The Convention Centre Dublin (The CCD) helping you bring your international conference home to Dublin

Have you ever attended an international conference?  Ever thought of bringing that conference home to Dublin?

Becoming a Conference Ambassador and hosting an international conference in Dublin can help raise Ireland’s profile in your field or industry, generate revenue to fund future research, and help further develop your organisation.

Ciaran Bolger, Professor of Clinical Neuroscience at Beaumont Hospital Dublin, shares his story of how he brought two international conferences to The Convention Centre Dublin (The CCD), EUROSPINE in 2017 and, more recently, The European Association of Neurosurgical Societies (EANS) in September 2019. Read on to find out the work involved in the bidding process and how rewarding it was for him to see both international conferences come to his home city of Dublin.

I’m a neurosurgeon and my main interest is in neuroscience. I’ve been a consultant for 19 years. My focus areas of study are from clinical research, its outcomes from surgery, particularly spinal and brain surgery, and basic research monitoring the brain. I am part of the Society of British and Irish Neurosurgeons, which is the first society in neurosurgery set up in the world.

Hosted on behalf of the Society of Neurosurgeons, EANS conference is the European Association for Neurosurgeons (EANS 2019) and brings together neurosurgeons from all over Europe. The conference topic is research in neurosurgery, from basic science to diseases, and how the brain works. This year, our big plenary session was on global neurosurgery and how we can promote and develop neurosurgery in the third world. EANS 2019 was a big success. We had more registrants here in Dublin than there has ever been at an EANS conference before. I’ve had nothing but compliments from the delegates about the venue, the social activities throughout the conference and the fact that The CCD is so close to the city. It has also been very profitable for the society, which is important because societies depend on income from their annual meeting to fund research.

Each year the conference is hosted in a different venue and location. When you attend conferences in other cities, it makes you think about bringing these people to see your city and to show the work that you’re doing. Having an international conference in your hometown is a great way of promoting the city and I was keen to get my colleagues to come here for a change, rather than me going somewhere else.

There is a bidding process every year to decide what city will host the next meeting. For the bidding process, you produce a business plan, project how many people will attend and how much revenue the society can generate from the conference. I got a lot of support both from The CCD and Fáilte Ireland, who helped prepare the bid, which featured videos from Fáilte Ireland and facts and figures about The CCD. Once Dublin was selected, Fáilte Ireland helped with advertising the conference and did a great job.

It has been really rewarding to do. It’s a lot of work, I won’t pretend it’s not, but there is a real sense of achievement and it’s fantastic when people come to your city and have a good time and a great conference. It’s well worth it.

My advice to future conference ambassadors is to just do it. You’re all in societies. Every year your society bids for somewhere to host a meeting, take it on, show off your city and country. It’s beneficial for you and for everyone. At the end of the day, it’s very rewarding to have done it.”

Conference ambassadors are very important to us here at The CCD. These are the people who lead the way in bringing an international conference home to Dublin. Click through to read about some of our past conference ambassadors’ stories and the advice they give to future conference ambassadors.


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