We are a world leader in hotel investment conferences, with a global audience representing 50% of the world’s countries and over 4,000 attendees annually.

Who attends our events?

image

SPEAKERS

Key influencers in the market. Leaders chosen for their industry knowledge, experience and insight.

image

ATTENDEES

Senior figures and decisionmakers; Investors, Hotel Owners, Lenders, Developers, Operators, Hotel Chain Executives, Financial Advisors, Real Estate Agents, Lawyers, Designers, Architects, Consultants, Tourism Officials, Timeshare Developers and Government Officials from all areas of the hotel industry and from all across the World.

image

SPONSORS

Companies that are leaders in the hotel investment industry. They are there to network with delegates, showcase products and provide business solutions.

About Us

Global event organiser Bench Events has a long track record organising premium hotel investment forums across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Latin America . Market-leading annual conferences include the Arabian Hotel Investment Conference (AHIC) in Dubai, now in its 13th year, the Africa Hotel Investment Forum (AHIF) and the new Asia Hotel & Tourism Investment Conference (AHTIC). Most recently, Bench Events launched the Iran Hotel & Tourism Investment Conference (IHTIC), with the inaugural meeting set to be held in Tehran in 2017.

Bench Events partners with the British Hospitality Association on the The Summit in London and has recently expanded into Latin America following a 50% investment in SAHIC the highest-profile hotel and tourism investment conferences in the region with 2017 events in Cuba and Buenos Aires.

As well as offering engaging content and outstanding speakers, Bench Events’ conferences provide an essential networking venue for the global hospitality investment industry. They have achieved a reputation for attracting serious hotel investors, major developers, leading financiers, and C-level hotel executives.

Bench Events’ extensive portfolio also includes the Global Restaurant Investment Forum (GRIF) in Dubai, launched in 2014 to address a gap in the market, and AviaDev Africa, a unique event which brings together airlines, airports, governments and tourism authorities to promote the future air connectivity of Africa.

Spearheading the company is Chairman, Jonathan Worsley, one of the founders of the highly successful International Hotel Investment Forum in Berlin, now in its 20th year.

Bench Events’ mission is enabling prosperity by facilitating growth, networking, and thought leadership in the hospitality industry worldwide.

The Bench Team

photo

Jonathan Worsley

Chairman, Bench Events, Board Director, STR

photo

Jonathan Worsley

Chairman, Bench Events, Board Director, STR

Jonathan Worsley, Chairman of Bench Events, is one of the founders and organisers of multiple leading international conferences for the hotel investment industry, including the Arabian Hotel Investment Conference in Dubai, now in its 13th year, The Summit in London, the Asia Hotel and Tourism Investment Conference and the Africa Hotel Investment Forum.  

More recently, Jonathan and his team have entered the Latin America market partnering with SAHIC in Cuba and Buenos Aires and the inaugural Iran Hotel & Tourism Investment Conference in 2017. 

Bench Events has also branched out into the related fields of aviation and F&B, with the respective launches of AviaDev Africa, inaugurated in 2016, and The Global Restaurant Investment Forum now in its fourth year.

In 1997, Jonathan was one of the founding members of the annual International Hotel Investment Forum (IHIF) in Berlin, a conference he subsequently organised for 19 years, which today attracts over 2,000 delegates. Earlier in his career, Jonathan worked for real estate consultants CBRE & Hotel Partners, hotel advisors PKF and hotel operator Forte & Holiday Inns. 

Jonathan sits as a shareholder and board director of STR, a global benchmarking company with over 50,000 participating hotels following the merger of The Bench, STR and Deloitte’s Hotel Benchmark. He sits on the board of Hotel Swaps, which allows participating members to swap empty hotel rooms with other members around the globe and is an investor in TripTease, the tech start-up that enables hotels to increase direct sales and aims to defeat rate disparity.

Jonathan and his colleagues are actively involved raising money for the communities in which Bench Events works. They raised more than £200,000 for TUSK, Cancer Research and the Rwanda Cricket Stadium Foundation by participating in the Kili Madness challenge and breaking the World Record for the highest game of cricket ever played on top of Kilimanjaro. In 2016, Jonathan cycled from Amsterdam to Berlin with nine others for the opening of IHIF and raised funds for the Anne Frank Trust and Future Talent, a feat he will tackle again in 2017.  

Jonathan is a Trustee of Future Talent, a charity that provides financial support to gifted young musicians in need of financial assistance to pursue their dreams and talent.

T: +44 (0)20 3318 5800 Ext. 5
M: +44 (0)7770 584739
E: jonathan.worsley@benchevents.com

photo

Matthew Weihs

Managing Director

photo

Matthew Weihs

Managing Director

Matthew Weihs is Managing Director of Bench Events. Within this role he focuses on the development of new business opportunities and sales for Bench Events and partners, whilst also supporting the direction of the business and providing commercial support for new product launches.

