Speakers Bios


Florence Eid-OakdenDr Florence Eid-Oakden, CEO & Chief Economist, Arabia Monitor Research & Strategy (MENA)

Dr. Florence Eid-Oakden is the CEO & Chief Economist of Arabia Monitor Research & Strategy, a London-based independent think tank focused on the economies, markets and geopolitics of the Middle East & North Africa (MENA). Arabia Monitor also specialises in the new silk routes as they impact MENA and publishes in Chinese on a daily basis -- a niche it occupies unrivalled.

Formerly head of MENA research at JP Morgan, Dr. Eid-Oakden has also worked with the World Bank on Latin America and North Africa, and subsequently, on the buy side as a hedge fund investment professional. She has been a professor of economics and finance at the American University of Beirut and a visiting professor at INSEAD and HEC Paris.

She is currently a member of the Board of Directors of Natixis Saudi Arabia where she chairs the Audit & Risk and Compensation Committees. Previously, she has served as a member of HSBC’s Middle East Financial System Risk Advisory Committee and, for a period of 9 years (three terms), as a Director of the Arab Banking Corporation International Bank in London, and of Bank ABC Jordan (2 terms). She has also been a Director of Shuaa Capital in Dubai.

Dr. Eid-Oakden is currently a member of the Board of Trustees of the Arab Bankers Association of North America in New York, and sits on the Advisory Council of the Al Faisal University College of Business, Saudi Arabia, where she also advises the Saudi Government. A few years back, she enjoyed serving as a Trustee of the American University in Paris, where she was once an undergraduate student.

Dr. Eid-Oakden received her Ph.D. in Organization Economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) with a joint MIT-Harvard Doctoral Committee, under the supervision of Nobel Laureate Professor Bengt Holmström. She is fluent in English, French, Spanish and Arabic, with a working knowledge of Italian and Portuguese.

Hobbies: Our twins, L’Auberge du Presbytère in Provence, opera, walking.

Gloria Guevara ManzoGloria Guevara Manzo, President & CEO, World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC)

Gloria joined the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) in August 2017, following a varied career in Travel & Tourism. WTTC is the global body that represents travel & tourism worldwide. A sector that generates 10% of GDP and employs circa 300 million jobs.

Her career in the travel industry started in 1995 at the Sabre Travel Network and Sabre Holdings, she was later CEO of JV Sabre Mexico reporting to a board of directors from Aeromexico, Mexicana, and Sabre. In March 2010 President Calderon appointed her as Minister of Tourism and two weeks after she was given in addition the full responsibility of the Mexican Tourism Board. Under her leadership the “National Agreement for Tourism” in Mexico was created in 2011 and for the first time “the importance of Travel & Tourism” was included in the G20 declaration of leaders in Los Cabos.

Gloria received the Good Neighbour Award from the US-Mexico Chamber of Commerce and Virtuoso awarded Mexico the best tourism board in the world due to her successful branding and repositioning efforts. In addition, Gloria has been Special Advisor on Government Affairs to Harvard University, and part of the Future for Travel, Tourism and Aviation Global Agenda Council of the World Economic Forum (WEF). She was recognised as one of the most influential women in Mexico by CNN and Expansion.

In addition, Gloria is a board member of HSBC Mexico and Playa Hotels & Resorts (NASDAQ listed). She holds a BS in Computer Science from Anahuac University and MBA from Kellogg School of Business, Northwestern University.

Wolfgang IschingerAmbassador Wolfgang Ischinger, Chairman of the Munich Security Conference (Germany)

Wolfgang Ischinger is the Chairman of the Munich Security Conference and known as one of Germany‘s leading diplomats. He teaches at the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin as Senior Professor for Security Policy and Diplomatic Practice and at the University of Tübingen as honorary professor. He advises the private sector, governments, and international organizations on strategic issues. 

After graduating in law, he joined the Foreign Service in 1975. From 1998 to 2001 he was State Secretary in the Federal Foreign Office. He was German Ambassador in Washington until 2006 and in London until 2008. 

In 2008, Wolfgang Ischinger became the Chairman of the Munich Security Conference. From 2008 to 2014, he was also Global Head of Government Relations at Allianz SE, Munich.

Wolfgang Ischinger has received a number of awards, including the Federal Cross of Merit and the Leo Baeck Medal. He is a member of several supervisory and advisory boards, such as the Atlantik-Brücke, the American Academy and the Atlantic Council.

Ambassador Ischinger draws on an extraordinary wealth of experience in international negotiations and offers a deep insight into modern diplomacy. His lectures are characterized by concise and trenchant analyses.  

Photo „MSC|Kuhlmann“

Hendrick StreeckProfessor Dr. med. Hendrik Streeck, Director of the Institute for Virology and the German Center for HIV & AIDS, Medical Faculty of the University of Bonn (Germany)

Professor Dr. med. Hendrik Streeck was born in 1977 in Goettingen. After a year of community service in a hospital in Muenster, he first studied music theory and economics, but then switched to medicine at the Charité in Berlin.

In 2007 he did his doctorate at the Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Partner AIDS Research Center from 2006-2009. In 2009 he was appointed Assistant Professor at the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard and Assistant Immunologist at Massachusetts General Hospital.

In 2012 he became the Head of Immunology for the US Military HIV Research Program (MHRP) and Assistant Professor of Emerging Infectious Diseases at the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences in Washington DC as well as adjunct professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

In March 2015 he was appointed as full professor and director of Institute for HIV Research at the University of Duisburg-Essen. In 2019 he became the director of the Institute for Virology and the German Center for HIV & AIDS at the Medical Faculty of the University of Bonn.

As a specialist in microbiology, virology and infection epidemiology, he became known to a broader public for his commitment and pragmatic voice in combating COVID-19 and advising the federal and state government.

In 2019 he was elected Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the German AIDS Foundation.


Ade AllenbyAde Allenby, Global Head of Digital Innovation, Reed Exhibitions (UK)

Ade works for Reed Exhibitions which is a global leader in organising events across B2B and B2C market segments. He is part of a Global team of digital experts at Reed Exhibitions that shape the digital roadmap for the company, enhancing the experience of face-to-face with digital and data. 
As part of the UFI Digital Working Group, he works alongside industry colleagues to raise awareness of what digital can deliver to events.

