Elisabeth Hansa

Owner of ICBD - Hansa, International consultancy and business development, Meeting industry and corporate events

Elisabeth is an accomplished managing director specialising in marketing and business development of global sales with over 20 years of experience impacting major convention corporations through orchestration of sales and acquisitions, public relations, and high-quality convention and event management. She has extensive experience as advisor for start ups of convention bureaus and convention centres.

Her areas of expertise include international and national Marketing • New Business Development • Indentifying Possibilities and prerequisites for successful implementation of meeting industry • dealing with political parties and owners  • Corporate Identity, Strategy, & Branding, Staff Training & Mentoring • International Relationship Building • Change Management •  Client/Sponsor Relations • Public Relations • Event Organisation • Convention Center Management and Start-up • Convention Bureau Start-up • Meeting Management • Sales & Marketing Plans • Networking  • Dealing with international associations, dealing with mergers

Until June 2012 she worked as managing director of MARIAZELLER EUROPEUM GMBH, Mariazell/Styria, Austria, a multipurpose convention centre for various events of up to 600 people.

Before that she was a director of marketing and sales for conventions and business events for MESSE CONGRESS GRAZ, a group of 7 companies providing various sporting and international events and convention centres, with 175 employees.

She worked at the ORF, the Austrian broadcasting corporation and volunteered on the boards of various professional associations like MPI, AIPC and ECM.

Since 2009 she also teaches at MODUL UNIVERSITY, Vienna, Austria and  IMC UNIVERSITY OF APPLIED SCIENCES, Krems.

Elisabeth Hansa is owner of ICBD - Hansa, International consultancy and business development, Meeting industry and corporate events.

Roger Pride

Managing Director at Cardiff and Co

Roger is Currently Managing Director of Cardiff & Co, the place marketing agency for the Capital City of Wales. The company is a public/private sector partnership between the local authority and the businesses across the City region. Prior to this Roger was Director of Marketing for the Welsh Government and Visit Wales.

In this role he was responsible for all aspects of Wales Marketing Strategy in the fields of tourism, trade and investment and business development.  He was also responsible for the professional development of all marketing staff throughout the Welsh Assembly Government.  He also advised the First Minister of Wales on the wider brand strategy for Wales.

He has considerable experience in securing and delivering major events and was a Non executive Director of Ryder Cup Wales 2010 Ltd.

He is one of the few marketers with experience of strategic brand development combined with marketing campaign delivery, spanning all aspects of place marketing, at the national, regional and city levels.

Roger has gained an international profile though jointly editing 3 editions of the worlds leading book on destination marketing. “Destination Branding” is read and used by tourism marketing practitioners and students throughout the world. He also has spoken at marketing conferences in many countries including Argentina, Macau, Dubai and the United States and contributed to the 2010 “Win with the Lion” Conference.

Tom Hulton

Director International Relations IMEX Group

Tom Hulton joined the international advertising agency Ogilvy & Mather in 1970 following a short career in the British army. With O&M, he was based in London and Singapore directing a number of hotel and tourism accounts.

He joined Trusthouse Forte Hotels for a period of 8 years as Director of Sales for the Asia Pacific and Middle East. During this time, he was also Director of Sales and Marketing at Grosvenor House Hotel in London. In 1985, Tom Hulton joined Supranational Hotels in London as Managing Director and over a period of seven years, and developed this reservation and marketing hotel consortia into the third largest in the world. 

Following three years as Secretary General of the International Hotel Association based in Paris, he joined the International Congress and Convention Association as Chief Executive Officer based in Amsterdam. In July 2002 and after nearly eight years with ICCA, Tom Hulton decided to return to the UK and set up his own consultancy. 

He currently works with IMEX as Director of International Relations, with special responsibilities, for helping to raise the political profile of business tourism within Government circles in Europe.  He has also developed the IMEX Future Leaders Forum and the Professional Development Pavilion.  

In 2011, he was awarded the ICCA Moises Schuster Award for outstanding services to the industry.

