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Educational inspiration

Educational inspiration


Time is running out for you to register for free at BLEND Abu Dhabi, at Yas Conference Centre on October 17. Don’t miss out on the educational inspiration on offer from some of the most influential names in the business.

During a packed programme of keynote presentations, workshops and networking sessions, attendees will debate some of the most pressing issues for planners working in today’s competitive marketplace.

Content will range from the effective use of technology and its evolution in the year ahead, to strategies for hosting engaging conferences, and international best practices in event catering, delivered by the industry’s leading lights.

Widely regarded as the world’s top event-industry influencer, Julius Solaris heads the bill, and his unmissable keynote session, ‘Successful Events of the Future (And How to Plan Them)’, as well as a workshop ‘Event Tech: The Good and the Great’, are set to reveal some of the opportunities that lie ahead.

Solaris says: “The shift that needs to happen next year is between what we think is cool and what attendees really want. What do they want to achieve by attending your event? How will you connect them to each other?

“We often forget that true engagement happens when attendees are connected to each other. Of course, speakers and performers are very important but are you using meeting design principles to foster participation? Are you using matchmaking tech to connect them better?”

Another top influencer and author, Adrian Segar joins the prestigious panel to offer advice on how to host conferences that leave stale formats behind to truly engage. An expert in particle physics who knows how to get the chemistry of conferences just right, he champions a collaborative approach to event planning.

Segar says: “In my workshop, I’ll give participants a taste of what experiential learning can be like. Participants will learn useful information about each other, and experience the benefits of active rather than passive learning.”

Bringing more than two decades of experience to the line-up, speaker Shawna Suckow is the founder of SPIN: the Senior Planners Industry Network, which has in the past 10 years grown to include almost 3,000 planner members. Suckow has seen a great deal of change within the meeting and events landscape and has a keen eye for spotting industry shifts.

She says: “Events have evolved tremendously over the past decade. Technology has really challenged us as planners to keep up with the growing demands of audiences with shorter attention spans, and hunger for more innovation in how we deliver content.”

Completing the speaker line-up is one of the world’s top names when it comes to catering for events. With the London Olympics and the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics just some of the impressive credits to his name, David Russell is considered a leader in the event catering field. A professor of tourism, hospitality and leisure, as well as a qualified nutritionist, his firm has most recently been appointed to handle the catering strategy for Expo 2020 Dubai.

Russell says: “I am pleased to be taking part in BLEND Abu Dhabi, I believe Yas Conference Centre breaks new ground in the event marketplace and utilises contemporary technology which will build to be a leading force.

“The market in the region itself is reaching maturity and with that comes the opportunity to consistently reinvent the product and service offering.”

As well as the top international speakers, important figures from the local event and tourism industry will also be on hand to offer insights and analysis of the challenges and opportunities ahead.

Organised by Yas Conference Centre and sourceME, the brand new one-day annual conference on the capital’s Yas Island will also showcase the fantastic event offering at Yas Marina Circuit.