The experts, specialists, and Gurus of our industry! Meet an unparalleled line-up of local and international speakers.
- Stefan Wieland - Conference Chairman
- Ola Melzig - M&M Production Management AB, Sweden
- Anton Montaut - La Perle by Dragone, UAE
- Sebastian Hammond - La Perle by Dragone, UAE
- Philipp Schlaechter - La Perle by Dragone, UAE
- Koert Vermeulen - ACTLD, Belgium
- Tom Davis - Theatre Projects Consultants, UK
- Tim Routledge - Tim Routledge Lighting Design Ltd, UK
- Jonathan Tulip - Venav Technology Consultants, UK
- Randell Greenlee - VPLT, Germany
- Dietmar Rottinghaus - Audio-Visual Media and Sound Technologies, Germany
- Tobias Broecking - Capital Lighting Berlin, Germany
- Thomas Ovesen - Dubai Arena, UAE
- Karen Beaton - Live Nation Middle East, UAE
- Richard Hoare - Unusual Rigging, UAE
- Sujoy Cherian - Option 1 Events, UAE
- Andre Beekmans - The Art of Light, Netherlands
- Benjamin Bauwens - Arkaos, Belgium
- Elie Khairallah - Venuetech, UAE
- Andreas Ehrenberger - Eclipse, UAE
- Kate Tooby - Tooby Creative, UAE
- Shane Manning - TECS Events and High & Wired, UAE
- Lars Toonen - Prolyte Group, Netherlands
- Ryan Penny - Large Venues, EMEA, Harman Professional, UK
- Stuee Kennedy - Singer, presenter & Entertainer, UAE
AV & Event Technology Specialist, Conference Chairman, UAE
Stefan is a passionate Consultant & Technical Director for the AV & Event Industry, who started as a touring lighting & video specialist and adopted skills in show control for venues & entertainment parks. He has since become an industry stalwart for the last 17 years in the Middle East.
Head of Production at M&M Production Management AB, Sweden
Ola Melzig started as a stagehand, working on locals shows in Stockholm 1989, taking the long way and advancing to forklift driver, runner, production assistant, lighting tech, backline tech and even catering assistant, he learned the world of productions in detail, and this knowledge has been a great asset to him in what he's doing today. Over the last 20 years he has production managed high profile shows such as the Eurovision Song Contest,The Commonwealth Games and The Nobel Prize Awards, and is one of the most renowned and respected Production Managers/ Technical Directors in the industry.
Audio Visual Specialist at Venav Technology Consultants, UK
For the more than a quarter century Jonathan Tulip has been lucky enough to spend his waking hours working on a diverse range of projects including Museums, Stadiums, Arenas, Corporate AV, Hotels and Education. Having toured in his early days, and undertaken projects as Contractor, Consultant and Client’s Representative he has seen most if not all sides of the industry. He advocates questioning the status quo to drive the adoption of novel and alternative approaches to deliver excellent end user experience. Jonathan is a keen advocate of Education and training and seeks to help fill the knowledge gap caused by the rapid expansion and rate of change we face in our industry.
Sound Designer and Head of Sound Operations at La Perle by Dragone, UAE
Australian-born Sebastian Hammond, grew up in the sound and entertainment business, having had his hands-on equipment from a very young age. At 20 years old he moved to Macau for the creation of Cirque du Soleil’s resident show ‘Zaia', and from there his skills were developed over five Cirque du Soleil shows, as he made my way into the position of Head of Sound. After working on various shows with Cirque du Soleil, Sebastian had the chance to join ‘Dragone' for the creation of 'Han Show' in China and now 'La Perle' in Dubai.
Assistant Technical Director at La Perle by Dragone, UAE
After starting in the industry in his native country of New Zealand, Anton Montaut moved to the UK, working on world-famous festivals, theatres and arena tours. After a couple of years, Anton decided to leave London for warmer climates and became the Production Manager on various Cruise Ships. In 2014, Anton was offered a position with Dragone as Head of Lighting at a new show in Wuhan China. After a year, he was moved to Dubai to help setup one of the most technically advanced theatres in the world, La Perle.
