Organisers can benefit from Ireland’s strong local links and community spirit to build amazing experiences for delegates and clients.
Dublin and Ireland’s small size means the sky’s the limit when creating unique experiences for clients
One of Dublin's selling points as a destination for delegates and incentive trip visitors is how small and intimate it is. However, there are more advantages to having a compact destination than how close a hotel is to a venue.
Small destinations like any of Ireland’s towns and cities can offer delegates and organisers alike a more intimate and personalised experience. While Ireland has an impressive selection of venues, activities and experiences, organisers are always on the lookout for something unusual. This is possible with Ireland’s community spirit and strong networks. Utilising these business, community and personal links with tourism providers and local authorities allows organisers to create memorable experiences.
Leveraging local influence
There’s nothing that makes delegates feel more welcome to a country than a senior Government official such as a minister opening a conference or speaking to a private audience. In Ireland, contact can be made with the right person to achieve something impressive and welcoming like this.
Indeed, delegates at the F.ounders conference in October found a rock star in their midst. Bono, the lead singer of U2, accompanied delegates around a tour of Trinity College Dublin.
Rock stars might not be possible for every event, but it’s a good example of how strong local networks in a small country can contribute to an amazing delegate experience.
Even the very layout of the compact city can serve to promote your event. Dublin was founded on the banks of the River Liffey and some of the most prestigious buildings and shopping districts are located beside the river. Delegates at an event held in the many venues along or near the river, such as the The Convention Centre Dublin, will be ideally placed to experience all that Dublin has to offer. Flagpoles have even been placed along the quayside, allowing event promoters to tastefully promote their event and combining a scenic promotion environment with an area of high footfall.
Experiencing the real Ireland
Dublin may be small, but there are even more compact destinations in Ireland that can rival competing international locations.
Killarney in Ireland's south west is another great example of the attention it can give to your event. Killarney town and surrounding countryside is the type of place that represents the ‘real Ireland’ for many visitors without compromising on the high standard of meeting facilities.
Carmel Flynn of Killarney Convention Centre explains that the town has “a 26,000-acre front lawn” in the form of the Killarney National Park. There are 2,000 rooms in four and five star family-owned hotel brands that take pride in what they do. It’s no surprise that Killarney can appeal to buyers that are looking for something more holistic in some ways.
Recent events held in Killarney Convention Centre include the Google EMEA Sales Conference, European Communities Trade Mark Association, GlaxoSmithKline UK Sales Conference and the Keystone Symposia Medical Conference.
“You can roll 2,000 delegates out of the Killarney Convention Centre and have them at their hotels in 7 minutes,” explains Flynn.
Accessible by air from Dublin, London, Frankfurt and Manchester, Flynn recommends to buyers to consider Killarney as a wild card. “When Google chose Killarney we weren’t in their bid criteria. Three competing agencies were presenting – one convinced the client to go to Killarney. They had a window of four hours and they saw our passion, they saw the destination experience.”
Creating new experiences
In Ireland it's possible to work closely with local government to attain things that might not be as easy to do in larger urban areas.
Flynn gives the example of closing off a 200m-long street in the town for an evening reception for a group of 1,000. The street was completely covered in a weather-proof canopy and allowed delegates to experience a town/street atmosphere and food stalls with local and organic produce.
Another plus for using a small town such as Killarney is locals will know there's an event on – because local businesses may have worked closely with each other to bring in the business. "Killarney is a town that has to come together to win these events."
It's certainly somewhere that the ‘céad míle fáilte’ (a hundred thousand welcomes) can be experienced.
How has Ireland’s small size this contributed to your Ireland experience?