GET Social…. Today!

On the 14th of Feb 2017 I was fortunate enough to be able to attend The Get Social Conference 2017 in the Helix. At this conference, we heard six local and global business people demonstrate their past and present experience of all things tech related such as marketing and even the product itself. It was a great opportunity to learn and it gave us great insight into the tech world now.



We were swiftly introduced to our MC for the day, Paul Hayes. His current position is Marketing Director of Beachhut PR. He was quirky and upbeat. I took a few notable things from him. The first being “Talk about your impact on the world”. I interpreted that to mean not to gloat about yourself but talk about the way you change the world. The second thing is “Don’t talk about your tech”. he explained this to mean talk about where it came from and where it’s going. He is a very experienced man who has worked with many companies. I think this is invaluable advice considering he has been there and done that. In his opening speech, he mentioned two final things: Get into a well-funded Irish Start-Up and “People remember how you make them feel, not what you say”. This struck me most and caught my attention more than anything that was mentioned all day long. Possibly because it is applicable for all walks of life. Perhaps a job interview, meeting potential investors or even something as simples as meeting your girlfriend’s parents. They remember how you make them feel.

Next on stage was Head of Product at Voicesage, Matthew Weil. Voicesage is a company that make communication easier between business and consumers. The help them engage through tech. Throughout his presentation we were bombarded with all kinds of useful information. I learned about Facebook, Twitter, Sina Weibo, Chatbots, and the Internet of Things. A few things that surprised me were how Facebook went from being a Social Media site to a business, or how Weibo is a Chinese social media platform. It is a mix between Facebook and Twitter, on it you can talk to people and purchase items. However, China’s government listen in to your like dislikes and other information. They influence what people like and what comes up on their Weibo page to try to create sales. That surprised me a lot because it’s an invasion of privacy.

Following Matthew was Anne Marie Boyhan. She is head of Social for Bank of Ireland. This presentation had my full attention from the start as I recently open a student account with BOI. She was very engaging. We learned about their campaign ‘#BOIMyFirst’. This is a genius campaign that shows the customers of BOI that the Bank support them on whether they are setting up their first business, or buying their first home. It gives customers a sense of belonging, makes them feel welcome and secure. Anne Marie mentioned that 74% of advertising traffic will be through video. BOI cleverly used this to their advantage and made a series of videos that highlight their campaign and show its effectiveness on how it can help ordinary people achieve their goals and dreams.

Following, we heard Aisling Tobin of Pernod Ricard. She is Jameson Brand Manager. She spoke to us about Jameson’s new campaign ‘Sine Metu’. sine-metuThis translates to ‘without fear’. Anybody who use their brand are called LADS. They done some research and found out lads the internet for 24 hours per week, 80% on mobile or tablet and watch at least 2 hours a day of videos online. She then proceeded to link all this back into the campaign showing how the Jameson Brand launched a video to help with the campaign. In my opinion, it was very effective. It had good content that lead us to be easily engaged. This campaign should do well and will lead more loyalty towards the Jameson Brand, because it is rewarding to be with them. Aisling was also very enjoyable to listen too. She was engaging and relatable.

After the interval, Hugh Curran presented. He is a Digital Transformation Consultant. Hugh had a very good presentation, he mentioned something very interesting saying on average we scroll through social media posts, on average, 9ft a day. Therefore, he stressed the point at how you need to have an appealing post to help you stand out. He gave great advice on how companies often neglect their social media responsibilities, by not updating status’s or uploading pictures, or replying to consumer emails or messages.  His advice was don’t be that company. Plan your content, structure your content, schedule your content, and most importantly create your own content. Be original. Don’t take the lazy way out and copy it from google. Dedicate 2 hours out of your week to work on it. He left us with his final piece of advice. Don’t be afraid to spend money.

Finally, we had Managing Director of mCordis, Paul Berney. He gave a great presentation. He spoke excellently, he was clear and concise. He spoke about change and the connected individuals. He gave an example of the first time somebody done something different and how it changed the world. Johannes Gutenberg’s printing press. This was the first time ever two objects were identical. People were afraid of this change and didn’t know what to make of it at first, but it changed the world. In modern-day, this is going on all around us. Over the last number of decades, we have been increasingly more connected with the world around us. High speed internet and mobile phones keep us digitally in close contact. One thing he said that took me back was how mobile phones are our external brains. I never thought about that before but it’s true. We really on our phones and internet to tell us things we don’t already know. Overall Paul was a very impressive person, who gave us great insight into connected individuals.

