RSMP 2015

The 2015 faculty of the RSMP will be lead by Juan José García, Director of Marketing and Sales, Barceló Congresos.

Our faculty members are not just speakers; they will actively lead the sessions and endeavour to provide as much Return on Investment for each member as possible! Faculty members will be involved in various panel discussions and workshops and they are also available for more private, pre-bookable meetings should members wish to discuss their own individual challenges and projects.

David Bodor
Strategic Business Development Manager
The Hague Convention Bureau
David has been with The Hague Convention Bureau as a destination marketing specialist since 2007. Prior to that he has worked in various positions in advertising , entertainment and business. He holds a degree in Law and Economics. 
David sees himself as a key driver of change within his organisation and focuses on continous business improvement. As such he is charged with overseeing the overall business events strategy of The Hague, the long term development of the city's bureau and its key stakeholder management. David and his team have been awarded numerous industry awards, primarily for the results they've achieved on delivering customer excellence. 

Ares of expertise: (Destination) strategy, sales, marketing, business development, sponsorship & fundraising, event management, and contract negotiation.


Handan Boyce
General Manager
Haliç Congress Centre
Handan Boyce has been the General Manager of the Halic Congress Center in Istanbul since 2011. She experienced 16 years of the hospitality and tourism industry working in international and national hotel chains at various management levels, the last one being the corporate GM of Klassis Hotels and Golf and Country Club. She committed herself to the meeting industry and worked for its development and advocacy both on national and international levels since she took over the position as the General Manager of Istanbul Convention and Visitors Bureau in 2003. Her vigorous and dedicated efforts for the meeting industry were awarded with the Ace of M.I.C.E lifetime achievement in 2012. Handan Boyce is the Board Member of Istanbul CVB, founder of the Turkish Meeting Professionals Association, honorary member of the Turkish Hoteliers Association. 

Areas of expertise: Centre and Event management, sales and marketing, destination marketing 

Twitter: @handanboyce
Patrick Delaney
Managing Partner
Patrick Delaney is Managing Partner alongside Padraic Gilligan at SoolNua, a boutique consultancy firm working in the Meetings and Events industry. Previously, both Patrick and Padraic worked for MCI, a global association, communications and event management company. Patrick’s passion and charisma in the industry has been honoured with various awards at the meeting and events industry’s premier shows including the IMEX Academy Award in 2009 and the EIBTM 2013 Lifetime Achievement Award. Delaney also serves on the advisory board for EIBTM and the Board of Directors for INCON Group, providing his expertise from his last 20+ years of experience.

Areas of expertise: Sales, Marketing, Destination Marketing & Destination Management

Twitter @supergreybeard
Instagram @supergreybeard

Johanna Fischer
Managing Director
tmf dialogue marketing Germany & India
As a well known member of the international MICE community, Johanna and her team are upfront in developing innovative strategies for future-driven sales, marketing and digital content solutions for the meeting industry.

Areas of expertise: Destination marketing, MICE source markets Europe & India, Content marketing and PR, Social media and digital communication

Juan José García (Faculty Leader)
Director of Marketing & Sales
Barceló Congresos
A native of Barbate, located in the province of Cadiz (South of Spain), Juan José has an extensive experience of more than 26 years in the meetings industry.Career-wise, Juan José holds an MBA degree and is highly skilled in project management. He joined the PCO business in 1987 and he held various positions within the sector until he settled in his current position as Director of Sales and Marketing of Barceló Congresos, one of the leading PCO's in Europe and Latin America. Besides the mentioned skills, he is an expert and professional consultant in business development, business strategies, planning and management of bids, destination marketing as well as association management. Juan José is best described as dynamic, inspirational, energetic and passionate about excellence and his impact on audiences. He delivers relevant, current and meaningful presentations with comprehensive content that is both easy to understand and implement. 

Areas of expertise: Marketing & sales, advanced research, business development, business strategies, planning and management of bids, marketing solutions & association management

Rafael Hirschfeld
IFCA (International Financial Cryptography Association)
Rafael Hirschfeld has been a Director of IFCA since its inception in the late 1990's. A volunteer professional association in the area of financial-related data security, IFCA organises an annual internaitonal conference, often in unusual locations. Over the years, Rafael has been involved in most aspects of the association's operationg, on both the scientific and organisational side. In his current role of Site Coordinator, he is responsible for seeking new destinations for the annual event. 

Areas of expertise: Association Board of Directors, Event Planning and Coordination and Proposal Negotiation. 

