TM Forum was deemed a large success as delegate numbers jumped 10% for 2011.
For the past 11 years, TM Forum has held its annual Management World Conference in Nice, France. For the 2011 event, TM Forum wanted to bring the event to a new venue in Europe, which would be easily accessible for delegates worldwide. The chosen venue also needed to be aligned with the TM Forum brand and be appropriate for a technology-driven event for the entire telecom and communications industry and its sponsors. The event consists of a conference with an exhibition. The conference schedule includes six concurrent break-outs, which required break-out rooms in a variety of formats. As the event attracts a large number of sponsors, the venue also needed to have additional space for designated hospitality areas.
TM Forum selected The Convention Centre Dublin (The CCD) to host the event as Dublin is extremely accessible for the majority of its delegate base with direct flights from European and North American cities. The CCD is also a brand new, state-of-the-art venue located right in the heart of Dublin, a vibrant and fun European city. The TM Forum team received great support from Team Ireland – Fáilte Ireland and the Dublin Convention Bureau, which made the transition even easier. Now the team just had to break the news to the delegates about their decision to move the event from the French Riviera to Dublin’s River Liffey. At first some were a little sceptical but Ireland’s world-famous hospitality won them over! The next task was to take the configuration of the event in Nice and rework it to fit in a new space. The CCD team enabled the organisers to re-establish the event and took over the operational side to free up the TM Forum team to focus on marketing and content for the conference. The foyer spaces were used as sponsor lounges, including the Management World Café and the Management World Juice Bar and Internet Lounge. Extra space was also secured adjacent to The CCD to cover the requirements for the many event sponsors, including hospitality marquees along the banks of the River Liffey and space on the MV Cill Airne, renovated former training boat, known as Dublin’s floating restaurant and bar. Apart from the conference, another key component of the event is the exhibition. This year, the team noticed that many of the exhibitors had used the change of venue as a reason to invest in new booths and display units including four double-decker stands, which had never been seen before at this event.
The event was deemed a large success as delegate numbers jumped 10% for 2011 and it was the first year TM Forum sold out all of its exhibition space. In a post-event delegate survey, the majority of respondents rated The Convention Centre Dublin as “Excellent” (43%) or “Good” (37%). The sponsor lounges were also very popular and the organisers had never seen them so busy but felt that the warmth of the foyer spaces worked well. The event took place a few days after the visit of Queen Elizabeth II and began on the day U.S. President Obama arrived in Ireland for the first time. Despite Dublin being in a security lock-down status, delegates were still able to get out and about in the city and enjoy the media buzz as the world watched the President’s visit unfold. Dublin has a different climate to the French Riviera but delegates were overcome with the friendly Irish reputation and were positively charmed by the Irish brand.