• Cyril McAree

Fáilte Ireland Pitches to Bring Major New UK Meetings & Conferences To Dublin

Fáilte Ireland’s Dublin Convention Bureau will today target significant new UK business in London - worth a potential €45m - as it promotes Dublin and Ireland as a world-leading destination for conferences and meetings at its annual “Meet Dublin in London” event.

Photo caption: Sam Johnston Fáilte Ireland; Jacqueline Kilmurry Powerscourt Estate; Karina Dunne, Druids Glen; Ciara Gallagher Fáilte Ireland on board the Silver Sturgeon at last year's Meet Dublin in London event

Top UK buyers will meet directly with 50 of Dublin’s leading hoteliers, business meeting venues and conference organisers to generate new business for the Meetings, Incentives, Conference and Events (MICE) sector in Dublin through a showcase of the world-class facilities the city can offer business delegates.

With visitor numbers from the UK to Ireland down by 5% following the Brexit referendum result, the “Meet Dublin in London” workshop event aims to leverage the strength of the lucrative business tourism sector in bringing delegates and new business from the UK market to Ireland.

This year’s “Meet Dublin in London” event, which has become a firm favourite in business tourism event bookers’ calendars, is drawing its largest UK attendance ever with almost 280 top UK meetings and events buyers. The pitching will take place on the Silver Sturgeon boat located on The River Thames at an event created by Fáilte Ireland with special host, Emmy Award winning Irish TV personality, Baz Ashmawy.

Speaking ahead of the event in London about the importance of Business Tourism for the wider industry, Fáilte Ireland’s Head of Commercial Development, Paul Mockler said: “In the first quarter of this year alone, Fáilte Ireland has already secured €42 worth of new meetings and events, helping to drive growth and jobs across the country. Business tourism is the most lucrative form of tourism, with visitors travelling to Ireland for business purposes spending almost three times more than the average visitor. With the uncertainty caused by Brexit, it is more important than ever that we put our best foot forward in attracting our nearest overseas market to Ireland to ensure we maximise the potential of this sector.

Reiterating the importance of directly targeting the UK market, Sam Johnston, Manager of Fáilte Ireland’s Dublin Convention Bureau, added: “The Meet Dublin in London event is the perfect way of proactively promoting Ireland to this priority market by bringing a showcase of what it is that sets Ireland apart directly to the doorsteps of top UK buyers. Dublin has a lot to offer - world-class venues and incentive experiences, ease of access, amazing landscapes, top hospitality and incredibly strong industries. We look forward to bringing more UK business to Irish shores in the coming year and beyond.”

Speaking about how the event has helped to boost bookings, Suzanne Mulvey, Sales Manager Meetings & Events at Red Cow Moran Hotel, said: “I have attended the Meet Dublin in London event for the last three years, and each year the momentum has built at this great event. In 2017, the Red Cow Moran Hotel secured a substantial group booking from a London based buyer at the event. We delivered this piece of business in October 2017, building a new relationship with the buyer who has since sent us more requests, while experiencing a notable increase in enquiries from other buyers we met on board the Silver Sturgeon in 2017. It has been the perfect platform for us to tell the story of our €14m investment. We are excited to attend this year and look forward to a great networking event with fellow trade partners and new international buyers.”

Lauretthe McClellan, Director, Pineapple Events, added: “The annual Meet Dublin in London workshop is a very special event and one of the industry highlights of the year, showcasing the very best of Dublin and its partners. It’s an opportunity to make valuable contacts and network in a very unique setting on board the stunning Silver Sturgeon, whilst enjoying Irish hospitality as its finest. We have met such a wide range of suppliers who have introduced us to new products and venues, which have resulted in placing some excellent events in the City over the past couple of years.”

In the first quarter of this year, Fáilte Ireland has already secured €42m worth of meetings, conferences, incentives and corporate events for Ireland under their Meet in Ireland and Dublin Convention Bureau brands and supported the Regional Convention Bureaux in Kerry, Galway, Shannon and Cork to convert a further €10m for their regions. The most recent conference win was The World Conference on Tobacco or Health (WCTOH) - the premier conference on tobacco related issues, which will be held in Dublin in 2021 and attracts an international audience of approximately 2,500 delegates. The conference has not been held in a European city since 2003.

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