Natasha Joyner
Events Manager
World Obesity Federation

Natasha Joyner is Events Manager for the World Obesity Federation based in London; she manages the international event portfolio for the organisation including educational conferences, scientific focus groups and its flagship congress which takes place every two years, Natasha organises all aspects of each event, including contract negotiation, registration, abstract management, marketing, funding and sponsorships. Natasha joined World Obesity Federation (formerly IASO) in 2012. Previously, Natasha worked in recruitment gaining her events and administration experience within PR, Communications & Public Affairs and Construction Recruitment.

Areas of expertise: Contract negotiation with suppliers, Sponsorship sales and research, Setting up and managing registration / abstract systems, Project management of the event i.e. coordinating groups from the scientific committee to PCO registration staff to ensure a smooth running event.

Twitter @Tash_Joyner

Martin Sirk
Chief Executive Officer
Martin Sirk was appointed as ICCA CEO in July 2002 after thirteen years in a variety of senior meetings-related sales and marketing positions with ICCA member companies, and seven years prior to that at the start of his career as a leisure tourism marketing specialist with the British Tourist Authority (as VisitBritain was then known). He has worked in Hong Kong, the USA, the UK, and for the last decade has been based in Amsterdam at ICCA Head Office, but travels extensively in all regions of the world to engage with ICCA’s global membership of approx. 1,000 companies and organisations. He has extensive experience working in national and city destination marketing organisations, congress centres, and with a leading global hotel brand, and is an acknowledged expert in the design and organisation of international congresses and the trends that are shaping the future of the meetings industry.

Areas of expertise: association management, international association meetings management, destination marketing, convention sales & bidding processes, meetings industry advocacy, strategic planning, meeting design, future shape of the meetings industry

Twitter: @iccaceosirk


Mireille Swakhoven
Congress Services Manager
FIP (International Pharmaceutical Federation)
Mireille is originally a translator/interpreter (Arabic, French, English, Dutch - specialisation: law and international relations). She studied in The Netherlands, Tunisia and Egypt, and stated her career as a translator/interpreter/PA to H.E the Ambassador of Tunisia in The Hague.
She was recruited by the International Pharmaceutical Federation in 1995, when an Arabic speaking person was needed in the congress department, to prepare for a congress in Cairo.
In 2001, she left FIP for one year to work at Leiden University, Faculty of Law, where she coordinated Moot Court for law students.
she returned to FIP in 2002 and developed her career within the organisation to her current position of Congress Services Manager. 
Mireille is also an active member of, and served as a Secretary General and Executive Committee Member (2008-2012) in the AC Forum (Associations Conference Forum), of which FIP is one of the founding members. 
In her current position, Mireille cooperates with the COO & Congress Director to organise the FIP World Congresses of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences and the FIP Pharmaceutical Sciences World Congresses (PSWC).

Areas of expertise: Congress organising & International Relations

Sonia Thomas
Director of Operations
UFI (The Global Association of the Exhibition Industry)
Sonia Thomas, Director of Operations, has been part of UFI for more than eight years ( She is in charge of the UFI governing bodies, UFI membership, the day to day running of the Paris office, the finances and certain UFI events. She has seen the UFI membership more than double in the time she has been there. Sonia has a B.A Honours Degree in hospitality management, and started her career in the hotel industry. She worked for five years negotiating and purchasing large volumes of hotel rooms (France, Benelux, Greece and Turkey) and organising conference participation for the largest Japanese tour operator. She also worked at a Paris based American law firm specialising in human resources and general management before joining UFI in September 2006. She has two daughters ages 16 and 12. 

Areas of expertise: Events, Research, Sales, Marketing, Finance, Governance

Twitter: @soniajthomas

Also Speaking:
  • Marc Horsmans, Manager Business Marketing, iamsterdam
  • Joyce Wittelaar, Account Manager Congresses (Associations), Rotterdam Partners
  • Paul Gruijthuijsen, Project Manager, Holland Marketing
  • Gerrit Heijkoop, Executive Partner, How Can I Be Social
Which ICCA researchers will you meet at the RSMP?
  • Marco van Itterzon, Director Research, ICCA Head Office
  • Donatella Pace, ICCA Data Research Executive, ICCA Head Office
  • Tim Schwartzman, ICCA Data Research Executive, ICCA Head Office
  • Monica Pataki, Member Support and Research, ICCA North America Office
  • Mike van der Meulen, ICCA Data Researcher, ICCA Head Office
  • Willy Cortus, ICCA Data Research Executive, ICCA Head Office