The Networking Summit – An Overview


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The Networking Summit – An Overview

I recently had the pleasure of chatting with Siobhan Fitzpatrick, Founder of The Networking Summit (TNS)  I wanted to find out more about what Siobhan has in store for delegates and thought it would be a great opportunity to find out why she started this Summit and who should attend. I also wanted to learn what the learner outcomes might be for aspiring and seasoned networkers like you.

I started out by asking Siobhan a little bit about her background and what led her to this moment in her life.  She spoke to me about how her network had helped her land jobs and open doors for her right through her life. Siobhan explained that she moved from Ireland, many years ago, to New York, where she resided for 7 years.  Not knowing anyone, she connected in to an acquaintance and over time she gradually built up a network for herself.  It was this network that helped her develop her career, her business and personal contacts.  She then moved to London and had to start over.  And yet again, she deep dived into her network to help make the right connections. Siobhan remained in London for 20 years, before returning to Ireland in 2015. Having spent such a long time away, moving back to her home country, was akin to moving to a brand new country. She had to establish herself yet again.

Back in Ireland, Siobhan ran a business as a career transition coach and then decided upon a new business opportunity and brought the Women in Business Network (WIBN) franchise to Ireland. This was very successfully run across the country in 13 locations for the past number of years, up to May 2020. One of the feelings that Siobhan had when going out to network herself was that she was being sold to and talked at. This was part of her reason for bringing WIBN to Ireland. She had identified a need for Ireland to have a network that did things a little differently. A network that didn’t have to involve selling and referrals, but rather a network that brought, ladies in this case, together.  A network that gave them an opportunity to build relationships in an authetic fashion that would stand the test of time.

Then in 2018 she decided to set up and found The Networking Summit and ran it in the Carlton Hotel, Dublin Airport.  It was with the realisation that networking is never taught, that people need to be given the tools to network and be shown the best way to nurture relationships that will help them thrive.  With that mandate in mind, Siobhan set out sourcing the experts in the area.  She wanted to find speakers who could convey an important message and leave delegates with practical take aways and learn skills that would help them network more effectively and efficiently, while making the process more fun for them.  Networking often has a bad perception, so The Networking Summit is a part of the solution to change that perception.

Year 1 – 2018

Siobhan engaged the services of networking guru, Kingsley Aikens, face profiler, Joseph Maguire, the memory king, Dave Russell and the Dragon Den pitch coach, Catherine Moonan.  The theme was ‘Gain The Edge’.  After some keynote sessions, delegates got to choose two masterclasses and do two hour long sessions with their chosen masterclass coaches.  The day finished off with keynote speaker, Joanne O’Riordan who made the audience, laugh and cry, sometimes separately and sometimes at the same time. If ever you wanted some inspiration and a show of resilience, energy, indomitable spirit, Joanne embodies everything that is positive about life.  The talented Alison Comyn emceed the proceedings to help gel the whole affair to great applause.  You can read more about some of my key take aways here.

Siobhan successfully started a movement in 2018 to help build a community of like minded networkers and the stage was set for year two.

Year 2 – 2019

‘Driving Impact’ was the chosen theme for The Networking Summit in 2019. Kingsley Aikens was welcomed back alongside another stellar line up of speakers, including John Murray, brand photographer who talked to the delegates about how we see ourselves and how others see us; how to remain authentic and how to get the best of ourselves ‘out there’. This was followed by Gillian Burrell, PGA Golf Coach, who talked about performance, driving yourself to where you want to be.  A key take away, as Siobhan pointed out, is NEVER JUDGE.  Never underestimate who you are talking to and who they know.  Open your mind, keep it open. Open your heart.  Brigid Farrell spoke on the topic of cultural communications, the multicultural environment that many of us work in these days and how to ensure that we are speaking the same language, to ensure everyone is understood.  Sharon Tighe spoke on Linkedin networking strategies.  The fantastic, insightful day finished off with rugby player, Damian Brown, on the topic of ‘how do you make sure you transition your network when pivoting your career.’

Year 3 – 2021

Siobhan decided to not run The Networking Summit in 2020 and given all that has happened this year, thusfar, that was an unanticipated, very wise decision.

The next edition will be held on 4th and 5th February 2021 in The Carlton Hotel, Dublin Airport.  She has a few new strands to the bow, to enrich and make TNS an even better experience.  She will be engaging transition year students, also known as TY, to help them learn about networking as they start into the world to commence their own journies.  They’ll be shown how to make a connection, how to nurture the connection and how to leverage it for their future personal and professional development.  Students tend to be on committees, involved in sporting clubs, they have their parents and their friends – so how can they be taught to support and be supported?  All will be revealed in February 2021.

Given the Covid19 circumstances, Siobhan is currently revising her theme for The Networking Summit and I’ve no doubt that it will be insightful and on trend.   I’ll be keeping in touch with Siobhan about what comes next and I’ll be sure to keep you posted!

You can also learn about and follow all the updates on The Networking Summit on Linkedin.

And you can connect with Siobhan directly to learn more about the sponsorship and exhibition opportunities that are available.


Jean Evans
Jean Evans
Jean Evans is an expert on all things networking. It is her passion, and one that is borne out of experience and plenty of trial and error, mistakes and mishaps. Through her blogs and social media channels, Jean shares tips, tricks, hacks and ideas on how to become an effective networker in business.

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