23rd July 2020 - Page 54



54
BUSINESS
FARMWEEK
AUGUST 08 2019
Belfast conference delivers
major coup for business tourism
M
ORE than 100 of the UK’s
top event planners and
suppliers have converged
on Belfast for the 2019
Conference and Incentive
Travel (C&IT) Summit and Agency
Forum, the agship annual gathering
for event professionals.
Leading gures at the conference
at
ICC
Belfast
represented
organisations controlling a combined annual spend of £2.85 billion.
The event also discussed the
placing of business worth some £300
million in the meetings, incentive,
conferences and exhibitions (MICE)
sector of the tourism industry.
Held outside London only once
previously in its 10-year history,
the conference was secured by a
partnership of Tourism NI, Visit
Belfast, ICC Belfast, Titanic Belfast
and Hastings Hotels, giving the
city a major coup in the business
tourism marketplace.
The conference opened with
a Corporate Summit, bringing
together senior planner and
suppliers in a series of panel
discussions,
meetings
and
presentations that considered the
challenges and issues facing the
events industry.
The Agency Forum comprised
of a series of keynote speeches,
networking activities, content and
educational sessions, one-to-one
meetings, huddle debates and social
events, including a gala dinner at
Titanic Belfast.
Some of Northern Ireland’s most
outstanding
tourism
offerings,
including Game of Thrones, golf,
food, drink and spa experiences
were promoted to delegates in
an Experience Zone installed at
ICC Belfast for the duration of the
conference.
Tourism
NI
organised
a
familiarisation trip for delegates
to follow the closing session,
showcasing tourism experiences,
prospective MICE venues and the
tourism opportunities in Northern
Ireland for 2019 and beyond.
John McGrillen, CEO of Tourism
NI, said: “Business tourism is a
key priority for the future growth
of tourism in Northern Ireland due
to the fact it can deliver higherspending visitors and shoulder
season activity, so the decision
by C&IT to choose Belfast for
this pivotal event is a real vote of
condence in the city.
“The delegates are being treated
to a world-class welcome and
excellent experiences and we are
already receiving great feedback
about Belfast as a conference
destination.
“Last year tourism welcomed ve
million visitors, contributing £968
million to the local economy, and I
am condent the business tourism
sector will help us to achieve
further growth as we continue to
work closely with key partners and
stakeholders to collectively promote
Northern Ireland as a destination of
choice for the meetings industry.”
Calum di Lieto, Editor C&IT
Magazine, said: “Bringing our
agship event to Belfast has been
incredibly exciting for the C&IT
team and delegates alike. The event
professionals in attendance not
only get a chance to network and
discuss hot topics in the industry
but they also get to experience the
destination.
“The ICC Belfast is also doing a
brilliant job of showcasing how it
can facilitate events of all sizes, and
with its location on the waterfront
it also allows delegates to see the
beauty of the city.
“Every year our events get bigger
and better and hosting 2019’s in
and around Belfast will certainly
provide unforgettable experiences
that will be difcult to follow next
year.”
Chief Executive of Visit Belfast
Gerry Lennon said: “Belfast is now
able to compete at the highest level
for conference business, bidding for
more and bigger events thanks to
investment in infrastructure, sales
and marketing, conference venues,
access and tourism product and
experiences.
“This is a huge opportunity to
showcase Belfast and Northern
Ireland to some of the UK’s largest
and most inuential event planners
and agencies.
ABOVE: Pictured at Titanic Belfast are John McGrillen, Tourism NI,
Catherine Toolan, ICC Belfast, Calum Di Lieto, C&IT, Judith Owens,
Titanic Belfast, Gerry Lennon, Visit Belfast, and Caitriona Lavery,
Hasting Hotels.
“During their time in the city,
delegates will get to experience
Belfast as an events destination, as
well as getting out of the city to see
the wealth of tourism experiences
available across Northern Ireland,
and I have no doubt they will be
impressed with what they see.”
Celebration as Crossgar’s Shortcross Gin bags two Gin Masters
N
ORTHERN Ireland’s
Shortcross Gin has won
two Gin Masters in the
prestigious Gin Masters 2019
competition.
