Event Plan: Being Innovative and Learning to Adapt:
When the pandemic arrived in Ireland, the event industry was hit hard. Life as we knew it changed forever for everyone working in the event industry. The new reality was here whether the team at Event Plan liked it or not, and so we thought, are we going to move with the change or let the change move us?

From May 2020, we started getting calls from clients about different ways to do business which would have been traditionally carried out face-to-face. However, due to the pandemic, this was not possible. Therefore, as a team we began brainstorming ideas of what to do next. Subsequently, VE Studio Cork was born. VE Studio Cork was established through a collaboration between Cork’s best-known event management company, Event Plan and audio visual and digital specialists, CAVS in August 2020.

The first of its kind in Munster, the studio allows for virtual and hybrid-virtual events to take place in a safe, controlled and socially distanced environment. This will enable people to experience the atmosphere they would expect from physically attending a conference, corporate event and more from the safety of their own work or home space.

Engaging live-streaming event space which includes:

  • Pre-produced content
  • Audience interactivity
  • Scalable end-to-end event solutions
  • The combination of multiple-camera and virtual camera set-ups
  • State-of-the-art digital projection, visual and audio technology

All of which help to create a unique and interactive live event experience. Events can be pre-recorded, recorded as live or run completely live-streamed with the ability to connect to any social media, online video, or digital communications platform.

Among the many services we offer include:

  • Corporate events
  • Webinars
  • Livestreams
  • Product launches
  • Conferences

The event space can be adapted for multiple purposes; the only limit is your imagination.

As we navigate through these different times and embark on this new venture, we are extremely grateful to have successfully pivoted within a continuing and evolving business climate. Virtual events are here to stay, and we are excited to embark on the new opportunities that lie ahead. We look forward to working with our clients and industry colleagues again. We ask that you support us going forward and help the event industry get back on track. For enquiries or more information contact us on 0214399723 or info@vestudiocork.ie.

A Moment in ‘Thyme’ – The Imperial Hotel, Cork announces launch of a brand new Brasserie at Seventy Six on the Mall with regional producers, charity partnerships and a sustainable approach.

With the introduction of excellent cocktails using high quality Irish liquor from Killahora Orchards, ornate bird cages inspired by The English Market and quirky desserts by the famous duo, Ber and Becky, the offering has evolved into something modern, dynamic and fun and so ‘Thyme at Seventy Six on the Mall’ was born.

The emphasis is on regional, seasonal and sustainable and is in line with their recent ‘Because We Care’ programme which was launched as a response to COVID-19. Sourcing from their neighbours is important not only to support the local economy but also to minimize carbon footprint and the impact on the environment.

Charity donations have been built into the menu with a €1 donation on some menu items. Each time these items are ordered a donation will be made to Cork Simon and Irish Guide Dogs.

Executive Head Chef, Jerome Joyce is working with a vast array of suppliers from County Cork and The English Market which is located a mere 400m from the hotel’s front door. Ballycotton Seafood, Tom Durcan and the world- renowned Fingal Ferguson’s Gubeen Smokehouse to name but a few.

The new menus have things like seafood platters, gigas oysters and market fish of the day as well as some delicious cuts of local Hereford beef like rib ye on the bone and the classic fillet. Desserts include a café gourmand for guests who may wish to opt for something a little lighter.

Bastien Peyraud, General Manager at The Imperial Hotel says “We are so passionate about supporting our local economy here at The Imperial Hotel and Thyme was designed with that as the main focus. Supporting our local farmers & producers and donating to our local charities is at the forefront of what we want to achieve. We want to do business in a way that makes us really proud. We also want to create a really fun experience for our guests so we will also have live music every Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings. We are so excited to unveil ‘Thyme’ to our guests look forward to welcoming everyone back to the Grande Dame of Cork very soon”

Thyme at Seventy Six on the Mall is open for reservations Monday to Sunday from 5pm til late

For reservations:


021- 4274040

Week 5 of our ‘Members Being Innovative’ series. The 5 star Castlemartyr Resort Hotel, in lovely East Cork, is renowned for it’s amazing food offering.  With the onset of Covid-19 the property had to make some changes to ensure this same standard was available in a safe environment.

