enrico Gallorini

Enrico Gallorini is Co-Founder of GRS Research & Strategy, a company specialized in Business Intelligence, with focus on Customer Insights and Value Proposition.

After the first Degree in Economics and Foreign Trade, he got a second degree in Marketing with specialization in Communication Management at University of Venice. He also holds a Global Executive MBA at Bocconi University in Milan, specializing in Venture Capital and Equity Fund at UCLA University of California Los Angeles (US) and Business Development in China at Fudan University - Shanghai (China).
He has a Specialization in Strategic Marketing Management at Harvard Business School (USA).
Successful entrepreneur, when he was 19 he founded "Unimind", a company specialized on services for university students and at the age of 24 years he founded "Quintegia", leading company in the automotive sector for events, research and training. 
In 2012 he started working on Business Intelligence in GRS Research & Strategy. He holds numerous conferences and international university lecture on the topics of data science, customer insights and project management.

Paul Grinnall, COO, Riyadh Exhibitions Company Ltd. (Saudi Arabia)

paul grinnall LR

Paul has been in senior management for over 25 years, he is a widely experienced professional from Publishing, Exhibitions, Conferences, Events, Festivals, Visitor Attractions, Concerts, Public Relations and Advertising Agencies. He has significant experience in Supply Chain Management, Television Production, Retail and Management Consultancy, having managed departments, business units and companies.
He has worked in all aspects of media and company formation, finding entities solutions to their commercial obstacles, with tasks being company formation, market evaluation, creation of business plans, product development, developing sales and marketing strategies, implementation of these and related processes. Additional undertakings are business development, corporate restructuring and coaching; along-with, broadcasting, advisory boards and building successful partnerships on behalf of both executive and non executive interests. He has worked in the USA, throughout Europe, Far East and been in The Middle East since 2006. Paul has significant international experience and commercial exposure, during times of rapid growth and challenge; working with business rescues, start-ups, launches and large scale organisations.

Sophie Holt, Global Strategy Director, Explori (UK)

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Sophie is an experienced event marketer who has worked with a number of respected B2B and B2C organisers. Over her career, she has launched 11 trade and consumer events in sectors as diverse as healthcare management, fitness and gaming. Sophie has first-hand experience in the power of customer insight to shape event strategies that deliver sustainable growth. She is passionate about the role of customer experience in the future of exhibitions. She regularly authors white papers and opinion pieces for the industry press and association bodies including the Global Visitor and Exhibitor Insights Reports for UFI and FaceTime research for the AEO. Prior to joining the exhibitions industry, Sophie worked in PR and events client-side, with a number of well-known brands including Avon Cosmetics and Toyota.

Dr. Anna Holzner, Managing Director, Formentor GmbH (Germany)

Anna Holzner

Anna recently co-founded Formentor. Formentor is a consulting company serving the exhibition and conference industry with a special focus on pricing. Anna helps companies to capture and monetize the value they deliver to their customers and partners. She’s a specialist in pricing, value-based strategies and related research methods.
Prior to Formentor, Anna was Co-Founder and Managing Director of the management consulting firm jwc GmbH from 2009 to 2018. Based on empirical research she conduced and published (2001-2005), Anna developed a project-based approach which brought value-based pricing to the global trade fair business. It was successfully applied to more than 100 leading trade show and conference brands across all of Asia, Europe, USA, Russia, and the Middle East.

Trixie LohMirmand, Senior Vice-President, Dubai World Trade Centre (UAE)

trixie lohmirmand

Trixie LohMirmand has over 25 years of experience in the global exhibitions industry. In her 15 year tenure as Senior Vice President of Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC), the Middle East, Africa and South Asia’s most influential event organiser and venue operator, she leads the strategic development of the Events Management Division which comprises the region’s largest Exhibitions organizing entity and the company’s creative experiential agency DXB Live.
Trixie manages an extensive range of international business and lifestyle events across diverse industry segments, many ranked as global and regional leaders. She also serves as an executive director on the board of DV Global Link, a joint venture specialist company between DWTC and Italian Exhibition Group. During the course of her professional career in London and Singapore, she received the Chairman’s Award and the Asia Pacific President’s Award from Reed Exhibitions PLC, the company’s highest global achievement award for an employee.

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

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Eliano Marques is the VP of Data Science at Emirates Group. As part of the role, Eliano aims to build a world-class team of AI experts to build and deploy Data Products with Machine/Deep Learning on its core on top of the most critical use-cases across the Group leveraging the best and most innovative technologies. In the past, has successfully led teams and projects to develop and implement analytics platforms, predictive models, and analytics operating models and has supported many businesses making better decisions through the use of data. Recently, Eliano has been focused in developing analytics solutions for customers around deep learning, predictive asset maintenance, customer path analytics, and customer experience analytics across different industries. Eliano holds a degree in economics, an MSc in applied econometrics and forecasting, and several certifications in machine learning and data mining.

