Future Hospitality Summit Unveils Comprehensive 3-Pillar Programme  for Hybrid Virtual Conference on 26—27 October

  • Future Hospitality Summit (FHS) has announced a jam-packed programme for the highly anticipated 2-day event, live from Riyadh and across the world on the 26th and 27th of October.
  • The comprehensive 3-pillar programme, featuring live stage sessions, networking and roundtable discussions, has been developed in collaboration with industry creators, innovators and mentors.
  • Anyone operating within the hospitality sector or looking to develop a career in global travel, tourism and leisure can check out the full programme HERE and register to attend for free HERE.

Riyadh, KSA (October 2020): The wait is finally over! Future Hospitality Summit (FHS) – the hybrid virtual conference developed to explore big ideas and tackle the challenges facing the hospitality industry – has unveiled its comprehensive 2-day programme of live stage sessions, networking areas, roundtable discussions, special guest speakers, and more. The jampacked programme is set to unfold on the 26th and 27th of October.

Organised by the Ministry of Tourism Saudi Arabia and G20 Saudi Secretariat, as part of The International Conferences Programme, honouring the G20 Saudi presidency year 2020, and powered by Bench Digital – FHS’s carefully curated 3-pillar programme will focus on understanding the new landscape, collaborating and assessing opportunities, and innovating to recreate the industry’ future. An esteemed line-up of more than 100 global industry captains, government leaders, media powerhouses, and innovators has been assembled from across the world, including:

·       H.E. Khalid al-Falih (Minister of Investment, Saudi Arabia)

·       Alex Cruz (Chairman and CEO, British Airways)

·       Christopher J. Nassetta (President & CEO, Hilton)

·       Arnold W. Donald (President & CEO, Carnival Corporation & PLC)

·       Keith Barr (CEO, InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG))

·       Alexandre de Juniac (Director General and CEO, International Air Transport Association – IATA)

·       Ritesh Agarwal (Founder & Group CEO, OYO Hotels & Homes

·       H.E. Ahmed Al Khateeb (Minister of Tourism, Saudi Arabia)

·       Arne M. Sorenson (President & CEO, Marriott International)

·       Barry Sternlicht (Co-Founder, Chairman & CEO of Starwood Capital Group)

·       Gloria Guevara Manzo (CEO & President, World Travel & Tourism Council – WTTC)

·       Sébastien Bazin (Chairman & CEO, Accor)

·       Geoffrey JW Kent (Founder and Co-Chairman, Abercrombie & Kent)

The wide-ranging programme of events is geared towards fostering connection and collaboration within the industry and building trust. It aims to dig deep to establish the most effective ways to build a hospitality sector that is relevant for a post-pandemic world, attractive to tomorrow’s international traveller and consumer, and supportive of entrepreneurs and innovation, in addition to being sustainable for the global economy and the environment, and attractive to tomorrow’s workforce. Important topics to be discussed include:

·       Insights from the G20 Tourism Ministers’ Meeting

·       Optimism, Courage – What it Takes to Lead in a Global Pandemic

·       Innovating to Build Trust and Traveller Confidence

·       Does Planning for the Next 5 years Make Sense in a Time of Crisis?

·       How Will We Attract and Train Future Leaders and Young Talent During and After this Crisis?

·       What Does it Take to Attract New Investments in the Tourism Industry?

·       Systemic Approach to Rewiring your Business to a Sustainable Model – How do you Re-think your Entire Business?

·       The Role of Innovation and Disruption for the Future of Tourism

Bench Digital will deliver the hybrid virtual conference on a cutting-edge digital event platform – providing a truly immersive and world-class live experience, with the following interactive features:


  • All registered attendees will receive a magic link by email shortly before the event goes live. Upon clicking the link, they will land in the Reception area.
  • The Reception area provides some key guidelines and information for the attendees and also lets them know what sessions are ‘live now’.


  • The Main Stage is where the full day’s live stream can be accessed and attendees can watch the sessions, comment, ask questions, and be part of the discussion through the chat function. This area also has live polls, which will be running throughout each day.


  • The Sessions area is where attendees will be able to see which Breakout Sessions are coming up next and which one is live. Attendees can simply click on a Breakout Session and attend. Just like the Main Stage, Breakout Sessions have their own live chat discussions as well. Participation is limited to 500 attendees in each of the Breakout Sessions.


  • The ‘Networking’ button launches an area where attendees will be connected for 3-minute networking sessions with others in that area, which is known as speed networking. The networking tool enables attendees to exchange contact information as well.
  • Another way that attendees can network is by clicking on the ‘People’ tab next to the main chat tab. This allows them to search people by name or by company and send private messages – or even invite other attendees for a live video call within the platform.

Insight Hub

  • In the Insight Hub, FHS will be featuring presentations from a handful of leading intelligence organisations and authorities. Clicking the ‘Insight Hub’ tab will load a tiled library of presentations from various entities, including McKinsey, STR, ForwardKeys, Euromonitor, and more

About Future Hospitality Summit

Organised by the Ministry of Tourism Saudi Arabia and G20 Saudi Secretariat, as part of The International Conferences Programme honouring the G20 Saudi presidency year 2020, and powered by Bench Digital – Future Hospitality Summit has been developed to tackle the big ideas and challenges facing the hospitality industry in both the Kingdom and the world. On 26 and 27 October 2020. This hybrid virtual conference will host over 100 leading industry speakers and more than 6,000 participants from around the world. The event is being delivered on a tried-and-tested, cutting-edge, digital event platform, managed by Bench Digital – providing an immersive live experience, including a virtual exhibition, one-to-one video networking and integrated chat features for all participants. The conference has been designed to dig deep into how we create a hospitality industry that is:

  • Relevant for a post-pandemic world;
  • Attractive to tomorrow’s international traveller & consumer;
  • Supportive of entrepreneurs and innovation;
  • Sustainable for the global economy and the environment; and
  • Attractive to tomorrow’s workforce.

To find out more and register your participation, visit FutureHospitalitySummit.com.

About Bench Digital

Bench Digital is a sister company of Bench Events, a global business events organizer with more than two decades of experience in delivering premium hospitality and aviation conferences. With a global footprint in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America – Bench Events organizes the Arabian Hotel Investment Conference (AHIC), Africa Hotel Investment Forum (AHIF), Global Restaurant Investment Forum (GRIF), Adria Hotel Forum, AviaDev Europe and AviaDev Africa, to name a few.

In April 2020 Bench Digital ran Hospitality Tomorrow, their first virtual conference which attracted more than 6000 registrations from across the world. The success of this event has led to the launch of several online forums including 3 more Hospitality Tomorrow events, Real Estate Tomorrow, Africa Tomorrow, GRIF Marketplace and AviaDev Online. In August 2020, Bench Digital helped deliver a transitional event for the industry, facilitating over 72,000 pre-scheduled video meetings for the renowned Virtuoso Travel Week.