Congregation 2015 A Chance to Be Curious

Congregation a Social Hub

Congregation 2015 is all about huddles and conversations set in the remote village of Cong. For three days, Cong will be a social hub for those who have insights into social media they would like to share. And a curious mind to learn more is essential. 

It is small, remote and set on the Wild Atlantic Way in Mayo the West of Ireland. And it is not the average conference set up either. To attend you need to submit a blog post. That is your ticket to entry. The blog post is about something that you think will interest people. A new insight, something that you are curious about and want to explore more with others. 

Village of Cong

The village of Cong is one of the most beautiful and picturesque villages in Ireland. And is famous for being surrounded by the Quiet Man film locations.  This setting is what is so unique about Congregation. The relaxed village atmosphere and the use of the different buildings in the village. 

Tech people from all parts of the country and some from Europe take part in this great event. This year Congregation has become a three day event. It is all starting on the Friday evening in Ashford Castle with an evening of talks, movies and exhibitions. Augmented and Virtual Reality are on the agenda along with a demo of Oculus Rift. 

The unConference on the Saturday is central to what Congregation is all about. Throughout the day intimate huddles take place in social venues around Cong village. All are within walking distance of each other. Each huddle has about 10 people in them and every one gets a chance to present at one of the huddles. The different venues include the local bookshop (my favourite), giftshops and a few pubs. 

On Sunday we are all off on a guided cycle tour for 3 hours. It will be a easy trip along forest paths stopping at historical sites such as Ballykine Castle and natural wonders such as the Pigeon Hole Cavern. 

Blog Post Entries 

To give you a flavour of what the talks are about here are some of my favourite blog posts for #Cong2015. Kieran has some fascinating points about disability in his post Everyone Has Impairments. And how "the un-built environment holds far greater potential. The un-built environment, that Interweb thingy, that is where the action is at!"

There is an interesting post by Ciaran Cannon a TD for Galway East and former Minister of State at the Department of Education in Ireland. This is what makes unConferences special. You have people from all walks of life coming together to exchange thoughts and ideas. Ciaran's talk is about our education system.  DisconnectEd – How do we fix an education system that is rapidly losing touch with reality? As a lecturer in Dublin Business School I am particular interested in Digital Marketing and how students and lecturers can learn from each other. 

And being a hyperlocal nut I am interest in talking to Cladagh Barry again and hearing more about her post Work Local. Deliver Global

And last but not least you can check out my post which is all about using your apps for better life management. I talk about AnyList, Bullet and My Fitness Pal. 

It is because of these people and so many more that makes Congregation to unique and inspiring. And that is why it is my third year going. I savour the calmness and stillness of Cong. It is a much welcome time out both physically and mentally from a busy life. 

Huddles Galore 

It time to reflect and think about what we are doing with social technologies. Are we doing right with them? What impact will they have on the next generation? Can we keep some of our old ways of communicating. Being human. Being real. Enjoying the emotions and expressions of face to face meetings. Will our children loose the art of talking around the fire sharing stories, telling jokes and singing songs. I hope not. And that is why events like Congregation are essential. Huddles in villages to warm the soul and feed the mind. 




LEO Dublin City Womens Network

Maria Walsh Rose of Tralee

Pauline Sargent, Maria Walsh the Rose of Tralee and Felicity Mc Carthy of Spark Digital

 LinkedIn for Business 

When Pauline Logan asked me to speak at the LEO Dublin City Womens Network meeting in Dublin on June 8th I jumped at the chance. Having attended these women network meetings for many years I was delighted to be a speaker and share my knowledge of how to use LinkedIn to grow your business. 

Looking back at my first meeting in 2010 I was horrified to realise that you had to stand up in front of approx 90 people and pitch your business or idea. At that stage I didn't have a clue what I wanted to do. Now I realise how valuable a service the LEO Dublin City Women in Business Network is for growing your confidence, for connecting and collaborating with other women in business. 

Each month there are featured talks on business issues that matter most to the members. The June event was on two forms of social media used most by members, LinkedIn and Facebook. 

Myself and Felicity Mc Carthy of Spark Digital presented on LinkedIn and Facebook respectively. 
The LinkedIn talk covered 
  • Importance of your profile on LinkedIn 
  • Personal vs Business presence on LinkedIn 
  • Publishing on LinkedIn 
  • Interesting formats to enrich your LinkedIn profile 

And the Facebook talk covered 

  • Why it's a useful marketing tool 
  • Personal vs Business on Facebook 
  • Page posting tips & planning 
  • Advertising on Facebook 

The talks were followed by questions and answers and discussions at each of the tables. A big thank you to Pauline Logan for th eopportunity to speak and for organising these great meet ups month after month. For €50 a year membership they are definietly worth the time and money. 