With over 15 years' experience in B2B conferencing with Guardian News and Media, IQPC and now Bench Events his main responsibilities have been to business develop and manage sales across the portfolio of events.  In 2012 he successfully founded and launched the African Hotel Investment Forum (AHIF) and in 2013 he launched the Morocco Tourism Investment Forum (MTIF) - an invitation only event for the industry. For 2015 he was instrumental in launching the Mediterranean Resort & Hotel Real Estate Forum (MR&H) the newest of the products in the portfolio.  

Named as the Director of the African Chapter of Destination Develop, a full service marketing platform for our investment customers, he continues to strive to provide the best services that will deliver the high standards our customers expect.  

T: +44 (0)20 3318 5800 Ext. 3
M: +44 (0)7858 511012
E: matthew.weihs@benchevents.com

photo

Jennifer Pettinger

Head of Production and Managing Director, Middle East

photo

Jennifer Pettinger

Head of Production and Managing Director, Middle East

Since joining the Bench Events team in 2008, Jennifer has been an integral part of growing the events portfolio.  In 2013 she introduced the Arabian Hotel Investment Conference (AHIC) Regional Briefings Series, expanding AHIC’s presence throughout the region and in 2014 launched the Global Restaurant Investment Forum (GRIF) in Dubai. When not at a conference bossing around the hotel industry’s movers and shakers, Jennifer is working tirelessly to bring hotel and restaurant investors scintillating conference sessions. During her time with Bench, she has amassed a large number of air miles, running conferences on most continents. In doing so she has taken full advantage of exploring the shopping, nightlife and restaurants on offer from Kigali to Casablanca as she firmly believes the world is there to be explored. One of her proudest achievements is being a part of the Bench Events Mt Kili Madness team which broke the World Record for the highest game of cricket ever played raising over £200,000 for charity. Currently residing in Dubai she has lived on four continents but will always call Sydney home.

M: +971 (0)558 840 145
E: jennifer.pettinger@benchevents.com

photo

Sally Marwaha

Event Director

photo

Sally Marwaha

Event Director

With more than 19 years’ experience in conferences and events, Sallys specialities include event management, marketing communications, budget management and logistics. Sally is currently managing the Asia Hotel & Tourism Investment Conference and launched the Iran Hotel & Tourism Investment Conference which is took place for the first time in Tehran in February 2017, aswell as supporting the development and launch of new events across the Bench Events portfolio.  

T: +44 (0)20 3318 5800 Ext. 7
M: +44 (0)7815 081926
E: sally.marwaha@benchevents.com

photo

Mala Patel

Event Director

photo

Mala Patel

Event Director

Mala is responsible for supporting the development and launch of new events across the Bench Events portfolio.  With over 18 years of event management experience; she is an expert at delivering on many different formats of business-to-business events and in her career has led the logistics teams for hosted buyer events as well as conferences. In her previous role as Head of Production she delivered high profile public policy conferences, working with top governmental officials.

Since joining Bench Events, Mala has worked on client partnered events; the Morocco Tourism Investment Forum (MTIF) and The Hospitality & Tourism Summit.  She has successfully managed the Global Restaurant Investment Forum (GRIF) which is now in its 4th year and taken ownership of the Africa Hotel Investment Forum (AHIF)driving and growing the event as the must attend event in Africa.  In 2016, she launched AviaDev in 2016 alongside Jon Howell to add the aviation industry to this growing portfolio of events, Mala continues to develop new events and strategies to take Bench Events further into the African and the Middle Eastern markets.

T: +44 (0)20 3318 5800 Ext. 8
M: +44 (0)7930 573621
E: mala.patel@benchevents.com

photo

Joanne Cardwell

Account Manager

photo

Joanne Cardwell

Account Manager

With over 7 years' experience in the events industry, Joanne oversees the management of sales and relationships with Bench Events clients for the Arabian Hotel Investment Conference and the Africa Hotel Investment Forum.

Joanne has been a member of the Bench team since July 2011, prior to joining Bench, she worked for a London-based conference company for twelve months, before she was relocated to Dubai where she played an integral role in the setting up of the company’s Middle Eastern office. Joanne was based in Dubai for two years managing the event logistics department, before returning to London.

T: +44 (0)20 3318 5800 Ext. 6
M: +44 (0)7813 164 649
E: joanne.cardwell@benchevents.com

photo

Daria Kashurina

Investor Relations Manager

photo

Daria Kashurina

Investor Relations Manager

Daria Kashurina is an Investor Relations Manager of Bench Events. She joined the company in November 2013, while completing her studies at Ecole Hoteliere de Lausanne. Her primary job is to find hospitality investors from every part of the world that would contribute greatly to our events. Currently Daria is working on Iran Hotel & Tourism Investment Conference, Tehran and Global Restaurant Investment Forum, Dubai. At the same time she focuses on new business sales in the Russian market, investigates different oppotunities of launching Regional Briefings in Russia and CIS.

