Dundalk Institute of Technology’s (DkIT) event management third-year students recently hosted an inspiring and motivating business and marketing symposium.

Emma McCabe and Aisling Byrne from the equine industry spoke on a panel, along with Kelly Petit to inspire and motivate over 150 students who attended the talk.

The students decided to host the event during Women’s History Month, which aims to empower young women around the nation with courage, self-esteem and willpower.

As the event was held on International Women’s Day, the students decided to go with the theme 'Women in business'.

Student-driven event

This event was organised by the third-year students as part of their final project under the guidance of their lecturer Karen Cummins.

The panel discussion consisted of three women working in the events and marketing space.

This included managing director of Epic Management Emma McCabe, well-known show jumper and managing director of Journey Through Ireland Aisling Byrne and managing director of Empire Productions Kelly Petit.

The women discussed topics such as business set-up, growth and development, adversities in business, staffing, digital marketing, social media presence and its importance, event management, marketing your business and brand.

Gap in the industry

One of the event organisers Eoin Murphy is a show groom and used his connections in the equine industry to secure the three guest speakers.

Having split his time between Ireland and Europe for the last couple of years, he is currently completing the event management course at DkIT.

“I’ve been involved with horses my whole life and I have competed on the national circuit in Ireland at an amateur level before I started to focus solely on show grooming,” he said.

Pictured: L-R - Dr. Kevin Burns , Lorraine Dunne , Maria Roddy Freyne, Karen Commins, Dr. Patricia Moriarty , Kelly Petit , Aisling Byrne , Emma McCabe , Meghan Flynn, Elizabeth Meegan , Eoin Murphy and Dr. Diarmuid O'Callaghan .

After graduating in equine studies from the College of Agriculture Food & Rural Enterprise (CAFRE), Eoin decided to go on and study event management, as there was a strong focus on marketing, an area he really enjoys.

Eoin highlights the current gap in the equine industry.

“I really feel there’s a gap in the industry for better international shows in Ireland and I hope to be able to bring some of the experience I’ve gotten from grooming at shows in Europe back to Ireland as a show organiser.

“We were delighted with the response to the event. The three speakers were very inspiring and we really hope students gained a lot from the conference,” said Eoin after the event.

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