LinkedIn Workshop 21st May 2015

 LinkedIn Workshop

  •  When:       Thursday 21st May 2015 
  •  Time:        2pm until 5pm 
  •  Register:   Here NOW 
  •  Cost:         Only €99.00 
  •  Where:     Guinness Enterprise Centre 

A super half day workshop on all you need to know about LinkedIn. 

This workshop will let you understand the benefits of using LinkedIn to optimise your personal profile and to help grow your business.

Getting to know LinkedIn and being comfortable using it on a regular basis can really help your brand thrive. It can keep you in touch with current customers and help generate new business leads.

What's Involved

  •   5 Tips to Improve Your Profile
  •   How to Add Rich Media Content
  •   Optimise Keywords for Your Business  
  •   How to Develop Real Business Relationships 

This LinkedIn workshop is for you if you :- 

  •  Want to know how to use and understand the benefits of LinkedIn     
  •  Are looking for ways to market yourself or your business
  •  Have invites to connect and are not sure what to do with them 
  •  Want to increase job opportunities or increase business leads 

The Outcomes

  • Be able to create a compelling profile that makes you stand out
  • Be confident in connecting with people and finding new connections 
  • Join LinkedIn groups and become a valuable member 
  • Be able to manage your time effectively on LinkedIn

There will be a maximum of 15 people attending this event. There is no need to bring laptops or tablets as it is a seminar style workshop. There will be opportunities for discussion and sharing of experiences throughout the workshop. 

Pauline Sargent LinkedIn Training

Pauline loves using Social Media to share and connect with people from all parts of her life. For family events and news, for community activism and for professional reasons. She is a part-time digital marketing lecturer with Dublin Business School and has worked with 100s of people by helping them  use Social Media to improve their lifes and businesses. 

Connect with Pauline on LinkedIn 



















LinkedIn Training Dublin

This one day training course will teach you how linkedin can be fully utilised to transform your company brand, engage with your current customers and build a pipeline of new business. This includes

GEC 1st Wednesday Club 6th May 2015

  Dublin Startup Networking Session

GEC 1st Wednesday Club

The Guinness Enterprise Centre 1st Wednesday club (now running over 4 years) was attended by over 15 companies all at various levels of business. Everyone got a chance to say a little bit about what their company is about and then help other companies if they felt they had a contact that could help. 

Conor, Fluidedge has a great drupal event coming up on the 22nd & 23rd of May in the GEC. Also David and Sarah from the Dublin Startup Commissioners office attended and shared some news on what is happening in the Dublin Startup scene. 

David talked about Crunchbase and the mapping of the Dublin startup eco system. Register your business now. And Sarah reminded us about four things that are good for startups to know 

1) Startup Digest 

2) Online SME tool 

3) Dublin Globe new startup publication

4) Startup Brekkie in the DDDA first Friday every month 

It was a busy hour with lots of actional tasks for everyone. We strive to keep it tight within the hour and 99% of the time we succeed. 

The next event is on the 3rd of June 2015. Can't believe we are nearly half way through 2015 already. 


Wizards Wanted at Startup Networking Session

Startup Networking Session in Dublin 

Great attendance and energy at February's 1st Wednesday Club in the GEC

There was 34 companies in all who attended. And all at different levels of the startup development process. Some at the pre startup stage like Kevin, Jimmy and Martin who shared their ideas about an alzheimers app, mindfulness events and a world class maritime centre in Cork. 
A lot were at startup stage ProFinder and Nestion. And others who are further along such as Huggity, Sentient Solutions and ComputeNext.
Wizards (angular js), app developers and marketing specialists were some of the requests of the day. Along with event organisers, food distributors and connections to large corporates in Ireland and beyond.
The below GEC social links help participants keep the conversation going in between meet ups. 


Twitter: @GECinD8


A special thank you to Sarah Scannell from Dublin City Council for attending and letting us know about the great work that is being done with the Dublin Start Up Commissioner's team
And lastly, huge thanks to Rafal for taking some great pictures of the day
The GEC 1st Wednesday Club is open to all GEC members, the startup community in Ireland and other businesses outside of the GEC. Next meet up is on Wednesday the 4th of March at 12.30pm.