Meanwhile, at our convention…

I’m writing from the back of the room here at the Irish Pubs Global first annual convention of Irish Pub Owners and managers around the world. It’s been a great success so far – and it’s not over yet!

We had a packed day of great, useful content yesterday, Dave Magrogran of Rhino Living started the day with a most inspiring keynote speech and his exhortation to “Charge!” certainly set the tone for the day. We had talks from reps of Bord Bia (the Irish Food Board), Tourism Ireland, the Guinness Storehouse, and more… And today we had Mel McNally talking about his vision of the Irish pub. As I write our co-blogger Barry Chandler is talking about great ways that pubs can use social media to maximise their business. Patrick McDermott of Stocktaking.ie is up next, followed by PR expert Eugene Grey, and then there’ll be a great panel discussions on the future of the Irish Pub. To conclude, we’ll be discussing the direction for Irish Pubs Global.

We’ll be popping up nuggets of knowledge from the event in the coming days…

Last night’s gala ball was a treat – we awarded the Tayto/IPG Lifetime Achievement Award to one of the leading pioneers of the global Irish pub industry: Mel McNally of the Irish Pub Company. Mel’s pub designs have been hugely influential in shaping the great image of Irish pubs around the world.

On the eve of Arthur’s Day, Rory Guinness let us all know how much his famous ancestor would have appreciated the night. There was great music and dancing, a visit from the uber-popular Mr Tayto, the requisite bit of late-night singing, and I’m told the last few stragglers from the resident’s bar just barely hit the pillow before getting up again for breakfast…

And John Concannon of Fáilte Ireland gave us a sneak preview of 2012, when Ireland will be welcoming the diaspora home with the biggest global “Fáilte!” imaginable. Of course, Irish pubs will be playing a leading role…

If you didn’t make it this year, you’ll want to make the next one for sure. And if you were one of our inaugural group of some of the best pub owners from around the world, thanks for helping making it such a great event!

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