Its location, situated within the United Kingdom and on the island of Ireland, means it is distinctively positioned to host joint events for British, Irish and European associations with similar specialities. Belfast provides a collective approach for UK and Ireland organisations, offering new connections, increased visibility, and collaborative research opportunities, making it a worthwhile venture with substantial shared rewards.
Just 90 minutes from Dublin Airport and a short journey from Belfast’s two airports, along with convenient rail, road and ferry links - Belfast is accessible for delegates throughout Ireland and the United Kingdom. Crucially, the city's thriving hospitality industry with almost 5,000 hotel bedrooms and counting in greater Belfast provides a range of accommodation options suitable for all budgets and preferences.
In May 2023, ICC Belfast welcomed the Joint Meeting of the Association of British Neurologists and the Irish Institute of Clinical Neuroscience. The conference attracted leading industry professionals and allowed for important networking opportunities that advanced the knowledge and practice of neurology in the UK and Ireland. 800 attendees took part in the exciting three-day programme of neurology education and new developments, which included expert speakers and exhibitions complemented by a vibrant social calendar.
Belfast was also selected in 2022 as an ideal location to host The British Association of Critical Care Nurses (BACCN) and The Irish Association of Critical Care Nurses (IACCN) joint conference, which after two years of virtual conferences, and a postponement from 2021, saw almost 500 new visitors welcomed to the city. This event brings together British and Irish critical care practitioners to share knowledge, exchange ideas, build rapport amongst peers and evaluate performance. The event saw ICC Belfast’s flexible Riverside spaces set up for a wide range of sessions including an exhibition, gala dinner, keynote address and a Dragon’s Den style competition, which provided an opportunity for specialist developments within the field of Critical Care to be shared and celebrated with peers. Demand from BACCN and IACCN members for an in-person event was evident too, with attendance figures up on original forecasts by 18 per cent.
If you could replicate your venue plus staff across every city in the UK that would be excellent. Although we fully expected everything to be brilliant…it was next level.
Dorothy Inverarity, Director, Echo Events
ICC Belfast, Northern Ireland’s only purpose-built international convention centre has transformed the city’s ability to host large scale joint conferences. In 2021, the venue hosted its first ever large-scale hybrid event for the European Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Therapies (EABCT). The Irish Association of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy in association with The British Association of Cognitive and Behaviour Therapies came together to host the conference, which marked EABCT’s 50th anniversary. It saw 550 on-site delegates and 150 remote presenters sharing their insights, with simultaneous live sessions streamed from multiple spaces throughout the venue, over four days.
In addition to British and Irish Associations, Belfast’s prime location and access to UK and RoI partners, delegates and exhibitors is often enjoyed by delegates from Europe, attending Europe-wide events such as the Joint Fertility Conference. Taking place at ICC Belfast in January 2023, the conference encompassed a collaborative approach involving The Association of Reproductive & Clinical Scientists, The British Fertility Society and The Society for Reproduction and Fertility.