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Author Archives: MICEport

Some old Irish Pubs

There are so many great pubs in the island of Ireland that we thought we would show you some of the older ones.  Just in time for St. Patrick’s day (please don’t say St. Patty’s day – it never was and never will be…).

THE BRAZEN HEAD, DUBLIN

brazenThe Brazen Head has been in operation as a tavern since 1178.

Among the famous names who have indulged in a tipple in this famous pub include Wolfe Tone, Michael Collins, James Joyce and Brendan Behan.

 

SEAN’S BAR, ATHLONE, WESTMEATH

seansIt is thought that Sean’s Bar dates back as far as 900 and even the Guinness Book of Records has decreed that it is the oldest pub in Ireland.

During renovations in 1970, the walls of the bar were found to be made of wattle and wicker dating back to the ninth century.  Old coins were also found and dated to this period and are now on display in the National Museum.

 

McHUGHS,BELFAST

mchughsDATING from 1711, this is the oldest pub in Belfast. 29-31/33 Queens Square was constructed at this time as part of the Hanover Quay development undertaken by Isaac MacCartney between 1710 and 1720 and given that ‘not even one standing wall of pre-1769 development was previously known to have survived anywhere in Belfast, it is particularly fortunate to find that this building (McHugh’s) is not only essentially intact, but also represents such an important part of the early town of Belfast.

 

THE OLD THATCH, KILLEAGH

old thatchThe present owners the Sweeney family can trace ownership of The Old Thatch as far back as the mid 1700’s.

At Castlemartyr Quarter sessions in 1867 the then owner of the premises, John Conway applied for a renewal of his licence. It was refused on the grounds that the premises were being used to harbour Fenians. He stated in his submission that his house had been licences for over two hundred years without complaint. Nevertheless, the presiding magistrate withheld the licence. The present owners the Sweeney family can trace ownership as far back as the mid 1700’s.

To see more unique venues for your next meeting or incentive in Ireland contact MICEport at inspireus@miceport.com or visit us at www.miceportdmc.com

 

 

 
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Posted by on March 15, 2016 in DMC, Ireland, MICEport, MICEport DMC

 

Nice Bankside London!

thumb_IMG_2172_1024London, UK. MICEport DMC was in London recently with our DMC in England and Wales, Metier (just as an aside – what a great team – they know EVERYTHING about London).  As part of the site inspection, we visited The Hilton London Bankside. To be honest, I was thinking that this would be just another hotel – oh was I wrong!

The Hilton London Bankside is a gem in this area of London, it has incorporated the service of a global hotel chain while remaining true to the local area. The Hilton London Bankside has 292 rooms, with over 10,000 sq ft of meeting space for 750 guests. The hotel is located on Great Suffolk Street in south east London, close to HMS Belfast, Tate Modern, Borough Market (which you must not miss!), Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, The London Eye, The Tower of London and so much more…

thumb_IMG_2176_1024The OXBO Bankside restaurant and The Distillery bar are really worth while visiting and would be great for a welcome reception for a meeting or incentive group. The OXBO Bankside restaurant has some really interesting artwork from the local area and make a real London statement.  The Distillery bar is also full of history and is located on the site of the old Stevenson & Howell fragrance factory, which distilled essential oils and manufactured essences, flavorings and garnishes during the 1800s. Now  they have been inspired by this local history, the bar has become an alchemist’s laboratory of sensations mixing signature cocktails using homemade aromatics, infusions and bitters to accent drinks. Take a quick look at the penny wall in the bar, featuring pennies dating back to the early twentieth century, it is inspired by a rumour that the building was once a coin warehouse for the Bank of England.

The meeting space is very cleverly constructed and feels very airy and comfortably lit, despite there being no natural daylight and in this case it is a plus. The largest meeting space is 9,600 sq ft and the smallest 336 sq ft.

