Wednesday 28 November 2018

Last Friday, Fáilte Ireland honoured 83 of its leading Conference Ambassadors at a glamourous award ceremony at Christ Church Cathedral. The recipients – from a variety of backgrounds, including academia, medical science, technology, environment, and culture amongst others – were nominated for an award by the Irish conference and meetings industry.

INFANT Director Prof Geraldine Boylan pictured with Fáilte Ireland Chairman Michael Cawley and Chief Executive Paul Kelly.

INFANT Director Professor Geraldine Boylan was given special recognition on the night for her significant contribution to international conferencing in Ireland, taking home the Conference Ambassador of the Year Award. In 2015, Geraldine won her bid to host the 9th International Conference on Brain Monitoring and Neuroprotection in the Newborn in Cork. Having hosted a successful conference, Geraldine won it again for 2017, this time bringing the delegates to her home county of Kerry. Delegates came from Europe, America, Australia, New Zealand, China and Japan.

INFANT Principal Investigator Dr Keelin O’Donoghue was also presented with a Conference Ambassador award, recognising her contribution to conferencing in Ireland. Keelin was instrumental in delivering the International Stillbirth Alliance Conference in Cork last year.

Dr Keelin O’Donoghue (bottom left) pictured with fellow Medical Sciences Conference Ambassador Awardees.

Geraldine said, “Bringing scientific conferences to Ireland is hugely important for showcasing Irish science and innovation internationally. It is also a very strong endorsement of the quality of research and science we do as a country – you need to be credible, excellent and have international standing in your field to attract International Conferences to Ireland as a host. There are many direct and spill-over benefits that arise as a result. International delegates and sponsoring companies get to visit the region often as first time visitors. They also visit local academic centres and businesses as part of the event and develop new relationships for further partnerships all of which serves to boosting scientific standing, bring economic benefit and hopefully show the way for more conference opportunities.

“The support provided by Fáilte Ireland was incredible and instrumental in my decision to bid for a second conference in Ireland. Sincere thanks to Fáilte Ireland for all of their support, along with the Cork Convention Bureau and Science Foundation Ireland. I had certainly not appreciated how much support was available until I hosted the first conference; as a result the second one was much easier. I would encourage anyone thinking of hosting a conference to just take the plunge and contact Failte Ireland – they will guide you all the way and it’s a fantastic win for all national stakeholders.”