It’s almost time for Inspirefest. Image: Jne Valokuvaus/Shutterstock

12 ways to make the most of your Inspirefest experience

3 Jul 2017

With just days to go to Inspirefest 2017, here’s your essential guide to the three-day festival of science and technology.

For three days this week, Inspirefest will take over Dublin. The unique and boutique festival of science and technology includes a two-day conference in Bord Gáis Energy Theatre, evening Fringe events in surrounding iconic office spaces, and a Family Fringe day of free workshops and sessions to inspire and delight sci-tech fans of all ages. Phew!

At this point, attendees will be gearing up for jam-packed days of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM), with a dose of the arts (STEAM) for good measure. To make sure you’re well prepared, check out the tips below.

Download the app

The official app – for Inspirefest attendees only – is available to download now for iOS and Android users. Speakers, attendees and volunteers at the event are already signed up and sharing their excitement as the event nears. Use it for networking, planning your days and keeping tabs on any last-minute updates from the team.

Beat the queues: Pre-register

If you’re in the area, pre-registration will be available at the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre on Wednesday 5 July from 4pm to 6pm. Early registration will help attendees to beat the queues on Thursday morning. To register, you will need your Inspirefest ticket either stored on your smart device or printed and in-hand.

Start early

Inspirefest Fringe events are starting early this year with Accenture’s The Dock hosting a special evening event on Wednesday, 5 July. Focused on ‘Building Your Personal Brand’, this event will welcome Inspirefest speaker Kelly Hoey who, along with a panel of experts, will provide tangible insights and hacks on building a kick-ass personal brand. Register here if you’re coming along.

Check the schedule

It’s an obvious tip but the last thing you want is to miss your most longed-for speaker over the course of a bustling few days. Check the schedule and keep track of any changes via the Inspirefest app. There are no competing stages at the event, and there are regular breaks throughout the day so you can pick the ideal time to join a session.

If you’re having trouble deciding which speakers and sessions make your unmissable list, check out John Kennedy’s tips for start-ups at the event and Jenny Darmody’s advice on how Inspirefest can help grow your career.

Share your experience

All through the event, the Inspirefest team can be contacted on Twitter at @InspirefestHQ and you can join the conversation with the hashtag #inspirefest on Twitter and Instagram. There is no live stream from the event but you can expect all sessions to be published on Siliconrepublic.com in due course.

Be inclusive

Inspirefest 2017 is a sci-tech festival with diversity and inclusion at its heart. In order to ensure a harassment-free conference experience for everyone – regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race or religion – participants found in violation of the event’s code of conduct may be sanctioned or expelled from the conference at the discretion of the organisers.

A member of the senior event team will be happy to help participants contact security, provide escorts, or otherwise assist those experiencing harassment to feel safe for the duration of the conference.

Do your research

If you’re an entrepreneur excited by the prospect of getting the chance to meet with some of the many investors, both on stage and attending Inspirefest, make the most of this opportunity by getting to know how to approach them. Look up their interviews and online profiles, and check out their own advice on how to gain their attention and interest. One of the biggest mistakes made by eager entrepreneurs is messing up that vital first impression with investors. Don’t be naive – come prepared.

Feed your sci-tech appetite

This year, event supporters Sodexo are back with their beloved boxed lunches for Inspirefest attendees. As well as food for your bellies, the lunchtime session comes with food for thought, with a second stage opening up to host Researchfest and the Astia Entrepreneur Showcase and Investor Masterclass on Thursday and Friday, respectively.

Plan your evening entertainment

Exclusively for Inspirefest ticket-holders, Fringe events will bring an end to the conference days with fun, nibbles, music and banter inside two of Silicon Docks’ most intriguing office spaces.

On Thursday at Facebook HQ, STEAM poet Kate Dempsey, Limerick musician Emma Langford and a DJ will provide the entertainment while on Friday, there will be wakeboarding (limited to 15 places), stand-up comedy and a unique musical performance from Udagan.

For various reasons, from security to capacity, attendees must register their intention to attend these Fringe events on Thursday and Friday evening (check your email for details), and a waiting list will be available for those late to get their name down. Attendees are asked to register only if certain of their attendance and update accordingly if their circumstances happen to change.

Book your spot at the Family Fringe

On Saturday, 8 July, The Dock will play host to the free Family Fringe event with exciting workshops giving young makers the chance to build and create just about anything – from board games to soft robotics – as well as enjoy a performance of Dr Niamh Shaw’s My Place In Space.

Those interested in taking part can reserve their place here, but be advised that there is expected to be high attendance, and attendees are asked to book their sessions for either the morning (11am to 1pm) or afternoon (1pm to 3pm).

Bring your kid for free

The core Inspirefest conference on July 6 and 7 is an all-ages event (with some very occasional swearing, mind, so parental discretion is advised if you’re bringing pre-teens) and there have been speakers and attendees as young as 10 years old on stage. If you want to bring a STEM-mad kid along, get yourself a Guardian & Child ticket, and your under-18 companion goes free.

Make sure you have the right ticket for your needs

As mentioned above, you must have a Guardian & Child ticket to ensure free entry for accompanied under-18s to the event, but there are other great rates and tickets to avail of.

All early promotional deals have now ended but a group discount of 10pc remains until the end of ticket sales, while start-ups, academics, teachers and non-profits can all avail of a special discounted rate. Student, unemployed and senior tickets are at the absolute bargain price of just €95.

Inspirefest is Silicon Republic’s international event connecting sci-tech professionals passionate about the future of STEM. Book now to join us from 6 to 8 July in Dublin.

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Elaine Burke
By Elaine Burke

Elaine Burke was editor of Silicon Republic until 2023, and is now the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. Elaine joined Silicon Republic in 2011 as a journalist covering gadgets, new media and tech jobs. She later served as managing editor before stepping up as editor in 2019. She comes from a background in publishing and is known for being particularly pernickety when it comes to spelling and grammar – earning her the nickname, Critical Red Pen.

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