What's sidestage about?

Learn about the event industry from some great people working in it & running great events

#SideStage15 is an event for Event Management students and people looking to get into the event industry now or in the near future. The first one took place in Draiocht in Blanchardstown, Dublin on 26th November 2015.

We had contributors who work on festivals, concerts, international sporting events, charity events, international conferences, weddings, incentive travel, corporate events, launches, fashion shows and much more.

Our contributors are event management company owners, lecturers, freelancers, students, recent graduates, social media professionals, experiential agency owners, in-house event staff, account managers, venue managers, production & operational crew and more.

You will not find a better collection of event professionals from whose experience you can benefit and from whom you can learn.

#SideStage15 was FREE to attend too.

It went really well so we'll likely be back again in some sort of guise with it or something designed to fill a similar need, at least. . .

No tickets on sale currently. Need to talk to us? Get in touch.

Our contributors in 2015

Speakers, panellists, advisors, content-creators etc.
Darragh Doyle
Darragh Doyle
Social Media Strategist
Online audience development, social media strategy and now Periscoper for Irish Events, Festivals, Film, TV, Theatre, Tourism and more. Has volunteered and worked on most major Dublin events and some huge Irish and International ones too. Mostly found pointing my phone at something interesting.
Shea Mc Nelis
Shea Mc Nelis
Co-Founder & Director, 1Events
Shea is the Co-Founder and Director of the Dublin-based event management company 1Events, with over 20 years experience in event management and production. He has deep industry knowledge and long-standing contacts in the industry.
Íse Murphy
Íse Murphy
City Transport Manager – Leeds & Newcastle at Rugby world Cup, England 2015
My background is in planning major sporting events, having worked in the organising committee for the the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. I am currently working for the Rugby World Cup 2015.
Karen Devine
Karen Devine
Project Director, WhiteLight Consulting
Karen holds an M.A. in Political & Public Communications & a B.Sc. in Management. An expert in planning projects & events from SMEs to Multi-National brands, Karen has managed high security summits, corporate launches, educational events, conferences and business events for over 20 years.
Ruth McDonagh
Ruth McDonagh
Business Development & Operations Manager, Alive Outside
Ruth is an integral part of the management team that bring you Hell and Back, Ireland’s Toughest Physical & Mental Endurance Challenge. An active hockey and tag rugby player, a lover of all sport, the 2013 Irish Bog Snorkelling Champion and a Twitter addict!
Declan Byrne
Declan Byrne
Managing Director, Titan – Sport / Live / Experience
Creating and delivering great sporting experiences that deliver value for our clients is my passion. With a strong focus on both marketing and operations, I have executed events like the Samsung Night Run, the Rock n Roll Half Marathon.
Niamh Kellett
Niamh Kellett
Co-Founder Mixtape Marketing
With over 9 years industry experience behind her, Niamh, and her two business partners, set up Mixtape Marketing in 2012. Since then they have gone on to win 3 domestic and 1 global award for their innovative campaigns.
Mags Connelly
Mags Connelly
Division Head, Cuckoo Events
I’ve worked in events for approx 14 years, starting off as a volunteer. I specialise in event safety and construction which means I like spending time on sites supervising stuff!
Ciamh McCrory
Ciamh McCrory
Head of Digital Communications @ Insight Consultants
Recognised as one of the most successful digital influences in Ireland and was listed as one of the “Top 50 Irish People to Watch in 2015” by Lovin Trends. Ciamh excels in Social Media marketing for events and festivals.
Martina Quinn
Martina Quinn
Founder / Director, Alice PR & Events
Over the course of her career, Martina has promoted and managed hundreds of press launches, exhibitions, film screenings, festivals and community events. Martina has specific expertise in developing creative media and online campaigns to maximise the impact of clients’ events.
