Web event to give Ireland that Hollywood feeling

22 Feb 2008

Billed as Ireland’s first ever web festival with four days of events and talks, the inaugural Irish Web Technology Conference (IWTC) is gunning for Ireland’s position as the web version of Hollywood, by gathering together all the creative types, coders and business people from the country’s tech industry.

Fergal Breen from IrishDev, organisers of the event, said the ITWC should be looked at as a creative festival rather than a traditional conference: “Designers and movie makers can come to the event looking for developers to bring their idea into reality, or maybe seek partners to discuss funding.”

Most events outside Silicon Valley try to replicate the look and feel of its tech events says Breen but the ITWC’s festival feel is relatively unique in its approach.

While Ireland stands out from the rest of Europe with the presence of large tech firms like Apple, Google, Yahoo!, Intel and Microsoft, we don’t yet have the Silicon Valley environment: “This event won’t be tipping point but it will be the start,” adds Breen.

He explains that although there are countries with lower operating costs and we don’t have the labour resources of places like India, being a small nation is not an issue because Ireland has a vibrant tech community.

“With different events like OpenCoffee and TechLudd, where entrepreneurs, developers and investors have a chance to meet and chat informally, we are often seeing a greater turnout in Dublin than London,” he said.

Running in conjunction with the ITWC is one of these informal events: Girl Geek Dinner Ireland, where women in the Irish tech industry will be gathering together to chat about the industry over food and drinks.

With Tony Killeen TD, Minister of State at the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources and the Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government, attending the event, it is hoped that it will help the web community in Ireland receive more Government attention.

The conference is also going to be covering hot topics and growing issues that surround the web as it become part of our everyday lives. Businesses can learn how to benefit from blogging but also how to navigate the legal web waters of defamation and data protection.

The ITWC kicks off on Tuesday 26 February at 7pm in Dublin’s Cineworld Complex on Parnell Street and will feature over 50 lectures as well as evening events like Girl Geek Dinners.

Tickets are available online through iwtc.firstport.ie, priced at €189.

By Marie Boran