TiLEforum 2011 Florence Speakers

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.

James M Bradburne is Anglo-Canadian.  An architect, designer and museologist, he has designed world expo pavilions, science parks and international art exhibitions.  He was educated in Canada and in England, graduating in architecture with the Architectural Association and taking his doctorate in museology at University of Amsterdam.  Over the past twenty years he has produced exhibitions and organised research projects and conferences for UNESCO, national governments, private foundations and museums in many parts of the world.  He is currently the director general of the Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi, an organisation whose goal is to turn Palazzo Strozzi in Florence into a dynamic cultural centre.

Dr Andreas Braun, born in 1946 in Kitzbuehel, Tyrol, Austria. From 1969 to 1982 he worked as an administrative and constitutional lawyer in the civil service and, in 1982, he was appointed head of “Tirol Werbung”, the Tyrol tourist board, and initiated a number of innovative projects. In early 1995. he became Communications Manager of the Swarovski Group and his first successful initiative was the commercial and communicative positioning of Swarovski Kristallwelten as the new mutual pilot project between industry, tourism and culture, creating a new corporate identity for Swarovski, a traditional industrial company. Swarovski Kristallwelten is the most successful model of a so-called “third place” in Europe and the second most popular visitor attraction in Austria after Schoenbrunn Castle. Braun also holds the position of CEO for d. swarovski tourism services gmbh which operates Swarovski Innsbruck and Swarovski Wien as well. He is a renowned international lecturer and publishes essays on culture, economy and tourism in different media.

Rick Ray, Managing Partner of brandstory italia, is former CEO of one of Italy’s most important marketing communications groups. Together with his partner (brandstoryfounder and chairman, Tony Hodges) he is a participating pioneer in the worldwide resonance of storytelling, for both destinations rooted in place and brands that know no borders. He has partnered strategically with many of the world’s most well-known brand and destination marketers in Italy, the United States, Asia and across Europe. With an MBA from Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management in Chicago, he is also currently Professor of Marketing and Management at the European School of Economics (ESE) in Milano.

René Tillmann was born in 1975 in Vienna, Austria. He holds a masters degree in Business Administration from the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration. He has started his career in 2003 at Hewlett-Packard, where he was holding a management positions in finance, sales, marketing and operations for Central and Eastern European Emerging Markets. Since March 2011 he is holding the position of the Managing Director Loisium Wine World in Austria Langenlois.

Denis Ivoševic “lives in Novigrad, Croatia, and is Head of Tourism for Istria, the most developed tourist area in Croatia. He is also Istria’s man of vision. Denis is very confident and yet displays a disarming humility. Though an advocate of living life well without stress, he ardently rejects the Croatian notion of ‘polako’. “We don’t take it easy here,” he insists with good humour, ”We work very hard to make Istria a success.” The look in his eyes tells me he is genuine! His attitude and manner emit drive and ambition. Denis says he “Thinks more like an Italian” and looks the part, in a casually-smart Italian-style suit, open-neck shirt, styled black, waved hair. In his mid-thirties, He epitomises the serious intention of Croatia to be truly international! As he confidently explains Istria’s Ten Year Plan, his determination to take his country to the top of the league is very evident.”

Dr Terry Stevens MSc, PHD, FRSA, FALA, FTS, MISPA, is the founder and Managing Director of the multi award winning, international leisure/tourism consultancy, Stevens & Associates. The Company, which this year celebrated its 25th anniversary, has now worked in over 40 countries for global development agencies, national and regional governments, as well as a wide range of private sector clients. Terry was recently listed as one of the world’s top five most influential thinkers in the stadia industry (Guinness Global Stadia Business Awards) and was awarded the title of Honorary Professor in Tourism Innovation at UWIC (Cardiff).

Maria Hauser, Director of Marketing, The Stanglwirt Bio Hotel and Spa, Austria returned to help with the Stanglwirt in 2007 having studied Hotel Management in Australia at the Manley International Hotel Management School (Sydney) and working for three years in California in San Diego at the famous Westgate Hotel. This international experience and apprenticeship has been fundamentally important in helping to create a contemporary approach to marketing the Stanglwirt and contributing to its future development strategy. She works closely with her brother, Richard, who is CEO and with her inspirational father, Balthazar Hauser.

