EMEC17 has a fantastic lineup of speakers and subject matter experts to give you fresh ideas, keep you current on trends and create exciting new pathways for your events —and your career. View our education >

Sean Blair
EMEC17 facilitator

Founder of ProMeet

Sean Blair is the founder of a ProMeet, an international professional facilitation business. He facilitates learning, growth and change in meetings, workshops, conferences all over the world. Sean has written, spoken and broadcast, on TV and radio on design, innovation and creativity in the UK and overseas. Sean also lectures on MBA programmes.

Sean is a certified LEGO® Serious Play® Facilitator and one of the LEGO® Serious Play® community's most active practitioners. He set up the first LEGO® Serious Play® MeetUp group in London, there are now over 40 groups globally. His new book, ‘Serious Work’ explains how to facilitate LEGO® Serious Play® meetings and workshops.

Sean is part of the leadership team of EMENA International Association of Facilitators (IAF), an organisation that promotes the power of facilitation. He is an IAF Professional Facilitator and a winner of an IAF 'Facilitation Impact Award’.

Monica Deza

CEO of Bendit Thinking

Mónica Deza is a prestigious internationally recognized strategic marketing executive with a successful career in top management of multinational groups of creativity and media, strategic communication and marketing, furthermore a pioneer in technological innovation and digital marketing.

She is currently the global CEO of Bendit Thinking Digital Transformation and Innovation Consultancy. The Southern EMEA Presidency of the media operations of the Interpublic Group, Universal McCann and Magna Global. She has been a founder and primary Vice President of the MMA (Mobile Marketing Association) as well as a member of the Board of Directors of entities such as APD (Association for Progressive Management) in Spain and Latin America and President of AINACE (Iberian Association of Applied Neuroscience To the Communication).

She graduated in Good Corporate Governance by the ICA, PDG by IESE, Master in Marketing Management by UCLA (USA), Degree in Advertising and PR by the Complutense University of Madrid and Technician in Business and Tourism Activities by the Rey Juan Carlos University. She is currently preparing his doctorate at the Polytechnic University on Neurotechnology and Human Behavior.

David Beckett

Creator of The Pitch Canvas©

David Beckett is a former Country Director at Canon, where he spent 16 years in a corporate career. At the age of 42, he took a 180 degree turn in his personal and professional life, spending two years travelling the world and writing a book about his chosen home city, titled ‘Amsterdam… The Essence’. He turned to his two passions of Coaching and Presentation in 2013, and quickly began working with Startups and Innovation teams.

He is the creator of The Pitch Canvas©, and author of Three Minute Presentation. He co-authored a book in Dutch, ‘Zet Jezelf Op De Kaart (Put yourself on the map)’ with his wife, journalist Sheila Schenkel. He balances coaching assignments across Europe with a busy family life, as the father of two young children.

Boris Nikolai Konrad, PhD, CSP

The Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour at Radboud University

Dr. Boris Nikolai Konrad is a well-known memory expert and World Memory Team Champion. The neuroscientist holds four Guinness World Records for memory, including "Most Names and Faces memorized in 15 minutes" with 215 names learned and correctly recalled to the corresponding faces.

Boris works as neuroscientist at Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behavior in the Netherlands. He is the only PhD in the World whose PhD topic was Superior Memory. Frequently seen on TV all over the World including the Chinese Superbrain show with 100+ million viewers and regarded as one of the Worlds most foremost experts on memory improvement, he made his passion his profession. As keynote speaker, author and trainer he works for companies and groups globally, helping them to improve their memories and remember anything they want.

Claus Raasted & Paul Bulencea

Founders of the College of Extraordinary Experiences

When Paul Bulencea (MA in Innovation in Tourism) and Claus Raasted (not even a BA in Philosophy) are not at each others’ throats over professional disagreements, they're creating extraordinary experiences. Bulencea is the analytical innovator. Raasted is the production powerhouse. They are both Founders of the College of Extraordinary Experiences, together with Jane Fleming, Mark Ordesky and Joe Pine.

