Justify your Trip


It is easy to say “Conference is not for me”, particularly with pressures on budgets and reduced resources. However…

Attending conference is crucial for occupational therapy staff. We had almost 1,200 delegates at the 2017 Annual Conference and they benefited from enhancing their professional development and discovering how to demonstrate the value of their profession.

For the first time in 20 years, our Conference will be held in Belfast, at the Waterfront conference centre in the heart of the city. Belfast is well connected by road, rail and sea transport and air with 2 local airports the city.

In the current economic climate, securing approval and time off from work to attend conference may be more challenging than it has been in the past. One way is to make a strong business case outlining how your organisation will benefit from you attending conference.

We’ve put together a template to help you.

Download our Business Case Template

Getting to Conference

Belfast is well connected by road, rail and sea transport and air with 2 local airports in the city. George Best Belfast City Airport is only a 10 minute drive away, whilst from Belfast International it takes only 25 minutes to reach the heart of the city and the conference centre.

There are 24 UK mainland airports with competitively priced flights to Belfast. Many of these flights are cheaper than you think!

For example, using our 2017 Conference venue of Birmingham as a comparison…

Train From London To Birmingham

  • Journey time: 1 hr 25 minutes
  • Train return cost: £73.50 including booking fee

Flight From Belfast To Birmingham

  • Journey time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Return ticket with hand luggage: £64.48 including booking fee

*N.B. These prices are for example purposes only. Prices for rail and airfares are for tickets booked three months prior to travel during peak time and are correct at time of publishing.

Airlines from the mainland that fly into Belfast:

Belfast International Airport

George Best Belfast City Airport

Guideline conference timings

Please see the following draft key timings for the conference programme. Please note that these are intended as a guideline only, and may be subject to some changes.

The timings for the opening and closing of conference will be kept as close to possible to those shown below i.e, conference will open on the Monday afternoon.

Monday 11 June
11.30 – 13.30 Delegate registration
13.50 – 15.30 Opening Plenary
15.50 – 17.25 Sessions
17.25 – 18.40 Exhibition opens; Welcome drinks reception
19.00 – 19.45 Networking meetings

Tuesday 12 June
08.00 – 17.20 Sessions, including Plenaries
17.20 – 18.35 AGM meeting
20.00 – Conference dinner

Wednesday 13 June
08.00 – 15.35 Sessions, including Plenary
15.35 – 16.00 Closing plenary
16.00 – 16.10 Close of Conference


“I really enjoyed conference! The talks were great for CPD and it was nice to be around so many other occupational therapists. ”


2017 Conference Attendee