H. Ziya Taşkent |Acting Deputy Undersecretary| Ministry of Culture and Tourism

 

Duygu Kuskulu | Managing Director | Crystal Concepts DMC

“Welcome to the home of enthusiasm and professionalism in travel and event services industry.” “Be further, Be different, and Be perfect”. That is what she says about her business and the ethos it follows.

Her experience of promoting Turkey since 1992 to many countries around the world and the know-how developed during the process, became the founding reason to create Crystal Concepts, which serves as a partner of yours to provide end to end solutions from concept design through to planning, implementation and evaluation both in events and in travel arrangements.

She feels no hesitation to make a full commitment that Crystal Concepts and its dedicated team and values are standing by to offer you wider perspective with solutions for your cutting edge or traditional needs.

 

Colin Cowie | Owner | Colin Cowie Lifestyle

Colin Cowie is a lifestyle guru, television personality, author, interior designer and a party planner. Born in Kitwe, Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland (now Zambia), and educated in South Africa, he moved to the United States in 1985 and founded Colin Cowie Lifestyle in 1992.

Cowie has made regular appearances on the Today Show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, and The Ellen DeGeneres Show. He hosted the daily wedding planning show, Get Married, on Lifetime TV, on which he shared his professional expertise with brides-to-be on fashion, decorating and other wedding related topics.

He was the host of his own television series Everyday Elegance for five seasons. Cowie has been profiled and quoted in many periodicals, including The New York Times, People, Architectural Digest, In Style, Town & Country, Us Weekly, Reader’s Digest, USA Today, TV Guide, The Los Angeles Times, Modern Bride and the Chicago Daily Herald.

Samit Garg | Co-Founder & Director | E-Factor Entertainment Pvt Ltd.

Samit Garg serves as a Director of E-Factor & has been in the experiential events business for over 2 decades, first personally and eventually professionally. He has been instrumental in re-defining the format of large-scale private social events in India and off late done the same with many a few tourism event initiatives for various government organizations.

He is also known for his contribution to the Lifestyle Tourism business by way of establishing the largest hot air ballooning company in India called Skywaltz – now setting sail on waters too by setting up a yachting enterprise.

E-Factor Entertainment co-founded by Samit Garg in 2001 with his friend and partner Jai, is acclaimed as one of the most celebrated wedding management companies in India and has proudly executed such events in more than 15 countries.

 

Bonita Carr | Academy Career Advisor | Arabian Wedding Academy

Bonita started her career in media sales in South Africa working for some of the biggest media brands before moving to Dubai where she continued to work in media with brands such as Dubai 92, Virgin Radio and Star TV before moving to Saudi Arabia to work as a marketing manager for an architectural design firm.

Upon returning to the UAE, Bonita decided to use her media and marketing skills to join the wedding industry to work with BrideClubMe before joining the team at the Arabian Academy of Wedding and Event Planning to focus on Business Development.

Her passion in life is to help others succeed – be it as an individual in the industry or business looking to grow. She is involved with industry organizations such as ILEA to help foster talent and industry growth within the wedding community across the GCC.

 

Meltem Tepeler | Founder President | KM Events

The Founder President of KM Events, Meltem Bayazıt Tepeler, has been the Founder President of Turkish Event Association ‘YEPUD’, the only association in the event industry in Turkey, between 2007-2014. She is the writer of the only wedding destination book in Turkey called ‘ Weddings and İstanbul’, which was published in 2010 and 2012.

She is also the founder and the lecturer of “Event Management Certificate Program” at Bosphorus University Long Life Education Center and one of the Founders and currently the President of ILEA –The International Live Events Association Turkey Chapter.

Lesley Fair | Co-Founder Custard Communications

A confident and effective leader, Lesley Fair has 10 years agency and client-side experience in consultancy. As Regional Vice President of ILEA for Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia, she has proven marketing and events expertise, coupled with strong communications skills and organizational flair.

With a comprehensive experience of pre-, during and post-event management in cross-cultural environments, she is just as at home developing marketing concepts as she is managing budgets or leading projects from concept to de-brief.

