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The World Meeting of Families is one of the biggest events in Roman Catholic Church calendar, and booking records are being broken well in advance of the 2018 event in Dublin, which will be attended by Pope Francis. And at the heart of the globally-spanning network of activity leading up to the event, freight forwarder experts Interflow Logistics has been playing a key role as official logistics provider for the event.

freight forwarderThis is yet another string in the bow for the Irish freight forwarder company and its managing director Niall Thompson, who have been busy dealing with logistics on a truly enormous scale for this event. WMOF2018 will see Pope Francis undertake his first visit to Ireland as Pontiff, and Dublin will host an influx of hundreds of speakers and thousands of delegates and faithful from Ireland and around the world.

This occasion marks the first time that a Pope has been in Ireland since the visit of Pope John Paul II in 1979. The booking figures for the events, which take place in Dublin from Tuesday August 21st to Sunday August 26th, speak volumes about the degree of anticipation for the event, and—as one of the largest global events in the Catholic Church and a once-in-a-lifetime occasion for Ireland—its sheer scale.

WMOF2018 is the ninth such event, having first been held in 1994. Dublin joins a succession of globally famous host cities, including Rome (1994 and 2000) Rio de Janeiro (1997), Manila (2003), Valencia (2006), Mexico City (2009), Milan (2012), and Philadelphia (2015). The logistics involved are truly staggering, both for Interflow Logistics and right throughout the World Meeting of Families organisation.

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At this moment in a warehouse in Dublin, upwards of 40 volunteers for the World Meeting of Families have been working industriously to make up no fewer than 44,000 pilgrim bags for shipping to the RDS ahead of the opening ceremony, as well as sorting and packing more than 3,000 vestments for the occasion.

Tickets for all of the events have been booked—indeed, by midnight on the first day of booking, some 353,874 people had booked tickets for the WMOF2018 Closing Mass in Phoenix Park on Sunday August 26th, where Pope Francis will be the main celebrant. The Pope too will attend the previous days Festival of Families in Croke Park, a celebration of family life in music, song, dance and spoken word.

The Festival in and of itself is a gargantuan undertaking, involving an orchestra of over 50 musicians; more than 700 Irish sean nós and contemporary dancers, including 500 from Irish dance schools across the country; a 1,000-strong choir; 100 community groups; and 300 flag bearers. Performers include Andrea Bocelli, The Riverdance Troupe, Nathan Carter, Dana Masters, Daniel O’Donnell, Celine Byrne, The Begley Family, Holy Family Deaf Choir & Deaftones, Patrick Bergin, The Priests, Paddy Moloney, Bridgie and Missy Collins, and Moya Brennan.

The backbone of WMOF2018 is the three-day Pastoral Congress running daily in the RDS from Wednesday August 22nd to Friday August 24th, and which will involve hundreds of speakers and delegates, participating in a huge range of workshops, discussions and activities for all the family. In addition, there will also be an exhibition running for the duration of the Pastoral Congress at the RDS, with more than 300 exhibition stands staffed by representatives from 220 faith-based organisations, charities and cultural, crafts and tourism providers, from Ireland and 100 countries worldwide.

The Pastoral Congress—between the exhibition, workshops and activities—is a simply enormous event in its own right, and will be staffed by a force of volunteers running into the thousands. As an indication of the global interest in this story, more than 400 media organisations will be in the RDS every day for the Congress, and it’s anticipated that the overall events of WMOF will be covered by some 1,200 media organisations worldwide. There will be ongoing, fluid coverage of the various events on more than 10 dedicated social media channels.

For freight fowarder experts Interflow Logistics, the WMOF Dublin 2018 has been a layered and multi-faceted challenge on a massive scale, and indeed, the challenge will not end until well after the final Mass on August 26. But it’s a challenge relished by the Irish firm, which has over the past few years grown from a fledgling exhibition freight forwarder to one of the biggest names in international freight transport, having acted as official agents for a succession of the world’s top trades shows and exhibitions.

And indeed, it was Interflow Logistics who earlier shipped to the Vatican the WMOF2018 icon of the Holy Family, written by iconographer Mihai Cucu, and assisted by the Redemptoristine Sisters of the Monastery of St Alphonsus, Iona Road, Dublin.

For WMOF2018, Interflow’s expertise in the complexity of international freight forwarder and transport arrangements, including customs protocols, will play a crucial role in ensuring that all elements of the various events for the World Meeting of Families arrive on site in Dublin without a hitch.

To find out more about Interflow Logistics’ services and expertise in exhibition logistics and international freight transport, visit the website and see how Interflow Logistics can take the stress out of your organisation’s international freight transport requirements for exhibitions, trade shows and other events.

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