Longford’s Local Enterprise Week opens with impressive AI event

Keynote speaker Anne-Marie Tomchak breaks down AI for small business

Press release: 11 March 2024

The Local Enterprise Office as part of Longford County Council and in association with Longford Chamber held a very successful ‘AI: The Way Forward’ business event in Backstage Theatre on Monday, 4 March.

The primary focus of the event, which opened Local Enterprise Week 2024, was on artificial intelligence (AI) and its impact on small businesses both now and into the future. Business owners from around the county showed up in force for what was an insightful and educational event. 

Carole Coleman, multimedia journalist and presenter with RTE moderated and expertly guided proceedings throughout the day.   

Keynote speaker was Longford-born and London-based broadcaster, editor and artificial intelligence trailblazer Anne-Marie Tomchak who presented an informative and practical overview on how artificial intelligence can be used to the advantage of small businesses to bring efficiencies and improved customer service. She also provided a comprehensive overview of practical AI tools which are readily available and can easily automate routine tasks for small businesses as well as assisting in areas such as customer communication, HR and marketing.

The event also featured a panel discussion, with Anne-Marie Tomchak being joined on stage by three other AI experts and business leaders, namely Alan Farrelly of CitySwift, John O’Shanahan of LeanBPI and Toby Farren of Waypoint Software. 

All four panellists shed light on their individual business experiences using AI. They imparted valuable and practical insights on its impact on small businesses. Key learnings that emerged included the importance of firstly digitalising processes and data, and then starting to take small incremental steps to integrate artificial intelligence processes to match business need.

Cathaoirleach of Longford County Council, Cllr Colm Murray closed the event, congratulating all involved in coming together to create this supportive forum for businesses. He commented, “We need to quickly grasp the significance of artificial intelligence and to help local small firms to use it to gain and/or maintain competitive advantage”.

Following the event, Chief Executive of Longford County Council Paddy Mahon said, “This event demonstrates the relevant and valuable support provided to small businesses across County Longford by our Local Enterprise Office, kicking off the series of events that are taking place during Enterprise Week 2024 with this discussion on the latest advances in cutting edge technology”.

Overall, the event was a great success, with businesses from all sectors across County Longford getting the opportunity to hear from experts in the area of artificial intelligence. The event will hopefully instil confidence in those attending to adopt digitalisation and AI tools to benefit their businesses.