Branding cities for Meetings and Events

by Pádraic Gilligan, Managing Partner, Soolnua That MICE thing again Every time I use the term MICE to describe Business Events I feel there’s an angry torch-carrying mob about to lynch me and hang me from the highest tree. That the mob contains some of my best MICE friends like Vancouver’s amazing Claire Smith, only… Read more »

Why Meeting Professionals should ditch Social Media

by Pádraic Gilligan, Managing Partner, SoolNua By now most meetings professionals are on social media with Linkedin, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter accounts. Linkedin has endless groups for meeting professionals and many of them are excellent with great content being shared and useful contacts being made on a daily basis. Instagram, too, with its strong optical orientation, is a… Read more »

The Exploding search for Authenticity in Tourism today

by Patrick Lanigan

by Pádraic Gilligan, Managing Partner, SoolNua “Let me take you down as I’m going to Strawberry Fields. Nothing is real.” It’s ironic, as I leave Las Vegas, that the theme for this week’s blog post is authenticity. In the constellation of words that might be used to describe this astonishing town, authenticity is unlikely to… Read more »

The Tipping Point in Destination Marketing

by Pádraic Gilligan, Managing Partner, SooNua The Tipping Point In The Tipping Point, the book that catapulted Malcolm Gladwell to stardom, the author examines how some social patterns, phenomena, trends and fashions evolve from minor to major. They start as decidedly minority interests in tiny, peripheral communities but then reach a “tipping point” that takes them mainstream, gives them mass appeal, causes… Read more »

The DMC conundrum – will it ever be solved?


by Pádraic Gilligan, Managing Partner, SoolNua My good DMC friend Fran Rickenbach has been pursuing me for some time now. I won’t deny that this frightens the daylights out of me. Those who know Fran know why. She’s a formidable lady, a “mountie who always gets her man”, in a manner of speaking. You see… Read more »

Visiting Oslo, city branding and all that jazz

by Pádraic Gilligan, Managing Partner, SoolNua Norway It’s extraordinary how impactful first impressions can be. I was reminded of that this week when I visited Norway for the first time and, within minutes of deplaning, had two “service” experiences that would make any hospitality organisation blush with pride. Both positive impressions were with the “Flytoget”… Read more »

In Memory of My Friend

by Pádraic Gilligan, Managing Partner, SoolNua This week’s blog post is not about destinations or matters of interest to the meetings industry. It’s a once-off  piece following the death this week of a childhood friend whom I haven’t seen for over 40 years. It’s offered in his honour. The huge crowd spilled out the front… Read more »

Tips for eventprofs from Shakespeare

by Pádraic Gilligan, Managing Partner, SoolNua Has the human race ever been as challenged as it is today by the frightening  proliferation of “content”? Has there ever been so much stuff to look at, to deliberate upon, to read, to digest? If, like me, you’re on a lifelong  quest to learn, then on a daily basis you’ll face… Read more »

Brexit, EURO2016 and Destination Marketing

by Pádraic Gilligan, Managing Partner, SoolNua I’ve written before about how organisers of meetings and events select destinations. It’s a curious process that runs the full gamut from clear thinking rationalism to touchy feely emotion. Destinations are selected because they meet a set of fixed criteria – for example: access (delegates can reach there easily),… Read more »

Why it’s important to be a Good Country

by Pádraic Gilligan, Managing Partner, SoolNua There are probably more rankings or indexes of nations than nations themselves. As humans we appear to have a primordial need to order and rank ourselves on multiple scales from tallest to richest to most intelligent and this compulsion extends to everything about us, including our countries. Many rankings… Read more »