Ade is responsible for discovering and testing new digital products, with a focus on helping exhibitors and visitors to enhance the value in attending. He partners with vendors and local teams to pilot new capabilities and develop best practice that can be shared globally.

During the pandemic, he has been working globally to help events pivot to digital and hybrid, delivering best practice content and developing new digital products to fit the new market realities. A keen believer in gaining in-depth customer insight, Ade led a global research project to understand the digital needs of visitors at trade events which won the 2017 B2B Award from the Market Research Society.

Alexander AngusAlexander Angus, Business Development Director for Africa, the Montgomery Group (UK)

I am the Business Development Director at the Montgomery Group and in charge of driving new business and growth opportunities throughout our African portfolio.

The Montgomery Group is arguably the largest organisers of exhibitions throughout Africa with offices in South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria and runs some of the market leading exhibitions in these regions, as well as elsewhere in Africa. I have been in the exhibition industry for over 12 years and working across Africa markets for 10.

Having lived in South Africa, and more recently Kenya, I have spent a huge amount of time in different parts of the continent getting to understand the intricacies of the different markets that make up Africa.

David AudrainDavid Audrain, CEO of ExpoDevCo / Executive Director of SISO (USA)

David is CEO & Partner of ExpoDevCo, producing trade shows and conferences across North America. Previously, David was: President of Clarion Events North America; President of Messe Frankfurt NA; COO of ConvExx (producer of the SEMA Show); and held senior positions at Advanstar, Hanley Wood, Miller Freeman and the Texas Restaurant Association.

As of January 1, 2016, ExpoDevCo became the management company for SISO (the Society of Independent Show Organizers), and David serves as SISO’s Executive Director.

Over his more than 28 year career in the exhibition industry David has managed numerous shows across multiple industries, including eight Top-200 shows in North America.

David is also a strong advocate for the industry, having served as Chairman of both SISO and IAEE, and on many other Boards and Committees.

Stuart BaileyStuart Bailey, Chairman of Hong Kong Exhibition & Convention Industry Association (HKECIA); CEO & Founder of Bailey Communications Hong Kong Ltd (Hong Kong)

Mr. Bailey is the Chairman of the Hong Kong Exhibition & Convention Industry Association (HKECIA) since 2016 and his current term will run until June 2022. He has previously held the office of Vice-Chairman and Honorary Treasurer within the HKECIA.

Mr. Bailey is a trade exhibition professional with over 20 years of trade show experience. He is passionate about the power of face-to-face business matching events. He has worked on many international expos across Europe and Asia. He has been involved in the creation and launch of many events including the London Restaurant Show, Retail Asia Expo, Natural & Organic Products Asia, Learning & Teaching Expo to name but a few.

Mr. Bailey is also the CEO & Founder of Bailey Communications Hong Kong Ltd, a full service professional exhibition and event organiser with a focus on developing quality events for both buyers and sellers, the company’s event portfolio includes the award winning Learning & Teaching Expo, Connected Retail Experiences, and the Asia-Pacific International Schools Conferences. He lives in Hong Kong with his wife and two children and has been living in the city since 2004.

Laura BarreraLaura Barrera, Group Show Director Tarsus Mexico + VP AMPROFEC (Mexico)

Laura is the Group Show Director of 3 of the most important exhibitions at Tarsus México.

With more than 25 years of experience in the exhibition industry, she has led the commercial activity and general organization of multiple shows in Mexico.

She is also VP at AMPROFEC and part of their board of directors.

Carina BauerCarina Bauer, CEO, IMEX Group (UK)

Having graduated from Oxford University, UK, in Politics, Philosophy and Economics in 1998, Carina began her career in retail and catering, in the newly established GoodBean Coffee – a family owned chain of coffee shops located throughout the South of England.

As Managing Director, Carina was in charge of the running of the business which grew to 13 stores in three years and was sold to a publicly listed company in December 2001. An avid skier, Carina enjoyed a short break working in a ski resort in Italy, before entering the meetings industry in 2002 as the Marketing and Operations Director for IMEX in Frankfurt as part of the original launch team for the exhibition.

Following the expansion of the IMEX brand into America in 2009, Carina was appointed CEO of the IMEX Group. In this role, Carina is responsible for all aspects of the business.

Throughout her career, Carina has been an active member of the meetings industry. She was Chair of the Marketing Committee for MPI’s European Meetings & Events Conference, London (2008), has served on the Board of the MPI UK Chapter, the MPI International Multicultural Committee and on PCMA’s Global and Advocacy Taskforces. She is currently President of the SITE Foundation and serves on the AEO Council.

Carina lives on the south coast of the UK, near to the IMEX Group office in Brighton, called "London-by-the-Sea" for its cosmopolitan nature and youth culture. She enjoys spending time with her family (she's a mother to two boys), and is a keen climber and skier, hitting the slopes with friends and family when she can.

Ashanti Bentil-DhueAshanti Bentil-Dhue, Co-Founder, Diversity Ally, Speaker & Diversity Expert (UK)

Ashanti Bentil-Dhue is a speaker, diversity expert and researcher.

She is co-founder of Diversity Ally, the first HR, Training & Search partner dedicated to creating a diverse and inclusive culture in the global events industry and co-founder of the global network, Black In Events.

She also co-created the UK's first nationwide anti-racism and allyship project for white women who want to be allies. The mission is to empower as many white women as possible to become anti-racist changemakers and allies in their personal and professional capacities.

Ade AllenbyCarlos Eduardo Botero, CEO, Inexmoda (Colombia)

Carlos Eduardo has been the President of INEXMODA since 2008, the Colombian Institute that connects knowledge to empower the Fashion System. In this position, Carlos has led the process of innovation and internationalization of the actors involved in the fibers, textiles, and clothing industry.

He has also served as Executive Director of the Cotton, Fibers, Textiles and Garments Sector Chamber of ANDI, the Colombian National Business Association. Furthermore, Carlos Eduardo has been the architect of multiple international agreements, representing the sector in the Trade Agreements between Colombia and the Northern Triangle, Canada, Mexico, EFTA, and the European Union.

He has had an active participation in NAFTA negotiations with the United States; where in addition, he has executed Lobby actions for its approval.

Panittha BuriPanittha Buri, Managing Director, BITEC (Thailand)

BITEC - Global Winner of UFI's Operations Award in 2007, under the management of Ms. Panittha Buri (Mook), Managing Director, has been a member of UFI since 2004 and has continuously participated in UFI valuable events gaining and sharing knowledge with other members in the industry.

