Belfast Waterfront was competing for the Best Event Space 2017 award against seven shortlisted venues including Excel, Olympia, The O2, The Crystal, Silverstone Wing, The Troxy and Tobacco Dock.
Extended in 2016, Belfast Waterfront is an international conference centre which offers 7000m² of flexible conference, entertainment and exhibition space in the heart of the city centre. It hosts some 300 events annually and is a major driver of business tourism to Belfast and Northern Ireland.
Over the last 20 years Belfast Waterfront has welcomed major names in business, politics and entertainment – from the World Council of Credit Unions to President Obama, the BBC Good Food Show to Kraftwerk and the World Irish Dance Championships.
Belfast Waterfront will welcome nine major international conferences over the next 12 months, and is expected to generate more that £35m in economic impact for the city. The venue’s conference events programme will continue to boast many ‘heavy hitters’ from a multitude of industries including the European Alliance for Personalised Medicine Congress, the 16th Euro Fed Lipid Congress and Royal College of Nursing Congress.
Catherine Toolan, managing director of Belfast Waterfront and Ulster Hall (BWUH), said: “We are delighted to receive this award, particularly given the very strong competition. The Event Awards are very much considered to be the Oscars of our industry so this is a great honour.
“Belfast Waterfront is the only venue in Northern Ireland with the size and flexibility to host large scale international events accommodating up to 5000 delegates. We have worked hard alongside Belfast City Council, Tourism NI and Visit Belfast to make sure that the city is on the map for all major national and international events. The launch of the new Belfast Brand by Belfast City Council has been a brilliant energising force to drive forward the city’s positive tourism growth agenda.”
Ms Toolan concluded: “Belfast is a vibrant city with an incredible offer that is new and quirky and which we want to encourage people to experience. The venue and our team effort has brought significant new business opportunities and raised the city’s profile as one of Europe’s most exciting new destinations for conferences and events.”