Speakers Bios

Andrey Balan, Head of EXPO Project, VDNH (Russia)

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Andrey Balan, Curator of the EXPO development project, VDNH - The Exhibition of Achievements of National Economy (Russia), which is the largest exposition, museum and recreational complex in the world.
In 2014 graduated from Moscow State University of Civil Engineering majoring in industrial and civil engineering.

From 2015 to 2018 - construction project manager. In 2018 graduated from Moscow Architectural School majoring in reconstruction and restoration of buildings. Since 2018, Curator of the EXPO development project.

Matthias Baur, Founder, MBB-Consulting Group (UK)

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Matthias Baur is ‎Founder and Senior Consultant in International Business, Exhibitions and E-commerce at MBB-Media. Baur has more than 17 years’ experience working for the world’s largest trade show and media companies including Messe Frankfurt, Reed Exhibitions, United Business Media and he has deep knowledge and connections in the global exhibition, conference and digital B2B industries. He has built B2B businesses in all major economies from France, Germany, US and the UK to Brazil and Australia. A special focus of his business development activities has been in Asia – specifically China, Thailand, Singapore, Japan and Indonesia.

He has many years of experience in launching market researched based business cases, event acquisitions, event new launches and B2B sales, marketing and growth strategies. He has been key note speaker at many conferences around the world covering topics such as social media, international business development and innovation in matrix organisations. He is also appointed Chairman of the UFI Digital Innovation Committee.

Rod Cameron, Executive Director, AIPC (Belgium)

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Rod Cameron is President of Criterion Communications Inc., a strategic management consultancy based in Vancouver, Canada with an extensive history of diverse engagements with corporate, governmental, association and major event clients and a particular specialty in international convention centre and association management, marketing and development.

He currently serves as Executive Director of the Brussels-based International Association of Convention Centres (AIPC) whose members include over 190 International convention centres in 60 countries worldwide and Executive Director of the Joint Meetings Industry Council (JMIC), an organization consisting of 18 major international meetings industry associations. He is also the Faculty Head for the AIPC Academy, a leading industry professional development program held annually in Brussels.

His areas of expertise include industry relations, facility development, management and marketing, event organization and professional development, and he has worked with clients ranging from major international facilities and corporations to governments and professional associations. In addition, he has worked on a number of major development projects and participated in the evaluation of facility and program proposals on behalf of various levels of government in a number of different countries.

He speaks, writes and is regularly interviewed on the international convention industry on behalf of industry associations and individual clients, and carries out research projects and sector analyses to document and support industry issues. More than 400 of his articles have appeared in Industry publications, and he has delivered over 125 presentations to a variety of international audiences in more than 30 countries. In addition, he has authored a number of publications on various aspects of industry development and convention centre management and maintained ongoing industry research programs on a variety of related topics.

Elena Chetyrkina, Head of Marketing Analysis Department, RESTEC Exhibition Company (Russia)

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Head of Marketing Analysis Department at R&C Market Research Company (former RESTEC® Group of Companies). More than 20 years in the business. Her expertise focuses on event market research, both in Russia and in the world, on efficient cooperation with international branch associations, as well as Russian and foreign companies operating in the market of event industry.

Under the management of Elena, the content of many events was created and the organization and management of Russian and international projects was carried out. She was involved in the project team for the Russian National Convention Bureau establishment, which opened in 2017. Member of Organizing Committee of Europe-Asia Event Forum – the 1st forum in Russia for professionals in event industry.

Professional activity is connected with work in the event industry and consists of the development of business communications and the organization of exhibition and congress events with marketing content based on market trends research. She is an active participant in many expert organizations, in particular Russian Union of Exhibitions and Fairs (RUEF).

Elena participates in the activities of the relevant committees of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation and the Saint-Petersburg Chamber of Commerce and Industry. She has been working with the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry (UFI) since 1997. Mrs. Chetyrkina is the current Chairwoman of the UFI Marketing Committee.

