The first planned regional Hardware Conference of 2020 took place in Dublin on February 25th and saw 130+ delegates in Citywest Leisure Centre for a day of inspiring presentations, seminars and networking, all with the aim of giving delegates “20/20 vision for the future of hardware”.
The Dublin Hardware Conference was a huge success, with very positive feedback from delegates and sponsors alike. Here’s a quick review of the day’s proceedings and a flavour of what’s to come for the Limerick and Sligo Conferences taking place later this year.
On arrival delegates made their way from the registration desk to the main conference hall, while also paying a visit to the open area where the Conference’s headline sponsor (Intact Software), support sponsors (AIB Merchant Services, Credit Risk Brokers and HSF Health Plan), and other sponsors Woodland Group all displayed stands and promotional material with which to interact with the delegates.
MC for the day, HAI’s CEO Martin Markey, introduced HAI President Sean Moran who officially opened the Conference. Martin then returned to the podium to offer a brief presentation of HAI and the hardware sector, before passing the mike to Gary Brookshaw, UK Product Director at Intact Software (the Hardware Conference’s main sponsor), who offered a brief presentation promoting their services.
First keynote presenter of the day was Ronan Lyons, Assistant Professor of Economics at Trinity College Dublin, who offered an eye-opening look at the latest housing statistics in Ireland, which proved to be very useful to attending retailers and builders merchants in anticipation of emerging and growing trends.
Next, Tommy Smyth from Tom Smyth & Associates and Susannah Hewson from CXChange.ie combined their Employment Law and Customer Experience knowledge to look at the key trends and challenges in recruitment and retention, while offering advice to employers on current issues such as the Coronavirus.
After lunch delegates split up into break-out groups, wherethey chose from key topics to attend: Credit Management or Family Succession, Merchandising Techniques or Employee Wellness. All break-out sessions proved to be very popular with delegates, and with attendees leaving with key take-aways, such as Declan Flood’s “Top 10 Tips for Credit Management”.
The afternoon session saw the presentations of two of the Conference’s most highly anticipated presenters.
Greg Fry, social media expert and regular classroom training instructor with HAI, delivered his masterclass in all things Digital Marketing, offering his “Five Digital Tools” for the hardware sector, while taking questions from attending retailers and suppliers on how they can optimise their marketing efforts.
The final presenter of the day, Steve Collinge from Insight Retail Group, delivered a compelling presentation, which one delegate called “one of the best presentations I have ever seen”, on key global trends in hardware retail.
The Conference concluded at the end of the day with a relaxed networking reception in the exhibitor area, where industry peers got to meet and catch up while making new connections.
Feedback from The Hardware Conference Dublin Delegates:
“The presentations on economic outlook for housing was a great insight and informative. Also the CX presentation on retaining staff.”
“Thanks again for a very interesting day. I found most of the presentations very informative, especially Greg’s and Steve’s. Ronan’s was excellent too!” – Don O’Toole, International Tool Industries
Visit www.thehardwareconference.ie for more highlights.