Belfast has the luxury of 2 closely located airports to the city centre which is ideal for delegates and organisers arriving in. Belfast City airport is just 10 minutes from the city centre and Belfast International airport is a mere 30 minutes away; Express bus services as well as taxis operate frequently from both. Carriers such as Easyjet, Aer Lingus, British Airways, KLM, Jet2, Ryanair , Wizz and Loganair service daily flights to and from Belfast to a variety of regional, European and International airports. Dublin airport is located just 90 minutes from Belfast and further expands the city’s International access.
Value for Money
Belfast offers excellent value for money for organisers and delegates alike. The city consistently ranks in the lowest cost of living surveys and this means that your budget goes further, whether you are hosting a socially distant drinks reception for 100 or buying a pint of Guinness in our pubs!
If you are considering organising your event in Belfast, talk to the team about financial supports available for application
Team Belfast is happy to guide you through the process and support is available to help with marketing, promotion, venue costs, hybrid events and technology.
Belfast is a fully walkable city with all of the 6 key areas, from the famous Titanic Quarter to the leafy Queens Quarter, easily accessible on foot from the city centre within a matter of minutes. If walking isn’t your thing, you can choose from the sustainable Belfast Bikes, the eco Glider buses, or Belfast’s fleet of low emission taxis.
As a destination, safety has always been a key consideration, so whether you are an organiser or a delegate, your best interests are at heart. Space comes as standard when you choose Belfast and Northern Ireland as your conference destination and Northern Ireland’s natural advantages of being an island with a low density population meant that the country experienced the fewest excess deaths in the UK from the COVID pandemic. The industry is slowly opening its doors and Belfast is gearing up to offer the warm welcome and incredible experiences it is known for in a responsible, safe and sensitive way. Northern Ireland’s tourism industry has signed up to a ‘We are good to go’ UK wide charter that ensures our partner organisations are COVID prepared in every aspect of the delegate journey.
Belfast is taking committed actions to become a sustainable destination. Together with Belfast City Council and partners, Visit Belfast is signing up to The Global Destination Sustainability Index (GDS-Index) which is the leading sustainability benchmarking and improvement programme for destinations around the world. The mission of the programme is to engage, inspire and enable destinations to become more sustainable places to visit, meet and thrive in.
The awards have been coming thick and fast over the last few years for Belfast, cementing the city’s position as a global events destination. From C&IT’s Best Events Destination 2018 & 2019 to being named Lonely Planet’s Best Region to visit on 2018, and National Geographic Traveller’s ‘Rising Star’, Belfast is a city truly on the rise.
One billion pounds of investment in venues, experiences and accommodation has ensured Belfast’s success in the National, European and International markets with Associations, Corporates and Agencies placing their trust in Belfast to deliver on world class events.
Visit Belfast is fortunate to have the support of stakeholders who see the incredible value of business events in our city and the wider Northern Ireland region. Not only does the economic impact touch everyone from taxi drivers to tour guides and restaurant owners, but the social and cultural impacts of hosting conferences in Belfast is far reaching and every piece of business that is placed in the city and region is valued by so many.
Visit Belfast manages the application process for financial support (also known as subvention) on behalf of Tourism Northern Ireland and Belfast City Council for all out of state conferences, meetings and events that choose locate to Belfast and Northern Ireland as their home. Visit Belfast has worked hard to ensure to the scheme is flexible, to support as many conference organisers as possible. Talk to the team today to see if you qualify
Support of Team Belfast
The team at Visit Belfast is your single point of contact in the city and are here to provide free and impartial advice on every aspect of organising your event in the post COVID world. The team has great relationships with all partners; knowing their revised capacities, social distancing and cleaning protocols and are happy to organise a virtual meeting to discuss your individual requirements whether you are making your first foray into hybrid meetings or you need gala dinner suggestions for your live event. Every aspect of operations have been adapted to meet your needs. Nothing beats a face to face site visit, but if you prefer to do a virtual one, just let the team know!
As part of the package of support tailored for you, Visit Belfast will conduct a full venue search, prepare proposals with costs and offer suggestions for your social programme, restaurants, accommodation and pre and post tours.
An experienced Account Manager who is with you every step of the way to support you in the planning stages of your event
- Funded site inspections and familiarisation trips to Belfast
- Sourcing event services such as AV and transport
- Destination marketing support for your conference and event to maximise delegate attendance
- Sourcing a local business, academic or medical leader in Belfast who can act as a local ambassador within your sector to support your meeting in Belfast
- Advice on local organisations that may be interested in partnering with you to support delegate attendance, exhibition or sponsorship of your event in Belfast
- In kind support such as civic hospitality and securing city leaders to welcome your delegates to Belfast
- Special offers and discounts for delegates
- Official tourist information support and welcome branding options
- Managing the conference subvention scheme and can full assist with securing financial support for your event (subject to application and qualifying criteria)
- Support with Hybrid events. Visit Belfast has been working with venues, live streaming partners and experience providers to create innovative hybrid event options to suit any event and every idea.
It’s fair to say that things have changed in the events world and you may want to consider running your event live in Belfast, with the option for attendees to experience Belfast from home. Whether in person or online – your attendees are going to love the Belfast experience. Visit Belfast has been working with venues, live streaming partners and experience providers to create innovative hybrid event options to suit any event and every idea. A 6 step guide to running hybrid events can be viewed here:
Belfast is quite simply a powerhouse of innovation and ability. Home to two world class universities and with one of the fastest growing knowledge economies in the world, 1,100 major international companies call Belfast home, alongside a beautiful ecosystem of start-ups and entrepreneurs. Belfast is ranked in the top 10 “Tech Cities of the Future” compiled by fDi Intelligence and TNW for 2020/2021 and is one of Europe’s most business friendly cities of its size. Belfast and Northern Ireland consistently punches above its weight in key sectors such as Aerospace and defence, creative and digital, life and health sciences and materials handling.
Venues and accommodation
Belfast offers a unique array of venues to suit organiser needs. From purpose built convention centres to world leading visitor attractions with exclusive top floor Gala dinner suites, whatever it is you require, Visit Belfast can help source and make introductions to the extended team around the city. The city’s accommodation stock is new or newly refurbished with over 5,500 bedrooms across the city to suit every taste and budget.
The people of Belfast and Northern Ireland are renowned for their sense of fun. The Belfast ‘craic’ is legendary, whether it is the taxi driver picking you up from the airport or your server at dinner. Every member of Belfast’s tourism and hospitality industry is united in their desire for you as organisers and delegates to have the best possible time in our city, knowing you will go home and tell friends and family was about your wonderful experience. Belfast is a special place and the ‘craic’ is better when it is shared.