Laura Docampo, Head of Digital, Fira de Barcelona (Spain)

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Laura Docampo is Head of Digital Transformation at Fira de Barcelona. She is responsible for creating and implementing Fira de Barcelona’s digital transformation plan, and adapting the organisation’s trade fairs and congresses to the new digital era. She is focused on using the best processes with agile methodologies to improve customers’ experience and to help them make the most of their participation in events. Before starting her current role she worked in digital marketing, designing strategies to help clients maximise their online presence and extend their digital reach.

Michael Dreyer, Managing Director, Trade Show Experts (Singapore)

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Michael started his career in exhibition management in the early nineties as project manager for Deutsche Messe AG’s (Hannover, Germany) overseas arm, Hannover Messe International. He was responsible for the inception and management of some of Deutsche Messe’s events in South East Asia, Vietnam and China (eg CeMat Asia, PTC Asia…). From 1994, based in Singapore, he spearheaded the opening and the management of Deutsche Messe’s offices in Asia and Australia and developed the business further, both by establishing new brands and negotiating cooperations with local and overseas partners.

After a brief stint as managing director of Hannover Fairs Turkey where he was responsible for Deutsche Messe’s acquisitions of events such as SODEX, ANKIROS and WIN, Michael joined Koelnmesse 2002 to build up their network of companies in Asia-Pacific from scratch. Again based in Singapore, he was then overseeing Koelnmesse’s companies in China, Hongkong, Macao, Japan, Taiwan and Thailand. Koelnmesse is now organizing app. 20 events in Asia per year, with leading regional trade fairs such as Interzum Guangzhou, Thaifex- World of Food Asia, CIHS, IDEM Singapore etc..

After the completion of his contract with Koelnmesse, in 2017 Michael established ‚Trade Show Experts‘, a Singapore based boutique consultancy and M&A firm catering for the MICE industry. Trade Show Experts is closely working with ‚Fair Relations GmbH, the long established Germany based consultancy, also specialising in M&A in the events industry.

Finally, in January 2019, Michael acquired Fair Relations GmbH and is now running this company together with the founder, Wolfgang Schellkes.

Michael holds a master’s degree in economic geography. His exposure to Asia dates back to the mid- Eighties when he was granted a post graduate scholarship at Fudan University, Shanghai.

Murat Düzenli, Strategic Marketing Group Assistant Director (Turkey)

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Experienced Marketing Manager with a demonstrated history of working in the events services industry. Skilled in Marketing Management, Event Management, Market Research and Sponsorships. Currently works on digital transformation projects.

Douglas Emslie, Group Managing Director, Tarsus Group (UK)

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Douglas is Group Managing Director of Tarsus Group plc. He joined the Company when it launched in 1998. Prior to joining Tarsus he held senior management positions at Blenheim Group plc and after its takeover, United Business Media plc. He is a past Chairman and remains a Director of the Association of Event Organisers (AEO) and past Chairman of the Events Industry Alliance. He is also the first international board member of the US industry trade body – SISO and a member of its executive committee. In addition, he was a founding member of the International Organiser Network (ION) a joint AEO and SISO group.

Dr. Holger Feist, CSO, Messe München (Germany)

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Holger Feist is Chief Strategy Officer (CSO) of Messe München and deeply involved in its corporate and business development. Innovation, globalization and digital transformation, and most recently, the future of collaboration rank high on his agenda. Holger is also Vice Chair of the Marketing Committee at UFI, the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry. Before entering the industry, Holger held various positions in the media industry, including CEO of Burda Intermedia Publishing. Prior to that he worked as a consultant with McKinsey & Company for seven years.
Holger studied economics and obtained his doctoral degree in Munich, and was a visiting lecturer at Princeton University.

