Belfast Telegraph

Greetings to our mystery guests jetting in for investment conference

By David Elliott

Roll up, roll up! The biggest show in town is about to open its doors at the big top Titanic Belfast.

Yes, the investment conference over the next day or so will indeed resemble some form of circus but hopefully not one with two many clowns, at least when it comes to delegates.

Because that will be key.

While the presentations will have been polished, the sales patter positive, there's little point in any of it if the right crowd isn't sitting in front of you.

We'd love to be able to tell you that the 120 women and men filling the seats at Hillsborough Castle and Titanic Belfast are a smattering from the Forbes World's Biggest Public Companies list but we can't, because we don't know who's coming.

We know they're from 14 different countries including Japan, Brazil, China and the US but we don't know who they are or which companies they represent.

Organisers are determined to make sure we don't find out their identities, at least for now, for fear of unnerving the potential investors' employees, competitors or investors.

So it may be some time before we find out who is really flying in today and what they really think of Northern Ireland.

Hopefully, it won't be too long and with any luck all will be revealed through a huge investment and jobs announcement.

For now, it's time to perform and make sure we impress upon these – hopefully – high flying chief executives that we're a 'can-do' nation they want to do business with.

Whoever you are, we welcome you and know you'll be impressed.

Belfast Telegraph