BLOG: 2018 International Business Festival thrives in Liverpool and helps Liverpool thrive

This summer, Liverpool welcomes back the International Business Festival. First run in 2014, the biennial event “celebrates and supports business, through unmissable conferences, seminars and bespoke business brokerage meetings” and is expected to attract over 25,000 visitors this year. But why has the event thrived in Liverpool? And what benefits does it bring for businesses in the Liverpool City Region (LCR)?

Benefits

To answer the first of these questions, you need look no further than a recent report by global design and infrastructure consultancy Arcadis, which identified Liverpool as one of the UK’s top four "growth hot spots" and the leading one in the north of England. The report cites the city region’s brand, infrastructure, positive business environment and quality and affordability of housing supply as particular strengths – traits that have been extolled by the likes of Invest Liverpool for years.

As for the second question, the festival offers a number of benefits for LCR businesses. For starters, and most obviously, there’s the programme itself, which businesses from anywhere can benefit from. This year it will cover nine key industry themes, including global economics, urbanisation and cities, sustainable energy, future transport, manufacturing and global logistics and shipping, as well as three that the LCR excels in: health and life sciences, creative industries, sport and culture and travel.

There will be around 45 world-leading sector conferences and events based around the sector themes a marketplace showcasing products and services from 100 national and international businesses and networking for sector experts. A Knowledge Hub will focus teaching around leadership and skills, access to finance and international markets, while an Innovation Hub will showcase some of the most exciting and revolutionary UK products.

For local businesses, though, the benefits extend well beyond the programme. Most obviously, there’s the opportunity to boost sales by capitalising on an influx of 25,000 visitors to the region. While a lot of the festival activity will be focused in Liverpool, businesses like hotels and B&Bs, tourist attractions and restaurants from further afield in the city region will still be able to market to delegates and take advantage of satellite events.

In addition, there’s the chance to chance to market to a huge gathering of proactive businesses right on the doorstep. The festival attracts businesses and delegates from all sorts of industries and bringing all sorts of potential for collaboration – and the nature of travelling to attend the event means they’ll be a high calibre bunch. It’s a great opportunity for local business to meet potential new clients, suppliers and partners.

Finally, the festival gives local businesses the chance to raise their profile both nationally and internationally. There’ll be plenty of coverage and social media activity online during the festival and businesses can seek to input into the conversation themselves. What’s more, good marketing and networking to attendees can mean company reputations being spread across the country and the globe when the festival ends and delegates return home.

Take advantage of early bird 25% off tickets available if booked by midnight on 28 February (use code EB25).