Lesley Morisetti – LM Associates provides economic and research consultancy services to the attractions and entertainment industry. Lesley was previously a Director of the London office of the Economics Practice of AECOM (formally Economics Research Associates/ERA). During her eight years at ERA, she led a wide range of projects with public sector and related clients including the Bibliotheca Alexandrina in Egypt and the Abu Dhabi Environment Agency, and private sector clients including Universal Studios, Warner Bros, Merlin Entertainments, Diageo, Kidzania and HIT Entertainment. Lesley has undertaken studies in a wide range of European locations including the UK, Ireland, France, Italy, Spain, The Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, Poland, Slovakia, and Russia. Prior to joining ERA, Lesley worked for The Tussaud’s Group (TTG) and her responsibilities included coordinating and managing market research across the Group and marketing Chessington World of Adventures.
Michael Collins is one of the founding Principals of Leisure Development Partners (LDP), specialists in the economics of visitor attractions and leisure real estate. Michael has worked in feasibility, improvement strategy and business planning of attractions since the late 1990s. Michael started his career during the late 1990s at Economics Research Associates and has been independent since 2004. LDP works worldwide for developers, owners, operators and governments with an interest in attractions and leisure.
Tony Berry has been with the National Trust since the early 1990’s, working regionally and nationally in PR, marketing, commercial development and learning. As Visitor Experience Director, he’s now responsible for the strategic direction of the Trust’s visitor-facing operations. He has been closely involved in some of the Trust’s most original and eyebrow-raising projects – including the acquisition and opening of Sir Paul McCartney’s childhood home, creating the award-winning visitor experience at the Back to Backs in Birmingham and – more recently – the ‘Bringing Places to Life’ strategy that is transforming the way the Trust presents its properties.
Duncan Campbell has over 20 years of experience in the attractions industry, through strategic planning and operations roles for city centre attractions and theme parks in the UK and the USA. Since 2000 Duncan has worked on the international roll-out of Merlin attractions, and he is currently responsible for market and site evaluation for new attraction openings, as part of the team delivering Merlin Entertainments’ rapid global expansion.
Blair Parkin has been involved in the long-term building of many of the world’s most exciting public places and is a technologist with extensive experience of the audio-visual, visualization, presentation and computing markets. During his career, Blair has built two successful UK businesses and brings considerable value to the UK economy. In his current role as the Managing Director and Founder of Visual Acuity Limited, Blair works closely with clients and sustainable development including financial and operational sustainability, social responsibility and leadership in energy and environmental design is an area that Blair is acknowledged as an international expert. His role as lead consultant is to facilitate the requirements of many different stakeholder needs including politicians, heads of state, government officials, scientists, domain experts, high net worth individuals, architects, designers, constructors and technologists. His recent projects in South Africa and the US have also had very wide public consultation.
Alex Carru is the CEO and founder of MEDIALON, the industry leader in Show and Media Control. With a Master in business and a passion for A/V and photography, Alex Carru has successively been working as a Sales Manager and Marketing Director of a French A/V company in the 1980’s to finally create in 1992, his own A/V technology company, specialized in control software. In 2004, he also opened the US market by founding a branch office in Florida. Alex Carru helped design the right products and extended the use of show control technology in the live events industry (Broadway shows, rock tours, etc.), where it was not so common. Alex Carru counts on his asset several large show control systems projects studies, conception and coordination for prestigious US casinos, famous theme parks and innovative planetari. His latest contribution to the entertainment industry is the management of engineer team who design the next generation of Show Controller based on industrial PLCs.
Damian Andrews’ industry experience dates back to the 1990s when, while studying for a Diploma in Audio Visual Design, he worked in the technical department of Middlesbrough Theatre. He subsequently studied Electrical Engineering for Theatre, before embarking on a large-scale tour as production electrician and working as Company Stage Manager for the Carl Rosa Opera. Several years travelling the world as a technical manager in the cruise industry culminated in the appointment as Senior Production Manager on the Queen Mary 2 overseeing the operation of multiple entertainment spaces. He subsequently worked on other planetarium projects globally, including the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco. Prior to joining Visual Acuity he worked in Australia for Staging Connections, an event services company, where he was Operations Manager. Prior to that, he was Technical Director and at the Gaiety Theatre, Dublin.
John Davies heads up the UK division of OmniTicket Network (part of The Best Union Group), which he opened in 1994. He has more than 24 years of experience in the field of automated ticketing and access control systems. Prior to entering this market, he utilised his background in electrical and electronics in various management roles, including defence technology and microprocessor production.
Professor Anders Ynnerman received a Ph.D. in physics from Gothenburg University. During the early 90s he was at Oxford University, UK, and Vanderbilt University, USA. From 1997 to 2002, he directed the Swedish National Supercomputer Centre and from 2002 to 2006 he directed the Swedish National Infrastructure for Computing (SNIC). Since 1999 he has held a chair in scientific visualization and is the director of the Norrköping Visualization Center. He is a member of the Swedish Royal Academy of Engineering Sciences and a board member of the Swedish Research Council. In 2007 Ynnerman was awarded the Akzo Nobel Science award and the Golden Mouse award for Swedish IT-person of the year. In 2009 he received the Athena Award for best medical clinical research in Sweden and in 2010 he received the Swedish Knowledge Award for dissemination of scientific knowledge to the public. In 2011 he received the IVA gold medal from the King of Sweden.
