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Anne O'Dea & Inspirefest

Ann O'Dea founder of Inspirefest

Venue: Grand Canal Theatre, Dublin

Delegates: 1,300

Association: Silicon Republic

Ambassador: Ann O’Dea (Founder, Inspirefest)

Bidding Partner: MCI

Image via RTÉ

About Inspirefest

The first annual Inspirefest was held with the aim of turning around the 9:1 male to female ratio at tech conferences. It’s a gathering of the greatest international minds and leaders in technology and science, with diversity and the arts at its core; diversity of gender, demographic background, age, ethnicity and, above all, diversity of thought. Inspirefest returned to the capital in July 2017.
Why do you think Ireland was successful in securing this event? 
Ireland is a leader in technology; the headquarters of some of the largest and most innovative tech companies are based here, bringing the brightest minds in this area to the country too. Ireland should lead the world in the biggest single challenge to the sector today – lack of promotion and celebration of female talent and other minorities.
Can you describe what support you received? 
We received marketing support from Fáilte Ireland, who also introduced us to the approved panel of conference organisers. By facilitating meetings between us and their partners, we were able to confidently choose a PCO to partner with who we could be sure would help us deliver a successful conference.
Was the conference a success?
Absolutely; the inaugural year saw 1,300 leaders and professionals gather together in Dublin, despite limited marketing and PR. Since the first year of the conference, delegate numbers have doubled. Also, many of our speakers and attendees returned for the third year in a row this summer.
What advice would you give to someone thinking of hosting an international conference?    
If you want to host an event that marries the modern and cutting-edge with culture, the arts and hospitality, there is nowhere like Dublin when it comes to welcoming international speakers, delegates, and their families.

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