The ambassadors were acknowledged for their expertise, industry knowledge and unwavering commitment to successfully hosting an international conference in Ireland between 2018 and 2022. Collectively these conferences have contributed €125 million to the Irish economy and have made a positive impact on our nation.
Fáilte Ireland’s Conference Ambassador Programme was developed to support individuals who want to host an international conference in Ireland. The programme provides assistance and financial support at every stage of the event, from the initial bidding, through to the marketing and promotion of the event. Ambassadors are sector leaders or influencers in their field and since the programme was established in 2009, Fáilte Ireland has supported almost 3,000 ambassadors in their bids to host conferences and events worth more than €2 billion.
The highlight of the evening was the presentation of the ‘Conference Ambassador of the Year’ award which went to Professor Peter McHugh from the University of Galway for his remarkable role in organising the ‘11th European Solid Mechanics Conference 2022’, contributing over €1.8 million to the local economy.
Two new spotlight awards celebrated excellence in ‘Sustainability’ and ‘Social Impact and Legacy’. The ‘Sustainability’ award went to the “EUGEO 2019” (Association of Geography Societies in Europe), which took place in the University of Galway in 2019, exemplifying its commitment to environmental responsibility. Prof. Frances Fahy and Dr. Kathy Reilly, from the College of Geography and Archaeology at the University of Galway, were responsible for bidding for, and winning the conference for Ireland. The ‘Social Impact & Legacy’ award was conferred on the ‘WONCA World Rural Health Conference 2022,’ led by Professor Liam Glynn and which took place at the University of Limerick.
The award ceremony, which was attended by potential and established ambassadors, government officials, and trade stakeholders, also recognised “Regional Champions” for their exceptional dedication to promoting their regions for international conferences.
Chief Executive of Fáilte Ireland Paul Kelly said, “the Conference Ambassador Recognition Awards showcase the wide range of talent and commitment of our network of conference ambassadors. Their expertise, industry knowledge and unwavering commitment to successfully hosting international conferences in Ireland is nothing short of exceptional. They have created value that extends way beyond the realm of tourism and have exemplified what it truly means to be a conference ambassador. At Fáilte Ireland, we are always looking to recruit new conference ambassadors to help bring future business to Ireland. I hope that those at different stages of their ambassador journey are inspired and motivated by the talented ambassadors recognised at the awards and by hearing their stories of success.”
Conference ambassadors come from diverse backgrounds and industries and have been instrumental in helping to bring 810 conferences to Ireland between 2018 and 2022, which were attended by 270,000 international delegates across Ireland’s major business hubs – Dublin, Cork, Kerry, The Shannon Region and Galway. These events were worth €443 million to the Irish economy and are often held during off-peak seasons. They have not only augmented hotel and industry supplier revenues but have also contributed to positive social and environmental impacts.
Each international delegate is valued at more than three times the average leisure tourist, underlining the importance of this sector.
Source: Fáilte Ireland