EN takes a trip to Belfast, a unique city with a growing events offering and a thriving tourism industry.
Like many UK cities, Belfast’s event offering has transformed in recent years. With the opening in 2015 of Eikon Exhibition Centre just outside the city and Titanic Exhibition Centre in the Titanic Quarter, the Northern Irish capital has established itself as a go-to business events destination.
“Belfast is continuing to go from strength to strength,” says Victoria Beatty, business and leisure markets manager at Titanic Belfast. “There is an intrigue factor about Belfast, as well as an authenticity and unique element that makes us stand out.
“Belfast has been transformed into an exciting and vibrant city with a warm welcoming feel. From an organiser’s point-of-view the city is compact, it has great ease of access and public transport links and has a strong catchment area for the majority of the population in Northern Ireland. There is a range of accommodation, venues and experiences to suit all budgets that help create truly memorable event experiences.”
The city has also become more accessible than ever to a national and international audience, with up to 40 flights a day between Belfast and Great Britain and 12 ferry departures each day from Belfast Harbour.
“Northern Ireland is growing considerably in the events sector, with an increasing number of organisers choosing it as the next destination for their events,” comments Theresa Morrissey, commercial director at Eikon Exhibition Centre. “With a £63m sales market, many B2B and B2C events are hoping to expand into Northern Ireland.
“The Eikon team has a wealth of experience, offering a bespoke and tailor-made event experience. Event organisers will work with a dedicated account manager, operations manager and venue manager, each role specifically designed to assist in the operations and logistics of using the centre.”
The Titanic Exhibition Centre has also proven popular with event organisers.
“The TEC’s location in the vibrant Titanic Quarter – which has proven to be a winner for all,” says Beatty. “Our event organisers to date have praised our ease of access for loading and unloading, as well as those attending the events as it has strong transport links to road, rail and air as well as excellent parking, it has become an instant favourite among both our exhibitors and visitors.”
The Northern Irish capital has proven itself to be a reliable events proposition in recent years, combining ease of access and plenty to see and do, with a state-of-the-art venue offering.