New & Coming Soon to Ireland
• Dublin’s appeal as a MICE destination will be in the spotlight this year when it hosts the SITE Global Conference in April. The event will take place at the Convention Centre Dublin. Participants will be able to get to know the city better during multiple city tours offered as part of the “Dublin City Immersion” program. Additional events that showcase the capital city’s offerings include a welcome reception at the Guinness Storehouse, a venue that celebrates the history of one of Ireland’s most legendary beers, and an evening function at Café En Seine, a restaurant with multiple group spaces.
• Meet in Ireland has increased its incentives for events: they now award groups 100 euros per international delegate who attends an in-person qualifying business event in the country (the maximum for the grant is 100,000 euros per event). This funding, which is part of the organization’s temporary COVID-19 response scheme, is in addition to any other incentive and site inspection support.
• County Kerry has ranked 13th in the Top 20 Global Destination Sustainability Index. Kerry Convention Bureau, as well as local industry in the region, have showcased their commitment to reducing the MICE industry’s footprint with a variety of new initiatives. Irish luxury hotelier O’Donoghue Ring Collection, for example, has debuted a new environmental policy called Our Green Way, which includes more locally sourced produce. And Killarney Urban Farm, which is billed as Ireland’s first hospitality urban garden, was recently launched to serve the company’s bars, restaurants and hotels.
• Ireland’s sustainability record is commendable, according
to the GDS Index, the world’s largest sustainability performance improvement
and benchmarking program. The cities of Belfast, Cork and Kerry have all ranked
among the top-20 list of sustainable destinations around the world, thanks to
continued efforts and initiatives in environmental strategy and infrastructure.
Last year, Visit Belfast launched the
"largest-ever green tourism city partnership" during a Sustainable Belfast event.
Visit Cork, meanwhile, initiated its sustainability
strategy in 2020 and Discover Kerry touts its
“Keep It Green” initiatives.
• Dublin has received an
enviable joint second place in the European Capital of Innovation awards
ceremony, which recognizes cities that foster creative thinking. Mariya
Gabriel, European commissioner for innovation, research, culture, education and
youth, praised Dublin for its ongoing collaboration with academic networks,
businesses and non-governmental organizations.
• Following more than 18 months of disruption and inactivity, Ireland is once again open for meetings, conferences and events. In September, the country hosted its first in-person conference, which included 450 attendees, since the easing of restrictions; it showcased the country's ability to host a large-scale event in a fully safe and compliant manner. The reopening of business events will begin Oct. 22, when Ireland is slated to lift all COVID-19-related restrictions, including mask-wearing and physical-distancing measures. Ireland now ranks as one of the top five countries within the European Union with the highest rates of COVID-19 vaccinations. And as of Nov, 8, the 20-month travel ban on non-essential travel to the United States was lifted, making it easy for U.S.-based groups to hold events in the Emerald Isle.
• Dublin scored a double victory at the 2021 M&IT Industry Awards, which recognizes and rewards excellence across the meetings and events sector. The Convention Centre Dublin was named Best Overseas Conference Venue while the Dublin Convention Bureau took gold for Best Overseas Convention Bureau. This is the ninth time the CCD has won gold in its category, and it also took home the Silver and in 2011 and 2017.
• The Emerald Isle will soon offer more venue options, thanks to Fáilte Ireland,
the National Tourism Development Authority, which is investing some
$11.7 million in the development of gala dinner venues to make the
nation more competitive as a business tourism destination. The
investment project, which was to launch in 2020 but was delayed due to
the pandemic, is scheduled to launch by the end of 2021. Fáilte Ireland and its business events arm, Meet in Ireland, also serve great resources for finding local PCOs and DMCs who can organize events and experiences in the country.
• Ireland's first Hard Rock Hotel, the Hard Rock Hotel Dublin, opened in the capital. The 120-room property, which celebrates the rich musical history of the city, is furnished with electrifying color schemes and Hard Rock memorabilia.
