Business diary: Events coming up

Your weekly round-up of conferences, dinners, seminars and charity events

Business Diary
Announcing details of the NI Chamber’s 2024 annual lunch, which takes place in Belfast City Hall on Friday June 21, are (from left) Kelly-Anne Small (Cushon), Stuart Sproule (Cleaver Fulton Rankin), Paul Murnaghan (BT), Suzanne Wylie (NI Chamber), Sam Trotter (Dell) and Susan Dunlop (GMcG) (Graham Baalham-Curry)


Guests at NI Chamber’s 2024 annual lunch will join a celebration of the region’s creative industries, headlined by the cast and crew of award-winning drama series Blue Lights.

The sold-out event, which returns to Belfast City Hall on Friday June 21, will be attended by more than 400 business leaders and will be hosted by NI Chamber’s new president Cat McCusker, who is regional market leader at PwC NI.

On the day, some of the north’s finest creative talent will take an unscripted look behind the scenes at the acclaimed BBC series. Lead cast members including Sian Brooke, Nathan Braniff and Katherine Devlin will be joined by writer Declan Lawn, as well as co-creators and executive producers Louise Gallagher and Stephen Wright.

In conversation with Claire McCollum, the team behind the crime drama series of the year will discuss Northern Ireland’s burgeoning creative industries, its talent pipeline and growing global reputation as a world-class filming location.

The Chamber’s 2024 annual lunch is supported by sponsors BT, Cleaver Fulton Rankin, Cushon and GMcG, well as drinks reception sponsor Dell.

Business Diary
The St Brigid’s camogie club in Armagh - represented here by players April Rose Grimley, Lana McKnight, Meadhbh Maxwell and Katie O'Hare - was among the 2023 recipients from the Fibrus Play it Forward Fund, which is open for new applications up until July 5


Full fibre broadband provider Fibrus has launched its 2024 Play it Forward Fund, with a £50,000 pot available to sports clubs across Northern Ireland.

The fund, now in its second year, is designed to support grassroots sports in regional and rural communities, offering up to £1,000 per club to help with equipment, kits, improving facilities and subsiding training fees.

The fund is designed to support children under 18 years and encourage them to switch off from devices, get active and have fun.

Some 30 clubs in Northern Ireland received funding support in 2023 including Ballinamallard Youth Soccer Development, who used the funds to support their girls’ programmes, and St Brigid’s Camogie club in Armagh, which used the funds received from Fibrus to run a 10-week programme encouraging more local children to get involved in the sport.

Enniskillen Ladies Hockey club received £1,000 to help with pitch hire costs, allowing them to provide free, accessible and local hockey coaching for individuals aged 7 and upwards. Strangford Coastal Rowing club also benefitted from the funding, using it to purchase life jackets, which help keep membership fees low and reduced barriers which could deter young people from taking part.

The next round of funding is now open, and the application window will close on July 5 (more details at

Business diary
Announcing Diversity Mark’s annual summit, which takes place on October 8 in Titanic Belfast, are Diversity Mark director Christine White with Stephen McKeown, vice president and managing director at Allstate NI


Northern Ireland’s largest conference focussed on equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) within the sphere of business is taking place this October in Belfast.

Billed as a transformative one-day event, the Diversity Mark annual summit will be hosted on October 8 in Titanic Belfast, uniting over 300 business and diversity leaders in their quest for truly inclusive workplaces.

Sponsored by Allstate, the theme for this year’s summit is ‘EDI 2.0: From Action to Impact’ and will feature a range of expert keynote speakers to be announced.

Attendees will benefit from sessions offering global and local perspectives and gain invaluable insights and a wealth of resources to drive diversity and inclusion within their organisations.

Diversity Mark director Christine White said: “The benefits of workplace diversity and inclusion are far-reaching, and it has never been more important to take EDI seriously.

“At Diversity Mark, we’ve seen first-hand how prioritising EDI drives sustainable growth and innovation, helping organisations attract and retain top talent - essential for maintaining a competitive edge.

“This year’s summit will explore the theme of impact and a renewed EDI approach, showing how diversity and inclusion efforts can benefit everyone, enhance collaboration, encourage curiosity, and drive success across the board.”

Diversity Mark is the only independent not-for-profit Diversity and Inclusion Accreditation in Northern Ireland and has to date accredited almost 200 organisations across the UK and Ireland on their path to a more inclusive workplace.

Stephen McKeown, vice president and managing director at Allstate NI, added: “’We believe that equality, diversity, and inclusion are not just ethical imperatives but also crucial drivers of innovation and business success.

“By fostering a culture where every voice is heard and valued, we tap into a broader range of perspectives and ideas, cultivating a more collaborative and supportive work environment, and delivering superior products and services to our customers.”

For more information on the Summit visit


A call has gone out to businesses across the north to make a splash at this year’s Dragon Boat Race, taking place on the River Lagan in Belfast on Friday and Saturday September 13 & 14.

Last year, eight teams battled it out in an unforgettable day of laughter, camaraderie, and fun to be crowned the ultimate Dragon Boat Race champions.

This year’s event is sponsored by Ulster Bank and it will raise funds for the NI Hospice.

Companies can register their interest and learn more about the event at