Craig Newman, UFI President, CEO, Johannesburg Expo Centre Johannesburg (South Africa)

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Craig Newman has been serving as the Chief Executive Officer of the Johannesburg Expo Centre (JEC) for the past 10 years and has turned it into a highly profitable business, year on year. With over 24 years of industry experience, Craig has made a phenomenal contribution to the South African exhibitions, conferences and events industry. Since 1991, he has occupied leadership positions in some of South Africa’s leading MICE industry companies that included Forge Ahead Exhibitions, TML Reed Exhibitions, Oasys Innovations, Balanced Solutions and Kagiso Exhibitions and Events. From the early stages of his career, Craig showed that he could lead with confidence, insight and integrity.

In 2003 and 2004, Craig served on the board of the Exhibition & Event Association of Southern Africa (EXSA) and as the Venue Forum Chairman of the EXSA Board in 2009. As an active member of the South African exhibitions industry, Craig has developed an enviable understanding of the South African market, as well as the African market and his wealth of knowledge and experience has been tantamount to the excellent turnaround strategy for JEC.

On 1 June 2006, Craig’s appointment as CEO of the Expo Centre signalled the beginning of a new era. Although it is now one of the top venues in Africa, the JEC was on the brink of debt when it bid to be chosen as host venue for the international broadcast centre for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Having set about fixing things immediately, Craig became the major driving force behind the JEC with his exceptional vision and his confidence to make things happen. His liberal and frank demeanor is complemented by his positive outlook and where some may see challenges, Craig sees opportunities for growth.

In 2014, Craig was elected onto the main Board of Directors at the UFI, the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry and was further appointed onto the UFI Executive Committee.

His most recent achievement was being appointed as Vice Chairman of the UFI Middle East Africa Chapter. Craig Newman is a respected and admired leader. His friendly approach, together with his fearless attitude makes for a potent combination that is capable of leading the Expo Centre for years to come.

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

diana salman

Diana has over 8 years of experience in Human Capital and Organizational Development. She joined the exhibition industry in 2015 to lead the HR organizational transformation of IFP Group bringing in her 6 years expertise as an HR consultant, having designed, led and implemented organizational transformations for regional businesses in the middle east, that were at their tipping point. She was the winner of the Next Generation Leadership Grant (NGL 2017) and actively contributed to UFI’s 84th Global Congress in Johannesburg in an interactive session about Sustainable Growth: Smart Exhibitions.
Now Senior Consultant at Pricewaterhousecoopers UAE, Diana is leveraging her technical and operational expertise and consulting methodology to help clients in both the private and public sectors transform and optimize their businesses and services through their people and organizational strategies.

Fawzi Ali Tulefat, Director of Exhibitions & Conferences Marketing & Promotion, Bahrain Exhibition & Convention Authority (Bahrain)

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Fawzi Ali Tulefat has over 21 years of professional experience in tourism, finance, economics, and in managing venues and exhibitions. He has gained his valuable experience in developing new projects on Exhibition (MICE), Aviation, Port, Logistics and Tourism including infrastructure; enhancing regional and international Foreign Trade Relations; strategic management, organizational development, and in conducting organizational assessments.
He is a former Director of Finance and Administration in the Bahrain Exhibition and Convention Authority.
Currently as a Director of Exhibitions and Conferences Marketing and Promotion in the Bahrain Tourism and Exhibitions Authority, he is involved in the day-today operations of MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions), Bahrain International Exhibition and Exhibition Centre and the Bab Al Bahrain Souq Mall.

Paul Woodward, Chairman, Paul Woodward Advisory (UK)

Paul Woodward

Paul Woodward provides advisory services to the B2B media and global events industries as Chairman of Paul Woodward Advisory. Prior to this, he was the managing director of UFI, the global association of the exhibition industry from 2010 – 2015. He was responsible for all UFI activities and events as well as for the operations of its offices in Paris, Hong Kong and the Middle East.
Before taking up the UFI role, Paul was based in Hong Kong for 25 years. In 2000 he founded Business Strategies Group Ltd., a business intelligence and strategy consulting firm serving the business media and events industries. BSG established UFI’s Asia/Pacific office in 2004 and Paul was also UFI’s Regional Manager in Asia. Paul is now also the chairman of BSG.
Originally a business journalist, Paul worked from 1985 until 2000 for the publishing and exhibitions business which now operates as Informa UBM Asia. He was a director of that business responsible for new business development and strategy.