Fáilte Ireland continues to drive International Association Conferences to Galway Region

Wednesday, February 21, 2024. 9:42am

Fáilte Ireland

Fáilte Ireland, together with the University of Galway, has kicked off 2024 with its first Conference Ambassador recruit event, aimed at bringing academics on board to drive more international conferences to the Galway region.  


The recruit event, which took place at the University of Galway in January, provided key opportunities for Fáilte Ireland and the University to engage with, motivate and inform future potential conference ambassadors.  


Fáilte Ireland’s Conference Ambassador Programme was developed to support individuals who want to host an international conference in Ireland. The programme provides assistance and financial support at every stage of the conference, from the initial bidding, through to the marketing and promotion of the event. Ambassadors are sector leaders or influencers in their field and since the programme was established in 2009, Fáilte Ireland has supported almost 3,000 ambassadors in their bids to host conferences and events worth more than €2 billion.  


Galway is an important hub for international conferences and the University of Galway is expecting more than 6,000 delegates to attend 30 conferences on the campus this year. These conferences bring together academics, researchers, medics, industry leaders, policy makers and others to share insights and research leading to global collaborations which deliver societal, environmental and economic impacts.  


Head of Commercial Development with Fáilte Ireland Paul Mockler highlighted the importance of association conferences to both the national and local economies:

International Association Conferences have the potential to drive significant economic impacts for our country. Business events and conferences are one of the highest yielding sectors in tourism, with each international conference delegate valued at more than three times the value of a leisure visitor. Fáilte Ireland currently has a pipeline of €1.1 billion worth of international conference business for Ireland, which includes 72 international events scheduled to take place at the University of Galway with expected attendance of 16,278 international delegates valued at €35million for the region.” 

Fáilte Ireland continues to drive International Association Conferences to Galway Region 

Speaking at the recruit event, President of University of Galway, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, said: Hosting a conference brings enormous benefit on both a personal and institutional level, and from a higher education perspective it helps to elevate an academic’s profile as well as the reputation of their discipline, school and institution. It provides a significant opportunity to showcase and promote research and findings, network with experts in the same field of research and share best practice. It can support career development, enhance academic reputation as a leading voice and mind amongst peers and the wider industry, as well as creating opportunities for further collaborations and grant funding.”   


One of the most successful conferences in the Galway region in 2022 was the 11th European Solid Mechanics conference, which was held on the University of Galway campus. Professor Peter McHugh, incoming Deputy President and Registrar at University of Galway, was named Conference Ambassador of the Year at Fáilte Ireland’s 2023 Conference Ambassador Recognition Awards for his role in organising the event, which was worth €1.8 million to the local economy.


Solid mechanics is crucial in developing new technology to address the major global challenges of our time informing design and manufacturing in material saving, energy saving and sustainable ways in the MedTech and other sectors and is crucial in the development of new renewable energy and energy storage technologies. Strong industry participation at this conference exposed those leaders to cutting edge research which is instrumental in leading innovation. 


An engaging panel discussion at the event included contributions from Professor McHugh and Dr. Kathy Reilly, who was the recipient of the Fáilte Ireland Inaugural Spotlight Award for Sustainability, who along with her colleague Professor Frances Fahy for the 7th Congress of the Association of Geographical Societies in Europe Conference at the University of Galway in May 2019. 

Read more news HERE

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