Sean Cooney – Marketing Manager Castlemartyr Resort – “As one of our intimate dining outlets, Franchinis, was unsuitable to allow adequate social distancing, we decided to adapt elements of the Franchinis menu and terrace dining area, with the creation of our new ‘Garden Terrace’. Situated outside the Manor House, with views of the formal gardens and castle ruins, it offers a casual dining experience, ideal for the Summer/Autumn Season. With a new menu (incorporating some Franchini’s favourites) and a selection of dishes featuring locally sourced produce, it has proven a very popular addition so far.#

Cork Convention Bureau would like to wish Castlemartyr Resort all the best with their new Garden Terrace dining option.


We are continuing our ‘Members Being Innovative and Learning to Adapt’ series here at Cork Convention Bureau. Our members are creating new exciting eating spaces and initiatives to ensure social distancing and safety is adhered to while guaranteeing fantastic food quality and a great experience remains. Rochestown Park Hotel, one of our key Meetings and Events venues in Cork, is learning to think outside the box – the Bistro Box that is!

Suttons Diner Club @Rochestown Park Hotel

What is Suttons Diners Club?

Suttons Diners Club is our way of saying thank you for your continued custom and support. It is entirely complimentary to join, no purchase is necessary and as a member you will enjoy monthly offers and special rewards throughout the year.

Member Benefits & Privileges

  • Suttons Diners Club Members Only monthly offers
  • Priority online booking – to secure your table of choice when booking online please enter your Diners Club number: https://rochestown-park-hotel.tablepath.com/reservations
  • Early booking access to Rochestown Park Hotel events including Communions & early bird prices for Christmas Parties
  • Discounted offers throughout Rochestown Park Hotel & Leisure Centre
  • Exclusive wedding packages
  • Automatic entry in to our Monthly Competition
  • All members get a Birthday Treat when dining with us during the month of their birthday…
  • And lastly all members are entered in to our monthly competitions.

For details of terms and conditions and for any other questions please email suttons@rochestownpark.com.

Offers so far have included:

  • Bistro In a Box – restaurant quality takeaway meals
  • Prosecco Promo – Complimentary Prosecco with 4 people dining during the month of July
  • Just Desserts – Complimentary Desserts for members daytime dining in August.

Plus exciting news for Conference and Meeting Delegates:

September will see the relaunch of a socially distanced Roco’s Restaurant and the brand new addition of our new health food bar offering nutritional & healthy options to meetings delegates, conference attendees and diners. This will be available as both an eat-in and take-away option as with all of our dining options.

One of our key members at Cork Convention Bureau, the 5 star Fota Island Resort, continue to look after meetings & conferences in their spacious, air-conditioned meeting rooms. The Resort offers light filled spaces with easy access to an outdoor terrace. The Resort continues to safely cater for the meeting needs of its distinguished corporate clients. Some key features to ensure safety and wellbeing include the following;

Covid19 Compliance Officer on duty

Dedicated Health & Safety Officer

PPE gear available at our front desk

All client facing staff to wear visors

Meeting suite capacity reviewed to ensure distancing

Attendees advised to remain in their cars until 10 minutes before the meeting.

The company contact on the day is to be responsible for holding a record of attendees on the day.

Hand sanitization stations located in meeting Suites and in breakout areas.

Signage along the route to practice safe distancing & good hand hygiene

Meeting bookers advised to vacate meeting space for a few minutes every 2 hours

Outdoor seating area available during breaks

Refreshment breaks served individually

Windows left open to ensure increased room ventilation

A minimum of 1 hour must elapse between meeting sessions to allow for thorough sanitization and cleaning

All meeting spaces are deep cleaned with certified anti-virus products after every use.

Additional cleaning and sanitization of all touch points including door handles / lift buttons / meeting room equipment / cables / pads / pens / light switches.

