The IAB MICE industry was led by Lars Crama and seven international experts participated. We are honoured to have these IAB members on board, bringing in a wealth of experience and in-depth knowledge: from the MICE industry to sustainability, festivals, innovation, marketing, technology, AI and human-focused design. The bios and personal recommendation to the city government are presented below.
“Leverage existing business networks & relationships and better integrate them with the MICE industry.”
Lars Crama is Managing Director at Innovators Inc and helps enterprise leaders to future proof their business. He is also one of the founding fathers of Arches Capital, a fast-growing group of business angels that is bridging the gap between Venture Capitalist (VCs) and business angels by joining the best of both worlds. Prior to founding Innovators Inc, he scaled a marketing technology agency to 300 employees; launched a Fortune 500 analytics venture into Europe and led corporate venturing programs at multinationals including Unilever, Liberty Global and NN Group. Today, as Private Lead of Up!Rotterdam, he connects and strengthens initiatives to provide Rotterdam based startups and scale-ups with easier access to talent, international markets and financing. He is also the Chief Ambassador for Upstream Festival, a platform and week-long festival to explore the new economy and foster connection, collaboration, and inspiration to scale change. Lars is also a member of the Supervisory Board of Rotterdam Partners.
“Understand the importance of the MICE industry for economic development”
Based in Paris, Bruce Redor is an Anglo-American who has seen his international career develop over a 25-year period in a variety of sectors within the services, hospitality and meetings industries. Bruce began his management career working for a group of hospitals in the San Francisco Bay Area, after having received his Master’s in Hospital Management from U.C. Berkeley. After a five-year consulting stint with the CEGOS group in Paris, he joined the management team that built and operated Disneyland Paris, where he set up and ran the successful business unit for meetings and incentives: Disneyland Paris Business Solutions representing over €60m of annual sales. He then was recruited by the city of Lyon to take on the job of Chief Executive at the Convention and Visitors Bureau, where he was instrumental in turning the city into one of Europe’s leading business-travel and leisure destinations. During his stay, the number of international meetings held in Lyon increased by over 50%. Over the last few years, Bruce has developed a consulting and executive search practice. He has worked with key players in the travel industry including Hilton International, Accor, Expedia, Inc. and Lufthansa Airlines. As a partner at GainingEdge, Bruce has managed a number of strategic projects in the business events sector with a variety of leading destinations in Europe and in Africa.
STARTUP FOUNDER & INVESTOR
“Adopt a more outward looking view than in the past, getting inspiration and learnings from other regions. By combining best practices with your own point of view, Rotterdam can be at the forefront.”
Born and raised in New York City, Christina Caljé is a Goldman Sachs Executive Director turned startup founder and investor. A seasoned entrepreneur in the finance and technology sectors, Christina has launched and scaled businesses across New York, London and Amsterdam. Her hands-on approach has garnered Christina an esteemed reputation in the European startup scene as an effective operator, advisor and leadership role model. She has been profiled in such publications as Emerce, Business Insider, MT/Sprout, Telegraaf, Silicon Canals, RTL-Z and by tech giants Google and T-Mobile. The marketing tech platform she co-founded, Autheos, garnered distinction as a top ‘Startup Disrupting Media’ by EU-Startups and ‘Deep Tech Disrupting Industry’ by EIG Digital. Named by EUtop50 as 'Top Woman Entrepreneur', by Inspiring Fifty as one of the Netherlands' most inspiring women in tech and by Silicon Canals as a ‘powerhouse female entrepreneur’, she is often invited to speak at industry and academic conferences on topics such as marketing innovation, entrepreneur-ship and accountability within AI-systems. Alongside her advisory leadership roles to multiple startups, she has expanded her focus in 2021 to the investment space, partnering with industry and governmental organisations to address the funding gap of underrepresented founders in Europe.
“Step up and get more involved in industry policy initiatives. How are other cities using MICE to drive change?”
For the last 15 years, Guy has been delivering award-winning consulting services focused on helping cities, governments, associations and the hospitality industry step up, scale up and speed up their sustainability programmes and operational practices. Guy is a recognised expert on creating sustainable and regenerative destinations, communities and events. He is the founder and Managing Director of the Global Destinations Sustainability Movement; a transformation platform that engages, inspires and enables destinations to become more regenerative, flourishing and resilient places to visit, meet and live in. Previously Guy was the President of the Green Meeting Industry Council, and from 2006 to 2018 he was the Sustainability Director of MCI, the world’s largest association management, communications and events agency. Guy’s pioneering work has been recognised with 22 sustainability awards including the prestigious Events Industry Council Pacesetter Award, the IMEX-EIC Innovation in Sustainability Award, the UNWTO Innovation Award. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment and teaches Regenerative Leadership at the Esade Business School in Barcelona.
