While most collectors will be aware of the extremely rare Irish Management Institute (IMI) Callcards, for many it is a mystery as to why three private Callcards were produced for two different IMI conferences in the years 1989 and 1990. The IMI Callcards are among the first of all private issue cards, with only the Cork FITCE being the other trial Callcard to see a private card produced.
Many collectors have often wondered why the IMI conferences had Callcards produced? What was the objective of the conferences and also how many delegates would have attended? Fortunately today, we have talked with a person who spoke at the infamous Ireland’s Europe conference! We have answers (well some at least!). :)
What exactly are the IMI conferences?
The IMI conference was the premiere conference in Ireland for over 20 years. Every year it was addressed by the Taoiseach and world-renowned speakers. The Taoiseach at the time would have been Charles Haughey.
Where was the Ireland’s Europe conference held?
The Malton hotel in Killarney, Co Kerry. Image: TheMalton.com
The Irelands Europe conference was held in the Great Southern Hotel in Killarney. Many attendees at the conference which lasted the whole weekend would have stayed in the hotel. The Great Southern hotel in Killarney is now known as The Malton Hotel.
How many would have attended these conferences usually?
There were generally around 400 attendees.
Do you remember being issued Callcards at the conference, how were they presented?
Yes! The Callcards were enclosed inside the “joining documentation” each delegate received after they registered.
What was the purpose of the Ireland’s Europe conference?
The 1989 conference was about the challenges and threats arising out of Ireland’s membership of the European Union.
Do you know the reason for Telecom Eireann to have issued Callcards for two IMI Conferences?
The extremely rare 50 unit Ireland's Europe Callcard. This was the only IMI card where all were issued at the conference.
While the Ireland’s Europe conference had no topic regarding telecommunications, the then Chief Executive of Telecom Eireann, Fergus McGovern, was also on the board of the IMI for a three year term. This is possibly one reason for the IMI Callcards to be produced.
As far as I can recall Ireland was also in transition from public coin operated pay phones and before the advent of mobile/cell phones these cards were very innovative. The cards were more of a marketing move by Telecom Eireann to what they saw as a high profile, very influential audience.
Do you recall seeing a card phone installed in the hotel? If so where was it? Did delegates use their Callcards at the time?
The card phone was installed in the hotels lobby as far as I can recall. Many of the delegates did use the phones. As the conference lasted a few days delegates could use their Callcard’s to keep in touch with family members etc.
This concludes our Q&A session with the person who spoke at the Ireland’s Europe conference. Have you got any more questions about the IMI conferences/callcards? If so leave a comment below and you never know, we may to be able get answers!