During the 86th UFI Global Congress in Bangkok, Mook introduced the newly initiated Special Interest Group - ASEAN Focus, dedicated to improve understanding and information that are of interest to the ASEAN chapter members, setting up a platform for more synergized discussions and exhibition growth in ASEAN.

Plans and Initiatives for the Asia/Pacific Chapter:
1. Uplift Venue Standard in Asia to be on the International Platform
- Encourage cooperation between members in Asia/Pacific Region in venue standard information sharing, improvement and development to be able to compete with those of other regions
2. Service Quality Excellence
- Emphasize service quality and professionalism of venues in Asia/Pacific Region to ensure customer’s expectation and highest satisfaction.

Oscar CerezalesOscar Cerezales, Global Executive Vice President Corporate, MCI Group (Singapore)

Oscar Cerezales, born in Barcelona and based in Singapore, has more than 25 years of experience in this industry. Oscar currently works at MCI Group as Global Executive Vice President.

MCI Group is dedicated to empower corporations, associations and governments to activate their employees, channel partners, customers and members. Creating face-to-face, hybrid and digital experiences. With 61 offices, different brands (Dorier being one of them) in 31 countries and 2,500 talents, MCI organizes more than 7,000 events per year. Also, Oscar is chair of the Professional Convention Management Association Advisory Board, Board member of Saceos, founder of MPI Chapters (Meetings Professional International), ex Latam Board member at SITE.

Oscar has been a professor at universities in Barcelona, London, and Milan. In addition to collaborating with various industry publications and curates several industry conferences.

Diane ChenDiane Chen, General Manager and Member of the Board, Shenyang New World EXPO (Management) Ltd. (China)

Ms. Diane Chen is General Manager and Member of the Board of the Shenyang New World EXPO (Management) Ltd., the newest and most state-of-the-art exhibition and meeting venue in Northeast China.

She holds a Master’s Degree in Business Strategy Management and a Bachelor’s Degree in Law from the University of Paris I, Panthéon-La Sorbonne, France. She previously worked with Ernst & Young Greater China in Hong Kong and Shenzhen. She successfully completed the program of Venue Management School in Australia and received the Scholarship of Graduate Institute from the Venue Management Association (Asia-Pacific). Her professional development included study at the University of California, Irvine where she received a certificate in International Business and Operations Management. She also worked with the International Sales and Marketing Group in the U.S.

Ms. Chen continued her studies to improve her qualifications, in 2019, she completed a Senior Executive course jointly organized by the International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM) and the Ivy league Cornell University. Ms. Chen is a member of the Venue Management Association (VMA) Asia-Pacific and has served as a regular instructor at VMA’s Public Venue Management School which is held annually in Shanghai.

Geoff DickinsonGeoff Dickinson, CEO, dmg events (UAE)

Geoff Dickinson graduated from the University of Birmingham, UK with an LLB Law honours degree. He started his career in publishing with emap in London going on to become part of the team that launched emap exhibitions. In the late 80’s he launched Haymarket Exhibitions in the UK with Peter Osborne. He has worked for a variety of events businesses holding numerous senior roles including being the Global Managing Director of IIR Exhibitions in the mid 90’s.

Geoff went on to spend 12 years as an entrepreneur in Dubai launching his first business with Michael El Nayal and selling it to become Messe Frankfurt Middle East. He then created a second business which he sold to Clarion. In 2010 he returned to the corporate world by joining dmg events for which he is currently the CEO. dmg events is a global events business with offices in ten cities specializing in events in energy, construction, interiors, coatings, hotel & hospitality, food, manufacturing and freight.

Michael DuckMichael Duck, Executive Vice President – Asia, Informa Markets (China)

Michael Duck is Executive Vice President – Asia of Informa Markets. He is also the Group Chief Representative in China of Informa PLC. He has held these positions for over 10 years and brings with him regional experience in the Exhibition / Trade fair industry for 25+ years.

He founded and was appointed Chairman of the first UFI Chapter for Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa in 2000 and in five years grew the Chapter to be the most active and fastest growing region 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.

Dahlia El GazzarDahlia El Gazzar, Tech Evangelist + Idea Igniteur, DAHLIA + Agency (USA)

Dahlia has an OMG-attitude about all things eventtech 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. 

Recently featured in:

Eventex 100 Top Influencers in Events Industry 2020
Smart Meetings Magazine 2019 Smartest Women in the Industry - Hall Fame
Top 500 People in Events by BizBash 2019
Smart Meetings Magazine 2017 + 2018 Top 100 Smartest Women in the meetings industry who inspire us
Top 25 women in the meetings industry list by Meetings & Conventions Magazine
Top 20 of the #eventprofs US & Canada Power 100 List
Top Five Women in Event Tech List 
MeetingsNet's 2015 Changemakers 
2014 Meetings Today Magazine's Trendsetter & Industry mover & shaker

Enrico GalloriniEnrico Gallorini, Co-Founder & CEO, GRS Research & Strategy (Italy)

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.  

Marco GibertiMarco Giberti, Founder & CEO, Vesuvio Ventures (USA)

Marco is a successful entrepreneur and investor with over 25 years of intensive experience in media, technology, and the live events industry. He is the Founder and CEO of Vesuvio Ventures, where he works with startups, Venture and Private Equity investors, and corporate innovators serving as a coach, advisor, interim executive, board member, or angel investor (or a combination thereof).

After several years in a successful career as a corporate executive at Apple, Marco pursued his entrepreneurial ambitions and became: 

• Co-founder and Board Member of Mind Opener, a leading publishing group in Latin America that was later sold to British Pearson Media Group, and 
• Co-founder and Board Member of e-mind, an internet and media communications company that was sold to Liberty Media. 
• President, CEO and co-founder of Mind Trainer (later Reed Exhibitions), a firm specializing in the organization of major regional trade-shows and events that was sold to Reed Elsevier after a successful long-term joint venture. 

Marco is a Harvard Business School OPM Graduate, and member of YPO, the Young Presidents Organization and a frequent speaker at industry conferences. He is also a co-author of the best-selling book The Face of Digital focused on how digital technologies are changing the live events business industry.

