For Association-based conferences it has long been the norm that events rotate between different global regions, usually Europe, Asia and the US. However, we don’t tend to see the same with corporate-led international conferences. For those that do make the leap of faith and move to a different location, there are major benefits to reap!
Moving your conference to a new location gives you the opportunity to nurture existing relationships, build new partnerships and grow your community. Choosing a new location that aligns with your market is key. A place that is showing growth in your area, that is home to some of your major suppliers or partners, or where business sales are booming, is ideal.
The latest stats from the IDA (Ireland's inward investment promotion agency) highlight the country’s proven track record as a successful location for world-leading multinational companies. Ireland is currently home to 9 of the top 10 US technology companies, 14 of the top 15 medical technology companies, 8 of the top 10 financial services companies and all of the top 5 global software companies. It’s also building a reputation as the centre for emerging technological sectors such as clean tech, cyber security, fin-tech, bio-pharmaceuticals, game and app development. Many of these leading and emerging companies are located in close proximity to each other, and in the vicinity of The Convention Centre Dublin (The CCD), an area known as ‘Silicon Docks’. Their presence is testament to Ireland’s attractiveness as a global knowledge-hub. This makes Ireland an easy sell to entice the business and technology market to conferences and events.
One of the major benefits to moving a conference is the boost it brings to delegate numbers. Adrienne Clarke, Head of Conference Sales at The CCD comments “Typically, our clients see up to a 10 percent increase in delegate numbers when they bring their conference to Ireland. In this year alone, INQUA, the International Headache Society and the European Association of Neurosurgical Societies (EANS) have all reported that their Irish-based conference attracted higher delegate numbers than expected”.
The venue is a major factor, but the appeal of the city as a tourist destination has an even bigger part to play. Ireland’s National Tourism Development Authority, Fáilte Ireland, has found that business tourism is one of the fastest growing segments in the Irish tourism industry. This is because when a business tourist comes to Ireland they typically extend their stay by nearly three days on top of their business commitment, giving them the opportunity to mix business and pleasure.
Just last year, Ireland was named the second-best country in the world to visit by TripAdvisors ‘Most Excellent’ survey. Dublin was also ranked Lonely Planet’s third ‘best city in the world to visit’ in 2016, while Galway has made the top-ten list for 2020. Moving your conference to a country that has wide-ranging appeal as a tourism hot-spot will usually attract higher attendee rates.
Conference budgets are always under pressure. Therefore, event organisers should consider if moving a conference could benefit their bottom-line. The exchange rate is a major factor to bear in mind. For example, the US dollar is strong at the moment, meaning that a dollar can go further in the EU in 2019 relative to previous years. According to the IDA, Ireland has Europe’s fastest growing economy and has received an ‘A’ grade from all major credit rating agencies. It’s also the only native English-speaking country in the eurozone.
Dublin Convention Bureau offer a range of financial and practical supports for international conferences who are considering Dublin as a host destination. This stability and support, coupled with potential to increase profit margins, means there has never been a better time to bring your conference to Ireland.
Choosing a new city and venue for your conference offers new capabilities, new ways of networking, new technologies and new ways of utilising meeting spaces. Finding a venue that’s versatile and flexible is key. Talking to your event manager about what challenges you face in your current venue and asking them how past clients have overcome similar issues can give you great ideas. For example, one of the features we’ve introduced to many clients is video conferencing, where conference sessions are live-streamed all over the world. Many clients have also increased their networking opportunities by taking advantage of small inflatable meeting room pods which we can set up on our foyers and halls. A change of scene can bring a different perspective to your entire event, energizing delegates and boosting engagement.
Did you know that a typical conference attendee discards 1.89kg of waste per day, and 1.16kg of this goes directly to landfill? Moving your conference to a venue at the forefront of event sustainability will help reduce the environmental impact of your event. You’ll also gain serious kudos from attendees for taking an environmentally-focused approach! At The CCD, we specialise in hosting sustainable events. We continuously work hard to monitor and improve our recycling figures, which rank consistently above 98%. From the energy we use, right through to our recycling procedures, we have taken a vested interest in being a green venue and are committed to long-term sustainability. Building on our experience in this area, we’ve even developed an Event Planners Checklist for Green Events.
Next in NewsThe Convention Centre Dublin does it again!