Encouraging Shannon Chamber members to move towards bringing an event to the Shannon Region (from left): Tony Brazil, Limerick Travel and Shannon Region Conference & Sports Bureau; Helen Downes, chief executive, Shannon Chamber; Sean Brady, CloudAssist; and Mary Collins, Meet in Ireland team, Fáilte Ireland. Photo: Sean Curtin, FusionShooters.
Over thirty executives from Shannon region companies signed up to become conference and sports events ambassadors at a special event held in Dromoland Castle Hotel last week.
The event, which was hosted by Shannon Region Conference & Sports Bureau in association with Fáilte Ireland and Shannon Chamber, sought to encourage a greater cohort of companies in the Shannon region to assess how they could bring a national or international conference, meeting, incentive group or a sporting event to the area.
Encouraging attendees to sign up, Karen Brosnahan, business manager for Shannon Region Conference & Sports Bureau said: “The bureau ambassador programme is running for over 10 years and has over 500 members. A local ambassador is anyone who can influence a meeting, conference or event. The bureau, in partnership with Fáilte Ireland, offers a wide range of practical and financial supports to help ambassadors win business for their region. In 2015, the bureau secured €7million in economic impact between business and sports tourism with over 50% of events secured as a result of local ambassadors. “
Mary Collins, Meet in Ireland team, Fáilte Ireland said that business tourism is big business for Ireland.
“It generates €581 million in revenue, with each visitor contributing in the region of €1,400 per visit, and supports 20,000 jobs. Ireland is a highly regarded conference and events destination. It has breath-taking backdrops and world-class venues. It is value for money, has a fascinating culture and most importantly, getting here is easy.”
With a range of supports available to individuals and companies that bring an event to Ireland, Shannon Chamber’s chief executive Helen Downes encouraged Chamber members to get involved.
“Bringing an event to the region can increase a company’s profile within their organisation. It might also help companies to secure future funding and establish worldwide linkages. They will be making a very valuable contribution to the economy as well as increasing exposure to Ireland as a leisure and business destination.”
The range of supports available to anyone seeking to bring a conference or event to the region is both financial and practical.
Financial supports cover: site inspection hosting – bringing key decision makers to Ireland to view the proposed venue and discuss the programme; destination programme support –enhancing the programme on offer; and bid and marketing support towards making a bid and marketing funding toward the event.
Practical supports include: videos, sample bid documents, access to an image library, sample programmes, conference checklist, government and regional letters of support, delegate information packs and introductions to the trade, where appropriate.
“We would hope that the information event in Dromoland, which resulted in thirty new ambassadors signing up, will lead to new business tourism wins for the region. The key takeaway from the evening is that there is support available, and individuals and companies should avail of it,” added Helen Downes.