Fernando GorbaranFernando Gorbaran, CEO, Messe Frankfurt Argentina (Argentina)

President of Messe Frankfurt Argentina S.A. (Subsidiary in Argentina of Messe Frankfurt GmbH) and Regional Director for South America. Fernando is currently serving as UFI Latam Vice Chair.

He was recognized by LatamMeetings among the 15 Most Influential Leaders in Latin America in the Meetings Industry in 2020. He has served as President of the Argentine Association of Organizers and Suppliers of Exhibitions and Congresses (AOCA) between 2007 and 2011, and recently between 2017-2021.

He has also served as Vice President of the Argentine Chamber of Tourism.

Peter HallPeter Hall, President of EMEA, Informa Markets (UK)

Peter Hall is the President of EMEA, Informa Markets. He joined Informa in 2000 and is responsible for overseeing exhibitions operating from Dubai, Bahrain, Riyadh, Istanbul, Cairo and London, leading a wide range of business to business and consumer teams.

Peter has held various senior management roles across Informa Markets including Managing Director, Trade and Consumer MENA and the UK.

He is a graduate of the University of Leeds with a 1st Class honours degree in Mechanical Engineering and holds an MBA from Cranfield School of Management.

Sophie HoltSophie Holt, Managing Director, Explori (UK)

Sophie is an experienced event marketer working with a number of respected organisers including CloserStill and Future Publishing. Over her career, she has launched 11 trade and enthusiast events in sectors as diverse as healthcare management 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. Having worked with audience insight specialists, Explori since their launch, she works in a broad strategic role as they enter their next phase of growth. 

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.

Hugh JonesHugh Jones, CEO, Reed Exhibitions (UK)

Hugh has been with RELX Plc. since 2011 when RELX purchased Accuity where he was the Chief Executive Officer. Since 2011 Accuity has grown to become one of the world’s largest and most significant companies in the payment routing and Anti Money Laundering sectors. In addition to leading Accuity, Hugh has led Fircosoft, NRS, I.C.I.S, Estates Gazette (EG), and Cirium, serving most recently as Global Managing Director within the Risk and Business Analytics Division. 

Through the years he has led large scale acquisition and integration processes of many companies that now reside and prosper within the RELX portfolio. He assumed the CEO role at Reed Exhibitions at the start of 2020. 

Hugh is well versed in public company protocol and all facets of firm management including P&L oversight, talent development, forecasting, sales execution, technological innovation, and product discovery, launch and growth.

He holds a BA in economics from Yale University cum laude and an MBA from the University of Michigan

Edward M. KellyEdward Kelley, General Director, CIEC WTC Mexico (Mexico)

With over 40 years of experience in venue management and entertainment, Mr. Kelley is recognized as one of the leaders in the Mexican reunion industry.

His career has included positions in the United States, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, and Spain, and since 2005 he has led the International Exposition and Convention Center WTC (CIEC-WTC) and Pepsi Center WTC to become one of the premier events facilities in Latin America.

Mr. Kelley is a past president (2016-2018) of the Mexican Association of Exposition and Congress Professionals (AMPROFEC) and has previously served on the Board of Directors of the Mexican Association of Fairs and Events Centers.

Simon KimbleSimon Kimble, Chairman, Clarion Events (UK)

Simon served in the RAF for six years in the 1980s before entering the world of exhibitions in 1989. He then spent the first 10 years as a junior partner in an entrepreneurial events business, launching and then selling exhibitions to larger players. In 1999, he became MD of the joint venture between Haymarket Publishing and the BBC, responsible for the portfolio of TV-related content events in the UK. 

In 2001 he joined Clarion Events as MD, a small UK exhibition organising company that was a subsidiary of the private equity backed Earls Court and Olympia Group. Clarion became a standalone business in 2004. 

Since 2001, Simon has overseen and driven the growth of Clarion Events to become a leading international events company with interests in Exhibitions, Conferences, Publishing and Digital. Clarion has been owned by a succession of private equity companies, and was acquired by The Blackstone Group in September 2017. Simon continues to assume the role of Executive Chairman. 

Simon’s interests vary from wine to politics – a heady mix, tempered by the joy of his five children!

Michael KruppeMichael Kruppe, General Manager/CEO, SNIEC – Shanghai China (China)

Other positions:
Board Member UFI
Vice Chairman of Chinese Venue association
Chairman of Pudong New Industry Association
Board member of German Centre in Shanghai

2017 Magnolia Award given by Shanghai Mayor for longtime sustainable support of economic development of Shanghai

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 lrish 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 lnternational Expo Centre One of the world’s most successful exhibition centre with annually ard. 7mio. visitors, over 120,000 exhibitors and an average occupation rate of 74 pct in 2018, covering a total area of 300.000 m2 in the heart of the finance and commerce district of Shanghai.

Mathias KuepperMathias Kuepper, Managing Director, Koelnmesse Pte Ltd (Singapore)

Mathias is the Managing Director of Koelnmesse Pte Ltd and oversees the offices in Singapore, Thailand, Japan, and Taiwan.

His management activities focus on the staging of Koelnmesse's events in the region, as well as the expansion of business activities in Asia-Pacific. Mathias has more than 18 years of experience in the MICE industry, and has held the role of Managing Director at Koelnmesse since 2016. He first joined the company in 2002 as Regional Operations Manager for APAC, was appointed General Manager for Hong Kong in 2006, and held various positions in Koelnmesse’s China subsidiary between 2008 and 2014.

He graduated with a Master’s Degree in Economic Geography from Leibniz University Hannover and Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration.

rocio_lancasterRocio Lancaster, Marketing Director, Ministry of Tourism of the State of Jalisco (Mexico)

She has both a degree in Hotel, F&B and Tourism Management by the Universidad del Valle de Mexico and in Hospitality Management, with a specialization in event organization, by the Kendall College in Chicago, Illinois.

Throughout her professional career, she has stood out for her various positions in the tourism industry. Between 2009 and 2013, she worked in Chicago's hotel industry. Between 2013 and 2016, she held the position of International Events Manager at the Guadalajara Visitors and Conventions Bureau.

From 2016 to 2018, she held the position of Sales Manager, achieving a 20% growth in the number of won events during 2018. Rocio Lancaster Jones, is a member of the Marketing Committee of the Guadalajara CVB and the International Committee of Convention Center Expo Guadalajara. Currently, she is the Sales and Promotions Director of the State of Jalisco.

