Failte Ireland honoured 83 of its leading Conference Ambassadors at an award ceremony at Christ Church Cathedral. Pictured here is Ambassador Niall Kelly, awarded for the Alexander Technique 10th International Conference 2015. Picture: Chris Bellew /Fennell Photography.
Failte Ireland Ambassadors awarded for bringing international conferences
Failte Ireland has commended the efforts of its 1,000 strong team of Failte Ireland Conference Ambassadors, including leading academics and industry experts, who have collectively brought over 1,500 international conferences worth €766.5m to Irish shores to date, with a further €130m worth of conferences to take place across the country from 2019-2026.
The national tourism development authority honoured its leading Failte Ireland Conference Ambassadors at its recent award ceremony at Christ Church Cathedral, including six ambassadors who, alongside Shannon Region Conference and Sports Bureau, have brought major international conferences to the wider Limerick region. The recipients – from a variety of backgrounds, including academia, medical science, technology, environment, and culture among others – were nominated for an award by the Irish conference and meetings industry.
Hosted by Today FM radio presenters Dermot and Dave, the event acknowledged that these Ambassadors alone had delivered a collective total of over 3,500 international delegates, worth €6m, to Limerick and Shannon between 2015 and 2017.
Over 75 per cent of all international association conferences which come to Ireland does so at the direct invitation of a local Irish member or host, something Fáilte Ireland maximises through its Conference Ambassador Programme.
Fáilte Ireland’s Meet in Ireland Manager, Ciara Gallagher, said:
“Our awards this weekend have showcased the wide range of talent and expertise we have in our Conference Ambassadors, who have secured excellent conferences in their area of expertise for regions across the country. Winning international conferences is not only lucrative in terms of generating significant revenue for Limerick and the wider Shannon region, but they also leave a lasting legacy with regard to being recognised as a centre of innovation and excellence in their given field. At Fáilte Ireland, we are always looking to recruit expert Conference Ambassadors to help bring future business to Ireland. I hope potential recruits feel inspired and motivated by the talented Conference Ambassadors we have on board already.”
General Manager at Shannon Region Conference and Sports Bureau, Karen Brosnahan said:
“It was wonderful to see so many Shannon Region Ambassadors recognised as part of the National Conference Ambassador Awards. Our ambassador programme is running for over 15 years and many of the people awarded have bid for and won multiple events for the region. Over 80% of all conference business coming into our region comes at the request of, or from a bid by, a local conference ambassador. It’s only right we recognise their importance to Business Tourism in Ireland, the economic impact and the impact for their respective organisations”
Fáilte Ireland’s Conference Ambassador Programme provides impartial assistance and financial support to anyone seeking to bring an international conference to Ireland, from the initial bidding stage all the way through to the marketing and promotion of the event (see more on Fáilte Ireland’s Conference Ambassador Programme in notes to editor).
Each conference delegate that comes to Ireland is worth approximately €1,600, almost three times as much as the average leisure tourist. The international conferences delivered to Limerick by the ambassadors recognised at the event were Niall Kelly for the Alexander Technique 10th International Conference 2015, Mark Gibson for the European Forum for Agricultural and Rural Advisory Services 2016, Dr. Catherine Foley for the 44th International Council for Traditional Music World Conference 2017, Margaret O’Shaughnessy for the Pan Am Irish Spring Meeting 2016, Jerald Cavanagh for the International Conference on Computer Science and Information Technology 2016 and Padraig Kirby for the International Summit of the Book 2016.
Fáilte Ireland’s Conference Ambassador Programme has been one of the key bedrocks of success for Ireland as a MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and events) destination. Through the programme, Fáilte Ireland’s Meet in Ireland team identify influencers across myriad disciplines and encourage them to bring an international conference here. Due to the structured nature of this industry sector, it’s possible to research and identify associations that have the potential to come to Ireland, and also identify a member of that association influential in his or her field. Once an influencer has been identified, is contacted and agrees to bid for an international conference, he or she becomes a Conference Ambassador. Fáilte Ireland provides practical and financial aid to support them through their journey, from bid stage to implementation. Such has been the success of the Programme to date that over 75% of all international conferences confirmed for Ireland arrive via this route.
Find out more at www.meetinireland.com
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