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Conference City: 24 hours in Dublin

Dublin is famous for fun and frolics but when you are spending time in the capital of Ireland as part of a conference trip you may not have time to experience everything on offer. We have linked up with a local expert to get the inside travel tips for the City. Here are some of the best things to do and see when you are spending 24 hours in Dublin:

Getting there

Dublin Airport is easily accessible from all major European cities. Once you arrive in the airport a taxi to take you into the city centre will cost between €20 – €25 or you can opt to take the bus. The Airlink with Dublin Bus will cost €12 for a return trip. The average time it takes to get from the airport to the city is 25 minutes.

MORNING IN DUBLIN

Start your morning with a bit of fresh air and some Irish culture. Have a coffee in the beanhive coffee shop on Dawson Street followed by a stroll in Stephens Green park to see some of the iconic sculptures. After the caffeine has kicked in you are ready to explore the historic centre. Visit Dublin Castle near Dame Street to learn the history of British rule and Irish independence. The castle dates from the 13th century.

AFTERNOON

Take in the sights, explore Dublin’s historic past with a visit to the famous Book of Kells.  Dating back to the 9th century, this book is full of the most beautiful Celtic artwork and housed in the historic Trinity College in the Centre of the City. Produced in old Irish monasteries, the book is decorated with complex calligraphy, iconography and symbols. Tickets cost between €9 – €28 euro.

After your taste of Celtic Ireland you can get filled up with knowledge about Ireland’s best loved literary figures. Located in a beautiful Georgian town house this museum contains collections from first editions of Bram Stoker, Jonathan Swift and Patrick Kavanagh.

EVENING

Before dinner we highly recommend sipping a pint of Guinness in Temple Bar. It is not everyday that you get to taste a creamy pint in the home of Guinness. This is the bustling, tourist center of Dublin and full of live music to enjoy. The Foggy Dew and the Temple Bar are two cosy pubs with with a delightful atmosphere. After a pint or maybe two you are ready to grab some food. South William street is buzzing and packed full of all kinds of restaurants. No matter what cuisine tickles your fancy you will find something for every palette in Dublin. For large group booking try the Market Square, serving delicious tapas, for smaller groups and individuals try out Pygmalion or Farrier and Draper.

For a treat after dinner take a walk down Grafton Street to listen to some of the buskers entertaining the passersby. Ireland is proud of it’s rich musical heritage and Grafton Street is used throughout the year to showcase some upcoming acts and new talented singers and musicians.

Where to stay

The Westin Hotel and the famous Shelbourne hotel are great upmarket options in the city centre for business travellers. If you are staying for a longer period then you might want to opt for a self-catering option with Airbnb. There are plenty of hotels in Dublin but make sure to book your accommodation well in advance as they tend to sell out fast. Don’t forget to find out where the conference is taking place before you book your stay, the organiser may have a special rate agreed with accommodation providers for delegates.

For more conference travel tips or advice when attending a conference in Dublin please contact one of our conference team.

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Using Twitter at Conferences

HOW TO USE TWITTER AT CONFERENCES TO MAKE MORE CONNECTIONS AND JOIN THE CONFERENCE DISCUSSION

So you have gotten the courage up to attend your first conference or maybe your attending a conference with colleagues but want to make new connections. Now it is time to figure out how to connect with others, interact with other delegates and reach out to the conference community.

How does anyone stand out from the crowd in such a busy environment I hear you ask? No, you don’t need flashy clothes, the newest gadgets or the brightest idea. What you do need in a twitter account and teh courage to reach out to other Twitter users. The whole idea of Twitter is to stimulate conversation so it works a dream when you are at a conference.

Twitter will give you the chance to get deserved an undeserved attention, block out the noise and make connections.

Join the tweet machine to get value from your next Conference. Here is how you can use twitter to get the most benefits from your new conference network:

KNOW THE TWITTER LINGO

Conference hashtags are the key to getting involved in the conversation. Oftentimes the conference hashtag that will be used throughout the conference proceedings will be announced at the beginning of the conference in the first session or the organisers will make sure that it features in the conference programme. Don’t be afraid to ask at registration or interact with other delegates at the welcome reception to ask them what hashtags they are using. During the conference simply type the hashtag into the Twitter search box to listen into the online discussions #getinvolved

140 characters Make the most of short sentences using calls to action, quotes and visual content.

Twitter handles and lists Search and create twitter lists of conference speakers and delegates

LISTEN TO THE CONVERSATION

The art of listening is still as powerful online as it is offline. Use twitter to keep on track of all the latest discussions, opinions and topics of interest to delegates attending the conference. By listening before engaging you allow yourself to become familiar with new areas of debate. It also gives you some time to form a viewpoint and develop an argument before meeting delegates or getting involved in the discussion.