Stephan Forseilles, CTO, Artexis Easyfairs (Belgium)

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Stephan Forseilles is acting as Head of Technology and Digital Transformation of Artexis Easyfairs. He is responsible for supervising the strategic development of the company's technology solutions and digital transformation.
Forseilles was previously Operations Director EMEA, Anti-Piracy, for the Motion Picture Association of America. He worked for Belgacom from 1996 to 2003, first as Operations Director/IT & Network Director for Belgacom Skynet, then as Belgacom's Internet Services Director.
For two years Forseilles served as a Vice President of the Belgian Internet domain name registration organisation, DNS.be and he is a member of UFI’s Digital Innovation Committee. He holds a degree in Computer Science from the Université Libre de Bruxelles.

Konrad Friedrich, Customer & Experience Officer, Waytation (Austria)

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Konrad Friedrich joined Austria based technology company Waytation as Customer & Experience Officer in March 2019.
As the former Congress Director of the European Radiology Congress, the forty-year-old Viennese is regarded as an experienced manager who is well connected in the congress and trade fair industry in Europe. Waytation has gained reputation in the automated evaluation of visitor flows via Bluetooth tags. Working closely with the company founder and Waytation CEO Cemsit Yelgin, he is assigned to develop new service offerings.

From 2004 to 2019, Konrad held senior positions at the second largest European medical conference, the European Congress of Radiology (ECR), most recently as Director of Annual Meetings & Industry Relations. He has obtained both, medical and technical education with a focus on knowledge management.

Chen Fu, Director, Chengdu Municipal Bureau of Exposition (China)

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Fu CHEN, male, born in December 1966 in BiYang, HeNan province with Han nationality. He was graduated from WuHan University and China National School of Administration with B.A and MPA. He has served successively as Director of America and Oceanian Affairs Apartment in Chengdu Foreign Affairs Office, Deputy County Head of PiXian People's Government, Deputy Director of Chengdu Investment and Promotion Commission, Deputy Director of Chengdu High-Tech Zone Management Committee and Deputy Director of Chengdu Management Committee of Tianfu New Area. Mr. Fu CHEN is currently Secretary of the Party Group and Director of Chengdu Council for the Promotion of International Trade (Municipal Expo Bureau of Exposition).

Prof. Dr. Christian Glasmacher, Senior Vice President Corporate Development, Koelnmesse GmbH (Germany)

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Prof. Dr. Christian Glasmacher, born in 1964 in Neuss, Germany received his graduate degree in Economic Science at the University of Siegen where he subsequently taught as assistant professor at the professorship of marketing for several years. He held various teaching positions for strategic marketing management, general business administration and economics and received his Ph.D. in 1996. In 2019 he was appointed honorary professor at the University of Cologne after lecturing Trade Fair Management for the last 12 years.  

From 1996 – 2006, Prof. Dr. Glasmacher worked as a management consultant at KPMG Consulting in Düsseldorf.  He represented national and international mandates and dealt with the tasks of corporate strategy, business process optimization, organizational development and implementation of customized IT solutions.  Since 2001 he primarily supervised trade fair companies.  

Since October 2006 he is head of Koelnmesses Corporate Development. The Department for Strategy & New Business Development. In 2011 he became a member of the extended management board as a Senior Vice President.

He has been a member of the UFI (The Global Association of the Exhibition Industry) Marketing Committee (now Marketing Working Group) since 2008 and has been Chair of the Committee from 2011 to 2017. Since 2013 he represents Koelnmesse at EMECA (European Major Exhibition Centres Association).

Enio Gualandris, HR Director, Fiera Milano (Italy)

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Enio is a passionate Human Resources Director with 20+ years of successful track record in the field. He has a broad expertise in various roles within the profession, with an important international and multi-cultural experience.
As a matter of fact, he lived, studied and worked in the U.K. and in the USA (he holds an M.B.A. from Fordham University, New York City, U.S.A), in addition to have travelled extensively in Europe, Asia, and Latin America. His experience has been gained within different industries: Automotive, Agricultural and Construction Equipment, Engineering, Life and Analytical Science.

He is a relatively newcomer to the fairs and events world, as he was appointed Human Resources & Organization Director of Fiera Milano, Italy, in December 2017. He currently is also the President of Fiera Milano Media and Nolostand, companies owned by Fiera Milano.

