Northern Ireland Dealmakers Awards 29/3/12

31 Mar

I did the full hosting job for the Northern Ireland Dealmakers Awards at the Europa Hotel in Belfast. Just as I did for Lancashire, but there I’m on home turf. In Northern Ireland I don’t really know the people as well, so I play it friendly and safe but make sure the detail about local places and companies is accurate. The format also includes a charity appeal, which comes between courses so I don’t have to shift emotional gears during one whole stage appearance. There’s also a comedian, which rather reduces my burden of having to amuse the audience. The Belfast crowd are a lovely group though; generous, warm, welcoming and appreciative. There also isn’t that ingrained cynicism you can get from some business audiences. Comedian Ian Moore was very good – observational and dry without that mean spirited edge many modern comics suffer from.

There aren’t big speeches, but there is a chance to invite the big winner to respond to questions in a quick interview – Ian Coulter of Tughans, the Dealmaker of the Year was excellent, but my pre-event research suggested to me he would do. He gave a few rousing comments about how the hard work may be about to pay off for many in the room.

The fact that the event even takes place is a really positive move for the business community in Northern Ireland. It even made it to the 10.30 news on Ulster TV that night where I did a quick interview, link is here.

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