Nikki Baume
Nikki Baume
Account Manager, Davis Events
Nikki has a BSc in Marketing from DIT and a Postgraduate Diploma in Event Management and PR. In 2012, Nikki joined Davis Events and has since delivered events for global brands including Google, Three, Revlon, Car Trawler and many more!
Keith Quinlan
Keith Quinlan
Events & Promotions Manager, UL Students’ Union
Keith has 11 years of experience in events. He has been based in the University of Limerick since August 2011 running their student events, and works freelance on events up and down the country with a variety of companies including Cuckoo Events.
Jonny Davis
Jonny Davis
Managing Director, Imagine Marketing
Jonny founded Imagine in 2005, creating an agency that specialises in experiential marketing, sales promotion and activation. Over the last 10 years Imagine has grown into a multi award-winning agency that counts the largest Irish and international brands and agencies among its client base.
John May
John May
Manager, Venue Transportation, Toronto 2015 Panam / Parapan American Games
I am a freelance events manager working as a Venue Transportation Manager for the Toronto 2015 Pan & Parapan American Games. My events career began with volunteering on Irish music festivals and I have since become involved with international sporting events.
Laura Phelan
Laura Phelan
Project Manager
Event Manager with over 10 years experience in Public Licensed Events, Private events, Corporate events, Conferencing and everything in between! Also look after public tenders, marketing, event pitches, and event staff training etc for national and international events.
Marian Kelleher
Marian Kelleher
Event Manager
I’m an event management nut and I’ve been involved with Cuckoo since before the birdie had a name. I’ve had a love affair with events for eight years now, although Mum would argue it’s since my 5th birthday. Come say hello, I’m partial to a chat!
Padraig O’Duinnin
Padraig O’Duinnin
Director, Lumiere Events Ltd.
Pádraig is a Director of Lumiere Events, event and production management specialists in NI – Clients include MTV, Titanic Belfast, BBC, Tate. He was Events Manager for the first UK City of Culture in 2013. For 7 years was responsible for delivery of the largest arts festival in Ireland.
Gretel Downey
Gretel Downey
Event Management student
I am in my final year of studying Event Management in DIT but a hell of a lot more than just a student. I juggle jobs at the 3Arena, a local café, DIT Students’ Union and with events company H&G Creations. I also volunteer at events regularly and am part of the Ents, Welfare and Promo Crews in DIT.
Con O’Donoghue
Con O’Donoghue
Managing Director, WhiteLight Consulting
Con is a highly skilled facilitator, coach and trainer with a lifetime of experience in event management. With qualifications in Neuro-Linguistic Programming and Logosynthesis and Belbin Team roles, Con is a specialist in team management to ensure smooth communications and effective working methods.
Martin Cullen
Martin Cullen
Co-Founder & Senior Partner, Cuckoo Events
With over 25 years experience in live events in Ireland, there’s very little Martin hasn’t seen. Specialising in Event Safety and Production, Martin has developed his skills big time since setting up Cuckoo Events in 2012.
Rebecca Walker
Rebecca Walker
Business Development, Crown London
As someone who came into the events industry as a graduate with little work experience, I have seen first-hand how this wonderful industry takes the young and ambitious and makes event professionals out of them. I am therefore honoured to be a contributor to SideStage.
Siobhan Kelly
Siobhan Kelly
Stage Manager / Production Assistant
Hi, I’m Siobhan, 29 from Limerick. I have been involved in Events & Entertainment for over 10 years. I am Stage Manager for Westfest Music Festival in Newcastle West, i freelance with MPI Bands working with Mary Black & The High Kings and I also do production work for Aiken Promotions.
Barry County
Barry County
CEO, Guardian Group
Barry is CEO at Guardian Group. He enjoys building great teams & companies that make a positive difference. Barry has 10 years experience in the event industry as a medical coordinator & freelance event manager & hopes some of the lessons he has learned can help you as you enter the world of events.
