Wow!! What a day we had on April 15th at the second Dublin #bizpartyinspires conference. Over 220 #irishbizparty members and SMEs came along to experience the magic that happened last year. And they certainly tweeted about it! We trended no. 1 in Ireland …and even trended in the UK at one stage!! Most of the people who came along to the conference had never met in real life but had participated in the #irishbizparty hashtag on Wednesday nights. (9pm- 11pm) on Twitter. So this was a day all about taking those relationships that were built ONLINE to OFFLINE.
The hilarious Colm O Regan kicked things off for us (Breaks the ice doesn’t it) with his version of entrepreneurship which everyone enjoyed and I think everyone could identify with also!
The highlight of the day had to be Carol Brill speaking about Ushers syndrome and how it has affected her life and despite all the setbacks and struggles how she keeps going and moving forward. She was so inspiring. She took us on a rollercoaster of serious facts, laughter and tears. I think Kleenex should definitely sponsor any events she will be speaking at in the future. Because I know that she will be doing this for a long time to come after her wonderful speech. We presented her with a cheque for 1000 euros to help her reach her target for the Seeing Disney campaign. (5 euros from each ticket sale for the conference went to the campaign so everyone was involved in some small way)
The other highlight of the day was Mairead Healy – Mairead is also someone who I met on Twitter and a friendship formed firstly through tweets, then by meeting at the #Belfasthour meet up. We just clicked! So people were wondering why I had a singer at a conference. Well, singers are also SMEs….they need gigs to earn money, so what better way to introduce her to lots of folk then to show us what she does! I see many corporates signing her up for their Xmas parties this year! She gave everyone in the room goosebumps and gave us all time to sit and enjoy her angelic voice. (for an SME sitting still is a skill in itself)!!
Michael O Brien from Big Red Cloud was another highlight for me. He gave us all some valuable info on how they measured the success of their #Sponsorforaday campaign. All SMES need some sort of campaign now and then, so it was great to see how they managed it and got the stats they needed to see what worked for them. Big red cloud were our headline sponsors also so this was a great way for folk to see Michael and make it easier to connect with himself and the team afterwards.
Every single speaker offered valuable tips including Heidi Grimwood (social media tips for SMEs), Victoria Mary Clarke (How to get the media’s attention), Wayne Denner (online reputation) Alan Jordan (bookbuzz) and our very own Brian Power who made SEO much easier to understand and implement changes that we could make ourselves. (I always give 2 #irishbizparty members a chance to raise their profile at these events). Getting in front of over 200 SMEs certainly gives you speaking experience and also cements relationships with others who might know your twitter handle but wouldn’t know what you look like. It’s always easier to approach someone you know. And people buy from people so this is huge!
Huge thanks to our sponsors Big Red Cloud, Green Isle hotel, Castle print, Pinnacle productions, Goldenpages.ie, Linked Finance and DigitelIP without whom there would have been no conference at all! And thanks to Scarecrow flowers, the Buff day spa and Lizzie B for the gifts! Thanks to Digital Department for the prizes and everyone who gave a spot prize on the day!
The main message that people took away with them was that #Irishbizparty SMEs are real life people, with dreams and struggles and families to look after. They need to be treated with respect. We could go on the dole but we choose to chase our dreams and keep going, Aiming high, assisting others along our journey, building relationships and sharing our knowledge with each other. We want to succeed but we bring others with us. It’s not all about ME, me, me!
Here are some of the amazing tweets we received on the day! See you at the next one! (oh and by the way we are having the first #Britishbizparty one on September 16th in Birmingham! Watch this space. Let’s spread the Twitter magic!