Coming from luxury 5 star backgrounds, Daria aims to deliver excellent service to our clients. Daria also loves skiing, climbing and Pilates in her spare time.

M: +7 916 2433503
E: daria.kashurina@benchevents.com

photo

Jon Howell

Managing Director, AviaDev

photo

Jon Howell

Managing Director, AviaDev

Jon joined Bench Events in July 2015. He holds a Marketing and Management degree from the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne and is based in Manchester, England. He has over 15 years’ experience in the travel and tourism sector, with particular expertise in the B2B events sector, specifically in the field of aviation.  In 2016, Jon was appointed to the position of Global Ambassador for the Gorilla Organization, in recognition of his fundraising efforts.

T: +44 161 818 8469
M: +44 7752207064
E: jon.howell@benchevents.com

photo

Annie Santo

Event Co-ordinator & Personal Assistant to Managing Director Middle East

photo

Annie Santo

Event Co-ordinator & Personal Assistant to Managing Director Middle East

Annie has been a member of the Bench Events team since February 2013.  Originally from New Zealand she spent 12 and a half years working in London for JPMorgan in a variety of areas including, Equity Derivatives Group Accounting Team, UK Finance and Interest Rates Derivatives Middle Office Trade Support. Annie is currently residing in Dubai.  She is is focusing on speaker liaison for and programming support for the Arabian Hotel Investment Forum, in particular the regional briefings.

M: +971 5586 92841
E: annie.santo@benchevents.com

photo

Sacha Serikoff

Programme Director

photo

Sacha Serikoff

Programme Director

Sacha joined the Bench Events team in June 2015.  In her current role, she is involved with content development and programming for selected conferences.

Originally from Geneva, Switzerland, she graduated from the University of St Andrews with a Master in International Relations and Russian.  She spent a year working in the wine trade in London before moving to a hospitality consulting company based in Lausanne, where she focused on developing Executive Education programmes. In her spare time, Sacha enjoys horse riding, golf, and travelling.

M: +254 792 650 662
E: sacha.serikoff@benchevents.com

photo

Anna Kucharska

Database Manager

photo

Anna Kucharska

Database Manager

Anna works as the Database Manager for Bench Events and oversees an extensive database covering the key executives from the hotel, tourism and restaurant investment industry in the EMEA. Anna is a Marketing Specialist with a passion for database management and research and holds a Master degree in Psychology.

photo

Raj Kotecha

Manager, Content Distribution

photo

Raj Kotecha

Manager, Content Distribution

Raj heads up Bench Events content division after previously working in the digital publishing industry across the US and UK, including an acquisition that lead him into The Guardian News and Media, where he met Bench's UK MD Matthew Weihs.  After successfully using social media and content both professionally as an agency owner and previously to grow his audience as a DJ and blogger, Raj is now responsible for our overall content strategy, production and the amplification of our clients brands.

T: +97155 4244630
M: +447951 370090
E: raj@creativecontentagency.com

photo

Simon Edwards

Head of Design

photo

Simon Edwards

Head of Design

Simon is responsible for brand implementation and continuity across the Bench Events portfolio, extending from printed collateral to digital. Originally from Chester, England, and now living and working from central France, he has a huge amount of experience working in many sectors of the design industry, from world-famous luxury hotels and resorts to high-end consumer goods, including brand, product, and interior design.

E: simon@onedotsix.com

The SAHIC Team

photo

Arturo Garcia Rosa

President & Founder, SAHIC President, RHC Latin America

photo

Arturo Garcia Rosa

President & Founder, SAHIC President, RHC Latin America

With more than 35 years of experience in hospitality, Arturo is regarded as one of the leading authorities and advisors in the hotel, travel and tourism industries in Latin America. He is also highly regarded as an exceptional professional and superior mentor. His publications, articles, and presentations reflect his passionate interest in keeping current with industry developments, particularly in his beloved South America, as well as his profound insights, vision, and in-depth knowledge of the industry.

>Arturo’s career is as extensive as it is prestigious in the hospitality sector in Latin America; he was President & Managing Director of Buenos Aires’ renowned Alvear Palace Hotel from 1984 to 1995, where he led the project to rebrand and reposition one of most iconic hotels in the world.

He also served as President of Welcome Argentina (1992-1994) and was Founder and CEO of Destino Argentina (2003-2005), a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote Argentina as a travel destination. Arturo was also the force and brainpower behind the Argentina 2010 Travel & Tourism Plan, the first-ever destination marketing strategic plan for the country.

