Keynote Speakers

David Beckett

David Beckett has coached over 600 Startups to raise over €140 million in investment, and trained thousands of professionals at companies like IKEA, Google, PwC and ING. He’s also trained organisations in the MICE industry such as Visit Oslo, Visit Brussels and Innovation Norway, and was a lead speaker at the recent ICCA World congress. David’s the author of Three Minute Presentation, and his new book, Pitch Professional, will be published in May 2018.

Noel Hennessy

Noel Hennessy set up nphconsulting to offer clients the skills and experience he acquired working for the last 20 years in the luxury retail industry for brand leaders such as Kurt Geiger, Harrods, Moss Bross, Brown Thomas and Arnotts. Working in a diverse range of senior roles he has garnered a unique set of skills that help businesses improve and streamline their operational and financial areas.
With experience of multiple CRM and data protection projects, Noel is currently coaching a number of businesses to prepare them for the new GDPR legislation, offering a practical approach to GDPR and helping them to work through all their disciplines to achieve compliance.

Noeline Kavanagh Macnas

Noeline is currently Artistic Director and CEO of Macnas, an award winning internationally acclaimed spectacle theatre company from Galway. Macnas create large scale interactive, immersive spectacle events for audiences, communities and festivals across the globe, transforming cities and public sites into playgrounds of imagination. Her outdoor spectacle shows include SXSW Festival USA 2016, Hull City of Culture 2017, Fringe Festival Dublin 2010/2011, Bram Stoker Festival IRL 2014 – 2017, Woodford Folk Festival & Womad Festival Australia 2014, Chaoyang Festival Beijing China 2015, Wilderness Festival UK 2015, Bestival and the Roundhouse London 2016.

Ken Lyons

In 2005, Ken started his career in the global meetings, incentives, conferences and events industry and has worked with companies including The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company and Leading Hotels of The World. In 2016, he founded KL Communications, a sales and marketing agency, working with companies in the MICE industry to grow their revenues through the provision of sales representation services, unleashing creative potential through the concept of brand publishing and executing leading training and development programmes. KL Communications currently provides sales representation services in the United States to 9 offices from the Ovation Global DMC portfolio across Europe. Ken served as SITE Ireland Chapter President in 2016 and 2017 overseeing the Chapter’s growth to a record high of over 100 members and was recently awarded SITE Member of The Year 2017. Ken gave his inaugural talk on Brand Publishing at the SITE+MPI Global Forum in Rome in January 2018 and has seen this work published in C&IT magazine.

Ciara Gallagher

Ciara Gallagher has over 20 years’ experience in international tourism with particular expertise in tourism sales strategy and destination marketing.

Ciara heads up the Meet In Ireland Team in Fáilte Ireland, where her remit is to develop the strategy to grow the international MICE market to Ireland. Under her leadership, the team focus on the very early stages of winning an event for Ireland, where they identify and develop business opportunities and provide the supports to help trade convert. Ciara has a very strong track record of delivering successful projects, having been chosen as Project Lead on numerous high profile initiatives including The Gathering Ireland 2013, Giro d’ Italia 2014 and the International Sports Tourism Initiative.

Ciara has previously won several prestigious awards in the Tourism Sector during her career while holding roles in Fáilte Ireland. Ciara is passionate about family, friends, good food and interiors.

Paul Mockler

Head of Commercial Development
Fáilte Ireland 

Paul heads up the commercial development division at Fáilte Ireland (The National Tourism Development Authority), the State Agency responsible for guiding and supporting the sustainable development of tourism in Ireland.

Paul leads the teams responsible for Growing Overseas Visitors (Business & Leisure) to Ireland and promoting Ireland as a top class MICE (Business Tourism sector) destination under the Meet In Ireland brand. He also leads the Dublin Convention Bureau, Golf Ireland (the brand for promoting Ireland as a world class golf tourism destination), Leisure Business Development and International Trade & Events teams.

Paul has over 20 years of tourism sales experience having worked with companies such as Ryanair, EUJet, the Cliffs of Moher, Shannon Heritage & Shannon Development prior to joining Fáilte Ireland.

Sam Johnston

I’ve worked in DMOs since 1999, beginning in a rural setting on the Causeway Coast and Antrim Glens before progressing to Belfast. Initially I was in leisure tourism at the forefront as the city developed its international standing as a city break and conference destination, designing campaigns with airlines. Prior to all that, my early career involved welding equipment but left that after an incident involving nuclear submarines – ask me about that some day!

In 2010 I moved across to work on the MICE product and haven’t looked back. Now I lead the dynamic team of Dublin Convention Bureau, delivering over €65m of new business to the private sector in 2017. Demonstrating the industry-leading initiatives from DCB and Meet in Ireland I have proudly contributed at international conferences, with the development of other bureaux in the likes of Malta and Bratislava and am a member of the Meetings Industry Core Group at European Cities Marketing.

My Favourite thing to do in Dublin:

Walking into the Long Room Of the Old Library at Trinity College still gives me a shiver – I just think it is such a spectacular space. I love a good pint of Guinness and there are no shortage of great spots to enjoy it in Dublin. To get a perfect pint with a creamy head after the correct pour is so enjoyable.

Michael Dalton

His title might be Director of Sales for Dublin based, Moloney & Kelly, a Destination Management Company (DMC) founded in 1970, but Michael Dalton is quite possibly the Emerald Isle’s biggest unofficial tourism ambassador. Also serving as President for a two year term of SITE Ireland in 2018 & 2019, Michael is a Global Sales Ambassador for Hosts Global, a collection of the finest DMCs in the most desirable locations across the world.  

Patricia McColgan

With the Abbey Group since 1981, Patricia is Director of Abbey Conference & Events and co-owner of the Abbey Group and former Chair of AIPCO.     

Since her first conference in 1988, she has overseen all our major international conferences & events. Patricia speciality is Association Conferences – she provides strategic advice and direction from the initial planning stages to the post conference report & recommendations.In a personal capacity, she is Chairperson of CanCare4Living – an organisation promoting multi-disciplinary long term follow up for survivors of childhood and adolescent