January 13th, 2017

On The Road with Global DMC Partners: The Team Takes on Ireland!

After a super busy and successful IBTM World tradeshow in Barcelona, seven members of the GDP team hopped on a plane to Dublin, Ireland to spend a few days with our amazing DMC Partner, Joe O’Reilly Ireland Group and experience Dublin.

Our team’s combined reaction after the trip was unanimous…they all said “Ireland is the PERFECT incentive destination!” Sebastian, our German Sales Advisor, said “Ireland offers a surprise around every corner and one of the best things about the country is the people. Everyone is so nice and friendly and you can’t help but keep a smile on your face all day long.” There are so many fun, lively and diverse experiences for groups, and you don’t have to spend a ton of time traveling around the destination to experience it all, as Joe O'Reilly Ireland Group packed a lot into 2 days!

Our team’s tour started with a very warm welcome from the Joe O’Reilly Team at the airport before heading to the stunning K Club, a luxury 5 star hotel in Kildare, just outside Dublin. 

On Friday morning, the first stop was the Russborough House & Gardens, a beautiful estate full of great history and a breathtaking landscape. This is an ideal venue for groups to experience the Irish countryside and take part in many teambuilding activities – one of the most popular is playing traditional Irish games. This turned out to be one of the highlights of the trip and a must-do for a competitive group! Our team also had a chance to see some amazing birds – falcons, owls and hawks. Riley, our Director of Sales, said that her favorite part of the trip was the interaction with the birds –  she said, “We didn’t just watch a falconry demonstration, we had the chance to do it ourselves, which is something I had never done before!” The birds are housed on the grounds, so it makes it the perfect setting for guests to be able to have their own photo op.

The day continued at the “Original Hollywood” - The Hollywood Inn, a traditional Irish pub where they had lunch (one of the best meals of the trip!) and learned how to pull a pint of Guinness – no one had to teach our team how to drink a Guinness though ;-) This was a true local pub, but one that has both indoor and outdoor space that can be rented out for groups. A great way to intersperse the local culture into your program, as chatting with the locals is what Ireland is all about.

Many options are available for groups of all sizes to infuse the local flair and the outdoors into itineraries. For example, later that day the team thought they’d be driving down into Glendalough, but as they got closer to their destination, Joe O’Reilly Group surprised them with bikes that they rode down through the winding scenery. The memorable trip back in to town also included stopping to pick up a surprise “hitchhiker” along the way who brought his guitar and had our team singing songs until the next destination.

That evening, our team continued the Dublin tour and visited two venues ideal for groups. The first was a trip to the Shelbourne Park Greyhound Stadium for an incredible dog racing experience, where the group got to partake in the betting – and rest assured, all dogs are properly cared for and are under strict Irish regulations. The evening finished with a fantastic dinner at Taylors Three Rock with Irish performers and another great opportunity to experience a true local pub experience, with several private space options for many different size groups. By the end of the night, our DMC had the whole GDP team up and dancing with them!

Saturday started with a must-do in Dublin – a visit to the Guinness Factory which is not only an interesting experience, but also a great location for an event for any group size with several private rooms that can be rented. They also stopped at Trinity College to see the historical and impressive library and the famous book of Kells. For lunch, Joe O’Reilly Group organized a progressive food tour through the city to sample a variety of the local fare. This is a new offering in Dublin and a fantastic way to experience the city and the food, especially if you have limited time during a program. The team also toured the hotel options and unique venues in downtown Dublin – all within walking distance – so they are well equipped to answer any questions you may have. They are also now experts at pouring a Guinness, whiskey tastings and how to make an Irish Coffee – so be sure to test their knowledge!

After the trip was over Riley recapped the experience perfectly by saying, “You have the thriving city, you have the country and you have cliffs and castles just a few hours away. Also, the people and the culture are definitely a draw. They truly make your group feel like family.” The team each had their favorite highlights from the trip, but they all agreed that Dublin is an ideal destination for meetings and incentives with a variety of options, and for those that had been to Dublin before, they saw it in a new light with many new opportunities. You simply can’t go to Ireland without Joe O’Reilly Ireland Group managing the program – they have all the details covered to ensure an exceptional experience for all guests!