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ISME announces full programme for 2018 Annual Conference

ISME, The Irish SME Association have today (October 24th) released the full programme for their 2018 Annual Conference which will take place on Wednesday 21st November in the Citywest Hotel, Dublin. This year the association is marking 25 years and this has inspired the theme of the conference Think 25 – Looking ahead for Irish Business.

Commenting on this year’s conference, ISME CEO, Neil McDonnell noted:

“ISME is 25 years old this year. We’ve put a pretty eventful quarter-century behind us. We’re going to cast a nostalgic eye back to the Ireland of 1993 at our Annual Conference. But the main theme on the day will be looking ahead at the next quarter century. With all that is happening around us, we think the next 25 years will be the most eventful since we joined the EEC in 1973. Our relations with Northern Ireland, Britain, the EU, the USA, Asia and Africa will be profoundly changed. Brexit, an EU where we will be the only common-law member, a disengaging USA, and a more muscular China and India will change the way Ireland interacts with the world. It’s going to be a great place to be an SME. Join us in November to see why.”

 The Conference will be opened by Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation. Heather Humphreys TD. Conall Ó Mórain will chair this action-packed day which includes the keynote speech by Alison Cowzer, Director, East Coast Bakehouse (former Dragon on RTÉ’s Dragon’s Den).  Professor of Computing in DCU and Co-Founder of the Research Centre for Data Analytics, Alan Smeaton will give the theme address which will focus on technology, data and what it means for business over the next 25 years. Other highlights on the main stage include an interview with David Cox, CEO of Fragrances of Ireland, an ISME member since 1993 who will chat about his business over the last 25 years and plans for the next; and the presentation of the Sean Hannick SME Award. The Great Debate will close the morning session with panellists Jess Kelly – Newstalk’s technology expert; economist Jim Power, Dr Katy Haywood, Queens University and author of Bordering on Brexit, Christopher Paye, General Manager at Jobs.ie and Tom Lyons, Executive Editor, Sunday Business Post. The panel will discuss what we have learned from the last 25 years that can be used to inspire future business.

After lunch we will be running breakout sessions across a variety of key business topics including Business after Brexit, PAYE Modernisation, Smart Working – How it is changing business?, The Future of Work & Learning and Growing your Business with Tendering, each 30 minutes in duration.

Speaking today following the publication of the programme, Neil McDonnell, ISME CEO said:

“As Brexit looms and “PAYE Modernisation” will go live on January 1, 2019, the programme reflects the changed landscape which many businesses now find themselves in. We hope our breakout sessions will stimulate the kind of discussion necessary to assist SMEs to plan for the future and equip them with the skills and knowledge needed to successfully grow their businesses.”

 The conference will offer lots of opportunities throughout the day for delegates to visit the exhibition area of over 50 exhibition stands across a range of industries; network with fellow business people and do business – at breakfast, mid-morning break and lunch.

There are many ticket options for delegates – a full day ticket for all the events or individual tickets for the Morning Session or for the Breakout Sessions starting from €40 p.p. Click here to book now.

The full conference programme is available here.


For further information, please contact
Wayne Tobin, Press, Policy and Research Officer
T: 01 6622755
E: wayne@isme.ie

Notes to Editors:

ISME should be referred to as the Irish SME Association.