L-R: Social Impact and Legacy winner, Professor Liam Glynn; Sustainability joint winner, Professor Frances Fahy; Fáilte Ireland Chairperson Designate, Ruth Andrews; Conference Ambassador of the Year, Professor Peter McHugh; Sustainability joint winner, Dr Kathy Reilly.
The business events team behind the Meet in Ireland brand run a successful Conference Ambassador Programme, which was developed to support individuals who want to host an international conference in Ireland.
In recognition of their outstanding achievements, Fáilte Ireland, the National Tourism Development Authority, and owner of the Meet in Ireland brand, recently celebrated over 100 conference ambassadors at an award ceremony in Dublin.
This esteemed group, comprising renowned academics and industry leaders, gathered at the Intercontinental Hotel for the Conference Ambassador Recognition Awards (CARA) where they were honoured for their significant contributions to promoting Ireland in the global conference arena.
Collectively, these conferences which took place between 2018 and 2022 have contributed €125 million to the Irish economy. Professor Peter McHugh from the University of Galway received the ‘Conference Ambassador of the Year’ award for his remarkable efforts in organising the 11th European Solid Mechanics Conference 2022, which contributed over €1.8 million to the local economy.
The night continued with two new awards celebrating excellence in sustainability, and impact and legacy respectively.
The ‘Sustainability’ award went to the 7th EUGEO Congress of the Geography of Europe, which took place at the University of Galway in 2019, in recognition of its commitment to environmental responsibility. Professor Frances Fahy and Dr Kathy Reilly, from the College of Geography and Archaeology at the University of Galway, were responsible for bidding for and winning the conference for Ireland.
The ‘Social Impact and Legacy’ award was presented to the WONCA World Rural Health Conference 2022, which took place at the University of Limerick, led by Professor Liam Glynn.
Amidst the celebrations, special tribute was also paid to ‘Regional Champions’ for their efforts and dedication to promoting their regions as prime destinations for international conferences. This not only honoured their achievements but also underscored the importance of regional representation in the broader conference landscape.
Reflecting on the night’s significance, CEO of Fáilte Ireland Paul Kelly, said:
“The Conference Ambassador Recognition Awards showcase the wide range of talent and commitment of our network of conference ambassadors. Their expertise, industry knowledge and unwavering commitment to successfully hosting international conferences in Ireland is nothing short of exceptional. They have created value that extends way beyond the realm of tourism and have exemplified what it truly means to be a conference ambassador.
At Fáilte Ireland, we are always looking to recruit new conference ambassadors to help bring future business to Ireland. I hope that those at different stages of their ambassador journey are inspired and motivated by the talented ambassadors recognised at the awards and by hearing their stories of success.”