Over 100 buyers from the US, Canada, UK and European markets, including business tourism leaders and international event organisers, will converge on the RDS on the 17-18 October for Connect17, Ireland’s premier business tourism showcase that sees the meeting and events industry all coming together under the one roof.
Business tourism, which employs 21,000 people in Ireland, was worth €715 million to the economy in 2016, up 7 percent on the previous year; major conferences and industry events attracted upwards of 1.3 million international delegates. Each delegate stayed an average of 5 days and spent €1,600, up one hundred euro on 2015 and two hundred on 2014.
Connect17 will show off Ireland’s event-hosting opportunities and hospitality companies to international and Irish business decision-makers. Over 200 suppliers, including hotels, venues, visitor attractions, event organisers, and technology and creative production companies, will have a presence at the event. Ireland’s towns, cities and counties will also have representatives at the regional exhibition stands.
This year, Connect17’s headline speakers include the award-winning Abigail Disney, CEO and President of Fork Films and great-niece of Walt Disney, and Gina London, Strategic Advisor at Fuzion Communications and former CNN anchor. Fáilte Ireland’s new CEO Paul Kelly will officially open the event.
The company behind Connect17, Conference Partners International, Ireland’s leading business events company, expects the event to generate €20 million in revenue for the economy via new deals between Irish and international businesses, and increased business tourism spend.