Over the years, Arturo has been involved in consulting and advisory services throughout all of Latin America. In 1995 he founded RHC Latin America (www.rhc.la), one of the most respected consulting firms based in the region. In addition to his role as consultant, he has become increasingly involved as a speaker at major industry conferences around the world. His observations, insights and opinions are frequently published in business, consumer and trade publications worldwide and valued among industry leaders

In 2008 Arturo founded SAHIC – the premier Latin American investment conference organizer, which annually hosts the South American Hotel & Tourism Investment Conference – the only event of its kind in the region, aimed at promoting hotel and tourism developments and related real-estate projects in this part of the world.
More recently, he has been extensively and passionately working for the development of the industry in Cuba. He was responsible for making possible the first formal meetings between American and Cuban hotel companies, a milestone in the history of the island and an accomplished mission for a professional with one aim: making the world a better place through tourism.

E: agrosa@sahic.com

photo

Graciana Garcia Iribarne

Vice President

photo

Graciana Garcia Iribarne

Vice President

Graciana is Vice President of SAHIC. Within her role, she is responsible for the business development. On a daily basis, she focuses on programme development, speakers’ acquisition and sponsors liaison, while overseeing SAHIC logistics and operations.

With over 24 years’ experience in the hospitality industry, she held a number of key positions in hotel operations for prestigious international hotel companies such as Marriott International and Starwood Hotels & Resorts. During that time, she took part in numerous hotel openings in the region, gaining valuable leadership skills.

Graciana worked in hospitality consultancy in South America for almost 10 years. During her five-year tenure as Managing Director of HVS Buenos Aires office, she particularly gained experience in strategic planning and hotel & tourism development in Latin American markets.

Graciana is part of SAHIC since its inception. Working closely with Arturo Garcia Rosa, President & Founder, in the launch of the first edition of the conference in 2008, she was part of the initial team which laid the foundations for the premier hotel investment conference in Latin America. 

T: +54 11 5217 4542
M: +54 911 4147 7519
E: mggiribarne@sahic.com

photo

Mariela Cababie

Event Manager

photo

Mariela Cababie

Event Manager

As Event Manager for SAHIC Mariela is responsible for the day-to-day event logistics, speaker and sponsor liaison, budget management and event marketing. She joined SAHIC in 2014 as Conference Coordinator, after collaborating with the planning and operations of the conference in every edition since it’s inception in 2008. 

With over 15 years’ experience in the hospitality industry, Mariela worked in the HVS team in Argentina, where she performed Human Resources advisory, strategic planning, market research, feasibility studies in several countries in South America. During this period, she also assumed internal operations responsibilities such as the planning and organization of the HVS Global Summit 2011 held in Buenos Aires. Prior to this experience she has worked at the Kempinski Hotels in Buenos Aires as Human Resources Manager and Hotel Manager of one of the properties.

T: +54 11 5217 4544
M: +54 9 11 5579 2906
E: mcababie@sahic.com

photo

Pablo Garcia Rosa

Marketing & Business Development Manager

photo

Pablo Garcia Rosa

Marketing & Business Development Manager

As Marketing & Business Development Manager, Pablo focuses on sales management. His main responsibility is to develop and maintain relationships with existing and potential sponsorship clients aiming at keeping sponsors satisfied and very well treated by developing authentic experiences, as well as bringing new sponsors to the conference. Pablo is also responsible for CRM for marketing and sales actions. Pablo joined SAHIC in 2015.

Prior to SAHIC, Pablo worked for the HVS office in Argentina for 11 years, first in the operations department and in 2012 after gaining experience in the hospitality industry, he joined the Consulting and Valuation team where he performed market research studies and strategic planning for hotels and mixed-use projects in several countries in South America. 

T: +54 11 5217 4544
M: +54 9 11 4195 6701
E: pgrosa@sahic.com

photo

Veronica Bracchi

Administration & Finance Coordinator

photo

Veronica Bracchi

Administration & Finance Coordinator

Veronica joined SAHIC as Administration & Finance Coordinator in 2012, assuming responsibility for the overall conference budget and registrations management, among others. She also serves as Personal Assistant to Arturo Garcia Rosa, President & Founder of SAHIC.

Veronica has extensive experience in the hospitality industry. She worked for Starwood Hotel & Resorts for more than 8-years, where she successfully served as Area Manager for suppliers’ payment, and then assumed a role on the General Accounting area, performing duties related to tax payment, Cash Flow, Monthly Budget, intercompany controls and account analysis for two of its properties in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She also participated in the start up and operations of luxury independent hotels in the region.

T: +54 11 5217 4544
E: vbracchi@sahic.com

Our events annually bring together hotel and tourism representatives from 79 countries

The Bench team image wall

the Bench team