If you have never held a meeting or incentive in London or if you have held multiple meetings and incentives in London, The Hilton London Bankside has so much to offer that is unique and authentic.  Contact MICEport DMC to see the programs that we can create for your next meeting or incentive with our fantastic London based DMC, Metier UK DMC, Claire and her team are amazing  and will truly create something special for your next London program.  Email us at inspireus@miceport.com

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The Origins of Halloween

Haloween

Halloween is a time of celebration and superstition and is now characterised by community-based child-friendly activities such as trick-or-treating. In a number of countries around the world, as the days grow shorter and the nights get colder, people continue to usher in the winter season.

samhainHalloween’s origins date back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced sow-in). The Celts, who lived 2,000 years ago in the area that is now Ireland, the United Kingdom and northern France, celebrated their new year on November 1. This day marked the end of summer and the harvest and the beginning of the dark, cold winter, a time of year that was often associated with human death. Celts believed that on the night before the new year, the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred. On the night of October 31 they celebrated Samhain, when it was believed that the ghosts of the dead returned to earth. In addition to causing trouble and damaging crops, Celts thought that the presence of the otherworldly spirits made it easier for the Druids, or Celtic priests, to make predictions about the future. For a people entirely dependent on the volatile natural world, these prophecies were an important source of comfort and direction during the long, dark winter.

To commemorate the event, Druids built huge sacred bonfires, where the people gathered to burn crops and animals as sacrifices to the Celtic deities. During the celebration, the Celts wore costumes, typically consisting of animal heads and skins, and attempted to tell each other’s fortunes. When the celebration was over, they re-lit their hearth fires, which they had extinguished earlier that evening, from the sacred bonfire to help protect them during the coming winter.

If you want to see some magic in your meetings or incentives in any of our 12 international destinations, contact MICEport DMC (www.miceportdmc.com) at inspireus@miceport.com

Have a good Halloween!!

 
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Posted by on October 30, 2015 in DMC

 

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Travel is the Greatest Teacher

MICEport’s philosophy on travel is that it is the greatest teacher! Not only to learn new cultures but also to learn from each other. Isn’t that why meetings and incentives are so important for companies? You can’t do everything from a computer, from a telephone or through webinars – we have to meet, learn and experience.

This is exemplified in Dubai at the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding (SMCCU). The SMCCU opened in 1998 to help visitors gain a better understanding of the culture and customs of the UAE. SMCCU invites guests to take part in their activities, including a range of Arabic classes, heritage tours, and guided mosque visits.

The Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding is located in a beautifully restored wind tower house in the historic Al Fahidi District in Bur Dubai, the centre offers a range of activities, from traditional cuisine to conversations with local Emiratis. It’s motto is ‘Open Doors, Open Minds,’ and isn’t that the thing we strive for in all of our meetings and incentive!

SMCCU is where groups can ask questions such as why the native women of the UAE wear black while the men wear white? What happens inside a mosque? Do you want to try a traditional Emirati meal? MICEport feels that SMCCU is definitely a great and an essential part of a program to UAE. It breaks down barriers, preconceptions and misunderstandings. Understanding the local traditions adds depth and meaning to any group visiting from UAE.

UAEGroup attendees can ask any question – no matter how sensitive and they will be answered – it is a great experience!

For our groups we can have a traditional Emirati breakfast, lunch, or dinner and you’ll start with a guided walking tour of the historic Al Fahidi District. Then take a seat on Bedouin-style carpets and pillows and enjoy a selection of traditional dishes while your local host answers the groups questions.

Contact MICEport for more information on groups, meetings or incentives to UAE. MICEport’s DMC in UAE is Incentive Connections. Perfection and innovative programs would be two words to describe Incentive Connections programs in UAE. Contact us inspireus@miceport.com and see our website at www.miceportdmc.com

 

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Are you crazy? Let’s talk cents.

Well the title says it all…. You must be crazy if you are not taking advantage of some of the great MICE offers in  Europe and the Middle East.

Morocco

Morocco

Okay – we know how beautiful the destinations are and we may need to learn some new places in the destinations etc but that is why we work with a quality Destination Management Company (DMC) – someone who really is the expert in the destination and brings our programs to life – that is a subject for another blog….We are talking Dollars and Cents in this blog post!

  • Did you know, if you were to run or purchase a program in Europe this year compared to last year – you would save about 20% in exchange rates alone.
  • Did you know, if you were to run or purchase a program in the United Kingdom this year compared to last year – you would save about 10% in exchange rates alone.
  • Did you know, if you were to run or purchase a program in Morocco this year compared to last year – you would save about 17% in exchange rates alone.
  • Did you know, if you were to run or purchase a program in the UAE this year compared to last year it would be the same because the UAE Dirham is pegged to the USD.

