Event of the Year

Chambers run a variety of interesting and informative events throughout the year. As providing members with the opportunity to network is a core function of the Chamber, running successful events is a must.

Overall winner:

Waterford Chamber – Toys4Engineers Conference & Expo

Toys4Engineers Conference & Expo brought in excess of 3000 people to WIT Arena last year, on what was its second year, seeing it grow from a local event to being very much on the agenda nationally with exhibitors coming from as far away as Sligo and Dundalk.

The event is organised by Waterford Chamber, with the support of Waterford Institute of Technology and is designed to bring multi-national and indigenous companies together to showcase their innovations, network and ultimately do business. Waterford Chamber also receive the backing of IDA Ireland, Enterprise Ireland, SIMI, Engineers Ireland, Waterford Chamber Skillnet, Cobotics Skillnet and Waterford Local Enterprise Office, as well as a number of financial sponsors. Through the conference, which was opened last year by Julie Sinnamon, attendees were presented with key industry leaders speaking on topics that are relevant to business or showcases where the future of industry lies. ‘Industry 4.0’ is driving the Technology, Innovation, Recruitment and Upskilling agendas of companies in all sectors of the economy.  Engineers need to develop and use new ‘toys’ to address the many competitive challenges. Toys4Engineers showcases the very latest in those areas with over 80 exhibitors on site throughout the day during the Expo.

Other shortlisted projects:

Carlow Chamber – Carlow Rooster Festival

Carlow Rooster Festival was designed as a celebration of the Rooster Potato and was organised by County Carlow Chamber in partnership with Teagasc. The Chamber established Love Carlow in 2016 with the aim of establishing Carlow as a great place to live, work, shop, socialise and visit. The Rooster Festival was developed to enhance the calendar of activities in Carlow and provide a fun, engaging and educational weekend festival for locals and visitors to enjoy.

The Festival incorporated several aspects, all taking place around the weekend of National Potato Day, including:

  • A special Educational Day for second level students to learn about various aspects including soil, nutrition & pathology.
  • A Family fun day with a range of fun events all free to attend including cookery demonstrations, tours of oak park estate, pick your own potatoes in aid of Embrace Farm and the inaugural National Potato Picking Championship
  • The Carlow SPUB Crawl, with live music and themed events in pubs across Carlow
  • The Potato Trail, where local restaurants designed potato themed dishes specifically for the festival
  • The Barn Dance with Marty Mone in Dinn Ri​

Cork Chamber – Cork Chamber Annual Dinner 2019

Together with our members, Cork Chamber seeks to champion, promote and drive a strong vision for Cork as the best place for business. Empowering the individual, growing businesses and transforming Cork is what we do. As part of this, Cork Chamber organises the region’s largest flagship business, social and networking event of the year, Cork Chamber Annual Dinner.

Attracting 1,000 members of the Cork business community as well as business leaders, political decision makers and influencers to Cork City Hall, Cork Chamber Annual Dinner is the ultimate celebration of business growth across Cork and an opportunity to share our vision for the region’s future.

2019 is particularly special as it marks 200 years of Cork Chamber and the Annual Dinner served as a platform to launch our bicentenary celebrations.

Each year, the event has an interesting keynote speaker from the business world and we were delighted to host President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins. as our special guest speaker on this significant occasion.

As part of this prestigious black-tie corporate networking event, the Cork Company of the Year Awards are presented to the 4 category winners and overall winner recognising the success of Cork business.

County Kildare Chamber – Inaugural Kildare Ambassadors Luncheon
On the 8th February 2018, 33 Resident Ambassadors to Ireland attended the County Kildare Chamber Inaugural Ambassadors Luncheon in the K Club, Straffan. Over 60 business representatives were also in attendance, 50 of which represented Kildare businesses including Kerry, O’Brien Fine Foods, Colourtrend, Tetrarch Capital and The Queally Group.

The event began with a drink’s reception and a local harpist for all attendees, followed by a 3-course dinner in a private function room overlooking the beautiful K Club gardens and a presentation by keynote speaker, Frank Ryan – Chairman of IDA Ireland.