Wilhelm Halling, General Manager, Dimedis GmbH (Germany)

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Wilhelm Halling runs the company as the managing director since its foundation in 1996. dimedis stands for digital media distribution. The software company was and is specialized in developing web technologies and tools like content management systems, digital signage solutions and admission systems for trade fairs. Wilhelm Halling is responsible for the first online projects of European leading TV station RTL and music company EMI Electrola. And he is an early visionary of Digital Signage. Wilhelm Halling worked for several companies like Silicon Graphics in the early 90s before he decided to become an entrepeneur.

Charles Hazlewood, International Conductor and Musical Revolutionary (UK)

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Charles Hazlewood is a British conductor of international renown. He has conducted some of the greatest classical repertoires with some of the best orchestras in the world. Beyond this, he is a visionary with a mission to break new ground in orchestral music, and to break new ground using music. Hazlewood is not only well-known for what he has achieved but how he has achieved it. He has always eschewed the dictator model of conducting; evolving a creative leadership style that has been the foundation of his success.

Charles Hazlewood believes that music can overcome barriers of language, class and culture and has proved this over his career in many ground-breaking projects: an opera company recruited from black townships in South Africa that won the Golden Bear Award for best film of a classical opera; a pay-what-you-can orchestral music festival attended by thousands of people who had never heard an orchestra live before; and the world’s first orchestra of disabled musicians, who played alongside Coldplay at the closing ceremony of the London 2012 Paralympics and continue to tour the world.

Robert T. Heinemann, Managing Partner and CEO, Heinemann Management Consulting GmbH (HMC) (Germany)

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Robert T. Heinemann is Managing Partner and CEO of Heinemann Management Consulting GmbH (HMC), based in Munich, Germany. Established in 2009, HMC is a consulting boutique focussed on all relevant topics in the field of Human Resources.

Robert has more than 35 years’ experience in management and leadership roles. He spent the first 15 years of his career in the public sector. In 1996 he moved on to become a senior executive in the financial industry. His international career started back in 1999. Since 2000 he is constantly traveling and working overseas, very often in Asia and in China. From 2005 to 2007 he served as General Manager & Chief Executive for a German bank in the City of London.

Since 2013 he is actively involved in the exhibition industry. For nearly four years he was Acting Global Head of HR of Messe Muenchen. Not only had he created and implemented an international HR Strategy for the company, had developed various HR-related tools and concepts, but also was in charge of the international recruiting of nearly all senior executive positions of the group. Since 2018 HMC is an Associate Member of UFI.

Gunnar Heinrich, CEO, adventics (Germany)

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Gunnar Heinrich has extensive management experience in international management consultancies. He was managing director of a subsidiary of Messe München and is an internationally renowned expert on "Innovation in the exhibition industry" where he works with exhibition managers around the globe consulting on corporate strategy, business development, CRM, marketing, innovation, organization and process design.
He is also is long standing member of the UFI Digital Innovation Committee

Sophie Holt, Global Strategy Director, Explori (UK)

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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.

Sang Jingmin, President, (SCEIA) Shanghai Convention and Exhibition Industries Association (China)

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MA, senior economist, senior exhibition planner. Currently, he serves as president of Shanghai Convention & Exhibition Industries Association (SCEIA), general manager of Shanghai Baiwen Exhibition Co., Ltd., chairman of the Organizing Committee of China Beauty Expo (CBE), etc.

As a long-time leader of major state-owned enterprises, joint ventures and industry associations, he possesses excellent leadership and organizing skills. In the past twenty years since he first dabbled in the exhibition industry, the CBE, which he founded with a global vision, has grown into one of the world’s top three international makeup trading platforms and the highest-ranking cosmetic fair on the Top 100 World Trade Fairs list.

As a co-founder of SCEIA, he successively served as its vice-president, CPC Committee member and president and played an active role in its running. In the meantime, he took part in the drafting of “Exhibition Organizers (Co-organizers) Rating System,” a set of local standards, as one of its initiators, and participated in the assessment of Chinese expo brands as an expert procurement assessor for the Shanghai Municipal Government. In this way, he made concrete contributions to the development of the conference and exhibition industry in Shanghai.

