Embracing Innovation – Aquatics in a Global World

 Today’s world is changing and, as technology and innovation continuously evolve, it can be difficult to keep up. It is essential, therefore, that National Federations and the wider Aquatics community are aware of the opportunities available and that they embrace innovation in their day-to-day activities.

This year’s Conference Programme aims to inspire the Aquatics family to progress and become even more successful, by exploring ways in which the it can embrace innovation, use practical tools to reach new audiences, generate new types of revenue, and promote our sport worldwide. 

The Convention will hear from a number of experts from inside Aquatics and beyond.  Marketing, media, development, sponsorship, hosting and events – our experts weigh in on what it takes to succeed in each of these areas, inspiring Aquatics leaders with new ideas and new ways in which to incorporate innovation to achieve the highest returns.

 Together, we can make Aquatics stronger!

Saturday, 8 December
Sunday, 9 December
Monday, 10 December

09:30 - 10:00 - Welcome & Conference Opening

• Welcome Address by Mr. Cornel Marculescu – Executive Director, FINA

• Welcome Address by , Mrs. Chen Guomei – Vice Mayor of Hangzhou Municipal Government

• Presentation from the LOC Hangzhou 2018 by Mr. Jin Chenglong – Director of Hangzhou Municipal Sports Bureau

10:00 - 11:00 - Topic 1: Hosting Aquatics – Expanding Impact for City & Sport

Hosting an Aquatics event should bring clear benefits for both the host city and the sport. The event can help achieve community objectives by uniting people and boosting engagement in sport.

This session looks at how creating such impacts requires a look at the event not only as one-off occasion but also as a long term-investment in the community and the host city’s infrastructure.

Dr. Cho Young Teck – Vice President & Secretary General, Gwangju 2019
Eva Szanto – CEO, Organising Committee Budapest 2017
Sandor Balogh – CFO, Organising Committee Budapest 2017
Tamas Gyarfas – Bureau Member, FINA
• Shoji Shimokawa – Deputy Executive Director, Organising Committee 19th FINA World Championships 2021 Fukuoka (JPN)

11:00 - 11:30 - Coffee Break

11:30 - 12:30 - Topic 2: On-Site Fan Experience – Creating Memories of a Lifetime

Events, big and small, are great opportunities to showcase Aquatics and engage with fans on-site. Innovations and new technologies are being developed every day for this, including . game changers such as second screen and sport data applications, How can Aquatics benefit from these innovative approaches in its aim to expand the sport and create memorable experiences for fans?
This session looks at how Aquatics can use innovation and new technologies to enhance fan experience of fans at events.


Guido Bouw – Managing Director, Gracenote Sports (Infostrada)
Kiho Abe – Aquatics Sport Manager, Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games 2020
Joey Zuber – Member of the FINA High Diving Committee , Red Bull Cliff Diving Consultant and Commentator, High diving champion

12:30 - 14:00 - Lunch Break/ Networking

14:00 - 15:00 - Topic 3: Off-Site Fan Experience – Reaching Fans Around the World

Today’s fan experience reaches beyond traditional on-site events . How can Aquatics benefit from innovative approaches to draw in new fans while interacting and engaging with current fans from around world?
This session looks at how Aquatic events can use innovation and new technologies to enhance the experience of online, off-site audiences.


Peter Diamond – Executive Vice President, Programming, NBC Olympics
Peter Hall – Head of Marketing & Broadcasting, FINA
Emma Mason – Head of Strategy and External Affairs at the World Federation of the Sporting Goods Industry (WFSGI). 

15:00 - 15:30 - Coffee Break

15:30 - 16:30 - Topic 4: Digital & Social Media – Engaging Fans In-between Events

With digital opportunities accelerating the pace of distribution of content to viewers worldwide, there are countless new possibilities to engage with fans in between events and promote Aquatics worldwide. How can the Aquatics take advantage of digital and social media?
This session provides a unique opportunity to learn about the latest insights in online behaviour and show how the world of sport can take advantage of the increasing power of digital.

• Wang Yiming – CMO of Alisports, Marketing & Sales and Strategic Partnership
Joe Peng – APAC Chief Digital Strategist, Burson Cohn & Wolfe
Rufio Zhu – Director of Operations, Mailman

16:30 - 17:00 - Interview of the day

Penny Heyns – Olympic gold medalist, Chairperson of the FINA Athletes Committee
Cameron van der Burgh – Olympic gold medalist

17:30 - 18:30 - Official Opening of FINA World Aquatics Convention

• Opening Speech by Dr. Julio C. Maglione – President, FINA
• Welcome Speech by Mr. Xu Liyi – Mayor of Hangzhou Municipal Government
• Welcome Speech by Mrs. Jihong Zhou – President, China Swimming Association

10:00 - 11:00 - Topic 5: Financing & Fundraising – Generating New Revenues

With the increasing need and demand for financial support, various ways of generating new revenues have emerged.
This session provides participants with a unique opportunity to learn the key principles of fundraising and other non-traditional ways of generating revenue. At the end of the session, participants will be able to develop and implement new techniques to increase revenues within their organisation and make a success of partnerships.

