And suddenly we’re here: December, Christmas party season.

By Marie-Claire Caldwell, Head of Sales and Marketing at ICC Belfast

When things get busy at this time of year, it’s easy to lose track of the big picture. Things become much more tactical – living in the here and now – and it’s forgivable to forget about the long-term vision. Events professionals up and down the country will be thinking more about the next six hours than the next six months… at least for the next six weeks.

But there’s one thing that remains a constant. People that work in events; and how we deal with the tasks in hand. For some of us, we’ll go into blinker mode – focusing on what we need to get done today. For others, we’ll rally round and lend a hand. But no matter what our own individual styles to get those trees up, auditoriums packed and mics at the ready; it’ll be teamwork that sees us through. 

Really, it’s this time of year that you realise that networks, and individual relationships with the people you spend 40 hours a week with (and then some) are what’s important. Christmas pushes events professionals to the edge, but it’s our colleagues that pull us back. 

Here at ICC Belfast, we’re an experienced and ambitious international convention centre at the heart of Belfast - one of Europe’s most accessible, vibrant and flourishing cities. And following a £30m extension, our winter programme has become one of the busiest times of the year. From entertainment events to corporate conferences, it’s all go. To keep up with the pace, we’ve been changing a few things about how we work as a team. Our entire organisation has spent the last year adopting a much more commercial strategy – a more focused, driven and commercial mindset – after all, we are a business that needs to generate revenue to invest back into our business, and keep it flourishing for many more Christmases to come.  In fact, we’re well on track to deliver £100m of economic impact to the City of Belfast by the end of March 2021 – and that hasn’t happened by chance. 

We’re investing more than ever into our people and processes. How we work, together. It’s created a new set of values, goals and a mission for us to collectively work towards. And its these anchor points that ensure that even though we might be doing things in our own way, we’re all working towards the same end goals. Even if we’re not all living every value every day, if we pick just one and focus all our efforts on it, at least we’re heading in the same direction. It’s working for us, and it’s working for Belfast. 

It’s at Christmas that you can see the leaps and bounds that Belfast has made over the last ten years. Our city, and the people in it, are flourishing. ICC Belfast can’t compete with world class venues on the number of seats we have or the amount of space we can offer, but we can compete on the things that matter, like atmosphere, value for money and a rich culture. 

That’s why while we might be enjoying a fantastic Christmas in 2019, we know that this time next year, we’ll be bigger and bolder than ever, as part of one team that share the same dream.