It was an extremely busy return to live events at the Eikon Exhibition Centre, Lisburn as the autumn season rolled in.
Following straight on from the back of the 152nd Balmoral Show, the venue was quickly turned around for the very first School Summit NI, organised by Bell Media IE.
School Summit NI welcomed over 1500 students from across Northern Ireland for the educational expo and conference. With over 40 exhibitors and a packed schedule of speakers and presentations from organisations across Ireland, the event proved to be insightful for school students as they explored career options and volunteer opportunities to further expand their skillset and experience.
The event ran annually in Dublin, before adding the NI edition to their calendar. The event was officially opened by the Minister of Education, Michelle McIlveen, who noted that “The School Summit NI is a valuable experience for our schools. Young people will get a good opportunity to explore and experience the many opportunities that are available across our diverse educational landscape.”
School Summit was quickly followed by a private roadshow held by Moto Direct Ltd., who invited clients from across Northern Ireland to view their latest product line for distribution in 2022. The event was well attended by stockists across Northern Ireland, who praised the venue for its central location just off the Sprucefield intersection connecting Belfast, Dublin and the West.
Traditionally running in the month of September, the Belfast Championship Dog Show opened on 23rd and 24th October. Ran by Belfast Dog Show Society, it was the organizations first event since the last Championship Show in September 2019.
Doubling in size for 2021 and using both the Eikon and Logan halls to celebrate the centenary event, the event was popular among spectators, as well as dog exhibitors. The event was attended by the Minister of Agriculture, Edwin Poots, and by Sir Jeffrey Donaldson.
Transitioning from dogs to cattle, the final event of the month was the ABP Angus Youth Challenge exhibition and awards ceremony. Taking place in the Logan Hall, the dual-event welcomed their Class of 2020 back along with parents and supporters for an awards ceremony, followed by over 20 exhibits by the Class of 2021 who presented their projects to judges and stakeholders. The event was also opened by the Minister of Education, Michelle McIlveen, with a team from Omagh Academy taking home the top prize from the 2020 challenge.
Managing Director of ABP in Northern Ireland, George Mullan, said: “We introduced the ABP Angus Youth Challenge so that young people could gain skills and a practical experience of our sector. Notwithstanding the pandemic, we were determined that the ABP Angus Youth Challenge would continue to nurture the skills and experience necessary for the world of work.”
The team at the Eikon were delighted to see the return of contractors on site, as the indoor events opens up once again. Mitigations were in place to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 and to ensure the events ran safely in the current circumstances, allowing patrons to feel confident and safe attending.
Theresa Morrissey, Commercial & Financial Director, commented, “We are delighted to see the events industry in the province emerge from the arduous restrictions that the sector has been placed under during the last 18 months. The autumn season has commenced with a number of successful events, with the venue looking forward to a full calendar of diverse events in 2022.”