Larry Gilbert founded Event Network, Inc. in 1998 and remains president and CEO.  Event Network is the leading operator of gift shops at cultural attractions in North America, with revenues in excess of US$140 million, and is currently working to establish partnerships in Europe. Early in his career, Larry built international trading, micro-brewing, and boutique retail businesses.  It was during this period of “serial entrepreneurship” that he met the individuals responsible for the recovery and conservation of artifacts from the wreck of the RMS Titanic.  That group, RMS Titanic, Inc., desired a partner to operate gift shops at their public exhibitions that traveled to museums.  The initial success of the Titanic stores has led to the over 70 relationships in the cultural attraction community that Event Network supports today.

Kevin Murphy – A veteran technologist having worked in the museum and attractions market for over 30 years, starting at the Natural History Museum in London and working through the pioneering display years up to 1987. He then joined Electrosonic where he held a number of roles at Board level, and was involved in hundreds of attractions and museum projects worldwide as well as taking responsibility for many product developments. He more recently joined Event Communications where he is involved in business development and application of internal technology consultancy within one of Europe’s largest and most experienced design companies.

Malcolm Lewis is a creative consultant, producer and director for Media Projects associates, working across the spectrum of media, in particular large scale immersive experiences. He trained first in Fine Art and then Film Making at The Royal College of Art in London. In a career spanning over thirty years and as many awards, he has worked on historical, cultural and leisure projects around the world and has created centerpiece attractions for British Pavilions at four World Fairs and for the Millennium Dome. He is currently collaborating on a travelling exhibition about the Holocaust destined for Poland and is the Creative Director and content consultant for a large-scale mixed media Sound and Light show for a new cultural leisure park in Egypt, as well as being the AV consultant for a new Children’s Science Discovery Centre in Damascus.

Peter Higgins trained at the Architectural Association and has worked for the BBC, in the West End Theatre, and for design consultancy Imagination. In 1992 he helped form Land Design Studio who have built a reputation in conceptual master planning, design and the innovative use of communication media for museums, visitor attractions and commercial environments. Awards for Land’s digital work including an interactive BAFTA, an Art Directors Club New York Gold and a D&AD Yellow Pencil. Peter has maintained close association with Ars Electronica in Linz since their early collaboration on the Playzone at the Millennium Dome. He is a Visiting Professor at the University of the Arts London and is involved with The Museum Studies Dept at Leicester University.

Academic, designer, producer and researcher operating in the fields of art, design, science and technology with over 16 years’ experience. Several of Fischnaller works relate to the Italian cultural heritage (architecture, urban environments, history, literature and the arts). He is the author of several immersive simulations and  virtual interactive  installations  of ancient, medieval and Renaissance art and architectonic environments with Cave visualization system, multiple wall stereo projection system interactive system, as well as real-time rendering and interactive virtual journey inside legendary masterpieces : paintings, buildings, books. Franz Fischnaller current work focuses on the power of the intersection within ART, design, architecture and  immersive technology. Field of Research & Expertise: Art, design, architecture, augmented reality, virtual reality, immersive technology 3D visualization (stereoscopy),computer graphics animation, 3D stereo film, virtual narrative, digital storytelling, collaborative shared environments, avatars design, human-machine-interaction, visualization display systems, creative interfaces, networking & mobile technology, digital visualization esthetics and techniques.

Oliver Vicars-Harris is passionate about cultural innovation. His background is in the museum sector, where he has held several high profile roles over the last ten years, alongside running a successful consultancy. He started his career championing digital access to art through initiatives such as the Bafta award winning Tate Online and has worked at director level in a number of leading cultural organisations. Oliver’s clients include many major UK museums and performance venues, including the Tate, V&A, BFI, Museum of London, Serpentine Gallery, Roundhouse, and English National Ballet. He specialises in strategic problem solving, assisting clear communication and creative innovation through effective use of multiplatform media to promote content and brand. He is the founder of a new creative agency called Contemporary Vintage with a mission toconnect audiences to culture in new and unexpected ways.

George Wiktor is a principal at The GW Group, a project development and consulting firm providing specialized and independent project support for owners, operators, designers and producers in the international themed entertainment and experience industry. George Wiktor is a creative producer with over twenty five years experience. While navigating the convergence of theater, architecture and media, George has been instrumental in the creation of world-class projects such as museums, corporate information centers, world’s fair pavilions and theme park attractions. The GW Group has just completed the Visitor Experience Master Plan and Concepts for the Visitor Center and Heritage Museum at the Presidio in San Francisco. Prior to founding the GW Group, he was senior producer at The Hettema Group, an experiential design and production firm – his projects included the Russian Jewish Museum in Moscow, Russia; The National WWII Museum Theater presentation in New Orleans and several major projects in the Middle East. George Wiktor is an active member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and also a past President of TEA.