JOIN THE CONVERSATION

Only join the discussion if you are contributing something relevant. Tweets will go unnoticed or worse get negative responses if they intereupt the flow of conversation or conference session with unrelated information, links or images. Here are some ways that you could join the conference conversation:

  • Ask a question

To start a discussion you can reflect on a talk from a keynote speaker and ask a question relating to the topic. This is a great way to engage with other delegates.

  • Share

When you are scrolling through your Twitter feed you will find interesting content that others may find useful or interesting. Don’t pass this content out, interact with it: share it, like it or retweet it to show the twitter user you care. Start to build those valuable relationships.

  • Use stats

When you are tweeting use facts and stats! Numbers catch our eyes more than words when we are scanning online. Also, facts are useful and can be used in future research. Give the other twitter users something to grab on to.

  • Use quotes

Everyone loves a good quote. It is even better if you can quote someone saying something from the conference that will make sense to the whole group of twitter users using the conference hashtags. This should help to build up your likes and profile.

BE HELPFUL

It is always worth remembering that people today are bombarded with information and a lot of the social media posts that people scroll through is unrelated to their field of study, research or work. When you are attending a conference you have the chance to capture and repurpose advice, tips and facts.

Use your twitter profile to provide the most useful information for your audience and you will see increased engagement.

TRAVEL TIPS

Most people attending a conference for the first time will also be travelling to the venue for the first time. You can use twitter to give travel tips and receive travel advice from other delegates. Some travel specific topics to think about include: the weather, accommodation surrounding the venue, great places to eat, nearby attractions and transportation links.

CONCLUDE THE CONVERSATION & SAY THANK YOU

On the last day of the conference make sure to tweet a thank you to any twitter users who were following your posts. You can also add some contact information if you wish to continue the conversation offline.

If you have some twitter tips for conference attendees we would love to add them to our advice above.

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Conference City: 24 hours in Vienna

As Austria’s capital Vienna is bursting with history with cultural attractions on nearly every street. Located in the centre of Europe this is the perfect city for conferences. Many international conventions and meetings take place in the Messe Wien Exhibition & Congress Center each year that can host up to 30,000 delegates comfortably.

Getting there

Vienna International Airport is located 16 kms outside of the city and it is easily accessible from all major European hubs. The bus or tram from the airport to the Wien Mitte Station in the city centre takes 25 minutes. The city is also serviced by an excellent network of trains and buses which ensures that you are not left stranded.

Morning

Start the day off right with breakfast at Ulrich. This comfortable cafe is known for its cosy atmosphere and smooth cups of coffee. Another option is breakfast at Cafe Ansari. This is a modern venue and the Georgian breakfast featuring a cheese filled bread with egg in the middle comes highly recommended.

After your morning feed you are ready for a stroll through Volksgarten. Admire the fragrant flowers and take advantage of the many photo opportunities at the Theseustempel and the Grillparzer monument.

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Afternoon

Grab a bite to eat at the Naschmarkt offering everything from traditional Viennese dishes to European classics. Taste the local honey products and try some sweet treats at Kurkonditorei Oberlaa, a patisserie famous for its cakes. Head to Wein & Co, the best loved wine bar at the market to taste the local Uhudler (a traditional Viennese fruity wine).

After tasting the local cuisine it is time to sample the local cultural gems. Vienna is packed full of interesting museums for art lovers and history buffs. Here are some of our favourite museums to visit during a relaxing afternoon:

  • Imperial Palace Museum – One of the biggest Palace buildings in the world. Enjoy exploring its unique history.
  • Belvedere Palace Museum – A UNESCO World Heritage Site this building is as impressive from the outside as it is on the inside. It houses the worlds largest collection of Gustav Kimt’s paintings.
  • Albertina – It houses one of the largest print rooms in hte world with over 65,000 drawings
  • The Third Man Museum – Thirteen rooms with 2,500 original exhibits from the classic film.
  • Imperial Treasury of Vienna
  • Leopold Museum – located in the heart of the MuseumsQuartier there is plenty to explore in and around this great museum which houses numerous workds by Schiele.
  • Technisches Museum (Science Museum)

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Evening

A night at the famous Vienna State Opera is one of the ultimate experiences when you are in Vienna for a weekend. If you are lucky enough to get a booking in the local Opera House then you are in for a treat. Austria has a rich musical history. Young and old from near and far gather at the opera house every weekend to witness the epic performances. The opera and theatre company’s often take breaks for the summertime so you may not have an opportunity to see a live performance but they run guided tours all year round.

