Pre-Conference Focus Day: Tuesday, 16 June 2020

8:30 am - 9:00 am Registrations and networking


12:00 pm - 1:00 pm Design Thinking for services – The way forward in reaching excellence & innovation

Howard Mijares - Design Strategy Consultant, Emirates Group
Design thinking is a human and user-centred approach and if implemented well, design thinking approaches help improve decision-making. Drawing from private sector experiences, design thinking seeks to stimulate creative thinking within the decision-making process.

This session will spark innovation, foster a user-centric mindset, and get cross-functional teams working together towards a common goal by taking attendees through design theory, strategies and the step-by-step approach to incorporating design thinking within your organisation.


Howard Mijares

Design Strategy Consultant
Emirates Group

1:00 pm - 2:00 pm Design Thinking – From ideation to development

Peter Halsor - Chief Customer Experience Officer, Riyad Bank
Looking at your products/services from the consumers’ point of view will enable you to apply design thinking and deliver the best customer experience and services possible to address all the customers’ needs.

This hands-on workshop will offer attendees tools, tips and creative ideas to using the basic principles of Design Thinking for creating innovative services and products to enhance the customer experience.

By attending this session, learn how to uncover the customers’ pain points to drive innovation, generate rapid idea, utilise data for correctly for better decision making, get the right mix between technical feasibility, consumer needs and budget, create prototypes & test the product/channel or service and establish improvement opportunities by analysing insights.


Peter Halsor

Chief Customer Experience Officer
Riyad Bank

2:00 pm - 3:00 pm Networking lunch

3:00 pm - 4:00 pm Plan, develop and implement chatbots, then keep improving!

Samih Abutaleb - Group Head Digital Transformation, Ahli United Bank, Bahrain
Chatbots are of utmost importance today for driving digital customer experiences and everyone is talking about it around the world. Not all the discussions are positive though, there has been a buzz in the industry around chatbots failing as well and this can do serious damage to a brand.

By attending this session, you can decide if you need a chatbot, pros and cons of having a virtual assistant; strategise and plan your chatbot with all relevant team members and stakeholders taking into account timelines, targets and budgets; technical fun part of developing the chatbot; giving birth to the new AI-enhanced team member and how to implement it into your platforms but also into the CX strategy; testing and how to leverage feedback data to establish what needs to be fixed, where and how to improve?


Samih Abutaleb

Group Head Digital Transformation
Ahli United Bank, Bahrain

4:00 pm - 5:00 pm Breaking down the silos to achieve customer-centricity

Ryanne van de Eijk - Chief Experience Officer, Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zone
When moving into a customer-centric organisation, one of the biggest challenges is how to overcome the silo thinking.

Every department has his own KPI’s, own budget and own (customer) improvement projects, so they will most likely manage their touchpoint from a customer perspective, however, it is all about the journey.

In this session, we will discuss what are the instruments you can use and develop to overcome the silos and start managing the journey.


Ryanne van de Eijk

Chief Experience Officer
Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zone

5:00 pm - 5:00 pm End of focus day