Sense Dubai 2017 | Come join our event
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Haystack is delighted to welcome you to SenseDubai2017. An event that will increase your knowledge of the applications of sensory science, to not only optimise your products, but also boost your brand assets.

SenseDubai 2017 will explore key methodologies to help you bring sensory to life in your organisation, while keeping you abreast of the latest techniques and trends in contextual research. The event will also be a great opportunity to network and share knowledge with industry experts and fellow R&D and marketing professionals working in the GCC and beyond.


Hub Zero


19 April, 2017

Keynote speakers

We are bringing the finest industry experts to speak

Zeinab Stapic

Senior Consumer Insights & Innovation Specialist MEA at OneFoods

Zeinab started her career at Neilsen gaining a solid foundation in consumer insights. She then moved to OneFoods (BRF) where she is responsible for Consumer and Sensory Research across the region. She is responsible for leveraging insights via a wide range of sources, from brand trackers to product taste tests to shopper experiences in order to boost brand and category success.

Talking On: Consumer taste testing for category development and product optimization.

Linda Bin Saleh

Regional Sensory Scientist at Mars Chocolate

After her Biology Engineering Degree and her MSc in Food Bioprocesses, Linda began working in an FMCG Company double-hatting between an NPD Technologist role and an Innovation System Specialist role; and in parallel working on her PhD Bibliography on Nutraceutical Food Development.

Linda began working as the Regional Sensory Scientist for Mars Chocolate in Dubai, and enjoys sharing the fact that her job is about tasting chocolate! She manages the expert sensory panel who are based in Dubai and the factory panels in the production sites in Egypt and Saudi Arabia. She is responsible for coordinating sensory best practice between the three sites.

Linda also sits within the Product Development team and where she promotes leveraging sensory for product and marketing innovation, as well as for product quality.

Talking On: Sensory for Growth: How to utilize sensory panels to put money in the pocket of your company.

An expert sensory panel is so much more than a disaster prevention system. It can steer actionable roadmaps for innovation, give confidence in the re-engineering of recipes and products and help build brand equity to name but a few. The correct use of sensory methodologies can not only save your business money, and protect your consumer satisfaction, but it can also generate these things when used correctly.

Sandra Pickering

Founder at Opento, and Industry Expert in Branding and Neuromarketing

Sandra is an acknowledged expert in branding and brand strategy and a leader in the practical application of neuromarketing (psychology, neuroscience and data analytics) to business issues.

Following a successful career in marketing at Unilever, Mars, Quaker Oats and The Body Shop, Sandra has consulted with many famous brands across consumer goods, financial services, technology, eCommerce, retail and not-for-profit businesses.

Her background in psychology, neurophysiology and marketing science has enabled her to develop unique tools and frameworks around brands that have been refined, tested and developed into opento products.

From her corporate career, Sandra is keenly aware of the realities of managing brands in a commercial environment and the need to provide brand managers with a combination of inspiring ideas and practical tools to help them succeed.

Talking on: How to identify and communicate your multi-sensory brand assets to boost consumer awareness

Jan Ryckmans

Client Delight Manager, Haystack International

Jan studied Commercial Engineering at the KULeuven and specialized in Marketing.  He then pursued a career for 11 years in the advertising industry at Saatchi&Saatchi were he mainly worked on pan-european accounts converting consumer insights into brand campaigns.

A deep interest in consumer psychology triggered him to follow the consumer behavior phd program in Leuven where his main research interests were in the area of visual and olfactory influences, implicit measurement techniques and nudging.

As Client Delight Manager at Haystack International he adds value to clients’ growth by consultancy on the basis of his gathered experience in both applying consumer insights and having a deep understanding of the mechanisms that drive consumer behavior.

Ludovic Depoortere

Expert in sensory and consumer science, Haystack International

Chairman and Founder of Haystack, servicing world’s leading FMCG, Personal Care and Healthcare companies in product development, customer centric innovation, sensory & shopper strategy and consulting. Ludovic is a real expert in “hybrid research” mixing science based quantitative, qualitative and behavioral techniques to increase the predictability of research.

Specialities: Sensory science , Food trends, Multi Sensory Experience to enhance your brand, Customer Centric Innovation, Entrepreneurship

Board European Sensory Network, Jury Effie Awards Belgium, Vice president Febelmar

Eleanor Woods

Research Director, Haystack International

After graduating from the University of Manchester Ellie went on to complete the Post Graduate Certificate in Sensory Science at Nottingham University. Since then she has worked in client and agency-side roles in sensory and consumer insight for FMCG.

Ellie moved to the Middle East from London in 2013. As part of her position as Research Director for Haystack International she conducts studies in some of the world’s most interesting locations such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan and Burundi, as well as leading Haystack’s expert sensory panel in Dubai.

About the location

Welcome to Hub Zero. The one place where you live the game.

In the beginning, the world of gaming was fantasy – existing only on the screen until a mysterious vortex opened. Enter a universe where the real and the virtual worlds collide, where gamers and their inhabitants exist in an all-new dimension. A place where some of the world’s best gaming experiences come together to fight the forces….


12:45 PM Arrival

Welcome to the event!

1:15 PM - 1:50 PM Expert Panels: What are expert panels used for and how to train a panel

by Ludovic Depoortere

2:25 PM - 3:00 PM Sensory Mapping: Alternative methods to QDA sensory profiling

by Jan Ryckmans & Zeinab Stapic

3:00 PM - 3:30 PM Break

Mingle with your peers during the sessions.

3:30 PM - 4:15 PM Multi-sensory Brand Assets

by Jan Ryckmans & Zeinab Stapic

Since Byron Sharp’s, How Brands Grow, ‘brand distinct assets’ have grown in importance. Why? Because it is the key asset of any company. When using the power of multi sensory branding, you can boost your brand’s penetration. In this presentation we will provide our view on why these assets matter and provide our framework on measuring & leveraging these assets. A business case will be used.

4:15 PM - 5:00 PM The future of sensory research is Mobile, Virtual, Social and Local

by Ludovic Depoortere

We all know that most surveys are notoriously bad in capturing emotions, unconscious thoughts or contextual cues. Research also shows that people are inaccurate recalling past behaviour or predicting their own future actions. Why? Because most of our decision process happens backstage. Unconsciously. Where no survey is allowed.

Luckily, the future looks bright. The past decade, we had the honour to witness amazing advances in technology: We moved from cell-phone to smart-phone and witnessed the rise of social media, Virtual Reality, Spotify and Netflix.

So, what’s in it for us, sensory researchers? Well, the true potential lies in combining all these technological advances to get to know our consumers better than they know themselves so we can more reliable predict behaviour. Let’s find out how during Ludovic’s talk.

5:00 PM - 5:30 PM The union of senses - bridging the gap between sensory and marketing

by Jan Ryckmans

Understanding how the body of knowledge, perceptions and emotions that consumers build about their environment are based on information received via their senses. Exploring how qualitative research can come closer to consumers’ reality by focusing more on the sensorial way in which they experience the world. Using the Union of Senses to deliver concrete, actionable and detailed sensorial information congruent with consumers’ perception.

5:30 PM Networking, snacks and access to full HubZero Facilities.

You are encouraged to grab a new friend, and go and explore the venue’s multiple attractions!


Subscriptions are closed. You are late saving your seat? Please contact Eleanor Woods (