Nick Greenfield

Head of Tour Operator Relations
European Tour Operators Association (ETOA)


Nick graduated in Modern Languages and European Studies from the Universities of Bath and Siena in 1995 and immediately set off on a career in travel. He worked for a year in the US in the educational market and also started guiding groups in Europe, something he still does from time to time, having now worked in over 20 countries.“To really know the travel industry, you need to experience it first-hand”, he says.

He ran the London office of the National Educational Travel Council, hiring and training guides as well as running operations and contracting. Nick had attended ETOA’s workshops and seminars as an operator for many years when he finally accepted a full-time position at the association in 2009.

In his role at ETOA, Nick deals above all with the various tour operator members of ETOA. He covers many areas: organising commercial workshops; responding to members’ queries; lobbying politicians on issues at a local, national and European level; and writing articles on travel and tourism.

Current themes and policy areas include visas, emerging markets, group tourism and guiding.
Nick lives in Highbury, London, is a passionate Arsenal supporter and speaks seven languages.

Paul Kennedy MBE

Director and Owner of Kennedy Integrated Solutions a meetings industry consultancy

His consultancy focuses on destination, event and venue strategic business development and his client list is principally international. With significant access to communities of international buyers through his extensive network of companies Paul is acknowledged as a leading expert on creating face to face meetings industry business events and in creating hosted buyer programmes.

He is currently Strategic Business Consultant for the Slovenian, Sicilia  and Vilnius Convention Bureaux, The Meetings Show UK and the Convene and Conventa Trade Shows as well as being Chairman of the Centaur Travel Group

Paul is very well known throughout the global meetings industry having been Group Exhibition Director for Reed Travel Exhibitions global portfolio of meetings and incentive events. Paul restructured and expanded this business to become the leading group of industry B2B events in the world taking place annually in Europe, Middle East, Asia, Australasia and the then planned event for 2011 in North America hosting a total of some 25,000 participants. Each of the shows was award winning and had enjoyed a sustained period of growth.

Paul is also well known for his period as Managing Director of the multi award winning Commonwealth Conference and Events Centre winning a total of eight UK awards.

A strong advocate of strategic partnerships  both as a vehicle for corporate development and in providing high quality customer service Paul ensures his businesses  have been, and are, very close indeed to the  clients and market they serve and ensures a close focus on strategic supply chain management. Paul has served on a number of boards and panels including four years of the Board of Directors of Meeting Professional International ( MPI), and the UNWTO Steering Committee on the economic impact of the meetings industry. In December 2008 he was appointed as Advisor to the Beijing Municipal Government for a two year term. He also served on the Advisory Board of MPI UK, the Advisory Board for Cairo Expo City and the Egypt Expo and Conventions Authority and the Croatian Meeting Professionals Association.
In June 2000 Paul became the first ever European to win an MPI International award as Leader of Tomorrow and then the first person ever to win both this award and the Marion N. Kershner award as Chapter Leader. He was voted UK Meeting and Incentive Personality of the Year Award in 2001 a year in which he was awarded and presented with the Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE). Paul was placed in the Top ten of the C&IT magazine Power 50 of the leading figures in the UK conference and incentive industry for three successive years 2006-08, and also in 2008 placed in the top ten of the most influential people in the global meetings industry. Paul has an extensive network of international contacts on every continent as well as direct access to communities of international and domestic buyers through a cadre of buyer recruitment specialists with whom he works.

 A regular speaker and presenter Paul has presented as far a field as the USA, Canada, Australia, China, Singapore, the UAE, Oman, Jordan and in over a dozen European countries. Paul is a judge for the UK Meetings Industry Marketing Awards, and has been a regular columnist for magazines in the Europe, Africa, The Middle East and Asia.

Paul has a degree in Economics, a postgraduate Diploma in Management Studies and is a Fellow of both the Chartered Institute of Management and the Institute of Leadership and Management and a member of MPI . His company is a member of ICCA.

Ignasi de Delàs i de Ugarte

Deputy General Manager
Turisme de Barcelona

Ignasi de Delàs i de Ugarte graduated in Economic and Management Sciences by the University of Barcelona, focused on company and specialized in funding.

From 1983 to 1988 he was member of the Planning Studies Center  and permanent consultant in the Centre d’Etudes des Trasports dans la Mediterranée Occidental, an entity which depended on the United Nations. 

