Business News

Limerick to host major business tourism conference this week

By Business & Finance
10 March 2014

An organisation responsible for generating millions of euro in business tourism revenue annually as well as the majority of international conference business in Ireland will hold a major national conference at The Strand Hotel in Limerick city this Thursday.

The Association of Irish Professional Conference Organisers (AIPCO) has decided to host its second annual one-day conference in Limerick to mark City of Culture 2014.

AIPCO is the largest association of its kind on the Island of Ireland with all the major professional conference organisers in Ireland now members. The main body of delegates will be professionals working in the regional convention bureaux, hotels, venues, restaurant and service areas.

Based on the theme ‘MICE – The future, the vision, the challenges’, this year’s event will feature plenary sessions with international speakers, followed by interactive discussions, solution clinics and ending with a networking dinner.

Speakers include Michel Neijmann (vice president, IAPCO and managing partner, K2 PCO, Turkey); Keith McCormack (director, Visit Dublin and head of events, Fáilte Ireland); Ben Goedegebuure (global general manager, EMEA, Maritz Travel Company); and John Barton (managing partner and co-founder of Testify). The day’s moderator will be Pádraic Gilligan (managing partner, SoolNua).

The Shannon Region Conference & Sports Bureau will also be showcasing Limerick City of Culture to delegates.

Speaking ahead of the conference, AIPCO chair, Susan Nolan said: ”The industry has now ridden the storm of the financial crash and come through the other side more robust. It has, to put it simply, changed. As an industry we need to ensure we align with the changing demands of our clients and give a clear vision of what the future of the MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and events) sector is, both in Ireland and internationally.”

According to Padraic Gilligan, managing partner, SoolNua: “The tourism industry is one that relies on collaboration and connecting with colleagues on occasions such as this is vital for driving change. I’m delighted that Limerick is hosting the conference, with its designation as the city of culture for 2014 well deserved.”

Karen Brosnahan, business manager of the Shannon Region Conference & Sports Bureau described Thursday’s one-day conference as “a valuable opportunity for Limerick and the wider Shannon region to showcase itself as a location for investment and its capacity to host large national and international conferences.”