New Orleans – a heart and soul for meetings and incentives

by Pádraic Gilligan, Managing Partner, SoolNua Frisson of Excitement The French Quarter was largely unaffected when Hurricane Katrina caused Armageddon-like devastation in New Orleans in 2005. So on the first morning, as my colleague Aoife and I ambled around on a jet-lagged pre-dawn stroll, it was just as I remembered it from way back. The… Read more »

MICE in Cork – growing potential for Ireland’s 2nd city

by Pádraic Gilligan, Managing Partner, SoolNua For 50 years Avis, the car rental company, used “We try harder” as its tagline. It was a piece of brilliant disruptive marketing, fashioned under the leadership of CEO Robert Townsend, aimed at taking down Hertz, the dominant market player at the time. Instead of bland, vacuous hyperbole laying… Read more »

Ireland: Food Nation

by Padraic Gilligan, Managing Partner, SoolNua Collective Confusion Ireland’s historical relationship with food has tended to be problematical. Our DNA has tended to be encoded with vague, indistinct memories of famine and fasting leaving us collectively confused about the purpose and meaning of food in our lives. We were less unsure, mind you, about our… Read more »

Malaga – authentic Andalucian charm for Meetings and Events

by Padraic Gilligan, Managing Partner, SoolNua That I couldn’t locate a pub in downtown Malaga showing either Arsenal v Everton or Ireland v Italy was intensely frustrating. The first match was a quarter final cup clash against strong opposition and Arsenal were to score 4 glorious goals to progress to the FA cup semi-final. Ireland… Read more »

MICE in Belfast – but in a good way!

by Padraic Gilligan, Managing Partner, SoolNua Destination MICE  Despite changing demographics and new generational preferences the filter for destination selection still pivots around crucial infrastructural categories like hotel, formal and informal venues and unique destination experiences. I recently re-visited Belfast and was hugely impressed by how far it has come as a MICE destination in… Read more »

48 hours in London – beyond the tourist trails

by Padraic Gilligan, Managing Partner, SoolNua An unusual trip This was an unusual trip. 2 nights R&R at an iconic hotel in Knightsbridge, the delectable delights of London available on your doorstep, followed by a night with your daughter in remote suburbia, several tube stops, a commuter train and a car journey from the excitement. In… Read more »

Dublin – 10 things to do off-the-beaten track

by Padraic Gilligan, Managing Partner, SoolNua Off-Beat and Off-the-Beaten Track There were quibbles following the recent Travel Bloggers [TBEX] conference in Dublin that these intrepid investigators didn’t really showcase anything new or different about the city. Their coverage tended to focus on what’s already known and loved  – Trinity, Guinness, friendly people etc – and,… Read more »

Nashville

by Padraic Gilligan, Managing Partner, SoolNua “And you shall know them by their airports …” Airports are usually your first point of physical contact with a destination but Destination Marketing Organisations (DMOs) frequently miss a golden opportunity to  turn these crucial first impressions into memorable destination experiences. Nashville is an exception in this regard. No… Read more »