Mary LarkinMary Larkin, President, Diversified Communications USA & UFI President (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.

Monica Lee-MüllerMonica Lee-Müller, Managing Director, Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (Hong Kong)

Monica Lee-Müller has been the Managing Director of Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (Management) Limited (HML) since July 2012. HML is the professional private company responsible for the management and operation of the 306,000 square-metre Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC). About 1,000 events are held at the HKCEC every year.

Ms Lee-Müller is a proven veteran in the hospitality industry for over 30 years. Before joining HML, she has held a number of senior positions in various international hotels in Hong Kong. She joined HML since 1994 and progressed through several managerial positions before being promoted to Managing Director in 2012. She leads HML’s senior executives to plan and implement business development and service initiatives successfully, securing and serving numerous world renowned exhibitions and conventions. She is also responsible for steering the HK$1 billion HKCEC Five Year Advancement Project, covering facility and technology upgrade.

An active facilitator of the exhibition industry, Ms Lee-Müller has served as a Board Member of UFI – The Global Association of the Exhibition Industry for the past 12 years. She is also an Executive Committee member of Hong Kong Exhibition & Convention Industry Association (HKECIA).

Ms Lee-Müller is committed to sustainability and has led HML to acquire ISO20121 Event Sustainability Management System accreditation since 2015. Under her leadership, the organisation launched the ‘Think Before Plastic’ initiative in 2018 and successfully phased out annual usage of 1.7 million pieces of disposable plastic, an achievement recognized by the UFI Sustainability Award in 2019. She also mobilized the organization in social responsibility projects. HML was one of the first supporters of the local Food Angel food rescue and assistance programme since it started in 2011 and now serves some 3 million meals a year to the underprivileged.

Ms Lee-Müller is passionate about nurturing young talents. She has been the Chairperson of the Training Board of the Chinese Culinary Institute since 2015, and is currently a member of the Steering Committee of International Culinary Institute. She also serves as a member of the Industry Advisory Committee of School of Hotel and Tourism Management of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

Ms Lee-Müller holds a Master of Management Programme from Macquarie University (Sydney) and a Certificate of Legal Services from the Faculty of Law, The University of Hong Kong. She was conferred the Honorary Fellowship by the Vocational Training Council in 2016.

Trixie LohMirmandTrixie LohMirmand, Executive Vice President, Dubai World Trade Centre (UAE)

Trixie LohMirmand has over 25 years of experience in the global exhibitions industry. As Senior Vice President, Events Management 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, creative development and transformation of the region’s largest Exhibitions organising entity. Trixie manages an extensive portfolio of international business and lifestyle events across diverse industries, many ranked as global and regional leaders.

In her 15 year tenure with DWTC, she has quadrupled the financial growth and doubled the portfolio of the business. Her professional career also spanned over a decade of exemplary service in Reed Exhibitions PLC London and Singapore offices, receiving the Chairman’s Award and the Asia Pacific President’s awards, the company’s highest global employee achievement recognition.

Trixie currently serves as an executive director on the board of DV Global Link, a joint venture specialist company between DWTC and Italian Exhibition Group. She serves as a Board Member of the Global Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) and on the Marketing Council Committee in The Marketing Society, the largest network of marketing executives in the region. She was voted as one of the most transformative business, media and culture personalities in the Ahlan UAE Hot 100 Awards 2017.

Juan Pablo MaglierJuan Pablo Maglier, Public Affairs Director, La Rural (Argentina)

Juan Pablo is currently Director of Public Affairs at La Rural S.A. Specialist in public-private cooperation, he was a consultant for companies and Governments, has almost 20 years of experience in public affairs, institutional and governmental relations.

He was Chairman of the Latin American Chapter of UFI and member of the Executive Board of said association. He was Vice President of AFIDA (Association of International Fairs of America) and director of AOCA, Buenos Aires Visitors & Convention Bureau, Director of the Institutional Relations Division of IDEA (Institute for Argentine Business Development), among other responsibilities.

Juan Pablo has a degree in Political Science and a Master in Communication and has postgraduate studies in Public Policy at Georgetown University (USA)

Charlie McCurdyCharlie McCurdy, President & CEO, Informa Markets (UK)

Charlie is the CEO of Informa Markets. He has over 30 years of experience in events and business-to-business media and has held a number of top executive roles during his career, leading the process of transforming, expanding and creating value at a range of companies.

Charlie joined Informa in September 2015 and was previously CEO at George Little Management where he partnered with Providence Equity Partners to acquire and run the company in 2011. Prior to this he worked with Spectrum Equity Investors to acquire Canon Communications, a business-to business events, publishing and online company, and was Canon’s CEO for five years.

Earlier in his career Charlie co-founded Primedia, Inc and oversaw the acquisition, development and growth of niche media companies serving consumers and businesses.

Charlie graduated from Yale with a BA in Literature and received his MBA in Marketing and Finance from Columbia Business School.

nelly mukazayire LRNelly Mukazayire, CEO, Rwanda Convention Bureau (Rwanda)

Nelly Mukazayire is the Chief Executive Officer of Rwanda Convention Bureau, a private company established to market Rwanda as preferred destination for MICE tourism (Meeting, Incentives, Conference and Events) and to ensure coordination and efficient execution of all international events happening in Rwanda.

Prior to that she was the Deputy Chief of Staff in the Office of the President of Rwanda. She served as a Senior Advisor to the Chief of Staff in the Office of the President and before that, she was a policy researcher in the economics department in the Prime Minister’s Office. She holds a Bachelor’s of Science in International Economics from the University of Rwanda, where she was the recipient of the best performer award in economics, and a Master’s in Economic Policy Management, from the University of Makerere.

Nelly is a motivational speaker who believes that Africans have a duty to transform their nations, change the narrative about their continent and lead it to prosperity. She speaks in different high level forums especially youth conferences where she shares her journey of surmounting overwhelming personal circumstances, as well as her unique experience as a young leader in a new Rwanda, with the aim of motivating a new generation of Africans to be active leaders today. She was invited by the UNSG to speak at the UN headquarters about her journey as a young leader in the new Rwanda Nelly and her husband, Gapita Martin Fabrice are the proud parents of two children.

