The main keynote of a seminar titled “Power your Business into 2011” was Paddy Power, the communication director of Paddy Power Bookmaker organisation, and a direct heir of the Paddy name in the line of book makers. The keynote focused mainly on the Paddy’s experience in launching the business, and the way his expertise contributed to the development of the business.
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The keynote started with a short introduction covering his background, career, and busyness success. Despite the fact that the betting business started with Paddy’s great grandfather accounts for more than a century time span, the main emphasis delivered the keynote focuses on the efforts needed to power such business up. In that regard, there are no aspects such as inertia according to which the business will be successful by default. As communication director, and public figure in the company, Paddy focused on publicity as a mean of reducing marketing and advertising costs. Although such experience might not be generalised, it can be stated that the marketing issue covered upon are beneficial. Branding adds value and creates a distinctive look for the promoted product-service, and in that regard, Paddy’s focus was in proving that the created publicity is part of the brand, which essentially reduces marketing costs.
The points mentioned by Paddy conform to basic managerial and marketing principles, translating theoretical materials into practice, as explained through Paddy example. In that regard, the influence of social media is an example of some of the points mentioned in the keynote, where social media implies cases when spreading the word about a product or a service leads to “free publicity that reaches more people and with greater effect than thousands of dollars could buy in ad” (Callen, 2010). It should be added that in addition to the benefits outlined from steering one’s brand through publicity. The event itself was a live demonstration of using publicity as explained by Paddy, where as a part of the event, Paddy joined other people walking on broken glass to face their fears (Rabbitts, 2010). Thus, it was one of the powerful strategies Paddy talked about, developing/utilising memorable events to maximise publicity opportunities (Callen, 2010).
In general the keynote was beneficial in its closeness to showing and explaining theoretical information as it is, simple, yet powerful. The main powerful points of the keynote, in that regard, are derived from its motivational nature. The key point that can be applicable is that the utilisation of innovative and creative ideas can be the main driver for business development.
Delivering Ireland’s Next Class of Successful Entrepreneurs
The speech delivered as an apart of the series titled “Delivering Ireland’s Next Class of Successful Entrepreneurs” focused on the way practical skills can be combined with traditional education to produce successful businessmen. The seminar contained several speeches by different guests who hold managerial and executive positions in business and educational fields.
The theme of the presentation was successfully chosen as it touches on a critical aspect in educating entrepreneurs. Having theoretical knowledge, the graduates face the real world having learned little about the way such knowledge can be implemented. In that regard, the theme of the seminar targeted this exact topic offering insight through a diverse panel of experts. The focus was in empowering students with industry knowledge, taking such knowledge form the changing environment. The discussion touched on the subject of economic downturn as a manifestation of such changing environment, where such change can be viewed as an opportunity for both educators and graduates to adapt their roles. As a way of criticising the current situation in entrepreneurship education, it was stated that there is a gap between what students learn and business. The focus was on the third level sector and its role for preparing future entrepreneurs.
The significance of the discussion can be seen through the question that might be asked for any future graduate, which is in what way he/she would be able to relate the knowledge learned to real life situation. The focus on entrepreneurship can be explained by the “increasing consensus within the EU that small and medium sized enterprises are the key sector for generating employment opportunities and growth throughout Europe” (Cooney and Murray, 2008). Accordingly, the importance of education in developing entrepreneurship cannot be overstated, where education is required to foster entrepreneurial qualities in students (Cooney and Murray, 2008). With the availability of many programs targeting such issue, the discussion is beneficial in outlining the types of educational and enterprise programmes that will foster creativity to operate within the realities of the business world. The key points of the discussion might serve as guidelines in showing the aspects students should be looking for when choosing a program in entrepreneurship education. Finally, the series provided an opportunity to learn the aforementioned aspects firsthand, from experts in their respective fields.
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The Long Debate
The discussion titled “The Long Debate” was an inventorium event focusing on the development of the creative capacity if the economy in Ireland/. The unique format of the event contributed to the variety and diversity of the views and topics covered, where creative and smart economy can be seen merely as broad terms that governed the discussion in general, whereas it also touched on topics such as technology, innovation, etc.