To conclude, I would like to say this was a great learning experience. I have gained great knowledge of the social and tech world. I took many useful things from it and I am glad I got to go. I would like to say a thank you to all the guest speakers.




Sine Metu Picture:


Get Started, NOW!

Hello Readers, on the 8th of December I attended the Get Started Conference held in the Helix in DCU. Many entrepreneurs spoke and gave their stories and advice on how to find your feet and start a successful company. This was an incredible opportunity to learn from people who have been there and done it. My goal is to become an entrepreneur, so I dragged my tired head towards the Helix eager to hear the stories of how these normal people became entrepreneurs.

We got an introduction about the Ryan Academy to begin with. They help many Start-Ups from DCU and I am going to do some background research on them and hopefully use their services in the future. It was very helpful because had they not have spoken I’m sure it would have been several months down the line before I would have heard of them again. By that time someone may have used my idea. Isn’t that what the whole talk was about, getting started now before someone else does. I guess you could say now I have a head start.

The first speaker was Philippe Brodeur. His company was OvercastHQ. OvercastHQ is a company that makes saving and sending videos very easy. Philippe was easy on the ear and offered good advice.  His two main points were 1. Differentiate your start-up, and 2. You need traction, his traction was he need more customers in order to get further funding. I couldn’t get over that he said timing was the most important thing for start-ups. It surprised me because I thought the idea or your plan would be the most important. On further reading about OvercastHQ I discovered that cable companies and broadcasters are using it and its making their lives easier. It helps them use the cloud without any hassle and it reduces the costs of having on premise storage facilities.

Next on stage was two young entrepreneurs who looked only three or four years older than ourselves. Brian O’Rourke and Alan Farrelly were their names. They were full of energy and you could tell they were passionate about their business, Cityswifter. Cityswifter cuts out stops and is a more direct bus journey. They were just out of college and went straight into a start-up. They told us they made mistakes but learned from them. They had to do it wrong to do it right. They didn’t give up and kept working. In an attempt to get Cityswifter up and running they worked 12-16 hours a day for three weeks straight. To me this showed serious commitment. They were inspirational to listen to and they showed me it doesn’t matter about your age when it comes to being an entrepreneur.

Following them was another young and enthusiastic entrepreneur, Elva Carri. She was great to listen too. Her story was funny because she set up her company, Girlcrew, by an accident. Girlcrew is a social media platform where girls can meet up a socialize with other women who have the same interest. They can go out and dance if their own friends don’t want to. Her business is tech based and she was able to build it with herself being a “techie”. Another thing from her presentation that surprised me was that she went so public that Mark Zuckerberg invited her to Facebook’s Head QuImage result for girlcrewarters in Silicon Valley. That’s a huge achievement getting to go to Silicon Valley. It’s where every tech business wants to be. Elva has now been there and I presume when she was there she learned a thing or two she brought back which benefited Girlcrew.

Next, we had Gavan Walsh with his company iCabbi. iCabbi is a tech company whereby you can see the live location of taxis and you can book directly without having to call someone. I was impressed with him because he gave a personal story where he was out walking in a remote area in Portugal and got lost. He had to ring for a taxi. But it was there where he came up with his idea of being able to see a live feed of taxis. He told us about his other failed dress company. He was launching a website where females could sell and swap their second-hand dresses. He staged a huge event on Grafton street where he got fifty girls to wear deb’s dresses and walk down the street. There were photographers and journalists covering the event. The event was a success but in the end his company failed. This was what lead him to his point and advice that once you reach the ‘no going back stage’ you must be committed and work hard because from that point on you will either succeed or fail.

Finally, we had Iseult Ward of FoodCloud. FoodCloud is a charity that takes donations of food that is reaching its sell by dates and then they donate it to local charities. This is a genius idea that helps communities so much. All this food that would have been going to waste is now being put to good use. Iseult is also a very ambitious person because she expanded to the UK. She has plans on entering and receiving donations from all Tesco stores in the UK. She put in into perspective for us, there is 148 Tesco’s in Ireland. There are 3000 in the UK. This surprised me and it shows the enormity of her challenge.

It was an interesting day. Some of the stories I heard surprised me. I always knew it would be tough to make it but I really didn’t know how tough it was. I am now informed of that and I’m glad because at least when I do decide to create my own Start-Up I will be ready for a few knocks. They won’t come as a big surprise. Overall it was a very interesting day and I learned a lot from it. I want to give a special mention to all the speakers who came and everyone involved in the event because it was a huge help. Big thanks go out to you.

I will be writing again in a few weeks’ time about the next conference we will be attending. I hope you have a read of that blog too.