To ensure wellness for meeting attendees: 

– 30 minute Meditation classes available in our spa garden, ideal for a full day meeting event

– Walking & running trails, ideal for a half or full day meeting during lunch hour

 Outdoor Fitness

– Outdoor bootcamp fitness classes prior/post your event

– Outdoor Adventure centre offering archery, survival skills, orienteering and many more activities located in the vast Woodland on the Island

Lodges – Our Golf Clubhouse has introduced the Pantry, a takeaway food store stocked with fresh breads, pastries, gourmet sandwiches and salads, the perfect solution to a picnic of takeaway lunch

Clubhouse –Al Fresco dining on the Clubhouse Terrace

Online booking system for Breakfast, lunch & dinner, Swimming & golf times.

Training – Continual training of staff & Covid-19 Compliance Officers


Kingsley Hotel: A Cork Convention Bureau Member being innovative and learning to adapt

The team at The Kingsley are delighted to be open again and welcoming our corporate guests. The Kingsley specialises in catering to the needs of the executive traveller, with attractive conferencing and banqueting facilities and tranquil guestrooms in the heart of Cork, just a 10 minute drive from Cork Airport.

All HSE recommendations and Fáilte Ireland Guidelines regarding safe workplace management and best practices are in effect and reviewed daily. With new protocols in place and conference room layouts altered in line with social distancing measures, we are confident that future conferences and meetings at The Kingsley will run smoothly, safely and in comfort for both guests and staff alike.

  • Attendees are notified in advance that the arrival time is strictly 10 minutes before the meeting to avoid bottle necking in one area.
  • Clear direction on how to locate the meeting space shared in advance, and signage in place to ensure direction is obvious.
  • Automatic doors, or doors propped open (to reduce touch points) 15 minutes before the meeting.
  • Hand sanitising stations on arrival, and in the meeting space.
  • 2 meter Social Distancing to be maintained at all times.
  • Floors are taped, to mark out the 2 meter distance along the path from the entrance.
  • Bins are provided that can be closed.
  • Attendees are encouraged to take all pens and paper that were used with them on departure.
  • Great ventilation due to large windows that also allow natural daylight in all meeting rooms.
  • Frequently touched areas will be thoroughly disinfected regularly (ie., telephones, remote controls, handles, taps, light switches, etc.).
  • All restaurants have floor to ceiling windows to allow for adequate ventilation.
  • Air sanitiser is used in the room after the event before our staff start cleaning.

The Kingsley Hotel have implemented some new measures in order to adapt to the new way of socialising.

  • Bean & River, is our Outdoor Café and Creperie overlooking the River Lee, with ample space for outdoor social distanced during breaks and networking.
  • To streamline the booking process for guests, and reduce touchpoints we installed new systems for booking in room dining and menus are available digitally via scanning a QR code within the hotel.
  • To eliminate as many touch points as possible we have; created a one way system within the restaurant with no closed doors, removed condiments from tables, ensured all entrances have automated doors and you can now opt to leave your room service outside your door.

For more information, please contact the Conference & Events team:      T 021 480 0500            E Events@thekingsley.ie



Cork has a proud reputation as a creative, innovative and vibrant region. As Ireland’s second city, it is an international gateway to Europe and lies at the centre of the global economies of Asia and the Americas. Cork has a strong track record in attracting investment. There is a positive can-do attitude that inspires confidence in international investors and makes visitors feel instantly welcome.

As a university city with 35,000+ students, Cork boasts a ready supply of skills across many sectors which are all supported by world-class research groups and centres of excellence including:

  • University College Cork (UCC) and Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) provide highly-skilled, industry-ready graduates
  • Tyndall Institute – Ireland’s largest ICT Research Centre
  • APC Microbiome Ireland – Science Foundation Ireland Research Centre
  • ASSERT Centre – design, develop, deploy and trial innovative and disruptive healthcare solutions, in a simulated healthcare environment
  • Nimbus – Ireland’s leading research centre in cyber-physical systems and Internet of Things (IoT)

Let’s take a look at 3 of the top clusters:

ICT – Cork has a proven track record as an international location for investment with strong clusters of investment particularly in ICT. Cork is already home to over 60 International Technology Companies covering IC Design, manufacturing, software development, and cybersecurity. It is also home to ‘Coder Dojo’ and ‘I Wish’ (Inspiring Women in STEM).

