Case Study - Advantage

National Conference Ambassadors Awards

Executive Summary

The inaugural Conference Ambassador Recruit and Recognition Awards (CARA) took place in January 2018. 79 previous conference ambassadors were recognised and awarded for delivering conferences of 300+ international delegates for Dublin.

A further 25 prospective ambassadors were recruited on the evening with the potential to deliver €10m+ in revenue for the economy.

Fáilte Ireland organised the second Conference Ambassador Recruit & Recognition Awards 2018 where they not only recognised and recruited ambassadors for Dublin but will extend to ambassadors who have hosted or the potential to host conferences of scale for Regional Ireland. The CARA Event is a recruit and reward ceremony that took place on Friday, 23rdNovember 2018 at Christ Church Cathedral in Dublin and was titled the “National Conference Ambassadors Awards”.

The event was used to identify and motivate ambassadors to create new ‘Home Grown’ events, which may fall outside of the typical ambassador profile (academic, medical, scientific) toward a more Corporate Ambassador, who may be able to deliver scalable, multi-year events, such as TechSummit, InspireFest etc.

They are people from all walks of life, many academics or medical professionals who save/change lives who have gone outside their personal comfort zones to win conferences for Ireland to values of hundreds of millions of Euro. The awards are to recognise and say thank you, they are also out of their comfort zone by going to this event, so it had to be extra special.

Event Delivery and Execution

Christ Church Cathedral is a very beautiful venue that dates from the 12thCentury and also operates as a day visitor attraction as well as primarily a place of worship. This brings many challenges that we solved by communicating clearly and effectively with all of the stakeholders to include:

  • Our client, Failte Ireland
  • The venue
  • 6 by suppliers of various services from AV to Lighting to Catering to Furniture to Installations to Entertainment

This was achieved mainly by conducting many site visits with partners as required and following up with all involved by email. We did this to agree a consensus and common-sense approach to the creative requirements of the client, the very real conservation requirements of the venue and the operational challenges of operating in such a unique but challenging environment.

The Event had the following running order:

  • External meet and greet highlighting the new piazza at the venue
  • Drinks reception in the Crypt
  • Speech from Chairman of Failte Ireland
  • Fine dining Dinner in the Cathedral
  • Dermot and Dave as MC’s
  • Ambassador Recognition Awards in 6 subject matter groupings
  • Award of Ambassador of the Year
  • Entertainment from the Christ Church Cathedral Choir
  • Entertainment from Affiniti
  • Digital mapping was used in a dramatic musical finale when Affiniti and the Cathedral Choir performed Katy Perry’s Firework.

On the same night the Advantage team also managed the Irish Travel Trade Awards at the Clayton Hotel, Burlington Road with 400 guests at this black tie event.

Advantage were represented by:

Susan Nolan, Director Of Business Development, with responsibility for:

  • Project lead to include Client liaison and account management

  • Budget

  • MC and AV crew briefing

  • Live show calling

  • Venue management

  • Catering

Ronan Flood, Managing Director with responsibility for:

  • Event Production

  • Event Content

  • Installations and builds

  • Production schedule

Sarah Sweeney, Project Manager, with responsibility for:

  • Event logistics

  • Table plan

  • Running order

  • Collateral

  • Theme and décor

  • Pre and post Awards Entertainment


“Working with Advantage on the National Conference Ambassador Awards was a partnership from the very beginning. I had a very clear vision of what we wanted to achieve, which Advantage successfully brought to life.

Due to the complex nature of the Awards we had to liaise with multiple stakeholders and suppliers, in some cases with challenging deadlines, and given the strong relationships that Advantage have along with the proven track record of success, I had complete faith in their ability to bring everything together ensuring the event ran seamlessly.

On the night of the awards itself, some last-minute changes to set up were expertly and calmly executed, and while I’m sure there was plenty going on that I was unaware of, I was able to enjoy the event without any concerns knowing that it was in safe hands with the team.

Advantage Group brought experience, flair and creativity, and were mindful of the budget through the entire process. The team never gave me any doubt of achieving a wonderful event, and the night proved to be an amazing experience for all that attended”

Paul Mockler, Head of Commercial Development, Failte Ireland, Fáilte Ireland
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