Barcelona in 48 Hours

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by Pádraic Gilligan, Managing Partner, SoolNua Travelling but not visiting I was miles away. “Sounds of Silence” kept playing on my mental jukebox. I thought how powerful it is as a portrayal of our contemporary culture, plunging headlong into a sort of individualist nihilism: People talking without speaking People hearing without listening People writing songs… Read more »

Competitive Advantage for DMCs

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by Pádraic Gilligan, Managing Partner, SoolNua A new business model? My industry friend Dries Jacobus, Managing Director Borealis Incentives, Belgium posed the following question recently on the ADMEI Linkedin Group As a DMC in Belgium (where taxes on labour are high, so staff is expensive) clients very often re-negotiate the staff cost. Sometimes down to… Read more »

Bratislava – 5 reasons to consider it for Meetings and Events

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by Pádraic Gilligan, Managing Partner, SoolNua Reputation, Reputation, Reputation I haven’t seen the movie “Hostel” (2005) but it does for the reputation of Slovakia and its capital what “Midnight Express” (1978) does for Turkey. To add insult to injury not a single frame of the movie was actually shot in Slovakia but in the neighbouring… Read more »

The Dean, Dublin – a star is born

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by Pádraic Gilligan, Managing Partner, SoolNua The end of austerity In early 2014 following 4 successive years of severe belt tightening and austerity Ireland officially exited the bailout programme imposed by our masters in Europe. The years of hardship were not good for the hospitality sector in Ireland with many hotels re-possessed by the banks,… Read more »

Start and end strongly: a master class in meeting planning from FICP14

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by Padraic Gilligan, Managing Partner, SoolNua Back in Hawai’i This year’s conference of the Finance and Insurance Conference Planners (FICP) took place at the magnificent 62 acre Hilton Waikoloa Village on the Big Island, Hawai’i. It was FICP’s first time back on the islands since ICPA did Maui in 2004. Selecting an off shore location… Read more »

What I learned at the Site Conference in Toronto

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by Pádraic Gilligan, Managing Partner, SoolNua Busy Times We’re heading into a really busy time for MICE professionals. Site’s annual conference in Rotherdam kicks off today leading straight into EIBTM in Barcelona on Tuesday next. Meanwhile, thousands of miles away, over 600 members of the Financial and Insurance Conference Planners (FICP) are gathering at the… Read more »

Web Summit 2014: 5 new technology tools for travel

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by Padraic Gilligan, Managing Partner, SoolNua In only 4 years the Web Summit has grown from 400 attendees to 22,000 attendees, a staggering growth curve by any criteria.  This spectacular increase appears to stem from a happy coincidence of circumstances involving the focus and vision of its founder, Paddy Cosgrave, the allure and appeal of… Read more »

Toronto – such a perfect day

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by Padraic Gilligan, Managing Partner, SoolNua 4th city in North America Toronto has recently overtaken Chicago to become the fourth largest city in North America after Mexico City, New York and LA. Yet when you mosey down Queen Street West or gaze at Lake Ontario from your eleventh floor room at the Westin Harbour Castle… Read more »

Why Aer Lingus needs a Teddy Bear Strategy

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by Pádraic Gilligan, Managing Partner, SoolNua The awesome power of brands Volumes have been written about the emotional power of brands but brands connected with national identity can often go deeper, insinuating themselves, almost, into our very DNA. These brands can become powerful symbols and signifiers across the full spectrum of our humanity, connecting us… Read more »

On the Road Again – San Diego to San Francisco

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by Pádraic Gilligan, Managing Partner, SoolNua The Marvels of Motivational Travel Many of us in the Meetings and Incentives Industry run successful businesses and make a good living because corporations know that extraordinary travel experiences motivate employees to achieve outstanding workplace results. Because this is our job and we’re not actual participants on these amazing… Read more »