• Another recent newcomer to Dublin's hotel scene is The Mayson, a 94-room boutique property housed in a former warehouse. In addition to a traditional Irish pub and fitness facilities, the hotel features the Timberyard, an event space
that accommodates 160 people for receptions.
• Dublin's 304-room Clayton Hotel Cardiff Lane has a new events center that has six meeting rooms. The venue can accommodate up to 220 attendees.
• The Maldron Hotel South Mall Cork City, a 163-room property, has opened Cork's lmain shopping, business and entertainment district. The new-build property offers a bar, restaurant and five meeting rooms.
• The Institute of Technology Tralee, located along the Wild Atlantic Way in the town of Tralee, has recently opened a $22.3 million, multi-use event space called the Kerry Sports Academy. The facility features a 21,000-square-foot sports hall that also serves as an event space, able to accommodate 1,500 guests for seated events. The venue also has three meeting rooms, three classrooms and a 142-seat lecture hall.
• Another Tralee venue, the 161-room Rose Hotel, recently opened a new dining and event space that specializes in serving local fare including Kerry coast oysters, spa crab meat and Bally's goat cheese. The hotel's meeting spaces include the Lee Suite, which accommodates up to 320 guests, and the Kerry Suite, which accommodates 150 people.
More Ireland Meeting & Event Venues
• The Dublin
Convention Centre is a world-class conference venue located just 15 minutes
from the airport, in the heart of Dublin’s Docklands (the
city's finance and technology hub). As well as being Ireland’s largest
convention facility, is it also Europe’s first carbon-neutral-constructed convention center. The venue offers 22 purpose-built meeting rooms; a 2,000-seat auditorium; 48,600 square feet of exhibition space; banqueting facilities for up to 3,000 guests, and
cutting-edge technology and WiFi connection throughout the venue.
• Another high-profile event venue in the capital is the Royal Dublin Society, a venerable institution founded in 1868 that's set on an attractive, 42,000-acre site. Options at the RDS include 10 multi-purpose conference and exhibition halls, an outdoor stadium, several concert venues, meeting rooms, bars and restaurants. The Simonscourt Complex is the RDS's largest space, with more than 193,000 square feet of floor space and a capacity for 6,500 delegates, theater-style. The venue hosts exhibitions, indoor sporting events, live entertainment shows, award shows, large banquets, and conferences.
Killarney Convention Centre, Ireland’s second-largest convention venue, offers a main auditorium with retractable
seating that accommodates 2,500 delegates; 7,600
square feet of exhibition space that can be transformed seamlessly from
conference-style to banquet-style; 30 breakout
spaces and 500 on-site guest rooms.
• In the city of Limerick, one of the top choices for meeting planners is the University of Limerick Conference & Sports Campus, with three conference/event venues and more than 60 breakout rooms that accommodate more than 2,000 delegates. All theaters and meeting rooms have audiovisual capabilities and offer an array of catering options, as well as efficient transportation links and a dedicated events team. The park-like campus is perfect for strolling, offering sculptures, art galleries and diverse architectural styles that range from the 18th-century Palladian mansion Plassey House to the 21st-century home of the Irish World Music Academy of Music and Dance.
• The West Coast city of Galway is home to a variety of noteworthy meeting and event venues, including the Conference and Event Centre at the National University of Ireland Galway. Set on 230 picturesque acres on the shores of the River Corrib, the venue hosts a wide variety of events, including international conferences, board meetings, sporting events, award ceremonies and concerts. In addition to lecture halls, boardrooms, classrooms and exhibition space, the university has a large, multi-purpose venue, Bailey Allen Hall, which accommodates 1,000 attendees theater-style.
• Located about five minutes from downtown Cork is Páirc Uí Chaoimh, a modern stadium that hosts top-level Gaelic football matches as well as concerts. The facility offers more than 19,300 square feet of flexible conference space and a variety of smaller suites, as well as the 550-seat Seandun Suite.