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International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language (IATEFL)

May, 17th 2022


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Event Overview

ICC Belfast supported the International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language, (IATEFL) to bring its members together for the 55th International Conference and Exhibition

Hosted by IATEFL, the 4-day conference brought together approximately 2,000 in-person delegates from more than 100 countries for career guidance, job opportunities, workshops and forums.

ICC Belfast was a prime location to help us bring together our dedicated members with professionals across the industry. IATEFL was our first international face to face conference following Covid-19 and our first time in Belfast, where state-of-the-art facilities allowed the event to be executed perfectly and supported our delegates to collaborate, exchange ideas and experience the backdrop of the city too.

Jon Burton, Chief Executive, IATEFL

Alongside the conference, ICC Belfast hosted a large exhibition and careers fair which took place in ICC Belfast’s largest Hall, Hall 1. The exhibition space saw over 50 exhibitors offering delegates the perfect opportunity to find out about the latest research, ideas, topics and developments in English Language Teaching. A series of “How To…” sessions took place early in the mornings and during break times across a number of spaces at ICC Belfast, including Hall 2 which was separated into A and B to facilitate a programme of plenary and academic sessions. Each designed to inform and support delegates across a range of areas including ‘How to get involved in an IATEFL Special Interest Group’, ‘How to teach online’ and ‘How to make IATEFL membership benefit your professional development’.

Each morning delegates had the opportunity to start the day with a mindfulness session which was held in Meeting Room 3A, there was also a dedicated quiet space providing attendees with the opportunity to step away from the busy conference space to relax and unwind.

Members of the IATEFL association were delighted to be returning to an international face-to-face conference which offered a vibrant social programme and array of networking opportunities for workers right across the industry.

The event highlighted the versatile specification and skillset of ICC Belfast, with its varied conference and exhibition which included delegate welcome and liaison, high quality live stream, keynote presentations and a vibrant social programme which supported the conference’s networking ambitions.


We have invested in our space, technology and employees to make sure that we can offer world-class facilities to international associations such as IATEFL and deliver on their expectations. Whether that be through the conference programme or facilitating their members to come together and celebrate the profession.

Julia Corkey, Chief Executive, ICC Belfast

The importance of networking and industry collaboration is by no means a new phenomenon at ICC Belfast and once the 55th Annual IATEFL International Conference was confirmed, a dedicated team was assembled and an event management plan rolled out. To achieve a successful event, ICC Belfast used a venue-wide space and worked in collaboration with Hilton Belfast and through an adjoining link, increased its floor space to accommodate in-person 2,000 delegates.

Chief Executive, Julia Corkey said: 

We have the scale and flexibility across our venue to bring together 2000 people across a range of auditoriums, exhibitions and meeting spaces. There is no doubt that the research and knowledge people will share whilst here, is something you simply can’t get from zoom."

A purpose-built conference centre with flexible event space which can be configured to the specification and requirement of each client, ICC Belfast provided the perfect setting for IATEFL to mark the return of the in-person international conference and exhibition.

Whilst this was the first in-person conference IATEFL hosted since the pandemic they did embrace technology, providing hybrid streaming and recording of sessions to improve the accessibility of the conference for those who were unable to join in person. Both virtual and in-person delegates had the opportunity to hear from 150 remote speakers, a number of daily simultaneous live sessions totalling 11 across ICC Belfast and Hilton and Facebook live-streamed sessions from the main auditorium with 250 online viewers.

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    At a Glance

    In-person Delegates 2,000
    Event Days 4
    Remote Speakers 150
    Exhibitors 50
    Live-Streamed sessions 250 online viewers per session via Facebook from the main auditorium
    Space Used Venue-exclusive and all Hilton Belfast meeting rooms via onsite link
    Daily number of simultaneous live sessions 11 across ICC Belfast and Hilton Belfast

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