After an evening at the Opera enjoy a stroll to sample the Austrian nightlife at the Albertina Passage where you can sip cocktails until the early hours of the morning.

Where to Stay

The Grand Hotel Wien and the Luxury at Hotel Sacher are two of the most popular hotels for business travellers in Vienna. There are plenty of options available and remember if you are planning to spend a few nights in the city at a conference and take a few extra days to explore then you will want to have a comfortable base for your stay. Use Google maps as a guide as to where all of the hotels are located.

For more travel tips for Vienna or to find the latest conferences in Vienna please contact one of our conference travel team.

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Conference City: 24 hours in Amsterdam

From excellent infrastructure to its central European location to its vibrant nightlife Amsterdam is a hot spot for conferences and international meetings. Amsterdam has that special ability to make you feel comfortable as soon as you arrive in the City.

Getting there

Amsterdam is well serviced by international airlines. The most accessible airport is located 9 km outside of the city centre at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. A direct rail-line running every 10 minutes connects the airport with Amsterdam central station.

Early Morning

Walking through some of the open air markets in the city you will get a true taste of all the culinary treats and colours that Amsterdam has to offer. The most popular markets for a morning stroll at the Albert Cuypmarkt and Noordermarkt. The first is open daily but the farmers market at Noordermarkt takes place every Saturday. You will find all kinds of treats as you stroll by the market stalls. Cheeses, breads and a wide variety of mushrooms await at Noordermarkt.

Renowned for it’s delicious apple pie grab a coffee and a slice at Winkel 43, located just a minute’s walk from the Noordermarkt. After a coffee you are ready to hit the streets again. Enjoy a twenty minute walk through the city to a quaint little book shop called Athenaeum Nieuwscentrum which offers the best selection of international press and magazines in Amsterdam. It also has an English-language section for literature and academic books in its regular bookstore.

Midday

Now it is time for a bit of history. As the oldest building in Amsterdam, the Oude Kerk church is a great place to start. The magnificent medieval roof is an original feature for the 13th century. Wander streets filled with Gothic architecture.  Next you can make your way towards the Museum quarter where you can visit Rijksmuseum. This extraordinary museum is filled with artistic treasures and houses the world class Rembrants, including the night watch. Around this area you will also find the Van Gogh Museum.

If you have time pay a visit to the quirky Pianola Museum where you will have the chance to sit and listen to the playerless piano.

Late lunch

Pompa restaurant is the perfect place to perch for an hour. This friendly restaurant offers a wide array of tapas and sandwishes to choose from. If you feel like a treat be sure to try the chocolate souffle.

Just 10 minutes from the Museum quarter is Vondelpark. This is the perfect place to relax during the lunch hour. In summer you can enjoy the open air theatre. Now is chance to indulge in a bit of relaxation.

Dinner

Arthouse cinema and Cocktails for all…Whether it’s raining or not going to see a film in one of Amsterdams art house cinemas is a treat. The tickets are usually cheap and they often have unique documentaries and European films of interest. As de Hallen, EYE Film Museum and Melkweg Cinema are just a few of the quirky cinemas.

After your daily dose of culture you deserve a tipple. Try a flowerpower cocktail or a Dark & Salty in the Kevin Bacon bar. If you are feeling a little peckish you can also taste some delicious thai appetizers.

Where to stay in Amsterdam

Hotel Sofitel, the Waldorf Astoria, Mouro Mansion and the Dylan Hotel are four of many luxury hotels located in the heart of the city.

For more conference travel tips or to find the latest conferences in Amsterdam contact our conference travel team.

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10 reasons we love Boston for business travel

Boston is well established as a hub for conferences, meetings and events. If you are planning your trip to Boston for your next conference we have covered all of the basics in this short feature outlining the 10 things to know about Boston for business travellers.

  1. Getting Around Boston is easy

If you fly into Logan International Airport, the city centre is only a short distance by Subway or taxi. A train from the airport will take approimately 35 minutes and cost you 2.75 for a single journey. A cab will cost between 25 – 40 dollars and take approximately 20 minutes.

Once you reach the city there are plenty of options of transport to choose from. Opt for any of the buses …

  1. Boston has plenty of steakhouses

One of the many steakhouses in Boston are perfect for group dining after a long day at a conference. Del Friscos is high end and perfectly suited for groups. Mooo is another option. This is a modern steakhouse with an extensive winelist. Eastern Standard, Summer Shack and Mamma Maria are three of our favourites for a bite to eat.

After dinner head over to Lolita Cocina & Tequila Bar for some fun, drinks and chat in a relaxed atmosphere.