Jo-Anne Kelleway, CEO, Info Salons Group (Australia)

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Jo-Anne Kelleway is Founder & CEO of Info Salons Group, one of the leading Registration and Database companies throughout Greater Asia, Australia, China and the Middle East.

Jo-Anne started the company in Sydney, Australia in 1990. Info Salons is now involved in over 750 events per year worldwide, assisting major event organisers such as Reed Exhibitions, UBM Asia, Informa, and Diversified Exhibitions with the development and growth of their events. The Group has offices in Sydney, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Dubai and Istanbul.

Jo-Anne Kelleway is a former Board Member for the International Association of Exhibitions & Events in USA (IAEE) and a founding member, board member and former Vice President of the Exhibition & Events Association of Australia (EEAA).

Simon Kimble, Chairman, Clarion Events (UK)

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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 Kruppe, Board Member UFI, Vice Chairman of Chinese Venue Association, Chairman of Pudong New Industry Association, Board member of German Centre in Shanghai (China)

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

Career background:
1986-2002
Manager at Helm Group in Germany, China and Hong Kong. 
Worldwide Sales/Marketing and Procurement of raw materials.

2002-2013
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.

2014-now
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.

Monica Lee-Müller, Managing Director, Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (Management) Limited (“HML”) (Hong Kong)

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Monica Lee-Müller is the Managing Director of Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (Management) Limited (“HML”) and leads a team of 960 staff. HML is the professional private management company responsible for the operation of the 306,000 square-metre Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, hosting around 1,000 events every year.

Ms Lee-Müller joined HML in 1994 and was promoted to Managing Director in 2012. She has since led the team to implement business and sustainability development, facility upgrades and service enhancements successfully.

Ms Lee-Müller is currently a Board Member of UFI – The Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, and an Executive Committee member of the Hong Kong Exhibition & Convention Industry Association. She has been the Chairperson of the Training Board of the Chinese Culinary Institute since 2015 and serves as a member of advisory committees in local educational institutions.

She holds a Master of Management Programme from Macquarie University and a Certificate of Legal Services from the University of Hong Kong. She received a Professional Certificate in Event Management & Marketing from the George Washington University in 2003 and graduated from the International Association of Venue Managers’ Senior Executive Symposium in 2012.

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

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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.

Fuad Musafir, Business Development Manager Exhibition & Live Events, Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre (Oman)

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With over 15 years of experience in the tourism sector including Tourism Integrated Complex's, Airlines and Live events. Today Fuad leads the Exhibitions and Live Events department at the Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre which is a national iconic project. His role includes two main area: sales and operations. He played an integral part in prestigious international and regional Exhibitions & Events and was able to play a vital role in hosting and attracting world-class business events to the Sultanate and to the Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre.

Christian Obwegeser, Director Sales, Waytation

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Christian Obwegeser born in 1982 in Rum, Austria received his graduate degree in economic science at the Vienna Economic University (WU). He has more than 18 years’ experience in sales, management and leadership roles.
His areas of expertise include sales, management and marketing, event organization and professional coaching, and he has worked with clients ranging from major international facilities and corporations to professional associations and start-ups. In addition, he has worked on a number of major development projects and participated in the evaluation of different sales growth based problems with the tech start-ups landscape in DACH.
Christian is a newcomer to the fairs and events world, as he was a sales native for the start-up world in Austria.

Silva Popa, International Business Development Manager, VIPARIS (France)

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Silvia is the ambassador of the 9 venues held by VIPARIS in the City of Light on the international scene. A professional with over 10 years of experience in Events, she has seen the industry from many angles: launching, managing, or simply selling an tradeshows, selling a solution to trade fair organizers, selling exhibiting space and services to exhibitors or a venue to organizers. A purely international millennial, enrichened by constant exposure to cultural diversity and motivated by perpetual development, Silvia is active in supporting sustainable development goals across the industry.

