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Bigger Waterfront attracting new conference and events business for Belfast

Belfast Waterfront
Belfast Waterfront’s plans to extend its events space by Spring 2016 is already paying dividends with almost 50 international and national associations confirmed to date.

A 4,000m2 state-of-the-art extension opening in Spring 2016 will transform the venue into a truly world class conference centre as well as see its event space double in size to almost 7,000m2.

The saying ‘build it and they will come’ rings true for this prestigious venue. With over a year to go before the new extension opens its doors, Belfast Waterfront has already attracted almost 50 events, which will bring over 43,000 delegates to the city, generating a welcome 94,000 delegate days.

The new high tech facility will be able to accommodate larger events with a wider range of requirements. The £29.5 million development, funded by Belfast City Council, the Northern Ireland Tourist Board and the European Regional Development Fund, under the European Sustainable Competitiveness Programme for Northern Ireland, will be a real game-changer for Belfast improving the city’s competitiveness and attractiveness as a business tourism destination, whilst generating a significant number of new jobs within the hospitality sector. 

When the extension is complete, clients will be able to enjoy more choice, greater flexibility and the latest in event technology, creating a truly interactive experience for visiting delegates.

Already a leading European conference centre, the Belfast Waterfront will soon feature two conference and exhibition halls with a total of 2,500m2 flat floor space, additional meeting rooms for 200 delegates each and exterior terraces boasting spectacular views of the city.

Having these new dynamic and flexible spaces alongside a 2,000 seat auditorium, a 380 seat studio plus 14 meeting rooms has already enabled a number of associations to choose Belfast as their host city for the first time as well as facilitate return business from many events.

Geoff Fenlon, Interim Managing Director at Belfast Waterfront Conference and Exhibition Centre, is not surprised by the level of interest in the new venue: 

“Belfast Waterfront already bears all the characteristics of an award-winning conference centre. Ease of access to transport links (where else can you find an airport 10 mins from the city centre and your venue?), exclusive city centre location and a second to none service clients can rely on time and time again. These winning attributes together with double the event space and the latest in event technology, have been key to attracting larger international events for 2016 and beyond – even as far as 2021. As we say to our clients ‘At Belfast Waterfront your success is our success – and it will be a success.’” 

Welcoming the investment in Belfast’s premier conference venue, Visit Belfast’s Director of Business Tourism, Rachael McGuickin said:

“Over a billion pounds of investment over the last decade has helped Belfast emerge as an attractive conference and events destination, particularly within the UK association market. Belfast City Council’s commitment to investing in the conference tourism product will allow us to compete on a more international scale and help realise our ambition of becoming a top 100 conference destination in the world by 2020.

“Visit Belfast has ambitious targets for its business tourism sector with an aspiration of increasing business tourism bed nights by 250% over the next 5 years and the success of the Belfast Waterfront is central to the wider Belfast tourism industry achieving this.”

Confidence in investing in both leisure and conference tourism in Belfast is very tangible to those who visit as the city has been transformed into a vibrant and inspirational meeting place that appeals and captivates a wide range of delegates. Belfast delivers a service that sets it above many other conference destinations thanks to the collaborative efforts of Team Belfast. Behind the scenes, key service providers work hand in hand to create a unique and memorable experience. No matter the size of the event, clients will receive the undivided attention of the city’s hospitality and events businesses and the warmest of welcomes.

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