“Understand the crucial importance of digital engagement: for virtual MICE as well as for digital user journeys that result in physical MICE events. The Metaverse is coming. MICE is experiencing its NETFLIX - Blockbuster moment in 2021. Adjust or become less relevant.”
As a world-leading expert in human-focused design and gamification, Joris’ global career in creating engagement spans across 17 years, 15 countries and 7 languages. He has designed human-focused experiences for dozens of Fortune 500s and medium sized companies. He is also a well-known keynote speaker on gamification at conferences throughout Europe, Asia, and Australia. Early in his career, Joris was a high level diplomat in the Netherlands Foreign Service and was responsible for creating people-engagement in high-stress dangerous situations. He also authored and coached the virtual training mission for the NATO mission in Afghanistan (ISAF). In Joris’ work as a Global Advisory Manager for PricewaterhouseCoopers, he continued his engagement consulting services and pioneered a project with the United Nations to achieve better engagement of the organization with its members and beneficiaries. Prior to joining The Octalysis Group, Joris focused on the human resources industry, implementing innovative ways for virtual, distance HR and project management methods in finance, oil and gas and IT. He resided in Indonesia, Singapore and Hong Kong, where he headed up large corporate entities. Joris holds a Masters in International Relations and Economics from the University of Amsterdam and an EMBA from the Kelley School of Business.
“Set up a nimble taskforce of wider stakeholders, there is still a gap.”
Nick Morgan is CEO of We Are The Fair and We Are Placemaking. Nick, has over 23 years’ experience across large-scale event production, licensing and health & safety within public realm, large scale events and festivals. Nick sits on the NOEA Council (National Outdoor Events Association), is Vice Chair of AIF (Association of Independent Festivals), a Vice Chair of BVEP (Business Visits and Event Partnership), Mentor and Facilitator for The High Street Task Force, is a member of the NTIA and strongly believes that the ‘informal events’ industry, an industry that brings in over £5 billion / year, should be championed, developed and supported by Government. More recently Nick joined the Festival DCMS/Public Health England Workforce. The independent festival sector is close to his heart and The Fair are one of the largest independent festival production houses in the UK working across 128 shows from Gala, Peckham to Eastern Electrics, Morden. Nick often speaks on and facilitates discussion on topics that include managing growth, independent festivals, the experience economy, government advocacy, placemaking, licensing and health & safety at many industry events including the Event Production Show, LAEOG and The All Parliamentary Group for Events.
“Create a clear strategy, focus on sectors and ‘yes’ mentality. Rotterdam has a lot going for it, but needs a cohesive story to tell in the MICE space.”
Patrick de Laive is founder and CPO of TNW (The Next Web) a global digital brand that informs, inspires and connects people who love tech through media, events and services. TNW is now part of the Financial Times Group. Patrick has 15 years of experience in building digital products, companies and rolling out award winning large scale events like TNW Conference as well as The Global Boardroom. Patrick is an advisor to several startups in the digital space. He is born and raised in Rotterdam.
“Continue to attract associations meetings. And advocacy is key for a city as Rotterdam. We need politicians involved in the industry.”
Senthil has over 20 years’ experience in the meetings, association and leisure industry. He has held a wide spectrum of positions in the meetings industry. Such as CEO of Convention Bureau of Sri Lanka, Vice President of Kuoni. He moved to Dubai in 2006 and has been working for Congress Solutions International, the Professional Congress Organizer (PCO) arm of Emirates Group, eventually holding responsibility for wide ranging business development, sales and operations functions for some of the largest international meetings held in the UAE, including the World Diabetes Congress, UITP, and World Economic Forum. He has been involved in winning many congress bids for Dubai, UAE and the Region. Senthil has been working with the global association fraternity for more than two decades and has in depth knowledge on global association segment development. He was the Regional Director Middle East for the last three years of the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) headquartered in the Netherlands. Since 2019, he is the Chief Executive Officer of ICCA. He was named Global Business Events Strategist of the Year by PCMA-USA in 2019.