Hosts Global (Hosts) crossed “The Pond” and welcomed more than 200 clients and hospitality industry professionals to Belfast, Northern Ireland for its sixth annual Hosts Global Forum, which was held June 21-24, 2018.
“The Hosts Global Forum is our annual opportunity to bring together our 50 plus destination management company (DMC) members, clients and colleagues from around the world,” said Marty MacKay, DMCP, president of Hosts Global’s alliance of DMCs. “Attendees travel to one of our key destinations for a first-hand experience while also participating in professional growth opportunities and one-on-one business meetings with our DMC members.”
Hosts’ 2018 conference highlighted the wide variety of venues and activities that Belfast has available for group programs, meetings and events. The conference was made possible with the support of three platinum sponsors: Tourism Northern Ireland, Hastings Hotels and Moloney & Kelly, a Hosts Global member.
Highlights of the conference included:
- Being the first guests at Hasting Hotels’ new-build luxury property, the 300-key Grand Central Hotel Belfast;
- the opportunity to participate in a corporate social responsibility program organized by Moloney & Kelly that contributed to The Wave Trauma Centre, a local, grass-roots volunteer organization providing care and support for individuals affected by “the Troubles” in Northern Ireland;
- a full slate of education including a session on VAT refunds led by David and Raeleen Swift of VATIT USA; a presentation on designing better meetings given by Janet Sperstad, CMP, the director of meeting and event management at Madison Area Technical College; and a keynote exploring the science of motivation, engagement and productivity delivered by David Meade of David Meade Ltd;
- and the chance to experience Northern Ireland’s famed hospitality at a range of unique venues, including Titanic Belfast, Belfast City Hall (transformed for the evening reception into the fantastical land of C.S. Lewis’ Narnia), and The Dark Horse (whiskey tastings and live Irish music).
In addition, Hosts announced the winners of its Hosts Honors awards. The honoured individuals and companies are:
- Critic’s Choice Award – Ultimate Ventures, a Hosts Global Member and Hosts Southern California
- Brand Honors Award – AZA Events, a Hosts Global Member
- H Factor Leadership Award – Denise Silverman, DMCP, principal with CLINK, a Hosts Global Member, and Paul Miller, DMCP, managing director, Spectra, a Hosts Global Member
- DMC of the Year Award – Moloney & Kelly, a Hosts Global Member
At the close of the conference, Hosts announced that its 2019 Hosts Global Forum is being held June 27-30, 2019 in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, and that Connect Travel Services DMC, a Hosts Global member had already started planning for the event.
Meeting and incentive travel planners interested in attending the 2019 conference should email Hosts at HostsGlobalForum@hosts-global.com for information and qualification criteria.