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Visit Belfast's business/conference dept publish conference data and list all upcoming events as well as press releases for major coups in terms of conferences.

Belfast City Council collate business and conference figures as well. Their most recent available data is for 2012 though. They commission a company to conduct interviews with conference delegates to find out what they do while in the city.

The majority of their spend is for accommodation, as one would expect, but 7 in 10 say they eat out in non-hotel venues, 6 in 10 have drinks in non-hotel bars and 1 in 10 go shopping.

I don't know what the figures in regard to that aspect are for 2013 or 2014 though. Might drop them an email. The 2012 figures had 88,000 as the conference delegate figure, I'd be confident that 2013 and 2014 are higher.

Speaking from experience, when I've hosted delegates in Belfast we have used local restaurants and bars, many of them do explore a bit as well. However, I should add that conference delegates are time poor in some cases and not all will eat out if time is tight or if they're here for a short conference (1 or 2 days).
 

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Caught a brief glimpse of the new cladding on the Waterfront. It's odd. Definately more pastel than I was expecting. I probably need a closer look.
 

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Yea, not sure its going to be great. I'll reserve judgement until I see it properly. Don't have pics sorry, was only driving past/ don't know how to. Perhaps someone else knows.
 

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Is it curious that everyone is only outraged now. Why didn't people object when the application was submitted? Granted the objections would have been ignored but still...

It's a clumsy and lazy extension but nothing can be done now. I'm waiting to see what the cladding looks like in its entirety before making a final judgement. From some angles it may look OK. It's never going to look magnificent though.
 

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would have been nice to have some sort of bauhaus inspired edifice or even a big brutalist le corbusier style b*stard (or even better than all of that a big alexanderplatz style sky tower atop it) **dreams**
 

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One of the biggest problems with it for me is that the extension is located on a prominent curve of the river, yet the river facing side is one big straight slab. If it had matched the curve of the river somewhat, it may not have looked as bad, but obviously would have impacted on costs and floor layouts. I don't think the building, for example, would have looked so out of place if it were located down where City Quays is.
 

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I know right?!

I can't possibly see how this will look good now as it appears to be the outer skin... I thought MAYBE they'd put a layer of glass over it which might kinda sorta make it okay but... yeah..

PLUS what the heck is it with the unforgiveable oddness of them plating over that window? It's looking more and more bonkers the more the facade goes up...
 

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I think the windows will be 'cut out' of the material. I hope so any way, doesn't make sense otherwise.

I'm reserving final judgement until it's finished. It's not going to be everyone's cup of tea but it is modelled after the Laban Dance Centre in London which looks alright, though that's personal taste
 

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True, it'll be ineteresting to see the fit and finish.

Fervent googling pulled up that Dance Centre; never before heard that it was actually based on this, so interesting to see. The visible edges of the panelling kinda evokes a corrugated shed though. There is a positive in that it is a curved face, which makes it a little confusing why they couldn't have similarly curved the extension here
 

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True, it'll be ineteresting to see the fit and finish.

Fervent googling pulled up that Dance Centre; never before heard that it was actually based on this, so interesting to see. The visible edges of the panelling kinda evokes a corrugated shed though. There is a positive in that it is a curved face, which makes it a little confusing why they couldn't have similarly curved the extension here

Indeed, I like the curve. The Laban also has better glazing.
 
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