Sunday 23 October 2016

Women empowerment event firm in liquidation

Published 07/05/2016 | 02:30

Kathryn Thomas had been lined up to speak at the event
Kathryn Thomas had been lined up to speak at the event

The company behind a major conference on empowering women has gone into liquidation after poor ticket sales forced the event's cancellation.

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The Herizon conference has been due to take place at Dublin's RDS Simmonscourt over three days at the end of April, but was abandoned and ticket holders refunded.

Speakers who had been lined up included broadcasters Kathryn Thomas, Daniella Moyles and Brendan Courtney.

Former Olympic athlete Derval O'Rourke and business leaders, such as Dell Ireland general manager Niamh Townsend and holiday website founder Jen O'Neal, had also been booked to appear.

However, only a few hundred tickets were sold in advance, well short of the 2,000 to 3,000 advance sales hoped for by organiser Maura Byrne, who previously created The Baby and Kids Show, a successful pregnancy and parenting event in the 1990s.

Her company, Authorpreneur Productions Limited, filed for voluntary liquidation this week, with PJ Lynch appointed liquidator.

A meeting of creditors on Wednesday heard the company had a €135,000 shortfall.

Ms Byrne told the Irish Independent that she had hoped to get between 8,000 and 10,000 visitors to the Herizon conference between April 28 and 30.

But when advance sales were so disappointing, she said she had no option but to cancel the event.

Ms Byrne said that if she had persisted, she may have recouped some of her own costs, but exhibitors could have ended up even further out of pocket.

"I felt from a moral point of view it would have been wrong for me to go ahead," she said.

Irish Independent

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