Hilton Riyadh Hotel & Residences
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Benoit Honnart joined Electra in 2019 as Chief Operating Officer and was appointed Chief Executive Officer on January 1st 2021. He started his career in Shanghai where he worked for almost 10 years before moving to Dubai holding various Directors position in the field of Logistic & Events.
Coming from the supply chain world, his mindset is very in line with our fast-paced industry and Electra’s mission to offer agility to its clients. Electra is a fully integrated solutions provider and production house for events, exhibitions, and environments in the Middle East.
Director of Sales & General Manager, Cvent ME
As Director of Sales & General Manager, Cvent ME, Gokul brings a wealth of knowledge on event technology and vast experience of event management software. From major Corporations to Event Agencies, Travel Management Companies, Non-Profits and Associations, Gokul has successfully helped countless organizations adopt new technology, aimed at streamlining the event planning process, as well as improving the attendee’s experience. Gokul has frequently spoken at industry trade shows across the globe including, Business World, DMA Asia, Saudi CEF etc. He regularly hosts educational lunch seminars, sharing this experiences on the benefits of adopting event management software and enhancing the attendee experience through technology.
Dr James Morgan
Dean, International Tourism and Hospitality College
Dr James Morgan is the curriculum lead at HEART (Hospitality, Events, Arts, Retail and Tourism) Institute at Lincoln College. He is also Dean of the International Tourism and Hospitality College in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. He was previously the course leader of the MA Tourism Management and MA Event Design programmes at the University of Westminster, London. He is also the founder of Event Tech Lab, a partnership community for event technology companies, event professionals and investors. He was voted as one of the Top 100 Most Influential People in the Global Events Industry in 2020 and 2019.
Other awards include being in Eventbrite’s Top 100 Event Professionals in 2016; as well as being awarded the International Live Events Association’s top accolade, the J Robert Graves Pioneer Award for for his services to the association in the same year. He was also voted as one of the Top 20 Industry Changemakers for 2017 by US publication Meetings Net magazine. As a respected international speaker, writer for Mash Media and previously for Event MB, James judge’s industry awards in Europe, North America and the Middle East each year. As a truly international event professional, he is passionate about researching topics on experience design, attendee engagement and technology.
Founder and CEO, Jawraa
Yasser Alobaidan is a visionary leader who connects industries through digitization and leverages digital disruption to transform how governments and industries function.
In his current role as Founder and CEO of Jawraa, Yasser directs the company’s operations, including its subsidiaries and each of its five business units. Under his leadership, Jawraa received Saudi Arabia’s first mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) license, securing its position as an industry pioneer. Yasser is the architect behind the company’s continuing expansion with long-term projects across the public and private sectors.
Acting CEO, Saudi Conventions and Exhibitions General Authority
Amjad Shacker is the CEO (acting) of the Saudi Conventions & Exhibitions General Authority, in addition to his work as an Executive Advisor (part-time) for Strategic Projects at the Royal Commission for Riyadh City. Previously, Amjad worked at Mobily as SVP for Corporate Communications and Branding. He began his career as a news anchor for the English Channel on Saudi TV, and worked as an Executive Director for Corporate Communications at Kingdom Holding Company, managed Corporate Communications for SAGIA, launched Buchanan Middle East as its CEO, worked at ACWA Power Projects as Corporate Communications VP, was the Country Manager for Pedersen & Partners, the General Manager for Corporate Communication at STC, and the Director of Communications at PIF. Amjad also represented STC for three years as a member of the Board of Directors in the Saudi Media Monitoring Company.
Advisor to HE – Conferences and Exhibitions, Royal Commission for Riyadh City
Chiara Palieri is an award-winning MICE Advisor and former Executive Conference Producer who has been featured by CNN, Arab News, Euronews and she is an influential speaker for Gen Y issues, education and women in leadership.
As the only UFI Certified Advisor to the Saudi government, Chiara currently serves as MICE Advisor to His Excellency Fahd Al Rasheed at the Royal Commission for Riyadh, fueled by an ambition to make Riyadh one of the top MICE destinations globally by 2030. In this executive remit, she is tasked with the development and delivery of the sector strategy and the strategic oversight of the MICE event calendar for the capital.
Equipped with 11 years of best-in-class MICE experience that spans across 8 countries, Chiara has produced IPs and managed more than 50 high caliber G2G and B2B LSEs for government entities, top PCOs/PEOs and Fortune 500 companies including Prime Minister's Office (UAE), European Parliament, European Commission, Royal Commission for Riyadh City, British Council, UN Habitat, World Health Organization, Ministry of Infrastructure Development (UAE) and others.
Entertainment & Events Senior Director, Diriyah Gate Development Authority
A major player in the development of the live entertainment industry in the Middle East during the past 19 years, Thomas Ovesen brings a wealth of experience stemming from his tenure at 117Live, Done Events and AEG Ogden. During his career, Thomas has won more awards than any other promoter in the region – from Best Comedy Show through to Best Concert Awards numerous times as well as awards for most of his festival properties, bringing in diverse superstar talents from the likes of Prince, Ed Sheeran, Justin Bieber, One Direction, Eric Clapton and Jennifer Lopez.
Thomas is currently with the DGDA, as Entertainment Director, to develop and support Event and Concert Promotions, Talent, Show and Event Programming.
Event Design & Planning Specialist, ALFALAK co.
Sara Dawagee Has been working in the Events industry since day one where she worked as promoter in grounds all the way to Manage, Plan & Execute more than 600+ events yearly. Sara Has over 10 years of professional experience managing teams on ground and creating memorable experiences.
Sara’s List of achievements include managing IKEA KSA & Bahrain’s internal Events for 6 main locations and 2500+ employee all year round and Handling and working on KAUST (King Abdullah university of science & technology) commencement ceremony with 2000+ attendee along with all year round corporate & VIP events.
Marketing & Events Manager, Acting Corporate Excellence Manager at Makkah Chamber of Commerce & Industry
Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA), Diploma of Exhibitions & International Conferences Management, Project Management Professional (PMP), Specialized in Project Management, Events Management, Marketing & Public Relations with 8+ years of experience, Working as the Marketing & Events Manager, Acting Corporate Excellence Manager at Makkah Chamber of Commerce.