Could you tell us a bit about yourself?
I’m an information security professional and cybersecurity expert. Over my 25-year career, I have managed and delivered information security and advised agencies like the European Network and Information Security Agency and the European Commission. I founded BH Consulting in 2004 — since then I’ve been providing independent security consultancy to a wide variety of clients.
What motivated you to bid for an international conference?
Ireland is one of the world's most respected centres for expertise in cybersecurity and cloud computing. We have many indigenous companies developing exciting solutions in the space, while numerous foreign companies are locating their research centres here. I felt it was time we shone a light on Irish talent by hosting an international conference.
In your opinion, why was Ireland successful in securing this conference?
Support from Meet In Ireland and the Dublin Convention Bureau was a key factor. With their help, a great deal of the leg work in identifying suitable venues (and all the other things essential to a successful conference) was made much more straightforward. This took away a lot of pain for the organisers, so they could concentrate on the conference rather than the logistics. Of course, Ireland's reputation as a welcoming place where attendees can enjoy themselves was also a big attraction!
What advice would you give to someone thinking of hosting an international conference?
My advice is simply "go ahead and do it" – but do engage with Meet in Ireland, as they will make your life a whole lot easier.
What makes Ireland a world-class meeting destination?
Ireland is a place where the serious business of work meets the serious business of enjoying life. It provides a unique balance of traditional culture and modern 21st century facilities, enabling conferences to provide the best experience for their delegates — with activities that make the event even more memorable.
What is Ireland’s legacy from hosting this international conference?
I would like to think that those who attended the conference got to see that Ireland has a lot to offer in this field, and that we’re not just an island off the coast of Europe. Hopefully, it has made Ireland a more likely choice for individuals, or indeed companies, interested in re-locating.
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