At the IIA Congress 2009 “Better Business Online in a Tough Economy: Money, Marketing, Monitoring & Mobile”, sponsored by Realex Payments, over 300 delegates from a broad range of Irish business sectors were provided with two days of information, advice and networking.
Speaking at their largest industry event to date in Ireland, Facebook’s Director of Online Operations, Colm Long, highlighted how businesses can take advantage of the Facebook platform, saying: “There has never been such a great opportunity for businesses and organisations to connect with new users and customers around the globe. The web is now firmly at the centre of our daily lives and allows businesses of all sizes to raise awareness, connect with new customers and grow not only in Ireland but more importantly in export markets also.”
Maeve Kneafsey, IIA Chair, addressing the delegates during the plenary session, acknowledged that the needs of Irish businesses have changed with the recent economic upheaval.
“What Irish businesses need today are insights that will allow them to take action, not theorise. This is always a test for most businesses when you start to apply Web technology to help solve real business challenges.
“The 2009 IIA Congress was all about sharing real experiences that illustrate the successful use of the Web to build business, engage customers and make good choices on how to use the Web effectively. It is clear from the examples shared by companies such as Realex Payments, dotMobi and the other speakers, that Irish online businesses are and can successfully compete on a world stage.
“The 2009 IIA Congress also looked down the line, and provided us with a foretaste of how the latest Web innovations will provide new opportunities for the consumer and business. In particular, allowing us to search for information in a less time consuming way and returning results that are far more personalised to suit our needs.
“Colm Long from Facebook, one of the most innovative users of the next stage in web communications, offered us a direct insight into how the web of the future will look, while Trey Harvin, CEO of dotMobi, pointed to the likely explosion in Ireland of mobile web content. One thing is certain, the Web will continue to be the most dynamic, constantly changing and preferred source of information across multiple media channels.”
Colm Lyon, CEO Realex Payments, spoke about devising a strategy for accelerating growth in an internet business, finishing his presentation with the announcement that Realex Payments were one of a group of five founding members of the Internet Growth Alliance initiated by Enterprise Ireland which aims to support in a practical way the international growth ambitions of Irish businesses. More information available at www.alliance.ie.
A key industry event, the Congress also included an afternoon of breakout sessions coordinated by the IIA’s Working Groups. Delegates also had the option of attending one to one web strategy clinics on specific topics. These clinics were booked out well in advance of Congress.
This year the IIA & Enterprise Ireland Net Visionary Awards took place on the evening of May 21st allowing delegates to mix a productive day of business with a celebratory evening of pleasure.
The newest feature of this two day event is Meetball, a free Demonstration and Networking Breakfast on Day 2 which allowed those who could not make it on May 21st to meet some of the IIA members and find out more about their products and services.