  1. Boston is full of fantastic places to stay

Some of the best city centre hotels in Boston for business travellers include: The Charles Hotel, Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Loews Hotel, The Boxer Boston Hotel, Hotel Commonwealth and the Lenox Hotel.

If you are planning a longer stay in Boston or attending a conference that runs over 4 – 5 days then you may want to opt for self service apartment style accommodation. BnBBoston offer furnished apartments for rent.

If you prefer a more homely stay with less services but more convenience you may want to try AirBnB options for conference delegates in Boston.

  1. Fenway Park

Visit the famous Fenway Park, one of the most celebrated baseball parks in the world. Home of Red Sox Legends. Tickets can only be purchased in person from the RedSox box office. Guided tours last one hour.

Tickets: Adults $18; Seniors (60+) $17, Children Under (ages 3 to 15) $12

  1. Sip cocktails at a roof garden

For an evening tipple head down to Strega Waterfront bar. This open air bar offers fantastic views and creative mixologists. Only 15 minutes from the Boston Convention Centre you will reach Cuchi Cuchi bar with a more Hollywood vibe. Enjoy the theatrical decor.

  1. Boston has easy access to New York City

When you are in Boston for business then you are perfectly placed to visit the city that never sleeps.

  1. Museum of Fine Arts

With over 450,000 works of art you won’t be short of things to see at this Museum. Aside from the large range of galleries from around the world, be sure to check out the jewelry collection from Ancient Egypt and over 1,100 musical instruments in their collection of ancient and modern musical items. It is open 7 days a week and as adult ticket is 25 dollars.

  1. Freedom Trail

Public walking tours of this 2.5 mile route will give you insights into 16 historical sites. The tour lasts approximately 90 minutes and you can buy group tickets online before you get to Boston.

  1. A city of all seasons

Anyone who has been to Boston on a business trip in the winter will recall the extreme cold season but Boston city experiences all kinds of weather. A stroll through Boston’s public garden in Springtime is a treat and the city comes alive in the summer months. Enjoy one of the many free concerts, festivals or walking tours.

  1. The Sunsets

The evening colours of the sky in Boston will awaken your senses. Take a short trip to Beacon Hill to capture the picture perfect photograph after a long day at your conference.

This is list is by no means exhaustive and we always like to here from frequent business travellers and conference attendees that can give our community the best advice.

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8 energy boosting foods for delegates on the go!

What energy boosting foods do you need when you are attending or speaking at a conference? Conferences and business events can drain you of much needed energy. To maintain the drive required for all of those workshops, networking sessions and keynote addresses eat foods that are rich in natural sugars and help you to stay alert. Of course this is on top of the odd cup of caffeine for an extra bit of fuel in the morning conference sessions. Try out some of these eight energy boosting treats to help you stay as productive as possible.

1. Honey

Instead of using caffeine as a quick fix, try a spoonful of natural honey. Unlike energy drinks honey contains no artificial preservatives, making it a great source of unrefined sugars to provide you with an increase in productivity.

2. Sweet Potatoes

Replacing our beloved carb filled potatoes with these sweeter versions has become very hip indeed. These tasty spuds or Yams as they are commonly referred to are packed full of natural sugars, fibre and potassium. They provide you with a dose of complex carbohydrates which are difficult to break down, helping to store energy for when you need it most.

3. Bananas

The natural sugars that can be found in bananas produce glucose which help to fuel your brain power.

4. Almonds

Eat a handful of Almonds for a shot of magnesium which is highly regarded for supporting the immune system and helping to improve energy levels.

5. Natural

Yogurt For some high protein and a quick energy boost eat a few spoonfuls of natural yogurt. It is easily broken down in the digestive system due to its liquid form and it contains vital nutrients like protein, calcium and tyrosine that have energy inducing effects.

6. Strawberries

These delicious berries are easy to find, easy to eat and provide the perfect amount of natural sugars. Many conference organisers and venues will supply fruit during the break out sessions so be sure to take advantage of their energy boosting powers.

7. Spinach

If you are familiar with Popeye the sailor man than you know that he uses Spinach to get some extra strength. Spinach is a great source of iron which is an essential source of energy in the body. Having some spinach for lunch will help you to get through any afternoon slump.

8. Hummus

Hummus is taking on the world and winning. The simple mix of chickpeas, lemon and olive oil is packed full of nutrients. Three reasons to love hummus: it is rich in protein, it is easily found in supermarkets and you can use it as a dip with everything from veggies to bread to crackers.

Theses are just a few simple energy boosting foods that you can take note of for your next conference but there are sure to be more and the team at YouConfer.com hope conference organisers start seriously thinking about the dietary requirements of their delegates when they are planning their next event.

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