Category: Archive

IBO to showcase Irish businesses

February 17, 2011

By Staff Reporter

The trade show is intended to give Irish and Irish-American businesses of all types a chance to showcase their services and wares. It will take place in a new hotel, the Affinia, on Seventh Avenue adjacent to Madison Square Garden, from 4 to 9 p.m. The event will be held in the Grand Ballroom of the hotel. It is open to the general public and organizers expect that most attendees will be Irish or Irish-American.
According to Jim McGuire, chairman of the trade show committee of the Irish Business Organization (IBO), “we haven’t done one of these shows in a number of years and we felt that now was a good time to get the thing launched again.”
McGuire believes that the organization — and Irish businesses in general — are now beginning to grow again after having ridden out the worst of the downturn. Although McGuire acknowledged that membership of the IBO had fallen to about 150 from a peak of around 500 in the boom years, he remained confident that the trade show would be a success. He noted that the group had a database or around 1000 businesses, and so it could draw on a relatively deep reservoir of support.
He also underlined the fact that the show was designed to be a service to IBO members, who must pay a fee of only $250 to participate. That figure is relatively modest by comparison with those demanded at events at bigger venues in the city:
“This is something that is of real benefit to our members,” McGuire said. “If a business is thinking about taking part in a trade exhibition in somewhere like the Javits Center, you’re probably talking about an investment of several thousand dollars. What we’re doing is bringing it down a notch or two, so that for just $250 people are able to promote their products or services very effectively.”
McGuire also added that the location of the trade show, very close to Penn Station, would make it easier for people based in New Jersey and Long Island to attend. As an added attraction, singer Andy Cooney will be entertaining the attendees from 8 p.m. until 9:30 p.m. Garments from Irish fashion designers will also be modeled at the event as part of the organizers’ broader theme that “it’s fashionable to be Irish”.
McGuire said that he hoped the show would provide an opportunity for anyone with an interest in Irish business “to shop for products and service and also to network with others in the Irish community.”
He added: “I would hope that everyone who exhibits will see tangible benefits to their business, and I would hope that every attendee would also see it as a rewarding and interesting experience.”
The IBO, if traced back through its various incarnations, is more than thirty years old. It has its roots in the Irish Insurance and Reinsurance Society, which was founded in 1973. The organization was renamed the Irish Insurance Society of New York in 1977.
The initial emphasis on insurance came to be replaced by a broader focus, however. The body eventually took its current name, and was incorporated as the Irish Business Organization of New York, a non-profit group, in 1990. It now hosts a monthly meeting and a variety of other events intended to facilitate networking opportunities for its members.

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