Kerry Convention Bureau showcased Kerry as a unique and inspiring business tourism destination over the weekend to ten influential Meetings, Incentives, Conference and Exhibition (MICE) event planners from the United Kingdom.
Promoted as an ‘Experiential Long Weekend in Kerry’, the group of senior event planners were given the opportunity to come and experience the best of what Kerry has to offer for business events on a relaxed three- day, three-night dual destination educational program connecting them with local business event suppliers. The trip incorporated important elements around Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), sustainability and wellness and Irish trade demonstrated their focus and capability in these areas that are now more than ever in demand.
With an itinerary focused on Kenmare, Sneem and Killarney, the program was designed specifically to boost Kerry’s profile as a vibrant and spectacular destination for business tourism. Offering a combination of immersive experiences and industry networking, the group were left with an unforgettable impression of a region with compact destinations that delivers world-class MICE events by applying invaluable local heritage, expertise and knowledge to achieve uniquely successful events for clients.
They were given first-hand experience of the facilities, venues, accommodation, transportation and services that Kerry has to offer, encouraging them to choose the region for their next conference, incentive or event.”
As well as enjoying VIP tickets to Riverdance on Saturday evening, the program showcased a range of engaging activity options including a bespoke teambuilding activity offered by KCB member Orangeworks. The 4WD driving activity challenge was tailored to incorporate Kerry Convention Bureau members in Kenmare and Sneem, demonstrating event and accommodation infrastructure and capacities along the Wild Atlantic and included a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) component by enabling the participants to raise money for the bureau’s CSR partner, Kerry Parents and Friends Association (KPFA).
For each challenge completed, the teams were awarded points which generated a total of €300, donated by KCB and Orangeworks to be used towards purchasing items needed to furnish KPFA’s community houses.
“CSR engagement can make a real difference to a community by bringing about positive change and leaving lasting legacies” said Becky Hargrove, Sales Manager at Kerry Convention Bureau (KCB). ‘When event planners include CSR into their event programs, it provides delegates with an unforgettable opportunity to engage with the local community and give something back. KCB were delighted to be able to partner with Orangeworks to put a spotlight on CSR as part of our overall familiarisation program itinerary and to showcase an example of the creative, engaging and meaningful ways this can be undertaken for events being held in Kerry”
As part of KCB’s commitment to help reduce our industries impact on the environment, the program also placed the spotlight on the sustainability initiatives being undertaken by both KCB and its members, with featured venues and suppliers asked to highlight activities which demonstrated their commitment to running ‘Green Events’.
After being welcomed at Kerry Airport with a performance from Siamsa Tire, Ireland’s National Folk Theatre, the action-packed itinerary also included a morning of yoga and mindfulness set against a backdrop of the national park, a tour of the new interpretive centre at Killarney House, industry networking lunch at the Great Southern Killarney with Kerry Conference Ambassador Maurice Galway, Founder/Director of Dingle Animation Conference as guest speaker, interactive demonstrations and brunch at Muckross Traditional Farms and a landscape painting workshop.
“Kerry is a spectacular place to inspire, engage, reward and motivate business tourism delegates” said Becky Hargrove. Whether it’s an association or corporate meeting or a high-end incentive, we offer unrivalled facilities in idyllic locations throughout our region ideal for every type of event, supported by our dedicated and passionate industry partners who work together as #TeamKerry to deliver extraordinary events which will be talked about for years to come”
Fáilte Ireland’s Meet in Ireland Manager Ciara Gallagher said: “Business Tourism continues to be one of the most lucrative forms of tourism, with visitors travelling to Ireland for business purposes spending almost three times more than the average visitor. Last year alone, Fáilte Ireland secured business events worth €204 million.
“One of our core priorities is to significantly grow the regional spread of these delegates so that every part of Ireland benefits from business tourism. That’s why we provide support and funding for convention bureaux across the country, including Kerry Convention Bureau and host trips like this to show international planners first-hand why Ireland is a leading business events and meetings destination. This is one of many similar tours that have been held in Kerry and each time, the planners leave with a plethora of reasons to put Kerry on the top of its list for big business events.
“A welcome addition to the itinerary this year were activities themed around Corporate Social Responsibility and mindfulness, in addition to Irish trade partners being able to show their commitment to the environment and the steps taken to go ‘green’ -– all of which are high on the priority list of these buyers. I have no doubt that the buyers will have countless reasons to sell Kerry and Ireland as top destination to their clients”