Yael Coifman is a founding partner of Leisure Development Partners (LDP), a specialised consulting practice focused on the worldwide visitor attraction and leisure industry. LDP focuses on market and economic testing for both new projects and existing operations, providing services to the development, investment and operations communities. Prior to founding LDP, Yael was a Director at ERA based in Los Angeles, Washington DC, and London. During her 15 years consulting in the industry, Yael has completed projects in over 40 countries, throughout Europe, the Middle East, the Americas, and Asia. Her recent clients have ranged from the larger multinational operating groups such as SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment and Tivoli Gardens, to independently driven projects such as the EarthQuest Resort and Theme park in Texas. She is currently working on a new specialty attraction project in Beirut, a redevelopment of the Hastings pier in the UK, an attraction driven resort in the US, and a confidential project in Switzerland. Yael has an MBA in international business and is fluent in both French and Spanish.
Stefan Denig is leading Siemens’ research program on sustainable infrastructure and resource efficiency in urban agglomerations. A comprehensive stakeholder research on urban infrastructure in the world’s largest cities was published at the 2007 World Economic Forum in Davos (“Megacity Challenges – A Stakeholder perspective”). He also led the development of the first sustainability ranking of Europe’s major cities which was published at the 2009 UN Climate Conference in Copenhagen (COP15) and rolled out worldwide with subsequent reports on Asia, Latin America, Africa and USA/Canada. Stefan will be heading communication for The Crystal, a sustainable cities initiative by Siemens that explores how we can create a better future for our cities. It will be home to the world’s largest exhibition focused on urban sustainability.
James Harding is an International Trade Adviser within UK Trade & Investment’s London region, specialising in supporting the Experience Economy and Leisure and Entertainment sectors. Before joining UKTI James held a number of senior industry roles including Senior Vice President Europe for Paramount and Universal Studios; Executive Vice President Europe for Technicolor; Managing Consultant for Tourism and Leisure clients at Deloitte. His sector experience includes market appraisal and development planning, project design, operations management and enterprise marketing . He has worked across most major international markets including Europe, Far East and China and the Americas and has supported a wide range of organisations including museums and galleries; leisure product manufacturers; suppliers of services to events and tourist attractions.
Kevin McCole joined the UK India Business Council (UKIBC) in December 2008, immediately following 3 years working in Kolkata at the British Deputy High Commission. In this role, Kevin helped UK businesses win contracts and find partners in Eastern India and assisted Indian companies expand into the UK. At the UKIBC, Kevin co-ordinates the work of the team, including the sector specialists, membership management, research and knowledge, events and delegations and media and communications staff. Kevin also manages relationships with UK Trade and Investment and other stakeholders.
Kalpesh Shah started in this sector 18 years ago with a job with FAMILY WORLD, an entertainment club in Hyderabad. This was followed by development of entertainment zones in UAE; a joint venture with Scenic Route as aesthetic conceptualisation and the miniature model making for 5+ years. Inspired and motivated, he returned to Hyderabad, and was instrumental in putting the tourism policy for the state government was in charge of Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry on tourism, and initiated several municipal parks for the state government and developed and consulted on entertainment parks, theme parks and festivals, including FEC Snow zone, Prasad’s IMAX, Mount Opera and the Hyderabad Kite Festival 2012. At present, he is CEO of Vibrant Infra Pvt Ltd. Vibrant builds and develops entertainment zones with its initial development an entertainment arena, with sports arena, near Hyderabad airport. In the pipeline are a 80 meter wheel in collaboration with Vekoma in the heart of the city on the bank of the famous Lake Hussain Sager, a petting zoo and Mini India, a traditional theme park.
Alan Wilkinson is a well known figure in the world of audio visual and special effects. Currently business development manager and lead European consultant for an international audio visual company specializing in high end museum and theme-park technology. Alan has also worked on the operations and creative design sides of the industry and has been involved in the business for more years than he will admit to.
Robert S Simpson co-founded Electrosonic Ltd in 1964, and Electrosonic Inc (USA) in 1972. He was Chairman of Electrosonic Ltd for the period 1964 2004, and is now a director of, and adviser to, the international Electrosonic Group. He is a frequent writer and lecturer on Audio Visual and Lighting Control topics, and his books include “Videowalls – The Book of the Big Electronic Image” (Focal Press 1997) and “Lighting Control – Technology and Applications” (Focal Press 2003). In respect of audio-visual and display engineering, he has worked on many EXPO, museum, theme park and permanent exhibition projects. He is a life member of the SMPTE (USA), a member of the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America, a Fellow of the BKSTS (UK), and a member of the Society for Information Display (USA). In 2008 he was awarded the INFOCOMM Distinguished Achievement Award.
Peter Ed has worked with professional lighting since the early 1980s. Starting off touring large scale musicals he moved on to develop a generation of groundbreaking theatrical control and dimming equipment before taking on business development in the Themed and Cruise Ship markets. He was the first President of the European division of TEA. Peter started working with the nascent Low Resolution LED Video industry in 2001, on its introduction in Europe and North America. Seeing the need to combine designers and architects requirements for large, bold and emotional visual statements with the new technology of Low Resolution LED Video, he formed Light Emissions, to develop appropriate technology and functionality for fixed installations in architectural spaces.