Shortcross Gin is produced at
Rademon Estate Distillery near
Downpatrick in County Down and
has won more awards for premium
quality and taste than any other gin
on the island of Ireland.
Established in 2014, Shortcross,
Northern Ireland’s original craft
gin, is produced by husband and
wife team David and Fiona Boyd
Armstrong.
Shortcross topped the UltraPremium 2019 category by picking
up two Gin Masters for its original
Shortcross Gin and Bartender
Series One Edition.
Shortcross is the only gin
to pick up two masters in the
coveted competition. A Master
is the premiere award in each
category in the competition.
ABOVE: Fiona and David Boyd
Armstrong of Shortcross Gin.
RIGHT: Rosie’s Garden Gin launched
recently.
Awards are made on the basis of
extensive blind-tastings.
Most recently Shortcross
won three silver medals in the
International Wine and Spirit
Awards for its original gin,
Bartenders’ Limited Edition and
Rosie’s Garden Pink Gin.
Shortcross Managing Director
Fiona Boyd Armstrong said: “With
more than 300 expressions entered
into this year’s Gin Masters, from
around the globe, competition was
very tough.
“With 30 shortlisted competitors
within our category, Shortcross
Gin received two out of the ve gin
masters awarded. No easy feat!
“We were thrilled by the citation
from the judges which described
Shortcross as “smoothness in
abundance! Great mix of sweet
and saline. On the nose; orange/
blood orange and juniper dominant,
a great mix!” Our Shortcross
Bartender Series One was also
celebrated for its “prominent
juniper nose”.
“The judges added that it was a
great quality alcohol, with great
balance, herbal spice and a lovely
classic nose. The awards are a
marvellous endorsement of our
gins and will support our global
marketing activities. Shortcross is
currently exported to more than 30
nations,” she added.
Shortcross Bartender Series
One Gin, introduced in 2017, took
its fth award in just two short
years. Rademon Estate Distillery
now has four Shortcross gins in
its inventory – Classic, Bartender
Series One, Cask Finish and Rosie’s
Garden Gin, the most recently
launched.
Earlier in the year, Shortcross
Gin and Shortcross Bartender
Series One gained silver medals
at the San Francisco World
Spirits Competition along with a
celebration at the Northern Ireland
Food and Drink Awards. The
company is also maturing a new
single malt Irish whiskey.
The annual World Gin Masters
is among the world’s leading
competitions for a spirit that
continues to grow in popularity.
The 2019 competition was the
biggest Global Spirits Masters
competition in history.
Organised by The Spirits
Business, the competition
celebrated its 10th anniversary in
June 2019.
NI Chamber unveils calendar of business events
N
ORTHERN Ireland Chamber of
Commerce and Industry (NI Chamber)
has released details of its workshops,
training and business networking events
until the end of the year.
The packed schedule will see the
membership organisation host over
25 events and programmes across the
LEFT: Louise Turley (Head of Campaigns
and Events), George McQuitty (Campaigns
and Events Assistant) and Petrina McAuley
(Campaigns and Events Manager) launch NI
Chamber’s latest calendar of programmes
and events.
Province, including Belfast, Cookstown and
Ballycastle.
It includes the agship Annual Networking
Conference and Business Showcase in St
George’s Market on September 18, a host
of specialist workshops for exporters, the
Growing Something Brilliant Leadership
Breakfast and the prestigious President’s
Banquet on November 21 in ICC Belfast.
Louise Turley, Head of Campaigns and
Events at NI Chamber, is encouraging people
to secure places early: “We are delighted
to have secured an outstanding line-up of
world-class speakers and subject matter
experts as part of this programme, so we
urge people from every sector to make the
most of the opportunity to learn from them.
“Covering a wide range of specialisms,
including sales, leadership, export and
policy, attending is an opportunity for our
members to learn, connect and ultimately
grow their businesses.
“Early registration is strongly advised,
as these sessions frequently book up fast.
We advise everyone to take a look at the
calendar online, select the events most
appropriate to your business and get the
dates in your diary.”
n To view the full events and programmes
schedule for August-December 2019, visit
w w w. nor t her n i r el a ndc h a mb er.co m/
events

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