Bill King – CEO, International Fundraising Consultancy
Samit Patel – Owner, samitpatel.net (Crowdfunding)
Li Zhang – Vice President of International Data Group (IDG) China

11:00 - 11:30 - Coffee Break

11:30 - 12:30 - Topic 6: Licensing & Merchandising – Tapping into New Partnerships

Licensing is an important source of revenue for both sports federations and licensees. A new revenue stream is created and the licensor receives a royalty for each licensed product that is sold. How can Aquatics organisations benefit from this practice and what are brands looking for from sport federations to make the collaboration a success?
This session focuses on providing participants with information on licensing and merchandising opportunities.

Shintato Kogake – Senior Manager, Dentsu
HU Danqing – Vice President of ALI FISH/Senior Director of ALIBABA PICTURES
Prof. Yi Jiandong – Olympics Studies expert, State-class person of National Talents Program of Ministry of Personnel of China, Professor at Wenzhou University

12:30 - 14:00 - Lunch break / Networking

14:00 - 15:00 - Topic 7: Anti-Doping – Ensuring Fair Play in Aquatics

Benjamin Cohen – Director General, International Testing Agency
Jordi Segura – Chairman, FINA Doping Control Review Board
Sébastien Gillot – Director, European Regional Office and International Federation Relations

14:00 - 15:00 - Innovative approaches to teaching swimming - Myrtha pools introduce experts from around the World

With a long term experience designing and building learn to swim facilities, Myrtha Pools has partnered with some of the most important and worldwide recognized organizations promoting programs for the teaching of swimming and water safety.
This session will be the occasion to focus on the most engaging and successful learn to swim programs and will be of interest to both federations and individuals from the perspective of renting, building or running aquatics facilities.

Trevor Tiffany – Chairman Myrtha Pools USA

Kevin Xi – Water Babies, U.K. & China
Matt Lane – CEO Streamline Brands, USA
Hakim Habibullah/Carl Partridge – AUSTSWIM India & Australia
Thiago Pereira – Swim Camp TP, Brazil

15:00 - 15:30 - Coffee Break

15:30 - 16:30 - Topic 8: New Activities – Increasing Support

Over the years, FINA has invested heavily in FINA Development Programmes aimed at providing high-level technical expertise and enhanced sport performance. FINA programmes are available to all National Federations and benefit their respective athletes, coaches, and officials.
This session provides a broad overview of FINA Development Programme opportunities: a look at recent new initiatives and a showcase of National Federations that have achieved a high level of success.

Dale Neuburger – Vice President, FINA – FINA Development Programme overview: Strategy towards 2021 + Facts & Figures
Dennis Miller – Vice President, FINA – Continental Support Programme
Errol Clarke – Bureau Member, FINA – Olympic Aquatics Support Programme
Dr. Mohamed Diop – Bureau Member, FINA – Aquatics Managers Programme
• Azat Kadyrov – Director General of the Directorate for Sports and Social Projects, Kazan, Russia

16:30 - 17:00 - Round table: Aquatics Development - New Opportunities

• FINA Learning Platform 
• FINA Scholarships for Divers, FINA On-line Courses, Long-term Development Programme for Referees and Coaches in all Sports, etc.
(All speakers from the session on Development of Aquatics)

10:00 - 11:00 - Topic 9: Swimming for All – Swimming for Life

FINA has launched the Swimming for All – Swimming for Life Programme to offer the possibility to individuals from all ages, backgrounds and capacities, to take swimming lessons. The main objective is to spread mass teaching of swimming and life-saving techniques through the implementation of the Programme, with standard criteria across the world in those countries where the need is most urgent, contributing to the integration, education and inclusion of citizens in the places where it is applied. The aim is not only to promote physical activity worldwide, but also, to contribute to the prevention of drowning and thus save lives.


Dr. Julio C. Maglione – President, FINA
Sam Ramsamy – 2nd Vice-President, FINA
Graham Hill – Chairman, FINA Coaches Committee
Arnaldo FUXÁ – Adviser and International Expert for CIGEPS-UNESCO
Frederick Russell-Rivoallan – Programme Specialist, Head of Social and Human Sciences, UNESCO-Beijing
Justin Scarr – CEO, the Royal Life Saving Society, (Australia) and Member of the Recommendation Development Group of the World Health Organization (WHO)

11:00 - 11:30 - Coffee Break

11:30 - 12:15 - Round Table: Swimming for All – Swimming for Life

12:30 - 14:00 - Lunch Break/ Networking

15:00 - 16:00 - Extraordinary Technical Water Polo Congress

17:30 - 19:00 - Official Closing of the FINA World Aquatics Convention

• Speech by Mr. Zheng Yao – Director of Zhejiang Provincial Sports Bureau
• Speech by Dr. Julio C. Maglione –  President, FINA

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