So you can see, now is a great time to look at Europe and the Middle East for some fantastic meeting and incentive programs purely for financial reasons.  We could write all day on motivational and experiential reasons, but from a purely financial point of view – it makes sense to do a program in Europe and the Middle East.

MICEport has some of the most respected DMCs in the world with an average of 27 years in business as a Destination Management Company from Ireland, Scotland, England, Wales, France, Monaco, Morocco, Germany, Austria, Italy, UAE and Oman  who will create a great program for your group. Contact MICEport to see how we can bring something new to your international MICE programs as well as our hedged USD rates that we offer to clients inspireus@miceport.com

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Please note this is for informational purposes so please contact your financial department or your accountancy firm for specific requirements related to your company situation.  This is not constituted as advice but rather for illustration purposes.

 
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Posted by on July 6, 2015 in DMC, Exchange rates, Incentives, Meetings

 

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“Meet the DMC” Webinar – Italy

For anyone undertaking an international meeting or incentive to Italy, please take a look at our recent webinar with our DMC partner in Italy, Studio ITER.

For more information on some of our great partners from Ireland, Scotland, France, Monaco, Morocco, Italy, Germany, Austria, UAE & Oman – go to our website www.miceportdmc.com 

 
 

MICEport – “Meet the DMC” Series

Meet the DMC StampsAs part of MICEport’s continuing expansion, we have started a webinar series called “Meet the DMC“.

The goals of the webinars are:

  1. Create a personal touch –  So often, it is difficult to physically meet with the respected DMCs such as those within MICEport DMC due to the fact that they are in the 10 destinations throughout the world – this is a way to combat that;
  2. Quick – A quick 30 minute webinar presentation on the DMC and the overall possibilities of that particular destination;
  3. Convenient – MICEport has added these webinars to our website for “on-demand” convenience;
  4. Informative & Innovative – Our DMCs give great information about the destination while at the same time introducing buyers to new program ideas.

These webinars are an ideal way to Meet the DMCs and get to know your potential partner in Ireland, Scotland, France, Monaco, Italy, Germany, Austria, UAE, Oman and Morocco.  MICEport DMCs have on average 26 years in business and are all owner operated. We are proud to be their partner in North America and we know that their experience and creativity will be a winning combination for any incentive or meeting program.

All of the webinars will be posted on www.miceportdmc.com under the events and webinar section and also on this Blog.

You can contact MICEport in North America, either via phone (215-253-8924) email: inspireus@miceport.com or on the web at www.miceportdmc.com

 

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International Business Phone Calls – A way to avoid phone costs

iphoneI was recently in the United Kingdom and Ireland on business and I wanted to avoid as many call charges as possible while in Europe. I had been burnt once before with a $600 phone bill 😦   “Once bitten, twice shy”.

So I looked for a way to use my US iPhone without the excessive roaming charges while checking my office emails, Facetime, Skype etc and at the same time avoiding going into every coffee shop to use the free wi-fi.

So I wanted to share what I found out:

1.  I got my iPhone unlocked – which cost $19.99 (you can also get it done on the internet). This means that you can use any sim in any country – Happy Days!

2. In the UK: I purchased a “Vodafone Freebee” Sim for £20 (included 500 UK Minutes, Unlimited UK Texts, 2GB of data.)

In Ireland: I purchased a “Meteor Simplicity” Sim for €10 (included Unlimited Minutes, 7.5GB of data.)

There is only one draw back, you do not have your regular cell phone number but I countered that by forwarding all of the calls to my office phone. I hope that this helps for any of you doing international MICE programs over the coming months.

MICEport NO Background Website TM

MICEport is an international marketing firm specializing in International Meeting, Incentive, Conference and Events programs with their DMC partners in Ireland, Scotland, France, Monaco, Germany, Austria, Italy Morocco, UAE and Oman. For more information on MICEport DMC partners, go to www.miceportdmc.com 

 
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Posted by on April 21, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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ITALY: A Unique Restaurant Experience for Groups

Italy is all about history, exquisite, unique and authentic experiences, love and food! Well experience all this and more with MICEport DMC partner in Italy, Studio ITER. As an example of this, North American groups can visit a very special and unique Roman restaurant in the stunning 1 star Michelin restaurant, AROMA.