Later he worked in THR, the leading tourist consultancy company in Spain, as a consultant to companies on issues of hotel management and restaurant industry, and he was an international consultant of the WTO (World Tourism Organization) and the UNDP (United Nations Development Program).

In 1992 he was the Services Director for Trade and Tourism of the Official Chamber of Trade, Industry and Navigation of Barcelona. After and until 2000 he was the Director of planning and management control of the Consortium Turisme de Barcelona, a company created in 1993 by the Town hall of Barcelona and the Official Chamber of Trade, Industry and Navigation of Barcelona.
From 2000 to his designation as the Director of the Consortium Turisme de Catalunya, he was the Deputy General Director of Turisme de Barcelona.

Also related to the tourism sector, he has been member of the Executive Committee of the Barcelona Convention Bureau, of the Executive Committee and the General Council of the Diputació de Barcelona Promotion Tourist Agency. He has also occupied the Vice-presidency of the European Cities Tourism Administration Board (2002-2004).

As the Director of the Catalan Tourism Board (2004-2011), he contributed to launch the Catalan Agency of Tourism, whose aim is Catalonia’s tourist promotion and the positioning of the brand Catalonia as a leading destination that stands out for its identity and quality and that is constructed on the criteria of the co partnership and the joint decision between the public and the private sector.

At present he is the Deputy General Manager of Turisme de Barcelona an entity responsible for the promotion of a worldwide recognized tourist destination, and member of the Board of ECM  (European Cities Marketing).

Oleh Zasadnyy

Head of the Department “EURO 2012”
Lviv City Council

Since 2008 working as a Head of EURO 2012 Department, Lviv City administration

Responsible for the establishing structure for preparation City of Lviv to the Final UEFA tournament EURO 2012 (cooperation and communication with UEFA, "UkrEuroInfraProject" National Agency, Football Federations of participating coutries, tour-operator and hoteliers, public transport system developers, security and safety providers, etc.).

After participation in the City competitiveness development Strategy  with Monitor Group, since 2010 the Department included Tourism development and is responsible for tourism infrastructure development; is an official GIZ partner for international cooperation in EURO 2012 preparation process as well as mobility issues.

Serhiy Kiral

Head of foreign economic relations and investment office
Lviv City Council

He received his MBA from Lviv Institute of Management in 2002 and completed a course in General Management delivered by Richard Ivy School of Business of The University of Western Ontario in 2001-2002. Serhiy received his first degree at Ivan Franko National University in 1997, where he studied English and French linguistics. 

From 1996 through 2003 Mr. Kiral had worked with a number of technical assistance projects funded by USAID and EuropeAID in agribusiness and SME development sectors before taking up a Marketing and Business Development position at Concern Khlibrpom, member of UIG, one of the leaders on Ukrainian food market. Before employment with Lviv City Council in 2008, Serhiy had also worked as a private management consultant with a number of clients, including Ukrainian-Canadian Rosan Group, Swedish Scanagri and others. 
His principal areas of expertise include: defined Investment Policy for Lviv - 7th largest city in Ukraine, combining IFI financing for municipal services infrastructure with private equity and PPP projects to shape city attractiveness for living, leisure and business; managing a 38 mln. euro portfolio of EBRD financed projects, plus a pipeline of 50 mln. euro; liase with the World Bank and IFC on advisory services in waste management; municipal debt sale and credit rating; private capital projects promotion through www.investinlviv.com, presentations at MIPIM, RealExpo, RealVienna, Barcelona MP etc.; roadshows and individual IR events.

Stefan Thies

Managing Director of the agency mixedzone GmbH (Hamburg)
media operations & communications worldwide

Born 1957, Stefan Thies has been covering the biggest global sport events for more than 25 years. Starting as a sports journalist with a news agency, he reported from numerous Olympic Games, World and European Championships.
In 1992, Thies changed to the event organisers side, working for sports rights marketing agency UFA – nowadays SPORTFIVE - before starting his own business.
From 2003, Stefan Thies has worked as the Media Director for the bidding and the organising committee of the IAAF World Championships in Berlin 2009. He shifted to India afterwards to contribute to the Commonwealth Games Delhi 2010 as Director Press Operations to the Local Organising Committee. The following year Thies spent in Korea, being appointed the Supervisor of the Media Operations to the IAAF World Championships Daegu 2011.
The Arab Games Doha 2011 and the IAAF World Indoor Championships Istanbul 2012 saw him in similar roles as a Media Manager or Press Delegate. Earlier this year, Stefan Thies supported the Ukrainian Host Cities, mainly Lviv and Kharkiv, in the set-up and organisation of their facilities and staff for the media covering the UEFA EURO 2012.

