Connect 17, Ireland’s only showcase dedicated to event professionals, is open for registrations

At last year’s inaugural event, more than 2,700 visitors came through the doors

Connect17 is open for registration to event professionals and exhibitors interested in attracting or hosting events and conferences in Ireland.

At last year’s inaugural event, more than 2,700 visitors came through the doors. These included buyers, government agencies, professional event organisers, conference ambassadors and event suppliers. 

Due to demand, Connect17 will be expanded to a two-day showcase this year, allowing even more time for exhibitors and regional representatives to connect with buyers and international delegations.

Connect17 is set to be an industry melting pot of ideas, providing a platform for all event professionals to share knowledge and hear from a stellar line up of industry experts. 

This year also sees the introduction of a new half-day business leadership forum – The Connect Conference.

The conference will feature a series of keynote addresses from industry leaders including Gina London, Emmy award-winning CNN anchor; Abigail Disney, grand-daughter of Walt Disney; David Adler, CEO of Bizbash; Declan Coyle, Founder of The Green Platform; Willie Horton, Founder of The Psychology of Success and Philip Davies, President – Siegal+Gale.

The Conference will cover the topics of leadership, event creation, communication skills, technology, brand simplicity, the psychology of success and finally how you can be your own game changer.

Former Taoiseach Enda Kenny speaking at last year's event

The Connect Showcase is the brainchild of Nicola McGrane, Managing Director of Conference Partners, Ireland’s leading business events specialists.

“Last year was the first year of Connect, and we received hugely positive feedback from delegates that attended. Ours is the only event in Ireland dedicated to events professionals and, this year, it is set to be bigger and better with over 250 hotels, venues and event suppliers coming together under the one roof.

“Not only that, but visitors will also get to experience key highlights from each region, the best of corporate entertainment, and more than 30 educational seminars.”

The Connect17 showcase brings together a vast and eclectic array of event professionals all under one roof.  The self-styled “incubator of innovative Ireland” is custom-built to help event organisers properly plan and enhance their next 12 months of activity.

McGrane believes we have a unique opportunity in this country.

“It was not until I started operating outside Ireland that I realised the true value of what we have in Ireland,” she said, noting that, in particular, our flexibility, ease of doing business, authenticity and international reputation are major advantages.

“Connect16’s success demonstrated that this event can create meaningful connections between people in the industry.  20 buyers from the US, Canada and the EU attended, which has already led to 8 meetings confirmed with 10 potential bids.”

A member of the Canadian delegation, Joanne Kerba, summed up her experience of Connect16, saying: “It was well put together, a mix of conversation, visuals, entertainment and tasting. Kudos! I would definitely attend again, but I would also encourage my colleagues to attend in order for them to get to know the country a bit better.”

Connect17 is taking place in the RDS on 17 – 18 October. To register your attendance, head to connectshowcase.ie.