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.
she also teaches at MODUL UNIVERSITY, Vienna, Austria and IMC UNIVERSITY OF APPLIED SCIENCES,
Elisabeth Hansa is owner of ICBD - Hansa, International consultancy and business development, Meeting industry and corporate events.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
The President of the Non-Governmental Organization “Etnovyr”
Advisor to the Mayor on tourism and culture
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”
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.
Head Krakow Convetion Bureau and General Head of the Project Team
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).
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
She is a passionate traveller and photographer.
International business coach and consultant
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.
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.
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.
Head of the Lviv Tourist Information Center
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.
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”