Hosts Global (Hosts), a strategic partner for destination management services worldwide, hosted over 200 clients and hospitality industry professionals for their sixth annual Hosts Global Forum. This invitation-only event occurred at the Europa Hotel in Belfast, Northern Ireland from June 21–24, 2018 where attendees participated in on-trend industry discussions, educational sessions, networking events and memorable destination-specific activities.
“The Hosts Global Forum is our annual opportunity to bring together our 50+ Destination Management Company (DMC) members, clients and colleagues from around the globe”, 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 hospitable offerings, venues and activities that are available for group programs, meetings and events in Belfast. This year’s event was made possible by platinum sponsors Tourism Northern Ireland, Hastings Hotels and Moloney & Kelly, a Hosts Global member.
Before the event even started, guests checked into the newly built Grand Central Hotel Belfast. Forum attendees were the first to stay in the luxury high rise hotel, as Grand Central opened their doors to Hosts before their official grand opening just for the occasion.
During the welcoming event, all attendees participated in a corporate social responsibility program organized by Moloney & Kelly that contributed to local non-profit organization, The Wave Trauma Centre. The organization is a grass roots, cross community, voluntary organization formed in 1991 to support people bereaved of a spouse as a result of violence in Northern Ireland, and later expanded to incorporate the needs of child, youth and those injured or traumatized through “the Troubles”.
Once underway, industry awareness was at the forefront of the conference. Featured topics included a VAT discussion led by David and Raeleen Swift of VATIT USA, a presentation on designing better meetings to deliver better results by Janet Sperstad, CMP, program director of meeting and event management at Madison Area Technical College, and a keynote from David Meade of David Meade LTD, that covered a large scope of fascinating topics such as the science of motivation, engagement, and productivity, to influence and decision making. During the conference, Hosts proudly announced the winners of the annual Hosts Honors awards acknowledging DMC members who exceeded expectations in the following categories:
Brand Honors Award:
AZA Events, a Hosts Global Member
DMC of the Year Award:
Moloney & Kelly, a Hosts Global Member
It wouldn’t be a Forum for hospitality leaders without showcasing unique events. The opening session took place at Titanic Belfast, where attendees explored the Titanic story from a fresh and insightful perspective in the city where it all began, before stepping back in time for a Titanic era Belfast soiree. The city of Belfast welcomed Hosts Global attendees with open arms proving that they are #IncentiveReady. The offsite event at Belfast City Hall was no exception. As attendees arrived to the Baroque Revival building, they were whisked inside for a grand reception before stepping through a large wardrobe, where they were transported into the fantastical land of C.S. Lewis’ Narnia. Guests mingled with mythical creatures, dined on delectable bites, and enjoyed enchanting entertainment throughout the evening. On the last night, attendees took pleasure in a Belfast locals experience at the Dark Horse Pub, where they partook in private whiskey tastings and dined on regional cuisine to the tunes of live Irish music. The unrivaled local knowledge and planning capabilities of Moloney & Kelly, a Hosts Global member, made the entire Forum experience one all attendees will not soon forget.
At the close, Hosts unveiled the location of their 2019 Hosts Global Forum occurring June 27–30, 2019 in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. Connect Travel Services DMC, a Hosts Global member, has eagerly begun planning the 2019 conference. Want to learn more? Email us at HostsGlobalForum@hosts-global.com to submit your interest in attending the exclusive 2019 event.