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A message from our Interim Chief Executive

Posted 23rd Mar, 2020

Iain Bell

Iain Bell Interim Chief Executive

For over twenty years, we have been part of the fabric of Belfast’s live entertainment scene and night-time economy. In recent years, we have been gaining more and more recognition as one of Europe’s top international convention centres.

Never in these two decades have we experienced a situation like the one we find ourselves in now. The rapid and widespread nature of this virus means our people, customers, clients, partners and stakeholders have all been impacted either directly or indirectly. Therefore, we need to come together and take a united approach that keeps safety and wellbeing at the forefront.

Temporarily closing our doors to visitors means temporarily not being able to create lifelong memories and ‘I was there when’ moments at Waterfront Hall and Ulster Hall gigs. It means temporarily not welcoming international medical conferences to ICC Belfast as those delegates work tirelessly on the front line to treat patients and carry out research to find a cure. It means temporarily not welcoming clients to view our spaces or coming to work in two of Northern Ireland’s most iconic venues. In the face of all this adversity it can be difficult to remain positive; however please bear in mind these measures are only temporary.

The nature of this pandemic means we are far from business as usual, but we have taken measures to minimise disruption to our clients and customers and remain committed to providing regular, clear and transparent communication to our team members so that you are kept up to date with new information as it is received. The senior management team have been meeting daily to review the situation in light of any changes and together with our board, we have been enacting many of the contingency plans that we have diligently been preparing over the past number of months.

Our people are at the heart of the emotional connections and live experiences we are renowned for delivering and it is our resilience and the attitude with which we respond to these challenging times that will define how we are impacted in the long-term.

It has been almost one year since we launched our new organisational vision, mission and set of values. These eight values act as a central point of reference that the whole team can apply to their roles, perhaps in completely novel ways as we establish new ways of working.

I would ask all team members to pause for a few minutes today to really think about these values and consider how each one can be matched up with the tasks they’ll continue to carry out on a daily basis. There are some that immediately come to mind; our commute that has now become the bedroom to the kitchen in many cases means we’re protecting the environment, we have put customers first by providing them with accurate and timely event updates, we continue to be unique in our approach and have been using this time to innovate and adapt our systems and processes and most importantly, we have come together as one team to overcome the difficulties posed by these unprecedented times.

I am very proud to be leading our team at this time and would like to extend my sincere thank you to everyone for your patience, understanding and continued hard work. I look forward to a time when we’re able to come together again to create and deliver incredible live event experiences. Until then, please take care of yourselves, your families and your communities. We often use the phrase, ‘when we win, everyone wins’ and by playing our part as individuals and teams, I am certain we will be able to overcome this, which will truly be a win for all.

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If you have any other questions about our event space, our team would be happy to help