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ICC Belfast team deliver their latest Digital Masterclass

Posted 23rd Jul, 2019

Laura Duffy

Laura Duffy Sales & Marketing Assistant

ICC Belfast's Digital Masterclasses are a series of fun, practical and interactive workshops that provide participants with the opportunity to learn from our team of experts and receive a range of practical tools designed to be implemented straight away. 

Attendees who attended our most recent event, which was held in The Royal College of Anaesthetists on 5 July, also had the chance to network and share best practice with industry peers in order to take their events to the next level! 

Delegates left with a range of hints and tips to help: 

  • Drive up delegate numbers and attract new conference attendees
  • Create a sponsorship rights package and increase value from existing deals
  • Design an engaging and agile content plan that delivers for your organisation,
    sponsors and delegates

The Digital workshop was split into three sessions outlined below:

Made to measure – Getting to grips with digital marketing and data 

Digital doesn’t have to be daunting, especially if you know your audience already. By redressing the focus of your digital marketing efforts to place an emphasis on those areas that clearly demonstrate your worth, whether that’s SEO or Email Marketing, you can become more effective and efficient with your time and budget. 
Whether they’re surgeons or school teachers, they’ll have a preference for receiving and digesting comms, whether that’s advertisements on Instagram or a weekly e-zine, all of this can be ascertained through trial and error.

You’re in good company – Driving commercial sponsorships

We know how important sponsors are, that’s why we help you design a package that gets the best for both parties. It is important to know how to identify and approach the best possible sponsor for your event, as well as diversifying your approach in order to maximise revenue from sponsors that are already on board to ensure mutually beneficial long-term partnerships.

Your event story – Creating and distributing content with impact 

When writing your event story, consider it in chapters. Your first chapter comes before the event is even held and this is when the planning takes place. It is important to understand how you can amplify your message beyond your own platforms through activation and user-generated content.

Oonagh O'Reilly, ICC Belfast | Waterfront Hall | Ulster Hall Director of Sales and Marketing commented on the masterclass series saying, "We have two very distinct sides to our business, conferences and live entertainment.

We run between 300 and 400 entertainment shows every year and armed with research and insight, we took the bold move of going ‘digital-first’ in our marketing approach in 2018, a change that’s proven hugely successful. Our occupancy rates in February of this year hit 81% and ticket sales are tracking a 28% increase year on year…all without increasing our marketing spend.

"Our mantra as a business is that when we win, everyone wins and this works for our customers too. We quickly realised that the principle of filling the seats in our Main Auditorium was the same whether it was for a performance of Riverdance or a Nobel Peace Prize winner talking about medical research at a conference. Our digital masterclasses allow us to take the learnings from running an entertainment business and give it to our conference clients.

"You might question what’s our motivation for doing this? We do it because when you bring your conference to Belfast and it attracts 900 delegates instead of 800 thanks to your digital marketing efforts that have created FOMO amongst your target audience, it’s a win win for us. We get to sell you an extra 100 lunches and cups of coffee, and our city wins because it brings new money into Belfast and everyone from taxis to restaurants wins."

The ICC Belfast team have held a number of digital masterclasses for Corporate and Association clients including the Royal Statistical Society, the Association of Surgeons of Great Britain and Ireland and the Royal College of Psychiatrists and the feedback received has been nothing but positive:

I cannot thank you enough for inviting me. The masterclass was really interactive and provided real tools which can be used immediately.

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