Abu Dhabi: The first wave of speakers has been announced for the 2014 HSBC Golf Business Forum. The list includes a host of influential names from inside and outside of the golf world, reflecting the Forum’s position as one of the most anticipated gatherings in the golf business calendar.
Innovation and fresh thinking have been placed at the heart of the agenda for the three-day conference, taking place at The Westin Abu Dhabi Golf Resort & Spa from April 28-30.
Specialists with expert knowledge and insight will debate how the game will evolve in the 21st century. A mix of panels, keynote presentations and thought leadership sessions will explore topics including the role of next generation digital technology within the golf industry, the influence of data analytics on performance and changing customer behaviour.
Delegates will also be presented with the very latest trends and research findings relating to global golf development, along with interactive debates including industry powerbrokers and innovators.
The event has been running since 2004 and attracts more than 250 golf industry delegates each year ranging from industry leaders to developers, investors and journalists from more than 40 countries.
Confirmed speakers include:
– Barney Francis, Managing Director, Sky Sports
– Stephen Nuttall, Senior Director, Sports, YouTube EMEA
– Dr Geoff McGrath, Managing Director, McLaren Applied Technologies
– Giles Morgan, Global Head of Sponsorship and Events, HSBC
– Antony Scanlon, Executive Director, International Golf Federation
– Dana Garmany, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Troon
– Ed Smith, Leader Writer, The Times, Author of ‘Luck’
– Andrea Sartori, Head of KPMG Golf Advisory Practice
– Thimon De Jong, Founder, Trend Interpretation Agency, Whetstone
– Christian Purslow, Founding Partner, Mid Ocean Partners
– Andrew Cotter, Golf Commentator, BBC Sport
– Joe Beditz, CEO, National Golf Foundation
– Guy Kinnings, Global Head of Golf, IMG
– Peter Walton, Chief Executive, IAGTO
– Imtiaz Patel, Group CEO Multichoice South Africa, Supersport
– Rupert Hampel, SVP Head of IMG Media, Golf
– Clair Peterson, PGA Tournament Director, John Deere Classic
– Arto Joensuu, CEO, Dubizzle
– Eric Brown, Global Turf Business Manager, Syngenta
Commenting on the initial speaker line-up, HSBC Global Head of Sponsorship and Events, Giles Morgan, said: “The Golf Business Forum is an extension of our sponsorship portfolio from major golf championships to grass-roots programmes around the world and now supporting business in the golf industry.
“As a long standing international sponsor of the sport our ambition is to open up the world of golf and sponsorship of this event is an ideal platform to do that. This is a very impressive list of speakers and I, for one, will be fascinated by what they will have to say on their specialist subjects. This year’s agenda really does offer a wonderful mix of topics and discussion points and I believe it will be a compelling three days in Abu Dhabi. ”
Guy Kinnings, Global Head of Golf, IMG, said: “We are eight weeks away from hosting our first Golf Business Forum and we are delighted by the response of the industry as a whole regarding the direction in which the event is evolving. HSBC’s support is, of course, invaluable, as is the support and interest of so many leading personalities in the golf world.”
**IMG is a Charter Member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation. For more information, please visit www.imggolfcourseservices.com
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