Business Tourism Event - September 2023


15:00 - 15:30

Registration Opens – Conference Suite Foyer
Tea / Coffee available on arrival

15:00 - 15:30

Registration Opens – Conference Suite Foyer
Tea / Coffee available on arrival

15:30 - 15:31

Welcome Address
With Thanks to our Sponsors Fáilte Ireland & Dalata Hotel Group

15:31 - 15:35


15:35 - 16:05

Telling Our Story and the Impact on Business for Ireland
Barry Winkless – Chief Strategy Officer – Cpl Group

16:05 - 16:55

Panel Discussion – Our Sector’s Story

  1. Fáilte Ireland | Convention Bureaux Perspective
    Ciara Gallagher, Business Events Ireland Manager
  2. Dundalk Institute of Technology | Education Institute / Graduate Perspective
    Lorraine Dunne, Lecturer & Programme Director
  3. Dalata Hotel Group | Hotel Perspective
    Susan Sheahan, Group Sales & Marketing Manager
  4. Convention Centre Dublin | Venue Perspective
    Stephen Meehan, Chief Executive
  5. AIPCO | PCO Perspective
    Noel Mitchell, AIPCO Chair

16:55 - 17:20

Round Table Discussion
Philip will introduce 4 topics from the Barry Winkless session and the Speakers for round table discussions with the aim of connecting us all
to “Tell our Story” and win business for Ireland.

17:20 - 17:30

Key Learner Outcomes & Summary

17:30 - 20:30


Speaker Bios

MC – Philip Byers
Business Development Director with Conference Organisers

In addition to Philips role as the Business Development Director with Conference Organisers he has also been a senior strategic and business manager who has worked with clients across many business categories including IT, Life Sciences, Distribution, Tourism, Waste management, Legal, Financial, charity. He has worked with many multi-national companies and his management experience covers a number of product and industry types, in several business disciplines. He has considerable experience across strategy, sales and marketing, business development, communications and general management.

Barry Winkless
Chief Strategy Officer & Head of the Future of Work Institute

Barry is a thought leader on the future of work, strategic design, and business creativity. Recently he was recognised as a top 50 global influencer on the future of work. Over the past 25 years he has worked globally with some of the world’s most respected organisations and is a frequent author and speaker at numerous client and external events. As head of the future of work institute Barry leads a multidisciplinary team working globally to question, explore and design future work solutions with organisations. So, he isn’t just a speaker but is actively pushing the frontiers of the future of work every day in the real world.

Ciara Gallagher
Business Events Ireland Manager

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 drive sustainable growth in the international business events market to Ireland. Under her leadership, the team focus on the early stages of winning business events for Ireland, identifying and developing business opportunities and providing supports to help trade partners win business events. 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.

Susan Sheahan
Group Sales & Marketing Manager, Dalata Hotel Group

Susan began her career in Jurys Ballsbridge back in 2005. She spent 3 years working in events before moving into various Sales roles in Lough Rynn Castle, The Beacon Hotel & The Morrison Hotel before joining Dalata Hotel Group in 2014. After spending some time in The Clyde Court Hotel as Director of Sales & Marketing Susan moved to her current role Group Sales & Marketing Manager within Dalata in 2016. Susan has a special focus in Corporate, MICE, ESG & coaching & developing people. She is an active member of the industry & currently sits on the SITE Ireland Chapter Board.

Stephen Meehan
Chief Executive of The Convention Centre Dublin

Stephen was appointed Chief Executive of The Convention Centre Dublin (The CCD) in February 2017, Ireland’s National Convention Centre. In December 2017 the venue was first acknowledged as “The World’s Leading Meeting and Convention Centre” by the World Travel Awards, and then again in 2019 and 2022. Stephen has led the business through; a re-financing process, its best performing financial years, COVID-19 and it’s recent sale process.

An honours graduate of Dublin Institute of Technology, Stephen has 25 years experience working in five-star venues across Ireland, the UK and Europe and, before joining The CCD, held the position of General Manager Bewley’s Cafés Ireland. He began his career with Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts working across all departments in Dublin and London, before taking up the role as General Manager of the luxurious award winning Nimb Hotel and related facilities in Copenhagen. Here he was responsible for a team of 280 people and managed the hotel and its six high end restaurants and bars, delivering events up to 4,000 people. Stephen recently completed three honours diplomas in; “Strategy & Innovation”, “Organisational Behaviour” and “Business Finance” in the Irish Management Institute (UCC). Since January 2019, Stephen has Chaired Fáilte Ireland’s Business Tourism Working Group (now the Association Conference Group), and he is the Chair of the Board of Directors of the charity Make a Wish Ireland.

He is married to Jackie, with Katie (17) and Cillian (14) their two children. Stephen has a love of fitness, having completed 32 marathons.

Lorraine Dunne
Lecturer & Programme Director, Dundalk Institute of Technology

Lorraine Dunne has been employed at Dundalk Institute since 2001 and is a lecturer in Event & Hospitality Management. She has an honours degree in Hospitality Management from The University of Ulster, Jordanstown and an MBA from Dundalk Institute of Technology (DkIT). Lorraine has also completed a Masters in Learning and Teaching (MALT) at DkIT. Lorraine worked in the hotel industry for 12 years progressing from operational roles to junior and senior management positions before transferring to a teaching role in education. Since moving into education on a full-time basis, she has participated in new programme development and is also a member of the Institutes Tourism Research Group. Lorraine is also one of the founding members of the recently formed Event Management Educators Ireland group.

Noel Mitchell
Chairperson AIPCO, Managing Director of Keynote PCO

Noel has over 30 years of international conference management experience, both as a PCO and as the association host. Noel’s background is as an academic in Experimental Physics, and this brings the balanced perspective of both the role of the conference organiser and the needs of the association and delegates.

He is a recognized leader in the international meetings industry, and is a former Council Member of the International Association of Professional Congress Organizers (IAPCO), Past-President of the World PCO Alliance, and has held several officer positions with the Association of Irish Professional Conference Organisers since its foundation (currently Chairperson).

Noel is very passionate about delivering the best possible advice and service for our conference clients and delegates. His greatest thrill is winning the big international bids for Ireland!

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