Belfast is a city resurgent, and it hasn’t gone unnoticed by conference organisers. The city has long been feted by those in the know. The Guardian had Belfast as the Best UK City in 2016, National Geographic voted it as the Rising Star of 2017 and now Lonely Planet have awarded it Top Place to Visit in 2018. According to MICE and Business Travel it is the trendiest European City for Business Travel and the business tourism market in the city is taking off. Belfast Waterfront, the city’s only purpose built international convention centre is well equipped to take advantage of this surge in activity. A £29.5m extension, unveiled in 2016 that was funded by Belfast City Council, Tourism Northern Ireland and the European Regional Development Fund has significantly increased the venue’s capacity. Belfast Waterfront now boasts 7,000sqm of flexible event space that can be dynamically tailored to suit specific requirements.
The year ending Friday 15th June 2018 saw over 286,000 visitors welcomed to over 250 live entertainment and conferencing events in Belfast Waterfront. Around 70,000 meals were prepared for guests using ingredients sourced locally in Northern Ireland and an additional 80,000 retail customers were served.
The venue has been tasked with delivering £100m of economic impact to the City of Belfast by the end of March 2021. The venue is well on its way to achieving this figure and is enjoying success that looks set to continue as it enters a new era by repositioning to ICC Belfast in Autumn 2018.