Irish-American entrepreneurs should go these events for cultural connection and real business opportunities.Thinkstock/Getty

OpportUnity, the fourth annual Irish International Business Conference (IIBN) is taking place in New York this November 6th and 7th. This year’s edition is being hosted by the New York Chapter of the business networking group.

The IIBN runs 40 - 50 networking and other events each year and has three chapters in London, New York and Dublin. The aim of the group is to bring Irish business professionals of all hues together. The IIBN are renowned for their high quality of the speakers and content at their events. Irish and Irish American professionals based in New York are no strangers to their events.

IrishCentral recently caught up with Sean Gaffey, the current Chair of the New York Chapter of the IIBN to find out more about the upcoming conference and what attendees can expect to see in November at Opportunity.

“My business partner, Mike Mellody, and I got involved with the IIBN as a way to engage with the top business professionals within the Irish and Irish-American community. It was clear from the first meeting we went to that the IIBN provided us with a platform to promote our business while engaging with other like-minded business professionals. The IIBN is a great environment for people with an affinity to the Irish culture to come together, do some serious business and have some serious fun. It’s been a great journey both professionally and personally.”

“This conference, OpportUnity, is the first ever dedicated business conference in New York City for the Global Irish Business Community. With our partners, Bank of Ireland and Grant Thornton, this conference promises to bring together the best of the Irish business community in NYC. My hope is that this conference is just the beginning of an annual conference in NYC that allows the entire business community and government agencies to come together for one day, under one roof. Whether it’s an IIBN conference every year or not is not important to us. What is important is that we come closer together and start working to support each other more. This conference is long overdue and promises to be a special event.”

This conference is an important opportunity for the Irish and Irish American business community to come together and showcase the vibrant and valuable links between New York and Ireland. New York and the East Coast is one of the most important markets for Irish business.

“It’s important for a number of reasons, but I think if we’re honest with ourselves, less and less Americans are identifying with their Irish roots. Irish Americans need a modern day rallying cry and it has to be business. This is the land of opportunity and there is nothing we Americans understand more than tremendous business opportunities. It’s time to change the story and look at where we are going, while always keeping an eye on where we’ve been.”

According to Gaffey there will be a suite of compelling, interesting and varied topics covered at the event.

“We have some unbelievable speakers from the business world as well as the political world. On the evening of the 6th we will open up with a very relaxed welcoming reception and we’ll hear from the new Minister for the Diaspora, Jimmy Deenihan. On November 7th, we will have a full day of business topics; for example, Digital Media, Startups, Film/Animation, FDI, Tourism, Venture Capital, IIBN Mentoring Program and a few more. It will be an action packed day and there will be no shortage of opportunities to have one on one meetings with attendees. Great content, great people and great opportunities to connect.”

In addition to this national conference, Opportunity, the IIBN run approximately 40 events around the globe. The IIBN New York Chapter which was initially set up by successful Irish entrepreneur Colman Lydon, and ably led by Sean Gaffey is pretty active with some standout events taking place annually.

“In New York, we have a number of speaker events that afford us the opportunity to learn from some great Irish American success stories. We host an annual ‘Women in Business’ Event, which this year had the great Susan St. Ledger of Salesforce.”

Another feature of the IIBN internationally is a Future Leaders Board which identifies Irish and Irish American future leaders and affords them the opportunity to be involved in putting events together and networking with their peers. This year’s group ran a successful ‘The Business of Music’ event while previous Future Leaders have held events featuring teen gaming app prodigy Jordan Casey and Irish coding superhero James Whelton.

Gaffey elaborates “Everyone contributes something across the organization and we like to encourage our members to bring ideas to us on events that they want to run and take the lead on. Everyone should and does have a voice.”

“This conference has the ability to be the watershed moment for the Irish business community here in New York. It’s never been done and now it will be the start of a long overdue conversation. Don’t miss the opportunity to be part of the start of the next chapter of the Irish story here in America. Click here to get your tickets today. Thanks again to our partners, Grant Thornton and the Bank of Ireland.”

OpportUnity is a one day sympsosium, bringing together the most successful leaders of the Irish business and political community, harnessing the collective power of our international network, identifying ways to work together,

Together we can change the world in ways that are not achievable alone.

OpportUnity is one day of engaging presentations by prominent speakers, thought leaders in areas of common interest.

OpportUnity will connect you with like-minded professionals who share a commitment to building the strongest business network in the world.

OpportUnity to show the world that the Irish culture of today is one that Unites—not divides.