The Belfast of today is a vibrant city steeped in culture, seen at its best in the Ulster Museum and the City Hall. It has a multitude of stylish bars, restaurants and clubs. Its recent upturn in fortunes is reflected in the regeneration of its waterfront.
Belfast saw rapid growth in the early 20th century, and was known for its engineering and shipbuilding. It became an important port by the start of the 18th century and remains so today. Other industries included tobacco, textiles and ropemaking. By the 1970s, it was associated with the Troubles, and most of the industry which built the city had gone.
By 2014, we now see Belfast as a popular short break destination, and a good starting point for exploring the rest of Northern Ireland. Within two hours you could marvel at Giant's Causeway, walk the mountains of Mourne or fish in Fermanagh.
On the banks of the River Lagan the two most tangible signs are the Waterfront Conference Centre and the Titanic Quarter. The 'unsinkable' ship was built by Harland and Wolff with the memory of that fateful night, and the vessel immortalised in a visitor centres just off Queens Road. Besides being a museum with interactive exhibits and reference to some of the doomed ship's sisters, Titanic Belfast is also a conference venue. Anything from the smallest of meetings to the most grandiose of gatherings is bookable.
The Waterfront has established itself as a true multi-purpose venue. Its main auditorium seats 2,223 persons and attracts top line popular music groups and comedians. Not too far from Titanic Belfast, it is another good option for conferencing, with a nearby hotel and suites available for all sizes of meeting.
Further into the city centre itself, there is no shortage of big name stores and certainly no shortage of conference venues either. As well as Chichester Street, this is enhanced by the Castle Court and Victoria Square shopping centres. The city centre has a number of hotels suitable for smaller parties.
It is a cultured city with an international reputation for its visual and performing arts. Belfast was the birthplace of Van Morrison and the home of Stiff Little Fingers, one of our most revered punk groups. In literary circles, the home of C.S. Lewis, author of The Chronicles of Narnia and poet Seamus Heaney.
By sea and air, it is well connected with the Isle of Man, England, Scotland and Wales. Regular flights serve Belfast International and Belfast City [George Best] airports. Ferry services connect Belfast with Liverpool, Birkenhead and Douglas (summer only).
For conference venues great and small, Belfast has them all.