Andriy Sydor

The President of the Non-Governmental Organization “Etnovyr”
Advisor to the Mayor on tourism and culture
Lviv, Ukraine

The founder of the Dikart Event Management Company – the top-leading company in event management in Lviv.

From 2007 till 2010 has worked as the Head of the Culture and Tourism Office in Lviv City Council. During his administration Lviv has gained the status of the Cultural Capital of Ukraine, has become the member of the European City Marketing, more than 100 festivals are being organized in Lviv, Tourist Information Center  was established.

From August 2010  - the President of the NGO “Etnovyr”, which is the founder of the conference “Win with the Lion”

Tymur Mazur

Managing Partner at Agency 42

He has experience of Event Director and Customer Service Director in network and local agencies and companies, such as: EuroRCG (Ukraine), One2Remember (Russia), Events2Remember(Ukraine).

Since 2 years he has been a leader in Alfa Jazz Fest project group. He is responsible for innovative festival development concepts creation and implementation. Tymur has a great experience in organising big events in Ukraine and abroad.

Beata Paliś

Head Krakow Convetion Bureau and General Head of the Project Team
Krakow, Poland

For more than a decade, Beata Paliś has worked in the field of tourism and city promotion. Prior to that, she had headed the City Promotion Department. She has worked as a coordinator on numerous promotional projects and anniversary events held in Krakow and advertising campaigns. She also contributed to developing Krakow’s first promotional strategy and coordinated implementation of the strategy. An originator and head of the EU project: “Museum Product for Selected Cities around the World – Promotion of Museum Routes in Europe,” and a Deputy Head of the Programming Committee. An author of an Agenda for Krakow’s Business Tourism 2011-2014.

She holds a master’s degree in Marketing and Management from the Krakow University of Economics and post-graduate degrees in International Tourism Management and European Management Studies (MBA) from the Krakow School of Business (the Krakow University of Economics).

Paola Casubolo

CEO of Lovingenova 
Genoa’s Tourism Development & Promotion Office/Italy

After a whole year at Klagenfurt University thanks to a full grant  from  the Austrian Culture Ministry, she  graduated in Modern Foreign Languages at the University of Genoa in 1991.

She immediately started working in the tourism industry as Director’s Assistant at the new Congress Centre in Genoa. In 1993 she gained professional experience in MEDIA sector, working in Milan as General Director Assistant in the most important private TV NETWORK in Italy.

1995 she settled down in Genoa and started to work for the City Events Dept., organizing Festivals, Concerts and taking part in the organization of the G8 summit collateral events 2001.

2002 was put in charge of the City Marketing Office, involved in launching abroad the major event “Genoa 2004 European Capital of Culture”, while cooperating with the Genova Film Commission at the same time.

At the same time she took a master in tourism development at the Genoa University.

2008 she became CEO of Genoa’s Tourism Development & Promotion Office and she also started to run the TIC’s network. Here she is in charge of the destination development and marketing. In 2009 she open the TIC’s activity to sales and she became also responsible for human resources development in customer services.
She is a passionate traveller and photographer.

Gabriela Schweinberger

International business coach and consultant

Born in 1961, Gabriela Schweinberger has been living in Berlin for 30 years.

From 1996 until 2012 she has worked for the official tourism agency of the German capital - Berlin Tourismus & Kongress GmbH /visitBerlin.

She has gathered 15 years of professional experience in management and service development within the Berlin Tourist Information Offices. As the head of department she has been responsible for strategy, projects, quality management, human resources development and staff motivation in the Customer Service department.

From 2009 to 2012 she was volunteering as a chairperson of the Tourist Information Offices working group for European Cities Marketing.