Having worked on Techniquest’s exhibition floor for 3 years, Rhys Evans has a deep understanding of the myriad shows and workshops that are presented to both schools and public audiences. This, along with the delivery of ‘outreach’ to tens of thousands both across Wales and further afield has given him a detailed understand of what does, and does not work, what can be done to improve an existing programme and what benefits there are for those that do not currently engage in ‘outreach’. Now working in Business Development, Rhys trains staff from museums, Governments and NGO’s on the methodology and delivery of ‘outreach’ as well as advising on how best to implement strategy whilst working closely with teams across the world on developing new science centres.

Lucy von Weber has worked within academic leisure research, private sector tourism consultancy and Local Authorities and is currently Project Manager for the South West Wales Tourism Partnership, a body that works with Visit Wales and covers the south west corner of Wales where tourism is a major economic generator. SWWTP has responsibility for implementing the regional tourism strategy via a range of tourism projects via capacity building and business development, marketing and product development involving planning and consultation through to training and grant assistance.  Before joining, Lucy was Principal Tourism Officer with the City and County of Swansea, an area that encompasses the Gower Peninsula in south west Wales and prior to that was Tourism Officer in Carmarthenshire County Council. Lucy is a digital media enthusiast and has just completed her MSc in Digital Marketing Communications with Manchester Metropolitan University. Her research concentrated on tourism businesses and the growth in electronic word of mouth: particularly perceptions, practices and issues of consumer trust associated with the medium.

Ashleigh King defected to the cultural sector fifteen years ago following a spell in fashion buying for the House of Fraser group and hasn’t looked back. Having lead the retail strategy for nmsi (national museums of science and industry) for a number of years Ashleigh now heads up aka -Ashleigh King Associates – offering clients expertise in a range of retail support functions including buying and merchandising, store operations and environment, licensing and ecommerce. With a passion for product Ashleigh has worked with the Natural History Museum, Science Museum, Disney, Aardman, Twinings and Royal Mail to produce signature and licensed collections and is currently developing a licensing programme and delivering a new store for a science centre in Riyadh, KSA.

Anthony Richards has worked in education and museums for over 20 years.  His interest was sparked by a father who had a passion for exhibitions and queuing, particularly moon rock and ancient Egyptians. Anthony studied psychology with a particular interest in child development and informal learning.  At the Science Museum, where he has spent most of his career, Anthony has managed galleries, teams and most often new ideas and programmes.  He formed the successful Explainer team, began the outreach department, led the success of the sleepover programme, took science comedy to the Edinburgh fringe and more recently opened up the Museum once a month specifically for young adults.  He received further training at San Francisco’s Exploratorium and went on to lead the development of the new Launchpad gallery which welcomes over 1.2 million visitors per year.  The Museum continues to be an enriching place to work and Anthony gets to consult on west end plays, judge book prizes, host celebrities and most of all, help people make sense of the museum daily.

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.

Martin Barratt has worked for over 40 years in the attractions industry. Originally an operator he started at age 12 at Woburn Abbey and Safari Park punching tickets and picking litter. After college he worked in rides and entertainment at de Efteling and Europa Park before coming back to the UK in time to help build and operate Chessington World of Adventures. He then spent five years as Operations Director at Alton Towers. In the mid 90s he opened the Royal Armouries Museum and developed factory tours for Wedgwood and Waterford before joining Merlin Entertainments Group in 1999. For Merlin he developed new businesses then ran the Dungeons and Parks division and was an integral member of the team that built the second biggest attraction business in the World. After leaving Merlin, he started his own consultancy specialising in helping attractions reach their full potential, both operationally and commercially, and in the identification of attraction opportunities for public and private sector clients. 

Charles Read is Managing Director of Blooloop.com.   Blooloop is a website providing news, interviews and information for the global visitor attractions industry. Recognised as an industry leader and working with many major attractions across the world it also provides a comprehensive press release service for its clients together with the industry’s fastest news service. His role at Bloolop involves managing the growth of the business, liaising with trade associations and developing the site.