Caitlin Read, Group Communications Director, Comexposium (France)

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Caitlin Read is the Communications Director of Comexposium, one of the world’s leading event organisers. Caitlin joined Comexposium in 2017 with a remit to develop the interntional reputation of Comexposium whilst continuing to underscore the strong French heritage of the company. Prior to joining Comexposium, Caitlin worked in Brand, Marketing, and Communications for Ernst & Young, where she led communications in tax technology and the future of work. Notably, she also worked for UBM plc in event marketing, PR, and corporate communications roles in the US and UK.
Caitlin is an American living in France and has been struggling through her French lessons twice a week for over a year now.

Alinne Rosa, HR Vice President, Reed Exhibitions Alcantara Machado S.A. (Brasil)

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Graduate in Psychology and master degrees in Strategic People Management, HR Administration, Business Management and Professional Coaching. 20 years working as HR generalist in companies such as Microsoft, ZF, Roland Berger Consultants, De La Rue and WPP Group.

Last 14 years working as HR Leader running projects for Latin America, with specialties on People Engagement, Performance & Career, Leadership Development and Employer Branding. Since 2017 Alinne joined Reed Exhibitions as HR Director for Brazil and recently was appointed as HR VP to Brazil and Mexico.

Tomasz Szypula, CEO, Ptak Warsaw Expo (Poland)

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President of the board of Ptak Warsaw Expo, the largest Conference and Exhibition Centre in Central Europe and member of the supervisory board of Ptak Holding - one of the largest Polish private companies. He has been associated with PTAK Holding since 2010. A graduate of Economic University of Wroclaw, Engineering and Industry Economics Department, he has served as member of the board in a wide range of companies and associations. Advisor to Lodz Voivodship. He specialises in management, analysis and leasing of commercial estates, as well as organisation of trade fairs and conferences at an international level. Tomasz is married with two children.

Hwee Hoon Tan, Associate Professor of Organizational Behavior and Human Resources, Singapore Management University (Singapore)

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Hwee Hoon TAN is a tenured professor with the Lee Kong Chian School of Business, Singapore Management University. Hwee Hoon earned her PhD in Management from the Krannert School, Purdue University. Hwee Hoon TAN’s key research focus is on trust across cultures. In a recent study of 30 countries around the globe, Hwee Hoon and her collaborators from the United States found that the integrity of the trustee plays an etic role in trust building.

Hwee Hoon has published in many international journals, including the Academy of Management Journal, Strategic Management Journal, Journal of Applied Psychology and Human Relations, among others. She was also the Asia-Pacific Editor of the Journal of World Business from 2000-2004 and currently sits on the review board of Journal of Management. In addition to an active research agenda Hwee Hoon is also involved in Executive Teaching, both in English and Chinese.

She has spoken at key events and trained for major organizations such BCA (Indonesia), Barclays, BNP Paribas, Credit Suisse, Infineon Technologies, International SOS, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Singapore), Singapore Airlines, Sumitomo Chemical, among others. She also consults for organizations such as the Roche Holding AG, Singapore Tourism Board and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation.

Wilson G. Tang, Vice President, Innovation, Freeman (USA)

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Wilson is an experienced digital innovation leader, technologist, and storyteller who brings brand narratives to life through integrated digital experiences. A creative, tech, and media master, he loves to discover new ways to engage audiences through technology, video and film, apps, blogs, articles, and, of course, real-world experiences. At Freeman, he leads initiatives around automation and robotics. Additionally, his teams develop new technologies like artificial intelligence, voice and chat services, second screen products, augmented and virtual reality, and much more. With an extensive history in designing, producing digital products and content, and creating experiential solutions for clients, Wilson loves to bring fun and technology together to tell great stories.

Katie Thompson, Senior Content and Project Manager, Global Exhibitions Informa (USA)

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As Senior Content and Project Manager at Informa Markets, Katie Thompson is responsible for programming content, speaker selection, and management of special show features. She is active in community and trade organizations serving as events and education chair and board member of the Dallas/Fort Worth chapter of the International Association of Exhibitions and Events. Using her B.A. in Mass Communication from Louisiana State University, Katie launched The Budget is No podcast to help trade show organizers create meaningful experiences with limited budget.