Arnaldo NardoneArnaldo Nardone, Director, FIEXPO Exhibition Group (Uruguay)

Arnaldo is the Director of Fiexpo Exhibition Group and of Mice International Consulting, a specialized consulting firm in the meetings industry which has advised several countries in Latin America. He is president of the Association of Convention Centers of the Caribbean and Latin America (ACCCLATAM), also Board Member of the Joint Meeting International Council (JMIC), a world council that brings together all the international associations of the events sector, and Board member of SCEGA (Saudi Convention and Exhibitions General Authority).

He served between 2010 and 2014 as President of the International Association of Congresses and Conventions (ICCA). He was also president of the Confederation of Congress and Related Organizing Entities of Latin America and the Caribbean (COCAL).

Celia was born in Mexico city. She is very passionate about marketing which is her profession, sports, music and traveling.

In 1998 she started her career in the exhibition industry working in important shows in Mexico, turning some of them in leading events in the region. She became Portfolio Director of UBM Mexico in 2014, managing Expo Cihac, one of the major events in Latin America in the construction industry.

Since the end of 2019, she is President of AMPROFEC, the Mexican Association of the Exhibition and Congress Industry.

Early in 2020, she became Executive VP and Client Experience Director at Informa Markets Mexico. She is a member of the Costumer Experience Council and she is COEXPO certified.

José Navarro is General Director of Tarsus México, a company producing more than 14 exhibitions and conferences across Mexico, on an annual basis.

Tarsus México is part of Tarsus Group, a dynamic international organizer with more than 180 events from 20 industries in 17 countries and that gathers 30,000 exhibitors and more than a million visitors annually.

José has more than 25 years in the industry, with experience in working with multicultural teams and organizing outstanding shows in challenging contexts, such as the Mexican Market. He is a promoter of the use of IT and digitization in the exhibitions industry.

His specialties include making effective JV´s with Mexican and international partners to bring international show brands to Mexico, international business development, and team building. Promoter of professional education in exhibitions, he has collaborated in the development of national and international training programs.

He currently serves as President of the Latin American chapter of UFI, the global association of the exhibition industry and as a member of the UFI Education Task Force.

Craig NewmanCraig Newman, Group Chief Executive Officer, GL events South Africa Group (South Africa)

An accomplished CEO, Business Leader and Exhibitions expert with over 25 years’ experience and a rich history in the exhibition and events management environment. Offering advanced skills in networking to develop strategic relationships, developing and implementing business strategies aimed at achieving sustainable growth, and leading high-performing teams to consistently deliver on or exceed client expectation.

Fully adept at driving results through effective networking and service-delivery focus with a proven track record in consistently leading successful exhibitions.

Currently serving his 3rd term as the outgoing UFI President and served 14 years as the CEO of the Johannesburg Expo Centre. He is now the Group CEO of GL South Africa.

Claudio della NinaClaudio Della Nina, President, Reed Exhibitions Latam (Brazil)

Claudio is a results-oriented leader with vast experience leading teams in distinguished multinational companies.

He joined RELX in 2013 as Managing Director for Elsevier Brazil, after holding executive positions in Thomson-Reuters, Microsoft, and IBM, among others. His strong analytical skills and willingness to learn have allowed him to navigate different industries successfully throughout his executive career. Claudio holds a B.S. in Business Administration and A.A. in Photography.

Lucia PalaciosLucia Palacios, Comercial Promotion Coordinator, VESTEX (Guatemala)

Lucia was born Guatemala and has 15 years of experience in the events industry.

She is currently the Promotion Director at Vestex, (Guatemala Apparel and Textile Association), which is the organizer of the Apparel Sourcing Show, a leading textile show in Latin America.

She has an MBA from Escuela Europea de Negocios.

Milena PalumboMilena Palumbo, Regional Director, GL Events Brazil (Brazil)

Milena Palumbo is General Director of GL events in Brazil, a French multinational that manages more than 50 event spaces around the world. With over 18 years of experience, including 12 in the multinational, she is at the head of the group's main operations in Brazil: Riocentro, São Paulo Expo, Jeunesse Arena, Salvador Convention Center and Santos Convention Center. With specialization in business management and commercial management, Milena conducts the planning of the group's own events, such as the International Book Fair Biennial of Rio.

She holds the position of Vice President of the Convention & Visitor Bureau of Rio de Janeiro, an institution that was a school at the beginning his career for having worked at the Curitiba Convention & Visitor Bureau. In addition to creative and human leadership, she focus on the development of new businesses and, since the pandemic, on new platforms to continue enchanting the general public.

Andrew PhuaAndrew Phua, Executive Director, Singapore Tourism Board (Singapore)

Mr Andrew Phua assumed the position of Executive Director, Exhibitions and Conferences in April 2020. In this role, Andrew leads his team to drive the development of the Exhibitions and Conferences industry to strengthen Singapore’s position as a destination of choice for Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions (MICE). His portfolio includes creating, attracting and growing best-in-class and flagship business events aligned to Singapore’s key and emerging economic sectors for the Asia-Pacific region.

Andrew is also currently the Asia Council Vice Chair of International Association of Exhibitions & Events (IAEE) and Advisor of Asian Federation of Exhibitions & Conventions Association (AFECA). He previously held the position of Director, Exhibitions and Conferences from August 2012 to March 2020.

Prior to this role, Andrew was Director, Precinct Development, championing the place management of tourism precincts in delivering authentic and differentiated destination experiences. These included development of concepts, events, capabilities and sustainability of precincts such as Orchard Road, Marina Bay, Singapore River, Chinatown and Little India through collaboration with agencies and stakeholders.

Over his 20 years with the Board, Andrew has overseen various key strategic projects in the area of retail and dining. This included projects such as the S$40 million Orchard Road Rejuvenation Plan, Christmas in the Tropics, World Gourmet Summit and Singapore Food Festival, further entrenching Singapore’s position as Asia’s lifestyle capital.

Andrew also brings with him a wealth of regional experience in the tourism industry, having handled marketing and business development portfolios in the Greater China market for seven years. He also spearheaded STB’s international marketing efforts during his four year stint as Area Director, STB Taipei.

Prior to joining STB, he was in the marketing and advertising arena in the financial services industry. Andrew graduated from Nanyang Technological University with a Bachelor of Business.

João Paulo PicoloJoão Paulo Picolo, CEO, NürnbergMesse Brasil (Brazil)

Having more than 20 years of experience in the trade fair area, he worked at Transamerica Expo Center, Informa Exhibitions, and Reed Exhibitions, when he broadened his market vision and gained experience in different sectors.