Mallow Chamber – Racing Home for Easter Festival

The Racing Home for Easter Festival was established to capitalise on the 3-day Easter race meeting at Cork Racecourse Mallow – which attracts 20,000 people over the 3 days – and create a spin off for the town centre and wider region. The Festival attracts a wide and varied audience through a variety of events including

  • excellent flat and National Hunt horse racing
  • elements of fashion during Most Stylish Sunday
  • local producers showcasing their wares at an ever-expanding food and craft fair in the grounds of Mallow Castle
  • general family fun events incorporating local musicians and bringing street performers (stilt walkers, fire breathers, etc.) to Mallow.

The Festival is Corks only 3-day horse racing festival and provides an important platform for Mallow and surrounding area bringing positive local and national media attention to North Cork. In recent years organisers have expanded the Festival to incorporate community events in other town centre locations to attract locals and tourists to the Blackwater Valley area and to boost the local economy.

Mullingar Chamber – Winterfest Mullingar 2018

Winterfest Mullingar was devised to increase footfall in Mullingar Town and give a boost to local retailers who are struggling to battle against online shopping and competition from nearby big cities like Dublin and Galway.

Mullingar Chamber wanted to develop an initiative that would bring people from the Midlands and beyond into the centre of Mullingar during the busy Christmas retail period and generate positive PR for the town. It was also hoped that such a major event would allow Mullingar to become known as the Winter Wonderland of the Midlands that could be enhanced in the coming years.

After creating a wonderful attraction for visitors with major draws such as the ice-skating rink and a continental Christmas Market which involved huge financial and logistical risks it was necessary to create an advanced, innovative marketing campaign to ensure the expected outcomes were achieved.

Northern Ireland Chamber – NI Chamber Networking Conference and Business Showcase 2018

NI Chamber Networking Conference and Business Showcase took place on 12 September 2018 and was the largest business event of its kind in NI, bringing together businesses from across the region and from all sectors.  There were 800+ attendees with 120 exhibitors showcasing the best of NI business in Belfast’s original market place, St George’s Market.

The main theme of the Conference was Sales and Marketing.  It featured inspirational speeches from high profile business leaders including David Meade, Facebook, Whitewater Brewery etc. The key objectives were to enable businesses to promote and sell to a wide audience; provide tangible advice on how to develop sales skills and retain customers; as well as understanding of key issues such as branding, markets etc.

A secondary stage focused on ‘The Future of Work’, providing information around how businesses are working differently and how to manage the changing landscape of business.  There were seminars and panel sessions on the impact of automation, disruptive innovations and collaboration and digitalisation.

In order to facilitate networking and the building of new and existing business relationships, the conference featured two unique breakout areas, structured networking sessions and interactive areas throughout providing activities such as health checks and sports tests.

Shannon Chamber – Mid-West Lean Network Conference 2018 – creating a Mindset for Lean

This annual Conference, inaugurated in 2017, is the flagship event in the Mid-West Lean Network’s (MWLN) calendar of workshops/events. MWLN is an industry-led Network, initiated by Shannon Chamber in 2016 to strengthen the existing culture and increase the adaptation of Lean within the Mid-West region.

The ethos of the Network is to stimulate interest in and uptake of lean by enterprise throughout the region and to create a centre of excellence in this discipline in the region, which would be unique in Ireland.

Whilst the Network’s annual programme delivers a series of workshops, hosted in companies based in the region and attended mostly, but not exclusively, by member companies, the Conference was initiated to attract a wider audience, from throughout Ireland – both attendees and presenters – to initiate Lean discussion at a more macro level and position the region as the ‘go to’ place in Ireland for demonstrable excellence in Lean.

Two Conferences have been held to date (2017 & 2018) with exceptional feedback received from attendees and guest presenters – it has been described at the most practical and informative Lean Conference staged in Ireland and, the judging of the Continuous Improvement Award 2018 described as exceptionally transparent.

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