Case Study - Conference Connections

An Bradán Feasa
Essential Knowledge for Today’s School Leaders.

Executive Summary

The brief was to locate a venue that would be centrally located geographically for all delegates travelling. The venue had to accommodate over 700 delegates for conference, multiple breakout rooms, a large stage set, large casual dining facilities and quick turnaround for a banquet on night two, not to mention a bedroom capacity of 420 rooms. This brief required not only the physical space but also an efficient team on the ground to make it work.

The chosen venue was Lyrath Estate Hotel with overflow hotel accommodation providing the bedroom capacity required. Guests on arrival to Lyrath were greeted where their luggage was taken, tagged, and sent to their room, where they received their welcome pack and their name badges and directed to the main conference room.

The NAPD Annual Conference provides resources to members across nine regions of Ireland. The conference itself has been running for over 20 years and has proved a vital networking event for principals and deputy principals to discuss teacher training needs, new initiatives that may impinge on their role, legislation and representation at local and national level.

Conference Snapshot

  • Some key details
    • Delegate numbers: 700 delegates
    • Sponsors: 4 Main Sponsors
    • Exhibitors: 54 stands
    • Breakout Rooms: 14
    • Dinners: Wednesday Night – Executive Dinner, Thursday Night – Buffet Dinner, Friday Night – Gala Dinner
  • Onsite Conference Accommodation: Lyrath Estate
  • Overflow Accommodation Venue: Newpark Hotel, Ormonde Hotel

  • Conference Connections was responsible for the following:
    • Conducting a venue search within the parameters of the brief and providing multiple options
    • Undertaking multiple site visits to each venue
    • Technical site visits to access the AV and access routes and limitations.
    • Tasting the proposed food menus on behalf of the client
    • Online registration
    • Onsite registration, luggage service & delegate queries at all venues
    • Onsite conference and sponsor branding
    • Third party contract management and service delivery e.g., Coaching, AV, exhibition management.
    • Design and print of menus, table plans & signage.
    • Speaker & presentation management
    • The team also took responsibility for onsite venue logistics.


Lyrath Estate Hotel & Newpark Hotel, Kilkenny

The Lyrath Estate hotel offers a large conference venue within a geographically central location for nationwide delegates. The Newpark and Ormonde Hotels provided supplementary bedroom accommodation for the large numbers of attendees.

Programme and Content

The event programme was designed to deliver educational content with a focus on delegate engagement via several Q&A panel discussions.

The content was based on the concept of knowledge-driven leaders with international speakers. The programme encompassed digital strategy and skills, models of leadership, culture, and art integration, increasing positivity and more.

Sponsorship & Exhibition

The exhibition build had to include 54 modular exhibition stands that were fully fitted out with lighting, branding and power sources.

Logistical requirements included exhibition pods for several key industry sponsors, main plenary presentations, coffee breaks and buffet style lunch.


Feedback forms were sent out to all delegates. Responses were overwhelmingly positive with delegates rating speakers, location and venue very highly. Conference Connections were noted in the comments as an ever-present at the event and extremely professional.


Repeat business for 20 years. Conference Connections is now regarded as an extended arm of the NAPD organisation


An appraisal meeting was held with the committee after the Conference which in turn rebooked the conference for the following year.

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