In a joint bid, Visit Belfast and Belfast Waterfront have secured the annual International Surgical Congress of the Association of Surgeons of Great Britain and Ireland (ASGBI) as the first conference to use the Waterfront`s new 7,000 sqm facility.
In fewer than 240 days, Belfast Waterfront will welcome for the first time the biggest annual meeting of surgeons this side of the Atlantic Ocean. Around 2,000 specialists from across the world will gather for `Belfast Surgical Week` in May 2016, generating an anticipated £2.2m for the local economy.
The Waterfront`s expansion will see the venue`s event space double in size. And this large scale conference provides the perfect opportunity to showcase the centre`s wealth of support services and additional event space. Its impressive 2,000-seat auditorium will host the plenary sessions, whilst 2 new multipurpose halls spanning over 2,500m2 are ideal for exhibition space and the gala dinner.
The programme is funded by Belfast City Council (£11m), Tourism Northern Ireland (£4.1m) and the European Regional Development Fund (£14.5m), under the European Sustainable Competitiveness Programme for Northern Ireland, and administered by Tourism Northern Ireland.
The decision to bring the ASGBI conference to Northern Ireland`s capital city was made on the organising committees `visit experience`.
Nicholas Gair, ASGBI Chief Executive explains: `We’ve been overwhelmed by the support and enthusiasm of Team Belfast to secure our business. Everyone is fully focused on ensuring the event will be a huge success – leaving no stone unturned.`
Nick adds: `Belfast enjoys many advantages, and its geographic advantage cannot be understated. Having an airport 5mins drive away from a venue, which is now on par with other leading international venues, will greatly benefit our delegates.`
Gerry Lennon, Chief Executive, Visit Belfast said: `Securing the largest surgical association conference in GB and Ireland is a key milestone in Belfast`s tourism journey. Not only will the conference bring a welcome boost to our tourism economy in May 2016, it provides an opportunity to showcase the city’s credentials as a vibrant conference destination and the impressive new facilities on offer at the Belfast Waterfront.`