By@SimonCocking interview with  Trev Keane MD of @Sportego_ , Organiser of / eSports via @Celtic_ESports – Talk Football, , Sports Marketing & co founder @profile90_

When is it on?

The event takes place on the 29th March 2017 in the lovely historic surrounding of Rothe House, Kilkenny.

How many years has it been going?

This is the second year of the event. Last year’s event was a huge success with the likes of George Harbourne of West Bromwich Albion, Jelmar Helmhout from Dutch team, SC Heerenveen and Geoff Wilson, Marketing Consultant for FIFA and many more all delivering excellent presentations.

What was the inspiration to start it?

I run Sportego, a fan data analytics company. I spend a lot of time in the UK and last year, after the birth of my third child, I thought it would be nice to spend some time in Kilkenny. I love what Cartoon Saloon have done in making Kilkenny an animation hub and I have long term aspirations to create a Sports Tech innovation hub in the South East. However rather than start big, I decided to test the water with a Sports Marketing conference built around fan engagement. We had a great first year, trending #1 on twitter with #feckk16 (apt in a way after all the tragic news events of the year) and more importantly educating and having fun with a full capacity audience.

What exciting things can people look forward to for the 2017 version?

The 2017 event promises to be very exciting. We have key note speakers Adrian Bevington, former Managing director of the English FA coming over. Adrian, a trialist with Middlesbrough as a teenager, has made the journey from player to the boardroom and will share his thoughts on the corporate viewpoint of Fan Engagement. UK Company Laduma, spearheaded by CEO and former BBC journalist, Ben Smith will discuss Virtual Reality. Oliver Boden, head of eSports at IMG and Jonny Madill from Sheridan’s Law in London will discuss the exciting world of gaming while solo rower and record maker Gavan Hennigan will take about raw content.  In addition, Sunderland head of digital, Stuart Vose, Belfast Giants Mark Brooks and Legia Warsaw’s head of marketing, Wiktor Cegla will talk fan experience and fan loyalty. There will also be an Irish flavour with Leinster Rugby, the IRFU and the GAA all sitting on panels.

What opportunities are on offer for people / startups / investors and companies attending?

I think there are some great opportunities. Firstly, the conference is a very relaxed affair, we include lunch and breakfast so there are great opportunities for networking and finding opportunities. There are some fantastic learnings to come away with too, Mario Leo, for example, from Result Sport has done work on digital strategy with the likes of Juventus and given how they have impressed on social, businesses can certainly take something away from his talk. The Connected Fan will talk chat bots and how they can help automate certain digital processes for a business. That should be very interesting.

What tips would you give to people attending to get the most out of it?

Connect with people, there are some influential and smart people both in the audience and on the panels. Make sure you say hello to them. If you are a start-up, make sure you know who you want to meet and set aside time to do just that.

How can people book tickets / when does it usually sell out?

People can book via the website or through eventbrite []. Tickets cost €99 but breakfast and lunch are included, in addition to top notch panellists. We are expecting 80 people to come to Kilkenny. Last year we had people from Holland, Hungary, Switzerland, Germany and the UK, not to mention Ireland. While it is a Sports Marketing event, the lessons learned transcend industry and would be useful in any marketing department.

Anything else you’d like to add / we should have asked?

This year we will be giving away a special award for the best fan engagement by an Irish Sporting body. 2016 was a huge year for Irish Sport and we want to reward those people behind the scenes that made the social interaction possible. It’s a public vote so visit to vote.

If you would like to have your company featured in the Irish Tech News Business Showcase, get in contact with us at [email protected] or on Twitter: @SimonCocking

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