When asked to provide “pertinent person details”, the two often go off on weird tangents, and tell outrageous stories. Bulencea once got a gun pulled on him atop a mountain in Georgia and Raasted is featured in a documentary about open relationships. If you meet them, don't ask to hear the Batman joke, but instead the story about the Batman joke, which is much better. The joke is pretty bad.

The pair are also fans of presenting bios that sound like they're shared at a 4 am drunken binge rather than on LinkedIn, but in case there are people who like the boring and “serious”, here's some nice-sounding facts to end the bio:

Paul Bulencea: Author of Gamification in Tourism. Lecturer, Consultant, Experience Designer

Claus Raasted: Author of 22 books. Speaker, Producer, Community Builder

Blaise Agresti

PGHM of Chamonix


Emmanuel Andre

MCI Group

Emmanuel Andre, Health and Security Engineer, has been in charge of the Health and Safety of MCI Group (2,000 employees) for 10 years. He defines the security strategy of the MCI group, develops the tools and supports the teams in securing their events. For example, in 2015, he worked on securing a congress in a high-risk terrorist sector. In addition, he is in charge of crisis management at MCI and managed, for example, the Ebola crisis which affected the world of events in recent years.

Elena Rodríguez Blanco


Elena Rodríguez Blanco is a social entrepreneur and is currently the CEO and co-founder of Authenticitys. She grew up in Central America and has worked in three different continents including over a decade of experience in projects for public and private institutions such as Deutsche Bank (NYC), the European Central Bank (Frankfurt) and General Electric International. She has honed her expertise in social innovation and has served as a mentor and coach for more than 300+ organisations and entrepreneurs through ESADE-BBVA Momentum Project, StartupPirates, Sustainability Jam , Service Design Jam,Team Academy Start Up Process, and MakeSense amongst others.

Elena has a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from Università Bocconi (exchange in Wharton School) a Masters in Development Management from London School of Economics and a Masters in Team Coaching Entrepreneurship pedagogy from Team Academy and Partus.

Jessica Blechingberg


Jessica Blechinberg is a newly graduated student with a degree in marketing management. Jessica has a background in volunteering for events such as Copenhagen Fashion Week, Roskilde Festival and Slush among others. Since February 2016 Jessica has been a part of the Slush Global Community Team, responsible for the Nordic Operations. Together with the #NordicMade community Slush has showcased the Nordic startup ecosystem in Tokyo, New York, Shanghai and San Francisco.

Terri Breining

Breining Group, Inc.

Theresa Breining, CMP, CMM is a principal with Breining Group LLC, whose focus is facilitating, training and consulting in the meeting industry. Terri has been in the meeting planning industry for several decades, and was responsible for producing meetings around the globe. Considered by many to be a thought leader, Terri is an activist working tirelessly on the continuous advancement of the level of professionalism in the meeting industry, and has served as adjunct faculty for meeting planning programs for universities for many years. She is a sought after speaker, presenting educational workshops for a variety of business entities, and co-authored a book with Jack Phillips, entitled Return on Investment in Meetings and Events.

A long time member of Meeting Professionals International (MPI), she has been acknowledged professionally many times over the years, including being awarded MPI’s Meeting Planner of the Year in 2001, and her inclusion several times as one of the "Most Influential People in the Meeting Industry". In recognition of her lifetime of leadership, she was inducted into the Convention Industry Council’s Hall of Leaders in 2010.

Simon Dufaur

MCI Benelux

Simon Dufaur is the lead Strategy Consultant at MCI Benelux and works with a range of international association clients and corporations to help make them more valuable. He advises on the big decisions (such as strategy, operations, and organisation) to help them generate substantial and lasting impact. Simon also specialises within the healthcare sector. Prior to his current role, he was the Global Director for Healthcare & Life Sciences at MCI Group and assisted medical associations and pharmaceutical companies in managing the increasingly complex regulatory changes and building high-level stakeholder alliances through strategic advice and service development.