General Stage Manager, La Perle by Dragone, UAE
German-born Philipp Schlaechter has been working in the theatre since the age of 16. When he finished school, he studied Stage Management at Rose Bruford College, London, then returning to Germany, where he received a diploma in Stage Technology. Shows he’s worked on include: Lion King, Aida by Elton John and Tim Rice (European Tour and resident show Korea), We Will Rock You (Zurich, Vienna, Milan, Utrecht, Basel, Essen), The Rocky Horror Show, Aladdin and more! He also worked for various productions at the Ruhrtriennale and the Pocket Opera Company as well as for corporate events for international companies and festivals such as Rock AM Ring and Sonisphere. Philipp is the General Stage Manager, where he is responsible not only for the five Stage Managers, but coordinating and communicating with all the cast and crew on a nightly basis.
Lighting Designer, Director at Tim Routledge Lighting Design Ltd, UK
Tim Routledge is a multi-award winning lighting designer working across concerts, broadcast and event. In music credits include the Sam Smith World Tour, Beyonce Formation World Tour, Take That & Jeff Lynne's ELO tours. He is the LD for the UK XFactor TV Series and has designed major events such as the Opening Ceremony of the Commonwealth Games.
Founder & Principal Designer at ACTLD, Belgium
With over 22 years of experience in architecture, entertainment and art installations, Koert Vermeulen, is a worldwide renowned Lighting and Visual Environment Designer, having produced several prestigious projects such as the “Le Rêve” show in Las Vegas, the inauguration show of King Abdullah Sports City Stadium in Jeddah, and the lighting designer and director of “Tree of Life” at World Expo Milano 2015.
Director at Theatre Projects Consultants, UK
Early on in his career, Tom decided to specialize in designing technical systems for performance venues. He took on his current role in 2004 from LSI Projects, where he was a Projects Manager responsible for sound, communications, and AV operations. A few of Tom’s completed projects include the Dubai Opera, Royal Opera House Muscat, Bahrain National Theatre, Qatar National Convention Centre, Jaber Al Ahmed Cultural Centre and King Abdul Aziz Centre for World Culture.
President of TECS Events Services, UAE
Shane started out earning his stripes way back in the late 1990s, crewing on the build of London’s esteemed Millennium Dome. Since then he has donned the harness for a multitude of prestigious events; the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester, the 2004 Athens Olympics, Doha’s 2006 Asian Games, the erection of two of the world’s tallest flagpoles in Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan, the visit of Pope Benedict XVI to Jordan, some of the most elaborate royal weddings in the world and most international superstar concerts you can think of, from Andrea Bocelli to Alicia Keys, Madonna to Metallica, and Pavarotti to Placebo.Shane was also the head rigger and project manager on the hugely successful and iconic X Dubai X-Line ziplines, first over the Dubai Mall Fountains and more recently above Dubai Marina. Identifying a need in the market to bring ziplines and other ropes courses activities to the local landscape, he established a separate company, High and Wired Events LLC, in 2017.
Distribution Manager, Prolyte Group, Netherlands
Working in the entertainment industry for more than 8 years and for the last year’s as sales manager for the Middle East region, Lars brings a wealth of experience. Working together with local partners and organizing Prolyte’s well-known campuses, we strive to improve and create awareness on the importance of a safe working practice and high-quality products.
Creative Concept Director, Tooby Creatives, UAE
Kate has spent 10 years in the UAE working on creative concepts for a variety of government, private sector and blue chip clients and events. Kate believes that energising ideas are at the heart of memorable events. These ideas must start with the brand and tell a story to take guests on a journey.
Head of Rigging, Eclipse Staging Services, UAE
Director of Commerce and International Relations at VPLT
Born in America, he first worked internationally as a set designer and lighting designer before becoming a designer and stagerier of international trade fair appearances, exhibitions and events through inquiries from agencies. His experiences in the theater have convinced him that great goals can only be achieved by working together in a team. After a period as a managing partner of a communications agency, he was self-employed in the field of events since 1996. Since 2001 he is a lecturer at the "DEAplus" in Hanover and Hamburg in the training courses "Master of Event Technology" and "Project Manager Fair and Event". Randell is delighted to be part of the team at the VPLT office.
