When Team Northern Ireland successfully bid for Routes Europe 2017, the sky was the limit when it came to designing a world-class conference. UBM’s ‘Routes’ portfolio of events provide an opportunity for airlines, airports, tourism authorities and DMOs to meet, negotiate and build relationships that will go on to shape the world’s future air route networks.
Team Northern Ireland came together in the form of 10 host stakeholders — Meet in Ireland, Visit Belfast, Invest NI, Department for the Economy, Belfast City Council, George Best Belfast City Airport, Belfast International Airport, City of Derry Airport and Belfast Waterfront — to create a unified vision for the conference.
Determined to make it ‘the best Routes Europe ever’, they set about delivering on their promises. From friendly and welcoming volunteers, to iconic venues (including the site where the most famous ship in the world was built), and top-quality local produce to ‘craic’, the feedback speaks for itself.
Routes Europe required an easily accessible destination with a large and centrally located conference centre, and good quality hotel options. With a welcome reception and gala dinner planned, they also required venues that ‘wowed’. Serviced by two airports, Belfast’s accessibility was a major plus point, while a huge variety of quality accommodation options made it attractive.
Good infrastructure is essential, but social and night time activities are also an important factor for every conference. Before and after Routes Europe 2017, 1,200 delegates enjoyed authentic experiences like street art walking tours, and Game of Thrones® film locations tours. The Routes hashtag trended during the conference, while the conference app generated a record number of engaged users.
Through Routes Europe 2017, Northern Ireland proved itself a world-class destination for conferences to some of the most influential stakeholders in the aviation industry. By showcasing Belfast to its fullest advantage, conferences like Routes Europe open doors for Northern Irish airports in terms of new routes and airlines.
“Working with Team Northern Ireland in the planning and delivery of Routes Europe in Belfast was a pleasure. We experienced a professional and knowledgeable team of people who went the extra mile for us across all aspects of the event, and this was evident in the fantastic feedback we had from our delegates,” said Steven Small, Routes Brand Director.
“We felt warmly welcomed from the minute we stepped off the plane and this spanned from taxi drivers to volunteers, bar staff to The Lord Mayor. I would thoroughly encourage event organisers to put Belfast on their list of destinations.”