Unlocking Belfast’s full potential

Belfast Waterfront’s extension, to open next May, will deliver a wide range of new opportunities for conferencing and business tourism.

Northern Ireland’s capital city is fast establishing itself as a must-visit business tourism destination, playing host to world leaders, the business élite, leading academics and professionals. During 2014-2015, Visit Belfast successfully secured 69 conferences, generating an outstanding £40.7 million for the local economy. Growing the city’s share of business tourism is vital to its future and the opening of Belfast Waterfront’s new 4,000m2 extension in May 2016 is key to unlocking the city’s full potential as a leading business tourism destination.

Belfast already displays many characteristics of a leading destination including:
• Ease of access
Just one hour away from London by plane and accessible from over 150 international destinations, travelling to Belfast couldn’t be easier. Where else would you find an airport just a 10-minute drive away from the city and a leading conference centre?
• Legendary hospitality
It delivers a service that is far superior to any other destination thanks to Team Belfast. The city service providers work hand in hand to ensure that each event stands out both in the heart of the city and in the minds of the delegates.
• An abundance of world class attractions
An investment of over a £1 billion over the last decade has transformed Belfast into a vibrant and inspirational meeting place that appeals to and captivates a wide range of delegates.
Key to making Belfast successful, sustainable and securing jobs in the city will be its ability to attract many more international events with a larger variety of requirements.

From spring 2016, Belfast Waterfront will boast 7,000m2 of flexible event space, which will help Belfast tap into the growing business tourism market by wowing event organisers with even more choice and greater flexibility than before.

News of the new state-of-the-art development has generated an overwhelming interest. Even before Belfast Waterfront opens the doors to its new world-class conference facilities, 50 international and national event bookings are already confirmed for the newly extended venue. Among these are International Measurement Confederation (IMEKO) World Congress and World Council of Credit Unions Annual Global Conference.

These events will bring over 43,000 delegates to the city, generating a welcome 94,000 delegate days and in turn a positive impact upon the local economy. The extended Waterfront is expected to bring £45 million to the economy annually by 2020.
From hosting a small meeting of 10 individuals to large-scale conferences and exhibitions for 2,000-plus delegates, Belfast Waterfront offers endless possibilities for event organisers. The new extension will feature two conference and exhibition halls boasting a total of 2,500m2 flat floor space, plus three additional meeting rooms each for up to 200 delegates and exterior terraces with stunning riverside views.

The larger of the two new halls will boast over 1800m2 of multi-purpose event space which can accommodate up to 180 exhibition stands, 1,000 banqueting and 2,000 theatre style. The hall can be reconfigured into four smaller spaces using acoustically sound, flexible partitions. Moreover, a ceiling height of 9m will offer a light and open space able to accommodate a variety of set-ups. This space will interconnect to Hall 2 which will cover 700m2 and accommodate up to 800 people (theatre-style), and 450 banqueting and 55 exhibition stands. Similarly, this hall can be divided into two smaller areas.

The extra meeting space will augment the Waterfront’s existing offering, which consists of a 2,000-seat auditorium, a 380-seat studio and 14 meeting rooms.

The £29.5 million development, funded by Belfast City Council, Tourism Northern Ireland 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.

To get a taste of what’s to come, view Belfast Waterfront’s 3D extension flythrough at www.waterfront.co.uk
For more information, call the Waterfront sales team on
028 9033 4400 or email: conference@waterfront.co.uk

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