Nick Waight

An interview with Nick Waight, the Managing Director of Group Convention Centres overseeing the ICC and Chief Executive of Dublin Convention Centre. He offers strategic consultancy to other convention centre projects. Nick has many roles which he performs to perfection and makes his own contribution in the MICE tourism Industry of Ireland largely felt.

Travel And Tour World – What Makes Convention Centre Dublin such a favourite meeting point of Europe?

Nick Waight:
When The Convention Centre Dublin (The CCD) opened in 2010 it introduced a new state-of-the-art, easily accessibleconference venue to the European MICE market. Ireland’s location at the gateway to Europe also makes us ideally positioned to entice international visitors from further afield. In addition, in recent years Dublin has established itself as the business and technology hub of Europe with a strong focus on research, development and innovation, and it ishome to the European headquarters of many of the world’s top multi-national corporations. This, coupled with our high-spec facilities and our exceptionally high levels of service, helps cement our reputation as the ideal meeting ground for international conference events.




Travel And Tour World – It is quite an achievement for the Convention Centre Dublin which has secured 120 events in the past six monthscontributing more than €30 million to the local economy. How do you feel about it and how was it accomplished?

Nick Waight:
We are very proud of our achievements this year having hit a few milestones with over 1,000 events and over 1 million delegate days hosted. We also recently ramped up our Sales team to a group of 10 dedicated professionals, each with specialised knowledge of either the corporate or association markets. They have been working very hard attending trade shows, reaching out to clients, and working alongside organisations such as the Dublin Convention Bureau to help formulate and win event bids throughout the year. The unprecedented run of confirmations over the last six months proves that there is huge interest in what The CCD has to offer as a European conference venue. It is also very encouraging that out of the 120 events in the last six months, 43 of these are repeat clients.



Travel And Tour World: What is the driving factor behind keeping up the goals and the objectives of CCD?

Nick Waight:
In January 2013 we launched a very clear five-year strategy and a new vision for the business, ‘to be the world’s favourite place for leaders, innovators and dreamers to share, create and celebrate ideas that change lives.’We strive to offer a truly world-class venue in every sense, from the quality of the facility right through to every aspect of our service. With every new event confirmed, we continue to position Ireland on the world stage for international conferences which in turn generates significant revenue for the Irish economy. This is what drives every aspect of our business.



Travel And Tour World: You have taken some sustainable measures which are unique to the CCD in the upkeep of the convention centre, please share your motivation with us and also tell us as to how you would like to set more eco friendly standards for the future?

Nick Waight:
Our overall aim is to lead environmental best practice across our industry. Having achieved ISO 14001 just one year after opening in 2010, we are very proud of our environmental efforts and long-term commitment to sustainability. All departments within The CCD recognise that they have a part to play in helping us maintain our ISO accreditation, and we have an Environmental Management System in place to develop action plans outlining various objectives year-to-year. As also regularly look for support and guidance from our dedicated maintenance and cleaning contractors, who publish monthly reports and analysis on our utility and waste usage.These factors, have helped us to achieve a remarkable recycling rate of 98% year-to-date, an achievement which we believe is largely unique to our industry, and one which we will be working very hard to maintain throughout 2015 and beyond.



Travel And Tour World: What are you plans for 2015-16?

Nick Waight:
We have a very busy year coming up in 2015 as we look forward to welcoming nearly 10,000 delegate days in January alone! We will also be hosting a large number of new international conferences throughout 2015 including the first ever Dublin International Game Music Festival, the International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics European Region Congress (IAGG), the 17th European Congress of Endocrinology (ECE) , Digital Solutions Cooperative (DScoop) EMEA, and the world’s largest market research event, ESOMAR ‘s 68th Congress. While we also look forward to welcoming back a number of repeat clients including the Pendulum Summit, as well as and PhoCus Wright Europe’s 2015 conferences.

Our Sales team are always looking ahead and will be attending a number of international trade shows throughout 2015 including EITBM and IMEX, as well as making international Sales calls and hosting a number of fam trips.




Travel And Tour World: You are the Managing Director of Group Convention Centres, overseeing the ICC and the new Dublin Convention Centre. You are also appointed Chief Executive of The Convention Centre Dublin, How do you manage to divide your time equally to all these tasks. How challenging is it to meet the goals set for CCD?

Nick Waight:
I divide my time equally between the two venues during the week, and as the two businesses are based on a similar model, this allows me to benefit from knowledge sharing on both sides. From director level, to senior management, to floor staff, I also have a great team of dedicated, passionate individuals in both venues that that I can fully rely on. They are the ones that help me keep driving both businesses forward by winning great deals, and delivering exceptional service and amazing events that leave our customers extremelysatisfied, and coming back again and again.



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