‘When Alltech does things, we do them fast’
Alltech Global 500 one of eight events organised by animal nutrition company and founder Pearse Lyons for the Gathering
Dr Pearse Lyons, president and founder of Alltech, speaking yesterday at the RDS, where he was presented with the RDS Gold Medal award for industry and commerce.
Six years ago, Alltech founder Dr Pearse Lyons came up with an idea to create a platform for dairy and beef farmers to meet, network and hear about new technologies and developments for pushing agriculture forward. The goal was to have 500 people attend and the event was aptly named the Alltech Global 500.
This year, for the first time, the event was held outside the US, with more than 760 people coming from 50 different countries to the RDS in Dublin.
The event is part of a record eight organised by Alltech and Lyons, who yesterday received the RDS Gold Medal for his contribution to Irish business, as part of the Gathering.
“When Alltech does things we do them fast. We don’t always get things right, but we get them going,” Lyons says, adding “so often people in Ireland, especially young people, want everything to be perfect”.
It’s a motto that Lyons has lived by, and one which has led to Alltech organising so many events as part of the Gathering initiative.
The first such event was an international craft brewing and distilling convention which was held in July of this year.
“We gave ourselves six weeks to organise the convention and with three weeks to go before it, only three people had signed up. There was some panic, but ultimately 3,000 people came.”
The majority of Irish craft beers were represented at the event, with seminars and talks from world-renowned master brewers, as well as an interactive element allowing craft beer enthusiasts to taste beers from all over the world.
The event was a huge success according to Lyons, to the extent that preparations for a second one next February are already underway.
Also in the month of July, Alltech held a black-tie dinner for ambassadors based in Ireland.
In total 35 embassies were represented at the event, which aimed to increase awareness of Alltech, inform ambassadors that Alltech has an office in their country and build up a point of contact.
Lyons has invited the chief executives of some of the world’s largest agribusiness companies for the Alltech Presidents’ Club event later this month, which will tie in with the opening of the company’s expanded European headquarters in Dunboyne, Co Meath.
“Some $69.5 billion of business will be represented by 129 business owners coming to the event. We want to show them Ireland and subtly share with them our technology and Alltech’s success story.”
With Taoiseach Enda Kenny attending, Lyons hopes the event will be an ideal platform on which to further build “Brand Ireland”.
“I’ll be amazed if we don’t get between €5 million and €15 million of business from it. And that’s a conservative figure.”
He believes events such as those organised by Alltech for the Gathering are important for building relationships with business leaders and owners from overseas markets such as China.
For this reason, he said, the company got behind the tourism-led initiative to mobilise the Irish diaspora and promote Ireland abroad.
“Alltech is very good at really getting to know our customers. Make a friend, make a sale.”