A massive 4,500 businesses will gather in one room this week as Meetwest 2016 takes place this Thursday and Friday at the McWilliam Park Hotel in Claremorris.
Organised and part funded by the local authorities, local enterprise offices and state development agencies in Galway, Mayo and Roscommon, MeetWest brings together a wide range of companies from the West of Ireland and further afield to network and do business.
Now in its sixth year, organisers have tailored this year’s programme to maximise new and innovative networking opportunities for attendees in a variety of formats.
Meetwest 2016 will open with a conference style event entitled finding opportunities to grow. The conference will be opened by a short address from Mayo County Council Chief Executive, Moycullen native Peter Hynes.
One of the topics of this year’s conference will be around the issue of “Brexit” and the Challenges and Opportunities which it presents to businesses in the West of Ireland.
Speaking on the topic will be Niall O’Donnellan, divisional manager, Enterprise Ireland, with responsibility for strategy, policy and planning, leadership and management development, skills, competitiveness and regions.
Other topics covered in the conference will be “knowing your customer to take your business to the next level” delivered by Jo Collins, Managing Director of SalePerformance.ie, and “making Sense of the digital Maze – Practical Paths for your Business” delivered by Fergal O’Connor CEO and Founder of Happy Marketing and Media.
‘Finding Opportunities to Grow’ will be hosted by Noel Davidson, Director of Training at The Entrepreneurs Academy.
Day one will conclude with a networking reception and dinner followed by an address from one of Ireland’s leading economic commentators, David Mc Williams.
Day two of the event will kick off with the prearranged one-to-one meetings.
The format is similar to speed dating in that each delegate receives a predetermined meeting schedule with 20 minutes allocated for each meeting. Once the 20 minutes is up, a bell will ring and one of the delegates moves to a different table to start the meeting process again.
In addition to the one to one meetings there will be a number of ten-to-one meetings where delegates can meet selected larger businesses in a group format.
MeetWest 2016 commences with registration at 3.30pm today (Thursday) and continues from 8am on Friday.