Mandeep Singh | CEO & MD | CPM India

Since joining CPM in 2007, Mandeep has been responsible for the establishment, strategic planning and development of CPM in India. CPM India has made itself an established brand name with distinct style in India under his leadership.

Besides India, Mandeep has been responsible for mentoring the leadership team of CPM Vietnam and has helped them to build better operations and processes besides winning new clients. He is also part of the Global Leadership Team of CPM.

With over 25 years of experience and strong skills of Profit Center Management, New Initiatives Development, planning, and implementation Mandeep has effectively led his team. He has ensured an environment to effectively use the international experience of CPM and leverage it with the local expertise to give an efficient solution to their local, regional and global clients. Under his leadership, CPM India has broadened its offerings while maintaining a focus of strong execution at the ground level.

Sumant Jayakrishnan | Owner | Sumant Jayakrishnan Design

 Sumant Jayakrishnan is a scenographer, designer, and installation artist.

Trained initially at the National Institute of Design in Ahmedabad in visual communication & exhibition design, he went on to study theatre, opera design & scenic techniques in London; and then puppetry & lighting design in France. He subsequently spent time in New York as an installation artist and also as a visiting scholar at NYU.

He has been a recipient of the Charles Wallace India Trust Arts Award (1994), the Sanskriti Award (2001), and the Fulbright Arts Fellowship (2002).

He has also been the designer for launch and conceptual events of Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Moschino, Dior, Swarovski and Bulgari in India and designed the launch event (which included the Lady Gaga show) for the Indian Grand Prix (Formula One) in 2011. He recently designed the India Pavilion for the London Design Biennale in September 2016.

He currently designs large Indian Weddings. Indian Wedding projects abroad have included weddings in Italy (Venice, Puglia, Florence, and Capri), Turkey (Istanbul), Kenya (Mombasa), Hungary (Budapest) and the UAE (Dubai, Abu Dhabi).

 

Anamika Khanna | Fashion Designer – India

 The Label Anamika Khanna is synonymous with craft, experimental styles, modern and edgy design as well as subtlety with a Ready to wear collection extending up to Couture. The label has shown internationally at London and Paris Fashion Week as Anamika and sold in major stores like Harrods and Lane Crawford, to name a few.

Following closely on the heels of the success of her show at the Lakme India Fashion Week Grand Finale 2004 was an overwhelming response at the London Fashion Week 2005. This was followed by an exclusive contract with British major, Harrods, and coverage in magazines like Glamour (Paris), Vogue (October 2005, U.K), and Vogue Best Buy. The year 2007 came with an invitation to showcase the brand at the Paris Fashion Week, the first for any Indian designer.

Anamika was listed in the BOF elite list of 500 people shaping the global fashion industry. She has also been invited to the Buckingham Palace for a reception as a part of the India Delegation making the beginning of the British-Indo Cultural Year 2017.

Tomas de Bruyne | CEO | Tomas De Bruyne Floral Experiences Worldwide

Tomas De Bruyne director and founder of Tomas De Bruyne Floral Experiences Worldwide, specializing in large-scale floral art installations for private and social events.

As the poet among the floral event designers, De Bruyne’s original style and personal urge for everything that is beautiful make his creations extraordinary.  His ability to create magical floral installations is because of his power to create concepts playing in space design where he combines functionality with the aesthetics.  Blending unseen creativity with functionality and perfect execution designed by him became is the signature stamp of class, finesse and unbridled passion for perfection.

Author of over 15 books, Tomas De Bruyne is an international floral designer who reached the top by winning multiple international awards.  From personal decorator for Swarovski family over doing multiple large scale floral installations for Indian Weddings to the Senior Advisor for the Olympic Games in Beijing, he creates artistic designs within the customer’s commercial framework.   In 2005 he was honored with a new variety of Gloriosa lily flower which was officially named after Tomas De Bruyne with Princess Nora, wife of HRH Prince Saud of KSA as patroness.

 

Ziad Raphael Nassar | Creator | ONCE Weddings

 Ziad Raphael Nassar, a pioneer Lebanese designer, has conceptualized over fifty royal weddings. Ziad Raphael Nassar has also in his portfolio more than a hundred high-end ceremonies around the Middle East and the GCC.