Chairman of the DIN-Committee, Audio-Visual Media and Sound Technologies
The trained radio and television technician founded the company Road Sound Rental in Lohne (Oldenburg) at the age of 16 together with other partners. This was followed by several years in the field of safety technology, installation and radio operation. After several in-house developments, he founded Connex GmbH in 1990 with a partner, which today employs around 30 people. 1996 followed the first products and patents in the field of fiber optic technology for event technology. In order to make "Rock'n'Roll" capable of doing business, Rottinghaus has been actively involved in the VPLT for many years. Rottinghaus is also a member of the standards committees of AES, DIN and PLASA.
Lighting Designer at Capital Lighting Berlin, Germany
Toto Broecking is a Berlin based lighting designer and operator working all over the world. His main business is design for festivals, touring, exhibitions, TV and corporate events.
Chief Programming Officer at Dubai Arena, UAE
Thomas Ovesen joined Dubai Arena in January 2018, and as Chief Programming Officer will focus on planning and securing a wide array of global talent to fill the venue’s event schedule ahead of the opening in 2019. A major player in the development of the live entertainment industry in the Middle East during the past 17 years, Thomas brings a wealth of experience to the multi-purpose venue. Prior to joining the Dubai Arena team Thomas set up the events promotion and venue operating outfit 117Live, and he and his team built and launched the new Autism Rocks Arena. He was also responsible for lining up an impressive events calendar for 2016-17 with events such as Nicki Minaj, Gabriel Iglesias, Bryan Adams, Justin Bieber, Jennifer Lopez, Elton John, Guns ’N Roses as well as the sold out capacity Ed Sheeran concert in Nov 2017.
Operations Director at Live Nation Middle East, UAE
For a career that has seen her work with everyone from Tom Jones to Aerosmith, Karen could be forgiven for resting on her laurels. It’s the furthest thing from her mind, however, as she eagerly anticipates every new and exciting challenge that comes with her job as Operations Director of Live Nation Middle East – a position she places at the top of her career achievements. She continues to take great pride in her role as it enables her to do not only what she is clearly highly skilled at, but also what she is extremely passionate about doing on a daily basis.
Senior Project Manager at Unusual Rigging, UAE
With a 15 years' experience of the events industry, Richard joined Unusual Rigging in 2009 as Rigging Supervisor in the company's Earls Court team, becoming Production Rigger in 2015. He relocated to Dubai in 2016, taking on the role of Senior Project Manager. Qualified to NRC Level 3, he has worked on many notable projects, including the UK's BRIT Awards , Victoria secrets fashion show, Madonna UK Tour and London 2012.
CEO at Option 1 Event Services, UAE
A tech aficionado constantly exploring new possibilities in the events industry and content integration. He has earned a reputation for pushing the limits in events technology and turning unusual and innovative ideas into reality; with interactive holograms, AR, VR, kinetics and robotics years before they trended in the industry.
Lighting designer and Founder at The Art of Light, Netherlands
André Beekmans, the founder of The Art of Light. Born and raised in the Netherlands - a country that hosts thousands of high-quality music events each year, and where electronic music is celebrated by the young, old and even the Royal Family. Beekmans' creative and hands-on spirit led him to create a successful light designing and operating company based in Eindhoven (NL). The Art of Light designs, programs and performs next level light shows for artists, festivals & corporate events all over the world. In everything we do, we strive to create an ultimate experience the audience will never forget.
André Beekmans – light designer and founder of the Art of Light will share his vision on his most outstanding designs and prestigious projects all around the globe.
Operations Manager at Arkaos, Belgium
Technical Director at Venuetech, UAE
Experienced technical director with over 25 years of experience across a broad range of professional audio, stage lighting with demonstrated leadership skills and ability to create results. Proven ability in leading cross-functional teams in a wide variety of areas including: business development, products management, system design and sales, project management, product marketing and development and executive level leadership. The results have been achieved by leading people together with a common goal and founding an environment with a high degree of trust and mutual respect.
Senior Business Development Manager at Large Venues, EMEA, Harman Professional, UK
A specialist in the production technology used for large events and the venues designed to host them. As the regional Business Development Lead for Large Venues, Ryan supports clients, consultants and integrators to deliver Harman solutions on some of the largest and most complex enterprise projects.
Singer, Presenter & Entertainer, UAE
Stuee has been in the land of sun for 9 years and during that time he has played large, medium and small crowds including theatres, stages large and small and intimate gatherings. He is an MC / Presenter / Interviewer / Singer / Actor / Director.