The Camino to Santiago: Experience & Meaning

by Pádraic Gilligan, Managing Partner, SoolNua Dedicated to our fellow pilgrims, John & Cathie, Niall & Mary, Ken & Stephanie with infinite thanks for the wonderful memories and the great friendship But what about the meaning? The Pilgrim’s Reception Office is run by the Cathedral Church of the Archdiocese of Santiago de Compostela. It’s where… Read more »

EPIC stories at the Irish Emigration Museum

by Pádraic Gilligan, Managing Partner, SoolNua In celebration of EPIC’s first birthday, this is an updated version of the original post “Stories – what makes a destination truly unique” that first appeared on May 13 2016.  Telling Stories In many languages the words for history and story are the same. Telling stories is intrinsically connected with the past,… Read more »

Cycling the Ring of Kerry – better than a round at Ballybunion?

by Padraic Gilligan, Managing Partner, SoolNua Anecdotally, cycling has overtaken golf as the sport of choice for the C-suite. The corporate world has figured it’s less personally humiliating to be a sluggish rider than an useless hacker. After all crowds don’t stand and shout “get in the hole” as you throw your leg over your all-carbon… Read more »

It’s Global Meetings Industry Day 2017

by Pádraic Gilligan, Managing Partner, SoolNua Global Meetings Industry Day? If you’re active on social media or read on-line news, you’ll know that every single one of the 365 days of the year has been claimed either nationally or internationally or both by several random causes. Today, the 6th of April 2017, is National Caramel Popcorn… Read more »

48 Hours in Northern Ireland: an unforgettable incentive experience

by Pádraic Gilligan, Managing Partner, SoolNua Day One: 07:35 – The Enterprise Train to Northern Ireland I’m sitting in first class on the Enterprise Train that travels several times daily between Dublin and Belfast. I’ve just enjoyed a wonderful cooked breakfast served to me piping hot in my plush seat. My laptop is open as… Read more »

Business Tourism on Ireland’s Ancient East

by Pádraic Gilligan, Managing Partner, SoolNua Seismic change in Ireland’s Tourism Product and Promotion During the thirty years of my involvement with incoming tourism there has been a seismic shift in Ireland’s tourism product and the way it’s promoted. In the 80s I conducted 7 and 10 day tours of the country with sophisticated Italians who… Read more »

Bratislava – Surprisingly Close, Exceptionally Smart

by Pádraic Gilligan, Managing Partner, SoolNua Following a couple of decades bringing meetings, incentives and events to destinations, @SuperGreyBeard and I are now working with these destinations, helping them identify and communicate what makes them different. To do this successfully we have to try to become insiders, immersing ourselves in the destination, getting behind the scenes, talking to a… Read more »

10 must-do activities in Vancouver

by Pádraic Gilligan, Managing Partner, SoolNua I’ve had Vancouver on my mind for years now, like Hoagy Carmichael with Georgia or James Taylor with Carolina. It’s been lodged there in the deep recesses as the home or adopted home of so many  meetings industry friends – Claire Smith, Tahira Endean, Emily Edwards, Brenda Anderson, Isobel Mahon. It had… Read more »

Vancouver: is there a better city for Business Events?

by Pádraic Gilligan, Managing Partner, SoolNua It’s hard to describe Vancouver without referencing San Francisco: two cities with   paradisiacal natural surroundings, on the water, both with iconic bridges, both heavily Asian, both redolent of supreme west coast cool. Vancouver’s connections to that stunningly rich natural hinterland – the islands, woodlands, mountains – are more immediate,… Read more »