The Gathering Ireland 2013

The Gathering Ireland 2013 is Ireland’s biggest ever tourism initiative, a year-long programme of festivals, events and gatherings.  It is designed to appeal to the 70 million people across the world with ancestral links to the island of Ireland, as well as millions more with an affinity for the destination and all things Irish.
Since last year Tourism Ireland has been promoting The Gathering Ireland 2013 in markets around the world, working closely with embassies and other agencies and with The Gathering team here at home. 
Here are some of the highlights:
Gathering Gestures App
Tourism Ireland’s new Gathering Gestures app, for apple and android devices, offers a series of “gestures” to help visitors get more from their holidays here. Examples include complimentary tea/coffee and home baking on arrival at B&B Ireland homes, a complimentary Gathering cocktail on arrival at IHF hotels, ‘added value’ experiences like brown bread-making demonstrations, complimentary Irish Coffees and special Gathering Value Menus from members of the Restaurants Association. Golf courses are also on board with incentives for Gathering groups and Waterford Crystal is offering a special ‘Gathering’ trophy for a Hole in One!

Be part of it! – join us by uploading your gesture here
Family History Year 
As part of The Gathering, we have announced 2013 as Ireland's Family History Year and we’re encouraging people throughout the world to research their family history and connections with the island of Ireland.  A special Facebook page has been launched providing expert advice – it has already gained over 43,000 fans - check it out here.  And over 12,000 people across the US, GB, Canada and Australia entered our competition for a place in the St Patrick’s People’s Parade and a chance to research their family history while here.
Watch this space for news of some high profile people in markets who will connect with their Irish heritage during 2013. 
Overseas Promotions
Ministers, industry and trade partners, members of the Diaspora and celebrity ambassadors joined Tourism Ireland to promote The Gathering Ireland 2013 in markets across the world.

National Express has branded one of its London-Dublin coaches to promote The Gathering Ireland 2013. 
Canada Blooms
A ‘Gathering Garden’ was the centrepiece of Tourism Ireland's stand at 'Canada Blooms' - Canada’s largest flower and garden festival, which attracts more than 200,000 visitors. 

Advertising for The Gathering reached tens of millions of potential visitors so far. Here are some examples of quirky online ads for the US, France and Great Britain:

Print Advertising:
The Gathering has also been prominent in top magazines and newspapers across markets, targeting 'all Irish, half-Irish and Irish-ish' with tongue-in-cheek ads.

Direct Advertising:
Some examples of our Direct Marketing campaigns running across key markets:
Gathering 'advertorials' have run in high profile publications in the US and other markets.

Co-operative Marketing
Trade and industry partners have also weighed in strongly - we are working closely with carriers to promote 2013 as the year to visit. The Gathering Homeward Bound series is being aired on Aer Lingus flights, Etihad is running Tourism Ireland’s Gathering ad and the inflight magazines of US Airways and other airlines carry Gathering features. Some examples: 

St Patrick’s People’s Parade
We were delighted with the 5,600 overseas visitors who marched in the St Patrick’s People’s Parade. Our thanks to the IHF who helped accommodate these visitors in a very busy Dublin. The People’s Parade was streamed live on to thousands of potential visitors overseas.  
Our contingent of 63 overseas journalists and broadcasters, from 54 top overseas media outlets, included titles like the Huffington Post which attracts 34 million viewers a month in the US and a further 3.2 million in GB. The value of the positive publicity will be counted in millions of euro.

Social Media
With our 1.3 million fans on Facebook, social media campaigns are an important part of activities to promote The Gathering. To date, over 40 campaigns have directed interested people to where they can find out the specifics about events and festivals.  The database, built up through all our campaigns, will provide a useful legacy for the future.  

Celebrity ambassadors are doing their bit to promote The Gathering overseas - former Celtic and Republic of Ireland football legend Packie Bonner got on his bike (in this case rickshaw!) to deliver musicians Siobhán McArle (left) and Aileen Reid to Tourism Ireland’s St Patrick’s event in Glasgow. 

While celebrity chef Catherine Fulvio helped to promote our world-class food and The Gathering Ireland over the St Patrick’s Day period in NY.

'We've Saved You A Ireland' viral video
If you have a Gathering to share – here’s an opportunity to personalise our 2 minute Gathering video featuring funnyman Andrew Maxwell and use it as a Gathering invitation. Over 730,000 people have already viewed the video.

Find the version to personalise here.
OR share on Facebook here.