Planning a corporate event in Belfast
Sarah Vickers
Prize Fulfilment

Planning a corporate event in Belfast

22nd February 2018

In the third of our mini-series featuring UK cities and what they have to offer for corporate events, we cross the Irish Sea to Belfast.

 

It may be across the water for some of us but Belfast is a thriving business centre. The city is fast becoming one of the top places in the UK for meetings, events and conferences. It's a city packed with history and culture which also offers a vibrant nightlife scene and a selection of great venue choices.

 

Take a look at our suggestions to find out why Belfast could be a great location for your next corporate event.

 

Venues in Belfast

Corporate events - Titanic Exhibition Centre, Belfast

Titanic Belfast | Creative Commons

 

Corporate events - Crumin Road Gaol, Belfast

Crumlin Road Gaol | TripAdvisor

 

 

Belfast's venue choices are rich and varied. If you're looking for a larger location with capacity for several thousand guests, there's the Titanic Exhibition Centre and the Belfast Waterfront. Both venues have a very airy, modern feel. For a smaller location try Belfast Castle. The castle is set in Cavehill Country Park, giving an impressive view of the city below. The castle itself and its grounds are also beautiful.

 

Another unique venue choice is Crumlin Road Gaol. This historic building is a versatile space for events where including a tour can really add to the atmosphere. St. George's Market is also a great option. This charming building's high ceilings and exposed beams make it ideal if you're looking for a venue which can be dressed for an event or product launch.

 

One of my personal favourite locations in Belfast is Queen's University. It's an architecturally beautiful building which has an instant 'wow-factor'. Inside, there are several options for room hire, which all have a grand and professional feel.

 

Activities in Belfast

Corporate events - Dragon boat racing

Dragon Boat Racing

 

 

Belfast is full of surprises. Wander around the city and you'll find a real mix of new and old. Georgian, Edwardian and Victorian buildings sit beside modern pieces of street art. A great way for guests to explore the city is on a treasure hunt. This is an engaging way add a team building element to an event while exploring the city's hidden secrets.

 

For a more active choice, the River Lagan runs through the city centre making it perfect for water sports. There are the classic options like canoeing and kayaking but you can also try dragon boat racing. This is an eccentric race which originated in China. Teams are seated in long narrow boats and paddle to the beat of a drummer. It's a bit crazy, extremely competitive and very fun.

 

Eating and drinking in Belfast

Corporate events - Ox Restaurant, Belfast

Ox | TripAdvisor

 

Corporate events - Home Restaurant, Belfast

Home Restaurant | TripAdvisor

 

Corporate events - Bert's Jazz Bar at The Merchant Hotel

Bert's Jazz Bar at The Merchant Hotel | TripAdvisor

 

 

Belfast's dining and drinking scenes have you covered, whether you want cool and casual or something more luxurious. There's two Michelin starred restaurants in the city - Eipic and Ox. Both offer exquisite tasting menus, with Ox being the more relaxed of the two choices.

 

For a more casual option, two of my favourite choices are The Barking Dog and Home. The Barking Dog is a great choice for smaller groups. It's a low-key venue with a great ambience. The beef shin burgers are a must try. Home is a former pop-up restaurant which was so popular it's now a permanent city centre feature. The restaurant is reminiscent of a New York-style eatery; the vibe is cool yet laid-back.

 

In terms of nightlife, there's a mix of classic Irish pubs, upscale bars and cool clubs. For a traditional night of Irish music, there are dozens of venues around the city. My favourite is Fibber Magee's, around the corner from the ornate Crown Liquor Saloon. Fibber's has live Irish bands every night and is always packed. The Duke of York is another solid choice for live music. Locals gather in the cobbled alleyway outside which is home to murals, lights and umbrellas.

 

For something a bit different, try Bert's Jazz Bar at The Merchant Hotel. This is an elegant venue with fabulous cocktails and live jazz music. If you're looking for clubs, Ollie's in the basement of The Merchant Hotel is one of the best in the city, while Filthy McNastys is quirky and unique. For cocktails try The Perch. This whimsical rooftop bar is perfect for a summer's evening.

 

Hotels in Belfast

Corporate events - Europa Hotel, Belfast

Europa Hotel | TripAdvisor

 

Corporate events - Bullitt Hotel, Belfast

Bullitt Hotel | TripAdvisor

 

 

There are a few standout accommodation choices in Belfast. The first is the Europa which stands out foremost by reputation. This historic building is said to be the most bombed hotel in the world. It's since been restored with contemporary rooms, a busy bar and even a piano lounge.

 

Another high-end option is The Merchant Hotel. As well as being home to some of the best nightlife options in the city, the Merchant offers fabulous five-star accommodation. The hotel's modern art deco style rooms are my personal favourite but you can also choose the classic Victorian rooms depending on your group's preferences.

 

If you're on a smaller budget, the Bullit Hotel is a great choice. This boutique hotel has a hip, no-nonsense feel perfect for a younger group.

 

Active have over 20 years' experience in corporate event management. For more information on Belfast, or to get a quote for your next meeting, incentive, conference or event, please contact us.

 

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Sarah Vickers
Prize Fulfilment
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