The experts, specialists, and gurus of our industry! Meet an unparalleled line-up of local and international speakers.
Speakers at the 2019 edition
- Shaun Vorster - Vice President - Programming, Expo 2020
- Solveig Busler - Schnick-Schnack-Systems GmbH, Germany
- Stefan Wieland - Conference Chairman
- Andrew Ward - SAE Institute, UAE
- Anton Montaut - La Perle by Dragone, UAE
- Laura McGuire - La Perle by Dragone, UAE
- Emad El-Saghir - Holoplot GmbH, Germany
- Gerasimos Efthymiatos - Salt-TS, UAE
- Jonathan Tulip - Venav Technology Consultants, UK
- Luc Peumans - Painting with Light, Belgium
- Mick Stevens - SM Productions, UAE
- Randell Greenlee - The German Entertainment Technology Association, Germany
- Randula De Silva - Assistant Academic Director, UAE
- Ray Kawalec - TONSPIELZEUG, Germany
- Sujoy Cherian - Option 1 Event Services, UAE
- Tobias 'Toto' Broecking - Capital Lighting Berlin, Germany
- Tom Davis - Theatre Projects Consultants, UK
- Christophe Draye - Event Director, FiveCurrents, USA
Vice President - Programming, Expo 2020
Shaun leads the curation of Expo 2020 Dubai’s business events offering, which aims to entice delegations through innovative programming and networking concepts. As well as overseeing the rollout of the 45,000 sqm Dubai Exhibition Centre – including its operations, sales and marketing – Shaun is looking after the strategy and planning to create exceptional programming content across Expo 2020. This will contribute to a meaningful, engaging and fun experience for all visitors.
Shaun will be speaking about Expo 2020 Dubai – The World’s Greatest Show.
Conference Chairman | Business Development Manager – Middle East, HARMAN Professional Solutions
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.
As Conference Chairman, Stefan will lead the scheduled sessions.
Lecturer, SAE Institute, UAE
Andrew started making tea and soldering cables in 1994 at an analogue sixteen track recording and rehearsal studio. He progressed from assistant to mix engineer in some of the finest recording and mixing facilities in London. He has credits to his name on number one albums by Dido and Faithless. He has recorded with DJ Shadow, assisted with Carl Cox, Orbital and Underworld. Andrew has worked and dined with rock legend Lemmy from Motorhead, and was the mix engineer on Craig David's number one single 'Seven Days'. Currently residing in Dubai and preferring to guide his audio students, he teaches an audio production degree at an internationally recognised provider of higher education.
Andrew will be speaking about Education in the AV & Event Industry - How Dedicated Education Elevates the Value of AV & Events.
Assistant Technical Director, La Perle by Dragone, UAE
Anton specialises in all aspects of Production/Project Management/Technical Direction including Lighting, Video and Sound with a wide range of skills in carpentry, pyrotechnics, set construction, stage technology, automation and performer flying, and company management. He is a multi-skilled professional, and has managed events across the world, from the UK and West End, to Europe and the Americas, Oceania, China and currently Dubai. Known for his ability to work both creatively and technically in a large scope of theatrical presentation and event production, Anton also has a passion for travel, technology, people and great coffee.
Anton will be speaking about La Perle, Creating the Impossible - Transforming Creative Ideas into Technical Reality.
Head of Applications, Holoplot GmbH, Germany
Emad has more than 20 years of experience in the industries of room-, electro-acoustics and sound reinforcement. He has been participating in numerous projects in the Middle East and Europe including landmark worship houses, stadia, universities, airports and museums. He spent 15 years working as an acoustic consultant with Dr. Wolfgang Ahnert. As an experienced user, he participated in testing different versions of the acoustical simulator EASE, and has been developing and instructing the EASE classes hosted by AFMG Technologies GmbH. Since 2018, Emad is heading the Applications Team of the German loudspeaker manufacturer Holoplot GmbH in Berlin.
Emad will be speaking about Multichannel Reproduction for Immersive Audio.
Partner, Salt-TS, UAE
Gerasimos Efthymiatos is acoustics and AV consultant, owner of Technology & Acoustics Ltd and partner in Salt-TS in Dubai. His topics of interest include the coordinated Audio and Acoustics designs, especially for performance spaces, stadiums or PAVA systems, acoustic/ audio modeling and commissioning.
Gerasimos will be speaking about Challenges in Acoustic/Audio Modelling Using AFMG EASE Software.
Audio Visual Specialist, 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 faced in the industry.
Jonathan will be speaking about DEFINE – INTEGRATE – VERIFY: 3 Steps to Project Success and Breaking the Downward Price Spiral.
Lighting, Video & Special Effects Operator, La Perle by Dragone, UAE
Laura McGuire comes to Dubai to join LaPerle by Dragone after an already extensive international career in theatre AV. McGuire's work has taken her abroad including Asia, Europe, Australia, and Japan where she worked with other various companies including Cirque Du Soleil. A native of Southern Ontario Canada, McGuire is a Graduate of Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, where she studied music composition and performance. As a musician, McGuire found a passion for technical work early on in her career and has not looked back. So she always looks forward.
Laura will be part of the panel discussion "Women in AV: is there a struggle with perception and how to overcome it - Are equal opportunities a reality in the events and AV Industry"
CEO, Painting with Light, Belgium
Luc really started learning the tricks of the lighting design trade during his first job at Martin's music. Initially, he assisted the lighting designers, but quickly started to operate and design shows himself. In 1999, he founded Painting with Light. Through his passion for the entertainment industry and dedicated hard work, he has built Painting with Light into what it is today: a multidisciplinary design house known for its style, flair and creativity, with an international client base. Their designs and imagination stand out, originating from a quest for innovation that permeates the company and that Luc has had since the beginning of his career.
