Opportunities will abound at IFB2016 say organisers

A MEET-THE-BUYER programme at next year’s International Festival for Business will see companies taking part in some 7,000 face-to-face meetings with potential new customers.

Festival organisers were revealing the scale of the new business opportunities for companies to an audience of more than 150 business leaders at an event in host city Liverpool this morning.

They also unveiled plans for a programme of inspirational global business personalities who will speak at a series of daily festival events called the Blue Skies programme, as well as plans for a major festival fringe called The Edge.

The second International Festival for Business takes place in Liverpool in June 2016, with activity around three themes: manufacturing, creative and digital, and energy and environment.

Thousands of international businesses are expected to gather for three weeks of networking and deal-making.

Independent evaluation has shown that IFB2014 was directly responsible for some £280m of new sales and deals.

“Our ambition is to help businesses achieve even more value next year,” said festival director Ian McCarthy.

 “The festival in 2016 will offer very concrete opportunities for companies to win new business from potential clients and customers from right across the UK and world.

“The meet-the-buyer programme alone will see some 7,000 face-to-face meetings organised by our team on behalf of businesses looking to buy and sell goods and services.

“These will be high quality and qualified appointments and we are extremely confident that they will lead to the generation of tens of millions pounds worth of revenue for those companies taking part.

“This activity sits right at the heart of the festival and is a core part of our ambition: delivering business opportunities, new customers, growth and enhanced prospects for SMEs.”

The Edge will be a complementary programme to the core festival schedule with events taking place across the city and across the duration of the festival.

Kate Willard, director of The Edge, said: “Whilst IFB2016 is an authentically global business gathering, we believe it is right for The Edge to have a truly Liverpool City Region flavour, reflecting our personality and creativity.

“The Edge is challenging, provocative and fully inclusive so that everyone from sole traders to young entrepreneurs, and social enterprises to large corporates, will be involved.”

The festival is supported by the UK government, main partner HSBC, global media partner Bloomberg and festival supporters DLA Piper, Dong Energy, Heathrow, PwC, Siemens and Virgin Trains.

To find out more about IFB2016’s Meet The Buyer programme, register to join the IFB2016 Business Club at www.ifb2016.com . Businesses looking to participate in or contribute to The Edge should contact Kate.Willard@liverpoollep.org