Meet in Ireland are delighted to be a partner of the prestigious C&IT Awards honouring excellence in B2B event planning and execution. Our involvement in the A-List awards enables us to support, connect and network with MICE professionals from all over the world. The awards take place annually in September in recognition of the work undertaken in the MICE industry globally. In 2019, as part of our sponsorship, we invited 20 of the award nominees on FAM (familiarisation) trips to Ireland. One group visited Cork and Kerry to explore the opportunities the area has to offer for their future events.
Day one: Cork
A genuine Irish welcome awaited the A-Listers at Cork airport along with some live music before they were whisked off for some gastronomic delights on a food tour of Kinsale. Introducing them to one of our beautiful scenic coastal towns ensured a simultaneous feast of views and locally produced and prepared food. They met some of our much-valued suppliers along the way to get an insight into how our MICE community works in Cork.
With satisfied taste-buds and full stomachs, they stopped off at the Trident Hotel in Kinsale harbour to view the yachts. The planned sailing lessons were abandoned, unfortunately, due to inclement weather. Still, the delegates enjoyed the stunning ocean views from the hotel. Later in the afternoon, they settled into their accommodation for the night — the spectacular Hayfield Manor in Cork city.
Located near University College Cork, Hayfield Manor is the perfect accommodation for delegates attending meetings or conferences in the university too. Our C&IT guests arrived at the opulent 5-star family-run boutique hotel where a warm welcome awaited them as they prepared for the evening ahead. Dinner was in Greenes Restaurant in the Victorian Quarter of the city, and post-dinner entertainment was in the form of the renowned Guinness Cork Jazz Festival.
Day two: Killarney, Co Kerry
Saturday started for the group with a site visit to the River Lee Hotel to check out their stunning meeting and conference facilities, which caters for up to 110 delegates, and their accommodation. This was followed up with another site visit, this time to Longueville House just outside of the city. While at Longueville the delegates also sampled the food and sumptuous home-made cider while they explored the 300-year-old Georgian listed property and its 450 acres of wooded lands. With just 16 rooms, Longueville House is available for exclusive rental and would make an excellent backdrop for smaller MICE trips.
Next stop for the delegates was across county lines as they travelled to Killarney in County Kerry. A treasure hunt was organised for the group to demonstrate some of the team activities the area offers and giving them a chance to explore the town from top to bottom. After a day of fun and exploration, they were brought to the Europe Hotel & Resort to check-in and freshen up before being given an authentic Irish experience — a visit to a farm.
Taking you back in time to the 1930s and 40s Ireland, Muckross Farm is a unique place. Nestled into the stunning countryside at Muckross estate, home to a stunning stately home and gardens too, it is an interactive museum showcasing the traditional way of life in the village. Discover how people lived in bygone days as you explore cottages, a school, a blacksmith and of course the farm itself.
Day three: Killarney National Park, Co Kerry
With a choice of activities available on Sunday morning including pony trekking and yoga, the delegates found some time to relax before heading back to Cork airport. For one last taste of Irish hospitality, they were treated to a delicious lunch at Cahernane House Hotel at the edge of Killarney National Park on their way.
Their days spent in Cork and Kerry allowed them the opportunity to see first-hand what the region has to offer. As an area that prides itself on the warmth of their welcome, attention to detail, fantastic venues, amazing accommodation and fabulous food, the region is a splendid choice for MICE trips. Vibrant cities and towns, stunning scenery and a genuine welcome all await you when you visit Cork and Kerry.
To start planning an unforgettable MICE experience in the area, contact Meet in Ireland.