More than 1,400 businesswomen, 81 companies, 140 tables, 424 prizes, 140 fashion show exits, 30 metres of catwalk, 20 models, two wonderful goodie bags for each guest … LOOK THE BUSINESS 2018 in numbers was impressive by anyone’s estimation.
The guest list at the most glamorous business event in Ireland was a who’s who of all sectors of business from finance, law, media, property, telecoms and tech to marketing, media and fashion, all gathering to entertain clients and colleagues in the beautifully transformed – with masses of autumnal flowers and the longest catwalk ever in Ireland – venue of Main Hall at the RDS.
Jane McDonnell, Publisher of THE GLOSS and Sarah McDonnell, Editor of THE GLOSS welcomed guests, along with Anne O’ Leary, CEO of Vodafone Ireland, main sponsors of the event. At the invitation of The Gloss, Dame Helena Morrissey, female leader of the City, founder of the 30 per cent Club, set up to address the issue of female representation on boards, and manager of a trillion in assets gave the keynote speech. She apologised for not being Irish – in spite of her name – but did claim an Irish husband, with whom she has nine, yes nine, children. She explained why she believes it is a good time to be a woman in business, echoing the title of her best-selling book A Good Time To Be A Girl, published earlier this year.
In her speech, Vodafone Ireland’s CEO Anne O’Leary emphasised the role of resilience in the working lives of women and the importance of a professional support network. Vodafone Ireland’s support of the ISPCC’s Childline service was highlighted with a prize of a bespoke Helen Steele dress and Vodafone’s sponsorship of the Irish Rugby Team was underlined with sought-after tickets to all the Guinness Series international matches and a place on the Captains Run Out awarded to lucky guests. There were fabulous goodie bags and exceptionally wonderful prizes in the famed Designer Handbag Draw, not least some Boodles diamond earrings.
Representatives of the legal world included A&L Goodbody, DAC Beachcroft, Matheson, MDM Solicitors, Hayes Solicitors, Philip Lee, Eversheds Sutherland, Dillon Eustace, Eugene F Collins, HOMS Solicitors, McCann Fitzgerald, Miller and Lamb and Mason Hayes & Curran.
The financial services industry were out in force: KPMG, Investec, PwC, Deloitte, Arthur Cox, Crowe, Barden, Bank of Ireland, AIB, Citibank, Crowe Howarth, Brown Brothers Harriman, Vivid Edge, CPL, BDO, Acumen & Trust and Willis Tower Watson.
Executive search firms Merc Partners, Odgers Berndtson, The Panel and property management companies Baymer and Sherry Fitzgerald and Cushman & Wakefield also hosted tables, while the luxury fashion world was represented by designer Louise Kennedy, Nina Walls’ MaxMara boutique in Belfast and Clodagh Shorten’s Samui in Cork. Carolyn Donnelly and Sonya Lennon of Dunnes Stores, were also present, all of whom showed stunning collections.
Guests were able to connect with the specially created ConnectME tool for Look The Business, which enabled users to see who else was in the room and the companies present.
For further highlights of the evening and to see who was present, follow our coverage throughout the day, as well as the photo galleries below.