AROMA is located within the premises of the enchanting Manfredi Palace (Palazzo Manfredi) where Chef Giuseppe Di Iorio brings his modern cuisine, choosing the freshest ingredients while keeping an eye on tradition.

AROMA has a contemporary dining room overlooking the Colosseum and Emperor Nero’s Gardens and is quite simply a magical rooftop garden restaurant.  Before dinner, guests can enjoy a cocktail on the lounge bar terrace overlooking the Colle Oppio (Emperor Nero’s gardens).  The stylish decor is welcoming and relaxing, whilst the glass observatory offers an all-year round dining experience, perfect for North American incentives and meetings.

Contact MICEport DMC for your next incentive or meeting to Italy with our DMC partner, Studio ITER at inspireus@miceport.com or go to our website at www.miceportdmc.com

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About MICEport

MICEport is a strategic sales and marketing firm partnering with Destination Management Companies in Ireland, Scotland, France, Monaco, Germany, Austria, Italy, UAE, Oman and Morocco. Our DMC Partners can ensure that that your program not only works within your budget but more importantly fits in with your goals and objectives of your program while offering a truly unique and authentic experience. Our DMCs throughout Europe and the Middle East have an average of 27 years in business and are all owner managed companies  Learn more about our DMCs at www.miceport.com.

 

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MICEport DMC Welcomes Morocco – Octav Tour DMC

ilhamWe are so happy to welcome our newest DMC to MICEport DMC from Morocco – Octav Tour, based in Casablanca, welcome Ilham. This now brings MICEport DMC to 10 international destinations with our fantastic boutique owner managed DMCs.

Morocco has so many great opportunities for North American MICE groups.  Geographically, Morocco is characterized by rugged mountainous interior and large portions of desert. It is one of only three countries (with Spain and France) to have both Atlantic and Mediterranean coastlines. Morocco has a population of over 33 million.  Morocco is culturally diverse, culturally speaking and has always been successful in combining its Berber, Jewish and Arabic cultural heritage with external influences such as the French, Spanish, Anglo-American lifestyles during the last decades.

Moroccan cuisine

Moroccan cuisine has long been considered as one of the most diversified cuisines in the world.This is a result of the centuries-long morocco10_1746570binteraction of Morocco with the outside world. The cuisine of Morocco is mainly Berber-Moorish, European, Mediterranean cuisines. The cuisine of Morocco is essentially Berber cuisine (sometimes referred to as the Moorish cuisine). It is also influenced by Sephardic cuisine and by the Moriscos when they took refuge in Morocco after the Spanish Reconquista. Spices are used extensively in Moroccan food. While spices have been imported to Morocco for thousands of years, many ingredients such as saffron from Tiliouine, mint and olives from Meknes, and oranges and lemons from Fez, are home-grown. Chicken is the most widely eaten meat in Morocco. The main Moroccan dish most people are familiar with is couscous, the old national delicacy. Beef is the most commonly eaten red meat in Morocco, usually eaten in a Tagine with vegetables or legumes. Chicken is also very commonly used in Tagines, knowing that one of the most famous tagine is the Tagine of Chicken, potatoes and olives.

Mint TeaSome must dos:

  • Wander through the souk – You can test your bargaining skills with the shopkeepers, who all speak enough English and Spanish to drive a hard bargain for anything you could imagine. Be sure to check out the leather which is famous around the world.
  • Drink mint tea – after a long day of shopping or incentive activities, retire to one of the teahouses above the central square for a nice glass of Moroccan mint tea.
  • Visit the tanneries – Moroccans are famous for their leather goods, not only can you buy them from the market, but you can also visit the tanneries where they’re made. The most famous tannery in Morocco is in Fez.
  • Visit the Hassan II Mosque – Mosque of Hassan II is open to the public in Casablanca, make sure you take a tour of this awe-inspiring monument.

Morocco offers clients a truly unique experience and Octav Tour ensures that that it is totally authentic.  You will be hearing more from this fantastic destination in the coming months but in the meantime, take a look at our website at www.miceportdmc.com

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MICEport DMC Partners operate in Ireland, Scotland, France, Monaco, Austria, Germany, Italy, UAE, Oman and Morocco.  For more information, go to www.miceportdmc.com 

 
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Posted by on March 20, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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