Amplify Digital Conference

City Hall, Cork on Thursday, May 24th 2018
Wolfgang Digital – Stephen Ryan – Paddy Power – Irish Times – Google – GDPR – Cian Corbett – Bord Gais – Greg Fry

What I expected.

I was looking forward to attending this conference, it had been some time since I was at this type of event and wondered what new technologies and trends I might learn about.
I have always loved attending conferences because they provide opportunities to network, discuss marketing with likeminded people, as well as build my business profile.
A number of my fellow students would also be in attendance which furthered my interest as I hoped we would attend different workshops and talks and that we could discuss these later, to give us all a fuller understanding of the conference as a whole.
I hoped it would be fully packed with events and that I would have the opportunity to explore different sessions and meet lots of people.

What might be the challenges?

I was a little concerned that there would be a very large crowd in attendance and that getting a good position to listen to the presentations might be difficult. I was also worried that the time would fly and that I wouldn’t be able to get to hear all the talks that I wanted to.

The day of the conference.

I set off early to be in Cork for the start of the event. This was my first time in City Hall and it is a fitting building for the city council to do their business in. The hall itself was about half filled with seating and the number of seats filled was about half of that, so no need for my concerns about the crowd.


Though I was quite reserved in my networking approach, I used every opportunity to network. I chatted to people I sat with during sessions or met at lunch. It was a relaxed atmosphere, and I found it is easier to start conversations and get to know people. Interestingly too, I was able to meet with people I had connected with before the conference on social media platforms, putting a face to the avatar, you might say. All in all, it was a good networking opportunity.

What did I particularly value and why?

I really enjoyed the presentation by Josh Powell, Head of International Brand Engagement at Paddy Power Betfair. “10,000 brand messages a day, switching screens

up to 21 times an hour, an attention span of just eight seconds. With so much noise on digital media and social – how do Paddy Power cut through the smoke?”

Well, it would seem that they do it by being right on the cutting edge, with campaigns aimed to stoke public opinion and provoke their audience generating massive PR for the business.
Campaigns such as ‘C’mon England’ for the Brazil 2014 World Cup and ‘Always bet on black’ for the McGregor vs Mayweather fight in August 2017 were controversial to say the least but by been so Paddy Powers who were not main sponsors, in either event, stole all the headline and managed to emerge stronger after each event by been super organised and precise with their posts and their responses to the wave of criticism that they were well prepared for. Classic ambush marketing at its best.

Also, the talk by Gary Quinn of the Irish Times hit home about the power of good storytelling and high production values on video content, this resonated with me as I am also trying to tell stories through the medium of video as part of my role in the credit union all be it on a much smaller budget!

What have I learnt?

I think the conference confirmed that marketing tools are rapidly evolving and social media platforms are changing but the key marketing principles remain the same. A good plan and excellent content will always win out. Understanding your market is the key and developing a conversation with your target by whatever channels are relevant will, in the end, produce the pathway to sales.

As such I would love to incorporate some of the strategies we heard about in my current role. Paddy Powers is a little too risky for a Credit Union but I thought some of the Irish Times strategies could be applied such as telling real stories about real people, like ‘Missing Home? This Tipperary pub….” and with this in mind, I recently finished a video for the credit union featuring two young rowers and college students telling us about their experience starting college and living away from home for the first time.

The McCarthy Twins video