Hollie Fitzell
Hollie Fitzell
Event Management Student
Hi, My name is Hollie. I am 20 years old and entering my 3rd year studying Event Management in DIT. I am currently the DIT Event Society chairperson for my second year. I have thoroughly enjoyed gaining experience in the industry, through volunteering, interning and working over the past 2 years.
Patrick Guiney
Patrick Guiney
Co- Founder, Student Slingshot
Patrick is Co-Founder of Student Slingshot and holds MSc in Digital Marketing at UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School.
Neil Kennedy
Neil Kennedy
Event Co-ordinator, Fingal Tourism
I am currently Event Coordinator for Fingal Tourism and Fingal County Council Events Unit. I also sit on the Board of Directors of MEM Ltd. and am Operations director of Dublin Marathon and Race Series.
Joe Clarke
Joe Clarke
Managing Partner at CWB
CWB represents artists like The Strypes, Le Galaxie, Sminky Shorts, Jerry Fish and Andy Lee. We conceive and deliver strategies, concepts and productions across the sporting, cultural and musical spheres for clients like HMV, Facebook and Universal Music.
Elaine Fitzsimon
Elaine Fitzsimon
Event Manager, Cuckoo Events
I am an Event Manager, Project Manager and Design Technician. I have been working in the Event and Construction industries for over ten years. I’m a tad OCD on planning, detail and tend to drive myself a bit nutt(ier). I do a bit of AutoCad, some Graphics and love to make things very pretty!!
Niamh NicGhabhann
Niamh NicGhabhann
Course Director, MA Festive Arts, Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, University of Limerick
I’m a lecturer at the University of Limerick, where I direct the MA Festive Arts programme. I’m interested in placemaking, events, festivals and communities, and also programming and curating exciting and unique events. My research includes cultural entrepreneurship and sustainable creative careers.
Lynn Daly
Lynn Daly
Events Liaison, Dublin City Council
The Events Team advises and guides event management companies on event requirements, including event management plans, locations etc. We coordinate the use of public space & liaise with statutory partners to ensure a safe and good quality event process the city can enjoy.
Dan O’Brien
Dan O’Brien
Project Manager at Real Nation
Although only 24, Dan has already led an exciting career in the events industry. From being responsible for 20,000 event attendees weekly to producing and selling out shows featuring some of the biggest names in dance music, Dan provides a unique insight on the ever-evolving student events industry
Eoin Kernan
Eoin Kernan
Founder / Producer, Slick
I’m the founder of Slick, a production company creating high quality digital media content. I love moving pictures. It’s not always what you see that matters, but how you see it. I also work as an event manager, having developed production skills in the Arts, Marketing and Hospitality industries.
Mark Breen
Mark Breen
Co-Founder & Senior Partner, Cuckoo Events
Mark has worked as Event Controller or Safety Officer for a wide range of large-scale events here in Ireland as well as working in a Safety Management role at the London 2012 Olympics. He also drives the award-winning Social Media & Content Strategy at Cuckoo Events.
Etain Kidney
Etain Kidney
Lecturer in Digital Marketing
Etain lectures in digital marketing in DIT, and has a PhD in entrepreneurship. She is especially interested in the adoption of digital technology from the classroom to the workplace. Mad into hockey.
Lisa Kenny
Lisa Kenny
Event Manager
I’m Lisa. I am 27 and am all about that event life, social media and blogging. I also go by Kasey Daye, an online/blogging alias which used to be a music stage name way back when! I’m entering my final year in the DIT event management degree course and have been with Cuckoo Events since early 2015.
Cecilia Law
Cecilia Law
Marketing Manager, Crown London
Passionate about all things marketing and driven by ideas, curiosity and opportunity, I thrive on creative challenges and am always on the lookout for ways to collaborate and develop relationships with clients, peers and like-minded people.
Stuart Garland
Stuart Garland
Training & Programme Manager, Volunteer Ireland