Gabriela Schweinberger has given lectures in different institutions like European Cities Marketing ECM, Magic Cities, Deutsches Seminar für Tourismus DSFT and the International Tourism Fair ITB Berlin. She has provided business consulting for tourist destinations in different European cities and regions.

Since 2012 she’s been working as a business coach and consultant not only in the tourism sector but also for companies and private customers.

Her native language is German but she also speaks English, Spanish, Italian, French and has a basic knowledge of Portuguese and Turkish.

Among her clients are organisations that represent tourism destinations as well as companies and business professionals all over Europe, not just restricted to the travelling business.

Freya Sackx

Manager Tourist Information Centre Ghent, Belgium

Freya is working since 2009 for the tourism department of Ghent. She got a general overview doing several kinds of jobs within the organization. She worked at the TIC office, at the marketing department and the last 2 years at the press and trade department hosting traveltrade and press.

6 months ago she took the opportunity to become the manager of both the TIC and the press and trade department.

She holds a master's degree in Tourism and Recreation Management from the University of Leuven.

Lev Kuznetsov

Deputy Director
St. Petersburg Marketing Agency


In 2007 Lev worked as Guest Relation department manager at Greekotel Hotel Chain in Greece in the city of Iraklion. In year 2008 he continued his career in St. Petersburg Tourist Information Centre as a leading specialist at Strategic Planning Department. In less than a year he was promoted to the Chief Specialist position at the same department. In June 2009 Lev obtained position of Deputy Director at St. Petersburg Marketing Agency

He has graduated from the Faculty of Tourism at the Saint Petersburg State University of Engineering and Economics in 2009; in November he enrolled in PhD programme at the same university, having graduated in 2012. At the moment he is working on his Thesis for Candidate of Economy Sciences.

Lev resides in St Petersburg. His interests besides work are: travelling, photography, cars, music, football, and movies.

Olena Holysheva

Head of the Lviv Tourist Information Center
Lviv, Ukraine


1991 – June 2007 –Founder and Director of the charity organization “Maltese Aid Service in Lviv”.

July 2007 – September 2009 – Deputy Head of the Culture and Tourism Office in Lviv City Council.

From October 2009 – the Head of Lviv Tourist Information Centre that in 2012 was declared the best Tourist Information Centre in Ukraine.

"TripAdvisor, and I personally, are very happy to participate in this event. The Ukraine market is becoming more and more important and we are very happy to share experiences and thoughts with the audience and are looking forward to doing more business with our existing partners and new partners"
Thomas Bangert, Director Display EU, TripAdvisor
"It’s a great opportunity to meet with professionals of the tourism and hotel industry, provide them with a better understanding of Booking.com vision and probably help to find something new and valuable for our common business."
Ekaterina Volkova, Director of Booking.com Office in Ukraine

“The Forum is first of all and most importantly about generating debate within Ukraine and within the city. Because until that debate happens at local level, no country, no destination, no city can actually really compete on the international market.”

Paul Kennedy, Director and Owner of Kennedy Integrated Solutions

“Для меня как организатора событий важно встретить коллег и пообщаться с коллегами из соседних областей: из области туризма, из области отелей и ресторанов. Это также чудесная возможность найти точки соприкосновения, где мы можем помочь друг другу.”

Тимур Мазур, керуючий партнер Агентства 42

“Через обговорення і зустрічі в рамках Форуму ми краще розуміємо, які ще потрібно заходи і пріоритети визначити, для того щоб ми дійсно спромоглися реалізувати комплексну стратегію розвитку міста і робити місто комфортним, привабливим для мешканців і для бізнесу.”

Сергій Кіраль, Львівська міська рада
“The Win with the Lion conference in Lviv is a very professionally organised congress which provides very useful and practical up-to-date information to its participants. I especially like the wide range of tourism related topics covered during its meetings, which give a good overview of the hottest topics in tourism today.”
Gabriela Schweinberger, international business coach and consultant, Berlin, Germany
“Win with the Lion is an event that everyone, even the most experienced travel professional, can learn from. It’s a great opportunity to hear experiences, share ideas and make connections. And the fact that it’s held in a gem of a city like Lviv just makes it even more appealing.”
Nick Greenfield, European Tour Operators Association, London, Great Britain