With the completion of the £29.5m Belfast Waterfront extension less than 12 months away, Visit Belfast recently welcomed 50 international business and conference event organisers to Belfast for a major two-day showcase event aimed at promoting the city’s credentials as an award-winning global conference, meeting and events destination.
The guests had between them the potential to bring conference and events business worth up to £100 million. Led by Visit Belfast, the showcase event was also supported by Belfast City Council, Tourism Northern Ireland, Belfast Waterfront Conference and Exhibition Centre, Tourism Ireland and more than 30 industry partners.
The city’s hotels, venues, bars, restaurants, transport providers and event management suppliers all took part in the showcase event, the first time Belfast has hosted an international business tourism delegation on this scale.
Four visit programmes were held, each with unique Belfast experiences across both days. Clients had the opportunity to meet with key representatives from the tourism and hospitality industry.
Guests were greeted on arrival at the airport by concierge staff from Belfast hotels and venues were specially-branded as they welcomed them to the city. The event organisers also had the opportunity to cook with celebrity chefs, experience an indoor street market at Titanic Belfast and were treated to surprise entertainment and performances in several venues. Key clients also took part in an exclusive hard-hat tour of the fast-developing Belfast Waterfront conference and exhibition centre.
The two-day event culminated in a networking gala dinner at Belfast Waterfront, which provided event organisers a unique chance to meet with trade and industry and preview the plans for the venue. During the evening guests were also treated to entertainment by Northern Ireland’s Million Dollar Mentalist who in the words of the audience was ‘the star of the show’!