Agri-food – Cork is a leader in the fields of agriculture and food research in Ireland, undertaking innovative research in:

  • Animal and Grassland Research and Innovation
  • Crops, Environment and Land Use
  • Food
  • Rural Economy and Development
  • APC Microbiome gastrointestinal bacteria research

Financial Services – Cork is Ireland’s second-largest financial services hub and has the second highest number of IFS companies outside Dublin. Cork has over 14 IFS companies employing over 1,300 people with 1000+ more employed in financial roles in shared services and related audit and financial firms. Nearly 500 jobs in the FS sector created in the last 18 months including expansions of existing firms.

If you are a member of an international association and would like to know more about the free of charge supports available through Cork Convention Bureau and Failte Ireland to help you win your organisation’s conference for Cork, please don’t hesitate to contact me Evelyn@visitcork.ie

It’s great to be able to update on some good news for the region of Cork in the midst of all this uncertainty. At Visit Cork, under the Cork Convention Bureau brand, our focus is on winning conferences that we have an opportunity to bid for, by working with local members of international associations. This ‘conference ambassador’ programme has proved our most successful model for winning business.

ICCA, the International Congress and Convention Association, has been tracking internationally rotating association conferences since its inception. The annual ICCA country and city rankings are one of the most eagerly anticipated reports in the global meetings industry. The report is based on the number of qualified association meetings held in each city and country.

Based on the number of qualifying association conferences held in 2019, Cork moved up 25 places on the worldwide rankings (from 272nd place to 247th) and moved up 9 places on the European rankings, (from 132nd to 123rd). This strong ranking improvement is a validation of Cork as an attractive destination for international conferences and meetings. For the full 2019 ICCA Statistics Report please click here:  ICCA_Statistics_Report_Europe_2010-2019.2

Also, if you are a member of an international association and would like to know more about the free of charge supports available through Cork Convention Bureau and Failte Ireland to help you win your organisation’s conference for Cork, please don’t hesitate to contact me Evelyn@visitcork.ie

Unprecedented times…the definition is ‘never having happened or existed in the past’. We have heard this term used so frequently over the last month. The next 4 to 6 months of corporate meetings and conferences have been wiped out in Cork. In some cases wiped out up to the end of the year as the uncertainty is too huge to ignore.

Our valued hotel members are suffering indescribable losses while our jobs at Cork Convention Bureau (CCB) have changed from generating new conference business, to maintaining existing business. We are delighted to report that 8 of our 10 large international, association conferences have agreed to postpone to 2021/22. While this is a loss of business to the local economy in 2020 of almost €5m, we now at least have the guarantee that it is not a permanent loss to the local economy!

#Postponedontcancel has been our newly adopted mantra at CCB and searching for new dates and updating systems has become our new normal.

In 2016 in conjunction with Failte Ireland’s business tourism unit, we secured the Aquaculture Europe Conference for Cork through the strong influence of our local conference ambassador, Prof Gavin Burnell UCC, along with equally strong local support in the form of our City and County Council and local trade. The appeal of Cork as a city and county destination won through, despite not meeting all the requirements of the international organisers. 1,500 delegates were on their way to Pure Cork in September 2020 and we were absolutely thrilled.

Fast forward to today, and while the conference is still scheduled to happen, we had to work quickly to secure a ‘Plan B’ set of dates and again this is where the collaboration of our local stakeholders came into its own. Venues were made available and assurances regarding Failte Ireland funding were given, which means this €2m piece of business will now still happen in 2020.

Life is different for now in our Visit Cork organisation. We’ve gone from being a closely connected small team of 4, to now only seeing each other on our team video calls – sometimes even scarily without makeup. We’ve gone from the excitement of organising promotional events with our hotel members and associate members, to our new desk jobs in our own homes. We have built up a strong reputation in Cork for driving business and developing great relationships with our members. We can do this because of our great stakeholder financial and practical support. We will undoubtedly be back winning business again soon and we look forward to being part of the whole regeneration process.

Fan socair agus lean ar aghaidh…

Evelyn O’Sullivan
Cork Convention Bureau
Visit Cork

‘Visit Cork is the official tourism body for the Cork region incorporating both leisure and business tourism in a single voice’