In 2013 Stuart set up Event Volunteers, a programme where volunteers get the opportunity to be part of some of the best events and festivals around. He has worked on the volunteer programme at a large number of events in Ireland, Northern Ireland and England over the last number of years.
Feargus Dunne
Feargus Dunne
Lecturer in Tourism & Events Management, IT Tralee
As a lecturer in event management at IT Tralee, I teach a variety of event management modules to undergraduate students. I also supervise post graduate event management research and work with various festival & event organisers to help them understand new trends and improve their offering.
Caitlin Kobrak
Caitlin Kobrak
Award Winning Events Blogger
I’m an events blogger, 2014 events management graduate & freelance events professional working at George P Johnson. I’m extremely passionate about helping Event Students progress and succeed within this exciting industry!!
Nicola Coffey
Nicola Coffey
Stadium Manager, Tallaght Stadium
Hi my name is Nicola. I’m a 33 year old accidental event professional. Originally a sports management graduate I’m employed by South Dublin County Council to manage Tallaght Stadium.
Paul Barnes
Paul Barnes
Events & Emergency Management Unit, Fingal County Council
As Fingal County Council’s Events Manager I enjoy the challenge of organising events and seeing them come together. I am also Event Director of the Dublin Marathon and Race Series.
Mark Jacobs
Mark Jacobs
Agency Director, Outset Agency
Having recently established Outset Agency, Mark did so on the premise that positive human experiences are the best advertisers. When you create a successful experience, people leave happy and hopefully that feeling will resonate on from there.
Martyn Rosney
Martyn Rosney
Senior Account Manager, Corporate, Wilson Hartnell PR
Martyn is a PR professional working with Wilson Hartnell, one of Ireland’s leading PR agencies. He represented Ireland at the Young PR Lions at Cannes in 2014 and was named the inaugural Young Communications Professional of the Year at the PR Awards for Excellence in 2015.
Damian ‘Boggler’ Bolger
Damian ‘Boggler’ Bolger
Owner, Boggler Productions
I’ve 20 years experience in the Live Entertainment industry, specialising in Technical Production, Stage and Tour Management and also FOH Audio, Concerts and Festivals, Artist Touring, Special one off Events, Corporate Conferences and Live Television.
Elaine O’ Connor MSc CSEP
Elaine O’ Connor MSc CSEP
Managing Director, Magnum Events
Elaine is a multi-award winning Event Producer who, over the past 10 years, has produced some of Ireland’s largest outdoor public events. During that time she has also attained a Masters in Event Management along with the internationally recognised Certified Special Events Professional designation.
Ruth Murray
Ruth Murray
Event Coordinator
My name is Ruth I am 24 and have been part of the events industry for 6 years. From promo to hospitality and production I have experience in a variety of events of all shapes & sizes. Passionate about all things organisational and colour coded, event nerd would definitely be a more accurate title!
Mary Weir
Mary Weir
Co-Founder Event Industry Association of Ireland
Working in the Public Service with an Event Management remit for over 15 years. Knowledgeable on event delivery, management and approval. Co founded the Event Industry Association of Ireland to give a voice to those in the event sector and improve standards, etc.
John Gallagher
John Gallagher
Director, Lumiere Productions
John is recognised as one of the foremost Lighting Designers in Ireland, particularly in the Television sector, as well as highly regarded in the UK. With a huge body of work across the TV networks his work spans genres – from drama to major national and international events.
Lucy Horan
Lucy Horan
Senior Lecturer, School of Hospitality Management & Tourism, DIT
I have 30+ years experience as a hospitality educator specialising in conferences & events. I led the development of the BSc Event Management in DIT. I am a member of MPI International.
Zoe Healy
Zoe Healy
Owner, zenith pr & Events / PR Trainer, Fitzwilliam Institute
From General Elections in the UK & Ireland to bespoke community and business events, Zoe has over 15 year’s experience managing media campaigns and events across the board. She’s also a PR & Events trainer with the Fitzwilliam Institute and has found employment for hundreds of their students.