After the first time in NürnbergMesse Brazil, from 2005 to 2009, João Paulo Picolo returns to the company in 2016, now as CEO.

With a fresh look and focused on excellence in delivery, the executive repositioned the Brazilian subsidiary of NürnbergMesse.

daniel_retaDaniel Reta, Counselor of the Ministry (Uruguay)

Daniel Reta is a Counselor of the Ministry of Tourism. He is an attorney from Pontificia Universidad Catolica, Argentina and also a Former Board Chair of the International College Punta del Este, Uruguay.

Among his professional experience, he occupied the position of Deputy-Head of ACBIRP (Asociación Colegio del Bachillerato Internacional) and he is a former secretary of AUCBI (Asociacion Uruguaya Colegios de Bachillerato Internacional).

Kenneth WongKenneth Wong, General Manager, MICE & Cruise, HKTB (Hong Kong)

As General Manager, MICE and Cruise, Mr. Kenneth Wong oversees the formulation and implementation of business strategies for Meetings and Exhibitions Hong Kong (MEHK), which aims at promoting Hong Kong as the premier meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions (MICE) destination in Asia Pacific.

He is also responsible for developing cruise tourism and positioning Hong Kong as Asia’s cruise hub by strengthening the Hong Kong Tourism Board’s (HKTB) partnerships with cruise line operators and fostering cooperation with regional port authorities and other stakeholders in the industry.

As the Regional Director of Europe, Mr. Wong also leads the Europe offices in enhancing Hong Kong’s market presence and building the city as a preferred destination to European travellers.

Nichapa YosweeNichapa Yoswee, Senior Vice President - Business, TCEB (Thailand)

Nichapa Yoswee is a visionary professional with more than 30 year experiences in Meetings and Business Events Industry. She is a top mind strategist and policy thought-leader.

In her current capacity as Senior Vice President-Business Development of Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB), she has developed and enforced the National Strategic Development Policy and Framework for MICE Industry of Thailand and the Sustainability Master Plan to drive Thailand to be Asia’s Preferred MICE Sustainable Destination.

She is a well-known speaker in international forum on sustainable development and MICE related sectors as well as an active driver in country’s numerous public services/CSR campaigns.

David ZhongDavid Zhong, President and CEO, VNU Exhibitions Asia (China)

Mr. Zhong has worked as an exhibition organizer since 1991. He founded Shanghai Keylong Exhibitions Service Co., Ltd. as the General Manager in 1993. In 2011, VNU partnered with Royal Dutch Jaarbeurs and established VNU Exhibitions Asia, and Mr. Zhong has been acting as the President since then.

Mr. Zhong has been officially appointed as the UFI Asia-Pacific Chapter Chairman at the 84th UFI Global Congress which was held in Nov. 2017. Later, he founded UFI China Club, established the round table conference, high-end communication, local convention and exhibition facilities experience, activities such as connecting UFI members with local enterprises, which received warm response and broad support from the government, enterprises and professionals.

As one of the earliest exhibition enterprises in China, VNU has been the leader of the exhibition industry in China for more than 20 years. With the joint efforts of more than 300 outstanding employees, the company hosts over 35 top domestic exhibitions and conferences each year, with a total exhibition area of more than 1,000,000 sqm.

Over the past 20 years, Mr. Zhong has led the team to create a number of brand exhibition projects with international influence, such as Pet Fair Asia, Shanghai World Travel Fair, International Building Industrialization of Construction Exhibition Asia, HORTI China, etc.

In order to actively promote the entry of international brand exhibition projects into the Chinese market, Mr. Zhong has introduced a series of international brand exhibitions, such as DOMOTEX asia/CHINAFLOOR, R+T Asia, TCT Asia, Salone del Mobile.Milano Shanghai, VIV China, and spurred their continuous development in China. Furthermore, those exhibitions were widely appraised by outstanding industry cooperators such as international renowned exhibition organizations like Deutsche Messe AG, Messe Stuttgart, IEG, FederlegnoArredoEventi, etc. Mr. Zhong has created two operating features - “local internationalization” and “International localization” which were exclusively owned by VNU, and has made VNU a Chinese exhibition enterprise with the most independent brand exhibitions and the most international brand exhibitions being introduced, thus leading the Chinese exhibition industry.


Matthew FungeMatthew Funge, Managing Director & Founder, Your Stand Builder (UK)

Matthew is the Managing Director & Founder of award-winning event technology company Your Stand Builder, and currently lives in London, UK.

He is a University of Manchester graduate who already has valuable experience of living and working in both the UK, USA and France, which has provided him with valuable international exposure in his career already. He is responsible for building and launching his own startup in March 2019, following more than 5 years’ in an exhibition project manager role preparing 25+ worldwide events annually for his previous employer.

He is passionate about making a difference in the global events industry, and is committed to continually exploring technological innovation.

Erika KarlssonErika Karlsson, Project Manager, ELMIA (Sweden)

Erika Karlsson, Project Manager, IT- and business development at Elmia, Sweden.

With a Master of Science as well as previous employment within IT-management consulting, Erika brings new perspectives to the development of the exhibition industry.

In her work Erika strives to combine technical solutions and a business point of view together with her co-workers many years of exhibition insights when developing the future of our industry and creating a better exhibition experience for tomorrow.

Christina RablChristina Rabl, Project Manager ISPO, Messe München (Germany)

Christina has been working for Messe München for the last six years. Coming from classical trade show management and conference management for a newborn summit, she is now driving forward open innovation projects as well as the development of the hybrid format of ISPO Munich 2021.

In preparation for her current position, she achieved a master’s degree in management and innovation and has brought several matchmaking projects on the way.

As part of the NGL program, she will talk about the “new normal” at the UFI congress: hybrid events and how we can use them at our advantage.

Vijay SharmaVijay Sharma, Head: Partnerships & Business Development, Koelnmesse (Singapore)

Vijay works at the intersection of business events and technology to foster communities. Most of his professional career trajectory revolves around engineering serendipity and translating ideas into success stories – for his clients, organization, and himself – by adding positively to the top and bottom line of the business.

At Koelnmesse – world's leading authority in facilitating international trade and development by organizing trade fairs and conferences – he works with an awesome team to make sure the business lasts for the next 100 years.