Eighteen speakers presented their views and opinions in a short format, followed by discussions and contribution from the audience. One of the main topic s that brought the attention was the entrepreneurship and start-up as a way creativity can transform into economy. Additionally, Information Technology (IT) was also given a considerable attention along with topics directly and indirectly related to it, such as intellectual property rights, and internet start-ups.
The discussion was beneficial on two dimensions. On the one hand, the format of the inventorium provided a unique opportunity to gather knowledge while erasing the gap between attendants and the participants. On the other hand, the topics covered in the discussion are helpful in generating new ideas that can be used in the future. The importance of new and innovative ideas can be seen through its foundation of entrepreneurial new business formation. In that regard, the task force in Ireland places innovation as the basis for its vision on the future of Ireland, which is having “a significant number of large, world leading, innovation-intensive companies, each having a global footprint, many of which are Irish headquartered and owned” by 2020 (Task Force, 2010).
Thus, it can be stated that the main topics of the inventorium were all delivered within the vision and the framework of the task force connecting the ecp0nomy with innovation. On a personal level, the benefits of the discussion can be seen as a self-development initiative that helps building a foundation for choosing a direction to follow in the future.
Digital Boot camps
Considering the immersion of everything digital in our lives it can be stated that the importance of digital boot camps cannot be overestimated. The main role of digital boot camps is teaching the minimum digital skills on various aspects that will guarantee the necessary proficiency to perform specific basic functions. The social media marketing boot camp focused on educating the attendees to the marketing approaches using social media channels. With all boot camps being simply training courses in lab environment, and with the majority of people being acquainted with the social channels on the internet, the main focus of the boot camp was to expand the knowledge regarding such social channels, and the way they can be utilised on marketing.
The importance of such boot camp can be seen through the fact that many brands are building their marketing campaigns around social networks channels, such as Face Book (Kissmetrics, 2010). The amount of time spent by people online in social networks might approach that of televisions, and thus, those social channels are significant in marketing. With such social channels as Facebook being familiar, the boot camp focused on other essential components of web 2.0 and how they can be used, such as blogs, micro-blogging (Twitter), LinkedIn, and others.
Advertisement boot camps focused on using popular online advertisement tools. The theoretical basis for Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) was beneficial to understand the ranking system used by search engines to list the results of a search query. Accordingly, such theoretical knowledge was combined with training to use Google’s own tools, Adwords. The importance of understanding SEO, especially for entrepreneurs, can be seen through e-commerce, and using online webpages to promote an offline business. Understanding SEO and Google Adwords will basically help draw traffic to a website, where such strategy is generally considered at the stage of business plans (Davis and Iwanow, 2009). The skills taught at this specific boot camp were not directed toward specialising in internet advertisements, rather than teaching the basics and gaining the experience necessary to advance further in such direction.
The social aspects of internet and its constantly increasing number of users puts a great importance on the topics of digital boot camps. Despite the fact that the majority of users are familiar with the aspects explained, such acquaintance was from the position of users, whereas those boot camps explained the entrepreneurial side of social media, and the way it can be utilised. Social media is an additional tool that can be used in marketing and for the same purposes, albeit throughout different channels. The difference can be seen through the main characteristic of web 2.0, which is the involvement of the user/consumer (PARISE et al., 2008). Thus, understanding those tools will enable integrating the social media characteristic into marketing campaigns and bridging the gap between the company and the consumer.
Callen, B. 2010. Manager’s Guide to Marketing, Advertising, and Publicity, New York, Mcgraw Hill.
Cooney, T. M. & Murray, T. M. 2008. Entrepreneurship Education in the Third-Level Sector in Ireland. Web.
Davis, H. & Iwanow, D. 2009. Google Advertising Tools, Beijing ; Sebastopol, CA, O’Reilly Media.
Kissmetrics. 2010. Facebook Marketing: A Comprehensive Guide for Beginners. Web.
Parise, S., Guinan, P. J. & Weinberg, B. D. 2008. The Secrets of Marketing in a Web 2.0 World.
Rabbitts, N. 2010. Bookie Paddy Power Walks Across Broken Glass at Limerick Business Seminar. Web.
Task Force. 2010. Innovation Ireland. Web.
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