Keynote speakers

Dr Nicole Ferdinand is a Senior Lecturer at the Oxford Brookes School of Hospitality Management, where she specializes in the teaching and research of events management. Her current research interests include the use of data analytics and artificial intelligence in events management and marketing. She regularly publishes in top ranked tourism, marketing and events management journals, such as: Annals of Tourism Research, Tourism Management, Journal of Marketing Management and Event Management. She is also leading editor of Events Management: An International Approach, which is now in its second edition and has been described as the “best undergraduate text book about events management on the market.” She is a regular speaker and presenter for public and private sector organisations, as well as professional associations, which in the last five years have included: Meeting Professionals International (Finland Chapter), Meeting and Events Australia and the Victoria and Albert Museum. She holds a PhD in Culture, Media and the Creative Industries from King’s College London, an MSc in Marketing and a BA in English both from the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine.

Keynote presentation title

Artificial Intelligence and Business Tourism: New Frontiers and New Possibilities

Rob Davidson is the Managing Director

of MICE Knowledge,

a consultancy specialising in research, education and training services for the meetings and events industry. His main areas of expertise are conferences and incentive travel, and he has written seven books on these themes, including his latest publication, Business Events (

He has carried out research projects for a number of major organisations including the Poland Convention Bureau, the Ireland National Tourism Development Authority, and the Society for Incentive Travel Excellence. He is regularly invited to speak at international conferences on themes linked to business events, in particular to present the results of his ongoing research into conference industry trends. Rob also teaches as a Visiting Professor in five European universities, where he educates and inspires Events Management and Tourism Management students every year.

In 2015, he was awarded a Doctorate from the University of Greenwich for his thesis, entitled ‘Technological and Demographic Factors as Agents of Change in the Development of Business Events’.

In 2016, he won the Best Conference Speaker award at the Global Event Awards.

In 2017, he was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award at the IBTM WORLD exhibition in Barcelona.

Keynote presentation title

The contribution of universities to the development of a body of knowledge for business tourism

Ines Antti-Poika is the head of the Finland Convention Bureau where she is responsible for marketing Finland as a destination for international congresses and business events.

Ines has worked for the meetings industry for 18 years; in 2012 she was appointed the director of Helsinki Convention Bureau where she worked until she started as Manager of Business Events at Finland Convention Bureau in March 2019. She has also previously worked as a lecturer of meetings and travel management at Haaga-Helia for one semester.

Finland is ranked among the top 20 most popular congress countries in the world by UIA. Finland Convention Bureau is a part of Visit Finland inside Business Finland.

Ines is passionate about events, sustainability and design. Ines holds a Master's degree in Translation studies and communication from the University of Tampere, Finland. When not at work, she loves to read, travel and do sports.

Keynote presentation title

Finland – Business events at the top of the world