The day began with the team at Metis Ireland completing the packs for the event. (This job was left until the last minute because we only received the printed Investment Portfolio Brochures on the morning of the event!) There was a nervous tension in the office with everyone eagerly anticipating what was in store for the evening.
We headed over to the Strand Hotel with the packs and our posters with the intention of doing a run through of the presentations. We realised when we arrived this wasn’t going to be possible because of another meeting so we headed for a cup of coffee where we discussed the event minute by minute again!
Having decided that hanging around would be no help to anyone, we decided to head off and reconvene at 4pm. Karl Daly went running around Cratloe Woods, while I decided to head for the pitches in UL for a (very slow) jog!
At 4pm we arrived suited and booted at the Strand. We put the folders at each seat and met with Evanne Ni Chuilinn who was our MC for the night. Evanne did a quick check on the running order for the night and assured us that everything would be alright. Evanne is such a professional and did an amazing job on the night. Around this time, mild panic was setting in and breathing was a struggle!!
We turned our attentions to the IT set up and realised quickly that it wasn’t working and frantic calls were made to get different laptops to the Hotel in a hurry. Around this time, there were expletives!! Around this time, we discussed the merits of Xanax (true story!).
We got the IT working – not exactly the way we wanted but we got it working! Everyone headed upstairs at 5.30pm to be ready for our guests. To our surprise there were already guests there to meet us. Very quickly the lobby filled up and Shauna from MorningStar Photography did a great job taking some photos. We also arranged some quick videos with some of the guests.
Twenty Twenty Marketing had worked closely with us on the event and among other great ideas they had put together some posters that received generous comments at the Prosecco reception.
The man of the moment, Mr Joe Schmidt arrived around 6pm (as promised). Joe stood in for countless photos and then everyone took their seats for dinner. Evanne opened proceedings and introduced Karl Daly who, by consensus, set a very high standard with his emphatic speech about Metis Ireland and the way we want to do business. I know Karl was nervous during the week, but he nailed the presentation and sat down, picked up his glass of wine and said “over to you guys now”. Around this time, there was profuse perspiration!!
Next up was Gary Connolly from iCubed who entertained and educated the audience with his presentation. Gary has a great way of engaging his audience and there were loads of compliments afterwards about Gary’s relaxed style and ability to avoid jargon. Around this time, there was no dinner eaten!!
Evanne introduced me by telling our mostly Limerick audience that I was a most proud Kilkenny man! So I knew I was on the back foot from the off!! I went to put on my presentation and to my horror it had reverted to the very start of the presentation. Around this time, there were internal expletives and a record heart rate that made the phrase heart in mouth come to life.
Technology issue fixed, I started, nervously. Then got to the 2nd slide and said to myself only 5 more to go. Very quickly I was done and retook my seat. Around this time, there was a large glass of red wine downed!!
Joe Schmidt then took the stage, slagged us off in the nicest possible way, engaged the crowd and then took some questions. Joe is an absolute gentleman and it was fantastic to spend time over dinner with him. He is a total professional and Karl & Mary Daly and Yvonne Widger and myself were enthralled with his company throughout the evening.
The proceedings finished off with the Munster Gospel Choir and as discreetly as Joe Schmidt arrived, he slipped away unnoticed with our thanks, respect and admiration.
Lots of attendees stayed for a few drinks and we got to mingle with lots of the attendees. The feedback we got was unbelievable and we were all very proud of how the evening went. The crowd dwindled around 1130pm and we took ourselves into town with about 10 of the remaining attendees and celebrated until it was far too late! Around this time, it was obvious Friday wouldn’t be very productive!!
We are all in great spirits today as we have received tonnes of emails, texts, tweets and calls thanking us and congratulating us. We are allowing ourselves one day to decompress before we get back to our day jobs on Monday.
Thank you everyone who shared a very Special Metis Ireland Day!