Visit Belfast Takes World’s ‘Best Convention Bureau’ Title at Micebook Awards 2023

7th Jul, 2023

Pictured holding award is Deborah Collins Head of Business Events at Visit Belfast, alongside (L-R) Visit Belfast’s Rachel McGuckin, Director of Business Development, Sustainability and Transformation, Louise McQuillan Ambassador Programme Manager, Business Events Account Managers Judith Abraham and Jackie Geddis and Sarah Gribben Ambassador Programme Manager Aoife McVeigh Client Services Manager.

Visit Belfast has been named ‘Best Convention Bureau’ at this year’s micebook awards, further strengthening its ‘best in the world’ status as a global business leader hosting national and international conferences and events.

Organised annually by micebook, a major industry network for the events sector worldwide, the awards recognise global leaders, teams, brands and destinations in the pursuit of excellence in the delivery of high quality events and experiences.

Held in London’s Dorchester Hotel this year, Belfast’s dedicated Destination Marketing Management Organisation secured the ‘Best Convention Bureau’ global award in a hotly-contested category and among a record number of entries. Vienna’s Convention Bureau was runner up, achieving highly acclaimed status.

ICC Belfast, Northern Ireland’s international award-winning convention bureau was also acknowledged at this year’s event and was shortlisted in the ‘Best Events Venue’ category. ICC Belfast was also recently acknowledged as a finalist in the ‘Best Large-Scale Event Venue’ category at the Conference and Events Awards 2023.

At this year’s micebook awards, judges cited Visit Belfast social impact project, Changing the Menu. For Good, as a standout initiative – in addition to the sheer breadth of conference and support options available to event organisers to allow them to make a positive impact on their guests and local communities. Launched in 2022, Changing The Menu. For Good, is a pioneering project by Visit Belfast and the industry to raise funds and supplies for those experiencing food poverty in the city.

Rachael McGuickin, Director of Business Development, Sustainability and Transformation at Visit Belfast, said: “Winning at world industry awards illustrates our dedication to building a sustainable future for Belfast and the industry, as well as going above and beyond for every client. Working with our partners, the team continually strive to position Belfast as a premier tourist and events destination, demonstrating an unwavering commitment to delivering an exceptional experience for event organisers and delegates.

By attracting conferences and events to Belfast, we not only boost our thriving tourism and hospitality industry, but also make significant contributions to the development of our knowledge economy. This allows us to continue to showcase the city and Northern Ireland as an outstanding place in which to live, visit, work, study and invest.”

Pictured (L-R) are Julia Corkey, Chief Executive of ICC Belfast, Waterfront Hall, and Ulster Hall and Rachel McGuckin, Director of Business Development, Sustainability and Transformation at Visit Belfast.

Visit Belfast is the official destination marketing and management organisation for the Belfast City Region, dedicated to promoting Belfast as a tourist destination for business, leisure and cruise visitors. Tourism NI, Invest NI and Belfast City Council are also key supporters and funders of business tourism into Belfast and Northern Ireland.

Julia Corkey, Chief Executive of ICC Belfast, Waterfront Hall, and Ulster Hall said: “Best Event Venue titles are coveted within the industry so for ICC Belfast to be acknowledged strengthens our position as a world-class venue. As Visit Belfast’s win conveys, Belfast is a city primed for business. And that remains a crucial message as we continue to work with partners to secure high-profile, national and international conferences and conventions.

“We look forward to continuing to work with Visit Belfast and Tourism NI as we collectively attract international business, and contribute to Belfast and Northern Ireland economically, socially and culturally. After all, when we win, everybody wins.”

In April, Visit Belfast said its plans were on track to deliver around £120 million to the local economy this year through its sales, marketing and visitor servicing activity, marking a fresh growth milestone in the organisation’s near 25-year history.

Last year, Visit Belfast’s combined marketing, visitor servicing and business development activities delivered an above-target £111 million for the local economy, which included welcoming 60 new conferences, 131 cruise ships with 250,000 visitors and handling 578,000 visitor enquiries. This year the city is set to welcome at least 79 major conferences and a record 170 ships will visit the city this year carrying 362,000 passengers and crew.

Established in 1999 as the Belfast Visitor and Convention Bureau (BVCB) - a year after the Good Friday Agreement was signed – Visit Belfast is a not-for-profit public, private and community partnership focused on driving city and regional tourism growth through business events, leisure breaks and cruise.

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