Luc will be speaking about REALITES, a home-made combination of existing productional technologies allowing video content to become responsive to real-life lighting sources.
Project Manager, SM Productions, UAE
Mick has been working in live events for 34 years, starting in theatre as a lighting technician. He worked on many theatre productions in London’s West End, UK & on European tours. He then went on to work as a freelance Lighting technician and designer, working on mainly corporate events in UK, Europe & USA. Mick moved to Dubai in 2003. His first real move into Project/Technical Management was with InHouse Productions, after which he freelanced on events for AEG, Done Events, Prisme International, Quintessentially, and Event & Design Republic. He currently works mainly on corporate events, live concerts, governments events, and exhibition stands.
Mick will be speaking about Building UFC242: How to Turn a Patch of Sand into a Temporary Arena.
Director of Commerce & International Relations, The German Entertainment Technology Association, Germany
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. 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 will be speaking about Ecodesign Legislation - EU Commission Regulation.
Randula De Silva
Assistant Academic Director, MSc. Media Management, UAE
Randula is an experienced academic administrator and educator with a demonstrated history of working in the creative media field. He is currently the Assistant Academic Director at SAE Institute Dubai, along with being the Head of the Bachelors of Audio Production program. For the past 15 years, he has been involved with providing accredited Audio Production bachelors courses at SAE Institute. He works closely with the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency in Australia (TEQSA) to ensure audio industry relevance and technology that is being practised in Australia is delivered to the students in the MENA region.
Randula will be speaking about Audio Production Practices for New Engineers.
Creative Director, TONSPIELZEUG, Germany
Ray will be speaking about Modern Performance Art & Technology in Marketing.
Member of the Executive Board, Schnick-Schnack-Systems GmbH, Germany
Even though her favorite color is pink, Solveig Busler loves all colors of the visible spectrum. As Member of the Executive Board at the German LED manufacturer Schnick-Schnack-Systems GmbH, she provides TV-Studios, rental and production companies, as well as architectural projects with LED back lighting systems. 20 years in the lighting and entertainment industry have made her an experienced and knowledgeable partner for ideas and projects of all sizes.
Solveig will be speaking about LED Color Mixing with the focus on Light quality and color temperature – Color Rendering Index.
CEO & Technologist, Option 1 Event Services, UAE
Truly inspired & backed by his visionary father who was a pioneer in the field of manufacturing audio solutions since 1985. Over the past two decades Sujoy has grown the companies he leads into globally renowned event technology, production & content development verticals with headquarters now based in Dubai and liaison offices worldwide; rebranded as Option 1 Events. Content. Technology. He has spearheaded several business verticals to compliment the content & technology integration services; catering to the corporate, retail, television & government sector across the Middle East, Asian & European markets.
Sujoy will be speaking about The Next Game Changer! Vision 2030: Events. Content. Technology.
Tobias 'Toto' Broecking
Lighting Designer, 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.
Toto will be speaking about Lighting Design for Festivals.
Director, 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.
Tom will be speaking about Brief, Design and Construction: The Process of Getting Things Built.
Speakers from previous editions of the show
- Andre Beekmans - The Art of Light, Netherlands
- Andreas Ehrenberger - Eclipse, UAE
- Benjamin Bauwens - Arkaos, Belgium
- Dietmar Rottinghaus - Audio-Visual Media and Sound Technologies, Germany
- Elie Khairallah - Venuetech, UAE
- Karen Beaton - Live Nation Middle East, UAE
- Kate Tooby - Tooby Creative, UAE
- Koert Vermeulen - ACTLD, Belgium
- Lars Toonen - Prolyte Group, Netherlands
- Ola Melzig - M&M Production Management AB, Sweden
- Philipp Schlaechter - La Perle by Dragone, UAE
- Richard Hoare - Unusual Rigging, UAE
- Ryan Penny - Large Venues, EMEA, Harman Professional, UK
- Sam Katiela - Managing & Creative Director, Mamemo Productions, UAE
- Sebastian Hammond - La Perle by Dragone, UAE
- Shane Manning - TECS Events and High & Wired, UAE
- Stuee Kennedy - Singer, presenter & Entertainer, UAE
- Tim Routledge - Tim Routledge Lighting Design Ltd, UK
- Thomas Ovesen - Dubai Arena, UAE
Founder & Lighting Designer, The Art of Light, Netherlands
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 shared his vision on his most outstanding designs and prestigious projects all around the globe.
Head of Rigging, Eclipse Staging Services, UAE
Operations Manager, Arkaos, Belgium
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.
Technical Director, 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.
Operations Director, 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.
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.
Founder & Principal Designer, 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.
Koert will be speaking about Analogue vs. Digital Lighting. Read more about this session
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, he strives to improve and create awareness on the importance of a safe working practice and high-quality products.
Head of Production, 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.
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.
Senior Project Manager, 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's Secret Fashion Show, Madonna UK Tour and London 2012.
Senior Business Development Manager - 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.
Managing & Creative Director, Mamemo Productions, UAE
He is considered a Pioneer in International Strategic Communication & the Live Marketing Industry. His Sporting Innovation BEACH POLO CUP has earned numerous regional & international awards, including the Order of Merit of the HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Creative Sports Award. He developed his own intellectual properties that focus on Environmental & Climate Change issues: MIYAH- World of Water; ALZAD- World of Food; Solaris- The World of Energy; European Summit of Megatrends (ESOM) and more. Sam's close relationship with the Golden Globes/HFPA has also allowed him to create bespoke brand strategies that tie up with Global Partners and Celebrities. Mamemo is one of the most awarded Creative Live Marketing Agencies from the region.
Sound Designer & Head of Sound Operations, 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 his 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.
President, 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.
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.
Director & Lighting Designer, 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.
Chief Programming Officer, 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.