Finance Minister Simon Hamilton MLA, has officially opened Northern Ireland’s first ever Smart Business Show, an innovative new concept providing opportunities for local businesses to network with like-minded individuals and organisations, accessing new opportunities and absorbing information on every aspect of business.

The unique Smart Business Show at Belfast’s Odyssey Arena was endorsed by big hitting global names such as IBM, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Sage and Fujitsu and actively supported by almost all of Northern Ireland’s major business organisations.  Invest Northern Ireland gave the concept its backing, as did major local names including BT, ardmore advertising, WiFi Spark, Innov8, University of Ulster, Danske Bank and Cloud Consulting/Salesforce, all eager to help local firms of every scale to find new ways to do more business, more profitably.   More than 130 leading UK and Irish companies showcased business opportunities and solutions, while fifty five sector-leading speakers brought insight and inspiration to two concentrated days of commercial focus.

Launching the event, the Finance Minister Simon Hamilton said: “In today’s highly competitive world, business success depends increasingly on the ability to innovate and be creative.

“We have the talent, infrastructure and entrepreneurial capability in this country to be a world player in areas such as ICT, digital media and research.

“In the public sector we have invested and will continue to invest in the best in class technology and develop an infrastructure that can host and transmit public sector data securely and reduce overheads to allow even more resources to be devoted to frontline services.  We are also increasingly demonstrating that we can work together with the private and third sectors to improve citizen services.”

Smart Business Show Sales & IT Director, Brian Corry, said, “We set out to deliver a new concept which would help re-energise Northern Ireland’s businesses community as it prepares for growth after some tough trading times, igniting new connections and making important global contacts for ‘NI plc’.  The response has been fantastic and we believe we have laid down a template for an event which will grow exponentially in the future.”

Keynote speakers at the event included Kieran McDonnell, Microsoft; Per Thorsheim, good Practice AS; Olivia Leonard, Facebook; Stephen Moffatt, IBM; Shane Logan, Ulster Rugby; David Montgomery, Local World; Timothy Brundle, University  of Ulster; Paul Adams, Intercom; Terry Prone, Communications Clinic and the original rogue trader, Nick Leeson.
For further show details visit

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