Ann Lowney
Ann Lowney
Eventbrite’s Marketing Manager + Founder of The Makers
Ann Lowney is currently the marketing manager for Eventbrite, a global online ticketing platform. She also is founder of The Makers, an online story project. She has several years experience in marketing communications and events.
Paul Davis
Paul Davis
CEO Davis Events Agency
Founder of Davis Events Agency, we specialise in brand activations, events, conferences and digital media in Ireland and internationally. We have also been responsible for some great music and cultural festivals and events. Previous to this Paul ran a record label and toured international DJs.
Tara Beattie
Tara Beattie
Director of Finance and Administration, theCaterers.ie
Tara is very focused on systems and strategies within The Caterers. We have grown our company from an idea to a successful catering and food logistics company employing more than 30 staff. In 2015, we prepared food for 60,000 people at the Balmoral Show as well as 80,000 people at the Tall Ships.
Shell Holden
Shell Holden
Director of Emergent Events, Arts PR and Marketing
Shell is Producer of Ireland’s biggest summer festival and the 2nd highest-attended annual festival – Laya Healthcare’s City Spectacular. She also specialises in Arts PR and Marketing, and is the head lecturer in event management at the European Institute of Communications.
Tess Maher
Tess Maher
Freelance Production Manager
I am a freelance production manager that works on small to mid scale theatre in the UK and across the world. Every summer I work for The Pleasance on the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. I like to work on things that require getting stuck in and being hands on.
Kate O’Reilly
Kate O’Reilly
National Campaigns Officer, Irish Cancer Society
Kate originally studied MSc’s in Economic and Social Research and went on to work in the not-for-profit sector. Currently the National Campaign Officer in the Irish Cancer Society, she has 5 years of experience in rolling out all aspects of multimillion euro national fundraising campaigns and events.
Karen Healy
Karen Healy
Creative Events Expert
I have been blessed with a creative, curious and operational mind, along with the unique ability to see a finished event long before it starts. I love to go far beyond the clients expectations and get such a kick out of seeing their faces when it all comes together. Events are my life.
Sean Scott
Sean Scott
Marine Events Consultant
Sean has been closely involved in the planning and implementation of major marine events over the past 10 years such as Celtic European Festival of the Sea, Belfast Tall Ships, Irish Maritime Festival, Volvo Ocean Race & Clipper Round the World Yacht Race – both in the UK/Ireland and overseas.
Lorraine Dunne
Lorraine Dunne
Programme Director – BA in Event Management, Dundalk Institute of Technology
Lorraine holds a BA (Hons) in Hospitality Management, an MBA and has recently completed a Masters in Learning & Teaching. She gained a wealth of hospitality and event management experience before lecturing at Dundalk Institute. She is a keen marathon runner and enjoys volunteering at events also.
Tadhg Moriarty
Tadhg Moriarty
Event Director
Tadhg Moriarty is a highly experienced and skilled: • Event Manager • Event Controller • Event Safety Officer • Band Booker • Festival Manager • Event Coordinator
Iseult Byrne
Iseult Byrne
Cultural Producer & Project Director
Jane McDaid
Jane McDaid
Founder & Creative Director, Thinkhouse
James Gavin
James Gavin
CEO, Grooveyard Event Management
CEO of Ireland’s best event management company 2014 & 2015 – ( Event industry awards)
Tomas Mangan
Tomas Mangan
Lecturer, GMIT
Diarmuid Smyth
Diarmuid Smyth
Founder & CEO, Sword Security
Sword supply personnel to the sports and entertainment sector with clients ranging from Leinster Rugby to the 3 Arena. Diarmuid acts as a Project Director for major events across Ireland and the UK, with experience ranging from music festivals to the Olympics.
Bob Coggins
Bob Coggins
Managing Director, Havas Dublin
Orla Kinsella
Orla Kinsella
Festival Assistant, Festival Republic

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