Hailing from Byblos (1969), Ziad Raphael Nassar saw his career starting in art and design where he chose to begin it in Egypt as a Creative Director, where he led many advertising campaigns. Growing in experience and knowledge in the art scene, Ziad Raphael Nassar decided to bring about a dramatic change in his career and turned to high-end wedding design.

Moving to KSA in 2004, Ziad Raphael Nassar unleashed his creativity in conceptualizing select weddings, where he was entrusted to visualize and execute more than 50 unique ceremonies for the Royal Family in the Kingdom. In light of this success, Ziad Raphael Nassar established ONCE, an event planning and design company specialized in luxury weddings, which moved to Lebanon in 2009.

Baris Yalcinkaya | Lecturer | Consultancy in Digital Transformation

He is a self-motivated, goal-oriented executive with over 15 years combined experience in corporate and educational environments. A creative and innovative manager, administrator, public speaker, and entrepreneur, takes pride in the ability to develop and launch new and diverse products in the digital world.

A recognized and sought-after public speaker brings a wealth of knowledge and highest levels of enthusiasm to all projects undertaken by him. Possess exceptional know how in all parts of the digital ecosystem and ability to incorporate ingenuity with business savvy in successful start-up efforts, marketing strategy, and product branding if available.

Offering 12 years of experience as a training and development executive, he has an outstanding record in designing innovative programs that increase revenues, customer engagement, and digital feedback.

Lakshyaraj Singh Mewar | Executive Director | HRH Group of Hotels

 A prince from the Royal family of Mewar, Lakshyaraj is a direct descendant of luminaries in Indian history such as Maharana Sanga and Maharana Pratap. He was schooled at Mayo College, Ajmer and later at the Blue Mountains Hotel Management School in Australia. Here, he obtained a bachelor of commerce degree and also gained hands-on experience in the hospitality industry, serving at all levels of the business, including as a barista and a waiter!

He later studied management at the Cornell-Nanyang Institute of Hospitality Management, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.

He returned to Udaipur to join the family hospitality and heritage hotels business. His first charge was the redevelopment of the Jagmandir Island Palace, which he transformed from an abandoned ruin to one of the world’s most exclusive wedding destinations.

He has recently been promoted to the position of Executive Director of several companies, including the HRH Group of Hotels. He is also a trustee of the Maharana of Mewar Charitable Foundation set up by his grandfather, HlH Maharana Bhagwat Singh Mewar of Udaipur.

Sarah Feyling | Managing Partner | Couture Events

 As an aficionado of haute couture, it is perhaps no surprise that Sarah Feyling chose to name her company “Couture”.  And true to the nature of the bespoke fashions that make up the world of couture, Sarah has dedicated her career to developing tailor-made, premium events for each individual she has worked with.

Feyling is a pioneer in her field, having established herself as the first wedding planner in Dubai in 2004.  She swiftly grew her database to incorporate a wide range of clients, focusing primarily on the Middle East and more recently building global acclaim and credentials.

Her creative flair and personal interest in designing bespoke events has enabled her to deliver a unique identity for Couture and has led to the company’s renowned expertise in Western, Middle Eastern and Indian weddings.

Aditya Motwane | Director | Motwane Entertainment & Weddings

Over the last 20 years, Aditya Motwane has been at it!

Mustering up great ideas & delighting people with endearing event experiences while creating buzzing, high-energy, award-winning celebratory milestones, with his zestful take on Mega-Events in one of the world’s fastest-growing markets – India! Of course, all inspiration stemmed from his unwavering belief in one simple idea – the immortalization of ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ memories & experiences!

In 2013, he launched ‘MEW’ (Motwane Entertainment & Weddings), an eponymous multi-discipline events crafting & services venture, focused on planning & executing bespoke perfection in the luxury space.

He guests lectures frequently about his work & process and is a much sought-after figure among industry seniors, peers and followers alike for deciphering what makes his cool brand of hip truly hot!