Simon is MPI's lead instructor in Europe for the Healthcare Meetings Compliance Certificate. He is a highly-skilled expert on issues affecting the industry and regularly shares his expertise as a speaker at international conferences. Simon welcomes connection via LinkedIn.

Ciara Feely

Conference Converter

Ciara Feely teaches an approach to the Meetings & Event Market that grows your RevPAR and Profitability. (John Simonich, Area Director IHG) Being able to capture the interest of your clients is one of the most important skills you can develop in business. Ciara shows sales teams how to do that so they attract & convert more leads and win more market share. She has developed a Simple 7 Steps to WIN Program on how to do this. What is unique about Ciara's program is she brings the Meeting Planner’s perspective to the table with her interactive workshops.

She is the Author of the book "Steps to WIN in the Meetings Market" on how venues can WIN more Market Share, build better revenue driving relationships with Planners and fill their venue with more profitable business.

Ciara helps Hotels to persuade Decision Makers to BUY! She has been an Agent for 10 years (and a hotelier before that). She writes articles for international publications and runs online workshops & webinars (ConferenceConverter.com) on her mission – to get hotels and venues to STOP SELLING - and how to build TRUST instead.

Ciara@ConferenceConverter.com; +353 86 3611428; www.ConferenceConverter.com

Roel Frissen

EventCanvas.org Foundation and Event Model Generation

Roel Frissen is an entrepreneur, speaker, facilitator and event designer for corporations and associations. On a quest to create a common and visual language to ease the conversation between Event Planner and Event Owner, he created the Event Canvas together with Ruud Janssen. Roel is the co-founder of EventCanvas.org Foundation and Event Model Generation-the event design consulting & training firm.

Ruud Janssen,CMM, DES

EventCanvas.org Foundation and Event Model Generation

Switzerland-based Ruud Janssen is driven to help teams in NGO’s, membership based organisations and corporations discover how to design better events to create change that matters. As a globe-trotting innovator, he is a trusted trainer and advisor to inspired clients like the International Olympic Committee, UN and Internet Society. He believes in delivering innovation by thinking differently based on functional, social and technological advancements using business and event model innovation. Together with Roel Frissen he created the #EventCanvas and is the co-founder of EventCanvas.org Foundation and Event Model Generation-the event design consulting & training firm.

Gerrit Jessen

MCI Group

Berlin based Gerrit Jessen, CMM CMP is a seasoned entrepreneur who has successfully lead and motivated teams in the last 25 years to achieve personal and organizational success. During the last 9 years he was instrumental in growing MCI in Germany from a team of 30 to 130 staff in 4 offices, including the integration of 2 acquired teams. He holds volunteer board positions with industry association such as MPI; the German Convention Bureau and the visitBerlin Convention Partner. In order to be open for new ventures he transferred responsibility to the next generation in January 2017 but currently is still senior advisor for MCI. He recently participated in the Event Design Certificate (EDC) Program and is a strong advocate of the concept. His mantra: Listen to understand, not to answer.

Karin Krogh

Speaker, Coach, Author and Facilitator

Karin Krogh's profession is to advise, teach, and give lectures on how to achieve even more personal impact when you take the stage, hold meetings or have one-on-one talks. She takes each individual and what she/he has a passion for working with as her starting point. Furthermore, she is an award-winning facilitator, who takes control of meetings and generates energy at courses and conferences with both commitment and enthusiasm.

Karin Krogh feels that good communication is the root of all things good, for example job satisfaction and more personal impact. Karin Krogh has worked within this area for more than 20 years. She has headed both national and international conferences with, among others, Bill Gates and Michael Dell as keynote speakers.

She has been an advisor to professional lecturers, executive managers, entrepreneurs, politicians, and students. She herself is also a practising lecturer with a geeky interest in all things presentation related, and she has invented The Happiness Model.

In 2015 she was awarded the price for Best Content Facilitator by the MPI (Meeting Professionals International) Denmark. In 2015-2016 she was President of MPI Denmark.

To the joy of her audience, she works according to the motto – keep it clever AND funny!

