SFA Annual Conference 2018 | May 24 | O'Brien Centre for Science, UCD

Date: 24th May 2018
Time: 08:30 - 14:00
Duration: half day
Venue: O'Brien Centre for Science
Address: University College Dublin
Dublin 4
Event details

SFA Annual Conference 2018

The SFA Annual Conference is our flagship event and helps small business owners and managers to keep up to date with the latest trends in HR, management and innovation provides an opportunity to come together to make connections and learn from each other’s experiences.

The Conference is a half-day event on 24 May in the UCD Science Centre, moderated by TV3’s Colette Fitzpatrick.  It will bring together 300 entrepreneurs, owner-managers, policy makers and media gather together to explore how to create competitive advantage in the current economic and business environment. A mix of keynote addresses and panel discussions will focus on how small businesses can stay competitive, gain access to and retain talent and deal with new regulatory challenges such as GDPR.

On the eve of the entry into force of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), delegates will hear from Ireland’s Assistant Data Protection Commissioner, John Keyes. Experts will assess the possibilities and pitfalls and identify the areas where ongoing vigilance will be crucial.

Ireland will be put under the spotlight as we discuss how to transform the business environment for the benefit of all small businesses. Competitiveness will be at the heart of this session, with a speech from Peter Clinch, Chair of the National Competitiveness Council. We will also hear directly from businesses about the challenges they have overcome.

Technology and social media have already transformed how we work, communicate and do business. Digital futurist Colin Chapman will give us a glimpse into the future of tech and our stellar line-up of speakers will debate the future of work and how digital is changing our relationships with our customers.

Speaking about digital transformation Sven Spollen-Behrens, SFA director has said ‘When it comes to ‘Digital’ most small businesses find it difficult to see the wood for the trees because they are buried under the noise and clutter of the "you should be doing this" crowd. This session will provide a clear understanding of what digital is, it will give a clear entry point and progression route as well as finish point for small business digital strategies.’

Colin Chapman, Digital Transformation Consultant will be addressing the room in relation to the 4 pillars of digital transformation

  1. Engage customers
  2. Empower employees
  3. Optimising operations - focus on using data and insights and how to make operations more insight led to make a difference
  4. Transform products and services - how products and services are changing to meet customer needs in this digital age

Aidan Healy, Unplug a co-founder and he designs and develops their programmes. The mission at Unplug is ‘that people should take control of their technology instead of their technology controlling them. As a result, they are able to have better attention management, increased productivity and higher quality downtime.’

He will be showing that digital transformation is not just an IT exercise, it is also a people journey. By empowering individuals and developing a positive digital culture, organisations can gain a competitive advantage. He will be using case studies to show how

  1. Owner-manager themselves can run a successful business without being always connected
  2. Owner-managers can bring the teachings back into their workplaces and change their organisational culture.


  • SFA members: FREE
  • Non-members: €175 + VAT*
    *The cost of your ticket is redeemable off SFA membership for 2018

For all queries on the event, please call the event organiser:
Natalie Moran, Tel: +353 1 605 1594

Per delegate: ** Free **
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Non Member
Per delegate: €175.00
(plus VAT)
Non Member
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