Carolin von Tippelskirch, Protocol and Corporate Events, Deutsche Messe AG (Germany)

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After completing her International Business double bachelor’s degree in Germany and the USA as well as a master’s degree in International Management in Germany, Carolin started working at Deutsche Messe AG (Germany) in the Protocol and Corporate Events department. She has since been contributing to the success of events around the fairs: DOMOTEX, HANNOVER MESSE, CEBIT, LIGNA, EMO Hannover, as well as other smaller formats. Her newest function is organising the WomenPower conference embedded in HANNOVER MESSE, a networking and discussion platform for women encouraging the careers of women especially in the STEM industry.

Rafael Villanueva, Senior Director of Global Development, Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (USA)

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Rafael Villanueva joined the Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority in the spring of 1998 as a domestic tourism sales executive and over the past decade has increased the profile of Las Vegas in the Latin American market exponentially. His current mission is to develop and manage the LVCVA’s global strategy. He also oversee the contracts and budgets of 14 International representation offices that promote Las Vegas in over 40 countries.

Prior to joining the LVCVA, Mr. Villanueva served as Executive Director of Advertising and Public Relations at the Tropicana Resort and Casino. His career also included working for some of the top advertising agencies in Las Vegas. Clients included hotel-casinos, banks and homebuilders. Additionally, he worked for KLAS-TV (Las Vegas’ CBS affiliate) as sales promotion director.

Born in Mexico, Villanueva has spent all but one year of his life in Las Vegas. Rafael is a graduate from Las Vegas High School and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Most of his free time is spent with family and with several committee organizations in Las Vegas. He is involved in several travel industry organizations, including International Inbound Travel Association, where he is currently holds the position of Secretary on their Board of Directors.

Dr. Andy Xie, Renowned Chinese Economist (China)

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Dr Andy Xie, renowned Chinese economist, is named “ 50 Most Influential Persons in Finance” by Bloomberg, and is currently director of Rosetta Stone Advisors.

Dr Xie is one of the few economists who has accurately predicted economic bubbles including the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis and the more recent subprime meltdown in the United States. He joined Morgan Stanley in 1997 and was Managing Director and Head of the firm’s Asia/Pacific economics team until 2006. Prior to that he spent two years with Macquarie Bank in Singapore, where he was an associate director in corporate finance. He also spent five years as an economist with the World Bank.

Frank Yang, Director Convention Marketing Team (South Korea)

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Frank Yang is the director of convention marketing at KINTEX in South Korea. KINTEX is the country’s largest convention and exhibition center with 108,000m2 of event space and holds more than 1,300 events each year. Since joining KINTEX in 2004, Frank has gained extensive experience in sales and marketing, exhibition management, and business development.

Most recently, Frank was presented with the 2019 UFI Marketing Award by the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry (UFI) for the creative influencer campaigns carried out to promote a gaming exhibition (PlayX4) he organizes at KINTEX. Not only that, he was selected as a 2019 Pacesetter Award winner by Events Industry Council (EIC) for his valuable contribution to our community. These honors were particularly noteworthy as he is the first-ever Korean national to receive these awards.

Cinzia Zanin, Research and Development, Fondazione Fiera Milano (Italy)

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Cinzia Zanin works in the Research & Development department of Fondazione Fiera Milano. She is a team member of Accademia Fiera Milano, an educational centre for the exhibition and events industry, where she is also in charge of corporate digital communication. Cinzia loves her job because it gives her the unique opportunity to observe all the changes young generations are going through from a privileged position.

Half Italian and half Polish, Cinzia majored in Japanese language and culture and she has lived in different parts of the world: from a small village nestled in the Dolomiti mountains, to Venice, Poland, Czech Republic, Japan and now Milan. She reads about 50 books per year but she is also a fan of movies, tv series and Kyushu.

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