More than 100 delegates gathered last week in Belfast for the annual debate for the UK and Ireland Chapter of ICCA (International Convention & Congress Association).
The event, hosted by VisitBelfast and BelfastWaterfront, was double the size of previous gatherings as delegates gathered to discuss ongoing changes in the international association market.
Titled, “The business environment is changing – are you?”, speakers included a welcome by Diane Waldron, Acting Chair of ICCA UK&I Chapter; Laurie Scott, Director of Business Development, VisitBelfast; and Oonagh O’Reilly, Belfast Waterfront followed by:
- David Meade, Mindreader and Mentalist
- Sally Greenhill, The Right Solution
- Philippa Scott, International League against Epilepsy
- Professor Mark Lawlor, Dean of Education, School of Medical, Dental & Biomedical Sciences, Institute for Health Sciences, Queens University Belfast
- Frank Liddy, “Mind Your Own Business!”
- Kerrin MacPhie, Head of Business Events at VisitBritain
- Ciara Gallagher, Failte Ireland
- John Martinez, Shocklogic
- Brian Dobson, Harrogate Conference Centre
The debate also included the launch of a competition to engage more closely with the industry’s millennials*, who will make up 75% of the workforce by 2025**. The competition has been launched in partnership with Emirates airlines who are offering return flights to the 2018 ICCA Congress in Dubai, registration for which will be provided by the UK & Ireland Chapter.
To win the prize, which is worth more than £1,500, millennials working for UK & Ireland based ICCA members, who have not previously attended the ICCA Congress, need to submit a 500-word letter to their future self on what they think they will achieve in the next year based on their attendance at the congress. The letter should be accompanied by a link to an online two-minute video presentation. Entries should be sent to Laura Tully at Manchester Central via email@example.com by 27th April, 2018.
“The debate was a true success and I want to say a huge thank you to Belfast, who were such incredible hosts,” comments Diane Waldron, acting chair of the ICCA UK & Ireland Chapter. “The city welcomed us and put on a real show, the speakers were insightful and engaging but most importantly it was great to see our members gathering together, sharing best practice and knowledge for the benefit of all.”
Shelley Spencer, from the Scottish Event Campus, said: “The speakers have been really relevant across a wide range of key topics. It has been great seeing successful case studies from other organisations, which have delivered measurable strategies that have truly achieved their goals. There has been a real vitality to the event, driven by a superb moderator and great audience participation.”
Laurie Scott, from VisitBelfast, added: “Belfast has had such a great time hosting ICCA over the last two days. The city has gone from strength to strength and it has been a real pleasure to show off our offering to such a great audience. I want to thank our partners for their support in making the event a real success, particularly Belfast Waterfront and Crumlin Road Gaol.”
The debate was supported by Levy UK, VisitBelfast, Belfast Waterfront, Shocklogic, Event Associates, Soaring Worldwide, Harrogate Convention Centre, GES and The Europa Belfast.
*For the competition “millennials” are defined as being born after 1982
**Statistic from Sally Greenhill’s session on industry trends