Fabio Lomeña


Fabio Lomeña is the Malaga Office Manager and Sales Manager of "the" company that generates thrilling experiences for corporate events. He has been immersed in the world of corporate events for several years now, with a very personal view of the industry, eager to sum up his talent to make all the companies realize that the maximum value that they have is the human team they work with.

Started as a guide in Active Tourism experiences in the company once he accumulated the experience, he moved to the organization of the events “back office” to learn how to create, organize and develope an activity from the scratch, becoming finally a Event Coordinator, as well as the Sales Manager of Exploramás.

Fernando Sanchez-Mayoral


Fernando's career started on the F&A area but soon he moved to consulting in the IT industry-Business applications area, acting as consultant first and later in sales and marketing positions. Presales consultant and solution marketing expert on the F&A area-business applications. As a marketing director, he was responsible for business development in the EMEA area, conducting business generation projects at European level. In 2003, he was promoted to the global marketing organization of SAP focused on event projects direction. Currently, Fernando manages event marketing 360 degree campaigns at global level and implements event governance and common brand experience worldwide. He is responsible for event strategy and execution globally for the Tradeshows portfolio of SAP SE. Fernando is member of the Board of Directors of EMA – Event Manager Association of Spain as well as other professional associations such as MPI.

Evalisa Persson

Lime DMC

Evalisa Persson is the General Manager & founder of Lime DMC, a company dedicated to find "the perfect place for one of your best memories". That means to deliver optimism through hard work behind the scenes and to create out-of-the-box scenarios.

It all begun by working as sales assistant at a travel agency when the spark was lit to take corporate travel and incentive trips to another level. With that insight an entrepreneur was born.

Throughout the last years the lead star has been to pursue growth and learning, to maintain a winning relationship both with partners and clients and to promote local economy where the events take place.

Kristi Casey Sanders, DES

Meeting Professionals International

Kristi Casey Sanders passionately believes in the power of curiosity, the magic of technology and the alchemy of human connections. As Director of Professional Development for Meeting Professionals International, she helps design the content and educational programming meeting professionals’ need to succeed and advance in their careers. Kristi loves exchanging ideas about event design, storytelling, strategy, innovation, digital marketing and the neuroscience of human behavior, engagement and deep learning.

Janet Sperstad, CMP

Madison Area Technical College

Janet Sperstad’s 25-year global professional history reflects her lifelong vocation: driving excellence in meeting and event management execution and education. She has dedicated her career to defining the competencies and career pathways that articulate meeting planning as a design discipline requiring skills in the social sciences, executive leadership, and the cognitive sciences. She has an Executive Masters in Neuroleadership and is a Certified Meeting Professional.

She currently leads Madison College’s Meeting and Event Management Associate degree program, which she founded in 2002. This program has been selected as a Competency Model Champion by the U.S. Department of Labor. Ms. Sperstad has written for and been featured in a variety of industry publications, academic journals and authored a leading industry white paper on neuroscience and event design.

Jessie States, CMM

Meeting Professionals International

Jessie States has been a part of the meeting and event community since 2006 and is currently the manager of professional development for Meeting Professionals International, where she delivers education in support of MPI’s global live event portfolio. She designs and facilitates the interactive 1:1 and one-on-few experiences at MPI’s live events, showcasing unique learning experiences and personalized education. She works with MPI partners to create industry-leading case studies and educational courses, sharing best practices from companies across the globe. She also works with the professional development team to create certificate programs, specifically in the areas of determining business value, designing engaging experiences and creating a sense of place at meetings and events.

Jessie earned her bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of North Texas in 2001, and she has won several honors for her writing from the Texas Press Association, the Society of Business Publication Editors and APEX.

Charles-Eric Vilain XIIII

Alex & Alex

Charles-Eric is an expert for more than 25 years in the Tourism, Meetings & Incentive industry. Passionate about wine, champagne & chocolate since ever, he became a well respected oenologist (wine expert), giving presentations around the globe. He's eager to discover hidden treasures: exclusive local wines, exceptional cocoa beans or just architectural jewels.