Young business leaders are being invited to find their ‘competitive edge’ at the Institute of Directors (IoD) Northern Ireland Young Directors Conference.

Former Coronation Street actress Julia Goodman – now a personal performance and communications coach – will be keynote speaker at the event, sponsored by Barclays.

More than 150 delegates, representing organisations from across a wide spectrum of sectors, are expected to attend the half-day conference taking place at The Merchant Hotel, Belfast on 11th October.

IoD NI Business Development Manager Heather White said:

“The IoD Young Directors Conference provides a platform for emerging business leaders as they seek to develop and hone their skill set, while networking with their peers.

“We look forward to welcoming a broad mix of attendees including those in the early part of the leadership and management journeys and those with aspirations to progress their careers to the next level.

“Julia’s keynote address will focus on the business benefits of making a first class first impression and we are delighted to have assembled strong line up of other speakers that we hope will inspire delegates, help them learn, and spark new creativity.”

In addition to the keynote session, the conference, which is also sponsored by Grant Thornton, MCS Group, and SONI will include a networking lunch, and panel sessions featuring emerging and established business leaders.

Speakers include Conall Laverty, CEO, Wia, named on the Forbes 30 Under 30 list, David Whelan, CEO of Clarity Telecom, Colin Walsh, Founder of Crescent Capital, and Dr Aislinn Rice, CEO, Analytics Engines.

Gavin Campbell, Barclays Corporate Banking Relationship Director, added:

“This is Barclays fourth year of sponsoring the IoD Young Directors Conference, and each year the calibre of attendees and speakers never fails to disappoint.

“This year’s theme of competitive edge promises another successful event as we seek to equip young leaders with the tools to ensure our economy continues as a strong place to start and grow businesses.”

Julia Goodman, a celebrated stage and screen actress, founded Personal Presentation 30 years ago, building up a list of blue-chip clients with whom she seeks to transform their understanding, ability and enjoyment of personal communication.

The Young Directors Conference is open to both members and non-members.

An early-bird rate of £75+VAT to attend the conference, is available until 12th August. To book, or to find out more about the conference, please visit