The Backyard at Blas

The Back Yard

The Backyard at Blas is a dedicated space to meet fellow producers, gain knowledge & find support for your business. An exciting line up of speakers will share their experiences to help you develop & grow your business
Proudly supported by Bank of Ireland

What’s happening in The Backyard?
Be sure to use this space over the weekend, it is exclusively for our hosted guests, buyers, trade, press and finalist. It will be your place to meet and catch up with people.

Coffee’s will be welcome on a busy weekend and are very kindly supported by Andrew Ingredients.

The Backyard will also have a local information desk where we will be happy to share information on the what’s happening local, festival events and even simply just advice on how to find your accommodation or where to find a good pint!


We have an exciting line-up of speakers over the weekend for our Conversations in the Backyard, you do not have to register for these talks just join us, engage with questions and you will be going home with invaluable advice from industry experts, press and buyers.   

Conversations in the Backyard
Friday 29th September – The Backyard is open from 12 noon

2pm: Start talking….
Blas Producer’s Champion 2016 John McKenna introduces the core theme of The Backyard at Blas. Communication. He will be in conversation with award-winning producers on why you should look to your competitors in the industry as your colleagues.

3pm: Be social…
A 20 minute MASTERBlasT of social media tips with the #Blas2017 Twitter Fairy, Sharon Noonan aka @Queenoforg (it’s short for organisation!). If you’re a complete novice with social media or use it sporadically, come along and get for inspiring material, time-saving tips and strategic tools to capitalise on the opportunities that social media can generate for you, your business and your award winning products. It’s a no-brainer. Social media costs nothing but your time and it pays off. Don’t be scared, get social.

4pm: Think it through….
You have worked hard on your product. You have done late nights and early starts. You have put your heart and soul into it. To carry this through to the finish line with a buyer you really need to know more than just your own product inside out. You need to know what is happening in your category; what the trends are and how to prepare for that all-important meeting. 

5pm: Be ready to show your best
You can’t just rock up at a trade show and hope for the best. You have invested time and money in getting there, but you need to know what to do when you are at your stand. You also need to check certain things before you go. This talk will give you invaluable hints and tips on a successful sales plan and managing and achieving realistic targets. It will also give you the heads up on potential snags and hidden costs.

6pm Press on without pressure…
The temptation in business is always to say yes to too many things and end up running out of product and or/steam. This session is a useful discussion on how to scale up your business sensibly and sustainably. It will focus on how to finance growth as well as pinpointing potential grant options. Slow and steady wins the race.

Saturday 30th September
10.30am: Mind yourself as well as your business
Burnout is a common problem in business, especially with self-employed small producers. They tend to eat, sleep and breathe what they do, which is not good for them or their families. Life is all about striking the right balance between work and play. Happy people are more productive. 

12noon: Don’t take it for granted
So many businesses are sticking their heads in the sand. Barring seismic political change, Brexit will happen and it will have a major impact on how you do business. This session looks ahead to the challenges Brexit will bring along with potential opportunities. Find out what assistance, strategies and aids are out there to help plan.

3pm: Get your story straight
If you can’t get your story across, you can’t sell your product. You need to be able to catch a journalist’s attention and know what they are looking for. It is devilishly difficult to get coverage these days but knowing what the media looks for is half the battle. So, too, is responding quickly to their requests and not badgering people. There is a world of difference between being dogged and being pushy.

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