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

Posted by & filed under Meeting Matters.

Screen Shot 2014-11-21 at 11.45.34

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

Posted by & filed under Meeting Matters.

Screen Shot 2014-11-14 at 17.26.39

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

Posted by & filed under Meeting Matters.

Screen Shot 2014-11-07 at 18.22.17

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

Posted by & filed under Destinations.

Screen Shot 2014-10-31 at 12.58.26

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

Posted by & filed under Viewpoints.

Screen Shot 2014-10-23 at 18.51.58

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

Posted by & filed under Destinations.

Screen Shot 2014-10-17 at 18.30.36

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 »

3 days in Venice – still crazy after all these years

Posted by & filed under Destinations.

Screen Shot 2014-10-09 at 17.50.44

by Padraic Gilligan, Managing Partner at SoolNua In the field of destination marketing Venice is Coca Cola. It’s up there, profile-wise, with New York and London in the super-brand category, known and recognized all over the world for its utterly unique topology, its ubiquitous gondolas, Carnevale, cruise ships and crowds. Within MICE it’s the incentive… Read more »

What Ireland means to me [Guest Post]

Posted by & filed under Destinations.

Screen Shot 2014-10-03 at 16.06.19

by Domingos Dirceu Franco (Brazil and Jordan) Earlier this week I received an e mail from Domi with this text. I met Domi while he was in Ireland for 3 months to learn English. He’s Brazilian but lives in Amman, Jordan. I really like what he writes because it underlines how destination experiences can be… Read more »

Should the maids be tipped at Marriott?

Posted by & filed under Viewpoints.

Screen Shot 2014-09-25 at 18.28.30

by Padraic Gilligan, Managing Partner at SoolNua Downtown San Francisco “You want to take the Cable Car?” he asked with breezy friendliness. We welcomed his intervention having struggled to understand how the iconic San Francisco system worked. He explained what to do, genuinely delighting us with his helpfulness. But then the hand went out: “We… Read more »

Bob and Janine go to Vienna: a short story

Posted by & filed under Destinations.

Hofburg Palace

by Pádraic Gilligan, Managing Partner, SoolNua *I recently co-produced the Gala Dinner Entertainment at the Hofburg Palace, Vienna with a dear friend and client in the Finance and Insurance sector. Here’s an account of the evening from the perspective of a fictitious programme qualifier, Bob Newman. A kind of homecoming It was 5:05pm and his… Read more »