An astute business development professional, his remit includes revenue generation by forging sustainable long-term partnerships with clients in the fast-moving Technology and Digital Entertainment industry – which he absolutely loves!

Alexis ZamudioAlexis Zamudio, Events Manager, former FINNOVISTA (Mexico)

I knew this industry in 2015 when I became part of the 1st generation of Sales Academy program of Reed Exhibitions Mexico and later I joined to the Corporate Development team to launch 2 new shows: ECSE (eCommerce) and Heat (Fitness festival).

After that process I was invited by Forbes Mexico to manage a part of their Summits portfolio in Mexico City.

With Finnovista, I was responsible to execute a diversity of events along Latin America specially in Brazil, Colombia, Argentina and Mexico.
I'm very excited about the new opportunities that this industry will have after this COVID crisis.


Gloria Guevara ManzoItziar Gómez Jiménez, Marketing and Communications Director, Hannover Fairs México (Mexico)

Itziar Gómez Jiménez Leader of the Hannover Fairs México Communications and Marketing team since June 2019.

A spokeswoman for Fonatur from January through May 2019, Itziar was also a spokeswoman for ProMéxico, an agency where she worked for ten years and where she developed and launched a country brand business strategy for Mexico that met with global success, and that had a particularly strong presence at the 2018 edition of Hannover Messe.

Prior to joining ProMéxico, she was a partner in Casa Editorial Plasmar, a publishing house founded in 2003 that specializes in periodicals. Here she launched Mexico’s first classic and collectors’ automobiles magazine, which is still published to this day.

Itziar holds a Bachelor’s degree in Latin-American Literature from the Universidad Iberoamericana, Mexico, and a Master’s in Book Editing from the Universidad de Salamanca, Spain. She also has a diploma in Communications from the Santa Fe campus of ITESM and has given conferences in Mexico on editing and the design of communications and brand strategies.

Bernd RohdeBernd Rohde, CEO, Hannover Fairs México (Mexico)

Bernd Rohde holds a degree in International Economics from The University of Adelaide, Australia, and has more than 20 years’ experience in the organization of international exhibitions the world over.

He has served as representative and managing director of several German event organizers due to his expertise and leadership skills, and in September 2016 he was appointed Managing Director of Hannover Fairs México, a subsidiary of the German corporation Deutsche Messe AG.


Bernd RohdeKathrin Jung, Manager Digital Signage, Koelnmesse GmbH (Germany)

Kathrin is Manager Digital Signage at Koelnmesse GmbH, a trade fair organiser, known for its innovative and internationally renowned trade fairs in Germany.

Together with her colleague Sandra Rupprecht, Kathrin oversees the Digital Signage System of the fairgrounds in Cologne. Ms. Jung was part of the team implementing the system in 2018.

She now focusses on improving the Digital Signage System and completing the expansion of the system to include the entire site. She first joined Koelnmesse in 2014 starting an apprenticeship as an event manager, 2017 taking over a position as Manager Visitor-Services.

After being actively involved in the implementation of the system, Ms. Jung was appointed to Manager Digital Signage in 2019.

 Sebastian Nitsch, Head of Product and Management Services, Koelnmesse GmbH (Germany)

Bernd RohdeSandra Rupprecht, Manager Digital Signage, Koelnmesse GmbH (Germany)

Sandra is Manager Digital Signage at Koelnmesse GmbH, a trade fair organiser, known for its innovative and internationally renowned trade fairs in Germany.

Ms. Rupprecht joined Koelnmesse in 2007 as Commercial Co-ordinator Visitor-Services. She has over 20 years of experience in the MICE industry. 2018 Ms. Rupprecht was part of the Digital Signage System implementation team and has been involved ever since.

Sandra Rupprecht overseas the Digital Signage System of the fairgrounds in Cologne, together with her colleague Kathrin Jung.


Katie Boone, Corporate Social Responsability Executive, ICC Sydney (Australia)

Katie Boone is a champion for sustainability, advocating for better, smarter and more sustainable events and business practices. Her passion has seen her lead initiatives for change both in current and previous roles.

As Corporate Social Responsibility Executive at ICC Sydney, Katie oversees operational improvements to minimise ICC Sydney’s environmental footprint, and engages local communities on sustainability issues. She also manages the venue’s Reconciliation Action Plan.

Katie leads ICC Sydney’s innovative Legacy Program, tailoring initiatives to clients’ individual challenges to help them achieve their sustainability goals and provide positive outcomes for communities.

Communicating the importance of sustainability to drive behavioural change and inspire action, both internally and externally, is an essential part of her role.

A member of the ICC Sydney team since the venue’s pre-opening, Katie previously held the position of Business Development Executive: National, and has over 15 years’ experience in the tourism and events industry.


Kristen Koenig, Director, Digital Sales & Partnerships, Freeman Company (USA) 

Kristen Koenig is the Director, Digital Sales & Partnerships at Freeman. As an accomplished business development professional, Kristen brings extensive experience within the technology, travel & events industries through best-in-class technologies, strategic thinking, consulting, and operational process improvement. Prior to joining Freeman, Kristen served as the Director of Sales at World Travel, Inc., and in a multitude of roles at Cvent.

She quickly became Cvent’s top performer each year and was awarded Employee of the Year in February 2015. In 2016, Kristen was chosen as one of the Top 25 Influential Women in the meetings & events industry featured in Smart Meetings Magazine, Rising Star category. Most recently, she was selected as one of the 2017 Top 15 “Go Getter” Young Professionals in the travel & events industry by Meetings & Conventions Magazine.

Kristen is a member of IAEE, previously serving on the DFW Board as Young Professional Chair and is also a PCMA member. She received her BA degree in Communication Sciences, concentration in Public Relations, from the University of Connecticut. She is also Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt Certified and Cvent Masters Certified.

megan_murphyMegan Murphy, Sr Director, Digital Channel Sales & Partnerships, Freeman Company (USA) 

Megan Murphy is a member of Freeman’s Digital leadership team, with responsibility for sales & partnerships. She and her team specialize in Freeman’s full digital portfolio, including the virtual events platform.

Prior to joining Freeman in 2017, Megan spent 10 years with American Express Meeting & Events, where she led a team of account management and operations professionals who supported a large portfolio of corporate clients. Megan is based in Charlotte, NC.