Vijay Arora | CEO | Touchwood Group

Vijay Arora – Founder & Director of Touchwood Entertainment Ltd (since 1997), heads business and its verticals that engage in Large-scale weddings, Public sector events, Artiste Management etc. Carrying over 19 Years of rich experience in managing large format, people & process oriented deliveries, he has effectively led his company to the next level. His extensive knowledge of his product, know-how, and technique have made his company apt for handling projects of any scale in any part of the world.

Blessed with infectious positive energy along with his determination and faith in getting things done against all challenges, the best part is that he carries this positive influx forward to the teams & partners all around and gets them to do the impossible time and again.

Sonal J. Shah | Senior Event Consultant | SJS Events

 Sonal J. Shah is the founder and creative force of Sonal J. Shah Event Consultants, LLC. USA’s most renowned premiere celebrity expert on South Asian and Cross-Cultural Weddings. Sonal J. Shah and her firm have built a stellar reputation for conceiving, designing, and coordinating a long roster of meticulously choreographed, high-end South Asian weddings.

RP Report said that Sonal’s name is synonymous with “High quality, platinum weddings, especially in the South Asian community.” Based in New York City, she has organized weddings around the world and has been featured in Crain’s New York Business, USA Today, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post and the New York Times as well as on television on Style Network’s Whose Wedding Is It Anyway? and Married Away.

She is a most recently a celebrated author. Her first book, The Complete Guide to Planning the Perfect South Asian Wedding, released at the end of 2013.

 

Sushil Wadhwa | Founder & CMD | Platinum World Group

 Sushil Wadhwa has always been an entrepreneur. He started Platinum, a major player in the MICE segment as a three-man show with a humble beginning in 2002. It says a lot for his business and visionary skills that today the company is a leading MICE player and has a large number of premium clients like ABN AMRO, HSBC, Standard Chartered Bank, HLL, Reliance Group to name a few.

Sushil has been instrumental thereby in transforming Platinum into diversified, systems-driven leading MICE house with a great international reputation. He believes in providing quality work to his clients. His motto is to create experiences beyond the extraordinary. His ambition and vision have been the guiding force for Platinum.

He has to his credit, the honor of being the first Indian to be a part of the Starwood MICE Board, Asia-Pacific region. He is a member of Australian Conferences & Events Bureau (ACEB), Society of Incentive & Travel Executives (SITE) and Meeting Professionals International (MPI)

Varvara Peregudova | CEO | BM Wedding

CEO and owner of BMWEDDING agency in Moscow and a passionate wedding expert, planner and speaker. (Destination Wedding Planning Congress along with numerous Russian Wedding Fairs and Workshops)

Varvara has been running her business for more than 10 years extending their wedding planning geography from native Russia to France, Italy, Montenegro, Mallorca, Greece, and Malta.

Starting as a hobby and organizing weddings for her university friends she soon developed into a boutique wedding agency, offering her clients excellent service, unconventional ideas, and first-rate vendors.

BMWEDDING now belongs to the top 5 Moscow wedding agencies, nominated as the “Best Russian Destination Wedding Planner” at the WEDDING Magazine Awards 2016.

Jai Thakore | Co-Founder & Director | E Factor

Dreamer, wordsmith and a creative soul are how Jai Thakore can be best described.
A co-founder & director of E-factor, it is with his keen eye and a sharp sensibility that E-Factor orchestrates, conducts, coordinates and choreographs extraordinary events for some of the world’s most elite clientele.
Blending creativity with functionality, supported by a strong element of practical adaptability and perfect execution, events designed by him at E-Factor bear his signature stamp of class, finesse and unbridled passion for perfection. 
Blessed with sharp entrepreneurial skills & being a true visionary Jai along with his close friend & partner Samit Garg have also ventured into lifestyle & luxury tourism by establishing SkyWaltz – the only licensed commercial Hot Air Ballooning company in India. The brand extension of this is visibly seen in their aviation-themed Café – Sky Waltz café, Jaipur which is completely designed by Jai & aims at making vintage & classic aviation a cult & SkyWaltz a truly aspired & a lifestyle brand.