IFB2016 set to generate £250m in sales and create more than 2,000 jobs

IFB2016 took place at Exhibition Centre Liverpool over three weeks in June and welcomed 103 delegations representing more than 800 companies from across the world. Tony McDonough reports.

IFB2016 welcomed delegations from across the world to Liverpool
IFB2016 welcomed delegations from across the world to Liverpool

Liverpool’s second International Festival of Business (IFB2016) is projected to deliver more than £250m in sales for UK firms and lead to the creation of over 2,000 jobs.

IFB2016 took place at Exhibition Centre Liverpool over three weeks in June and welcomed 103 delegations from across the world.

More than 800 businesses from the UK and overseas were represented at the business extravaganza.

Exports bonanza

An independent evaluation report, commissioned by IFB2016 organiser Liverpool Vision, reveals that more than 500 UK businesses secured or expect to secure £87m in export sales as a direct result of the festival.

Domestic trade was also strong, with over 850 UK businesses reporting that they had secured or expect to secure £145m of UK sales.

Attending the festival boosted engagement and interest in exporting, with 13% of participant UK companies now actively exploring exporting for the first time and 17 %of UK businesses exploring new export markets.

Overseas investment

The research also shows that 250 UK businesses expect to attract about £10m of overseas investment as a result of taking part in IFB2016, and 300 UK businesses expect to secure some £12m of investment from within the UK.

IFB2016 was delivered by Liverpool Vision. the Mayor of Liverpool’s economic development agency, in partnership with UK Trade & Investment (UKTI), the GREAT Britain Campaign and with the support of the UK Government. 

Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson, left, with Liverpool Vision chief executive Max Steinberg
Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson, left, with Liverpool Vision chief executive Max Steinberg

More than 14,000 delegates took part in the festival, 1,700 from 98 countries overseas and 12,700 from the UK. Together, they made more than 26,000 day visits to the festival.

It is also estimated that there was more than £3m of spending in the Liverpool city region visitor economy, generating 60 jobs.

Almost 60% of participants said the IFB2016 had exceeded their expectations for business benefit. Eighty per cent said they had a positive experience overall and 78% said they were interested in attending IFB2018.

‘Brilliant platform’

Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson said: “IFB2016 was a brilliant platform to boost UK business and showcase the UK’s offering to the world.

“It was also a brilliant opportunity to showcase Liverpool. The findings of the research show that this year’s event has built on the success of IFB2014 and delivered tangible benefits to UK businesses and communities.”

Max Steinberg, chief executive of Liverpool Vision and chair of IFB2016, said: “This report shows IFB’s strong impact on the UK economy – both in terms of sales delivered and investment secured, but also as a platform for UK businesses to connect with global partners, create valuable connections and develop new international networks.

IFB2016 festival director Ian McCarthy
IFB2016 festival director Ian McCarthy

“Removing barriers to international trade and enabling collaboration is at the heart of the IFB vision and we’re delighted to be celebrating another successful festival in 2018.”

And festival director Ian McCarthy also said: “This very extensive survey of business participants in IFB2016 demonstrates that the festival provides a great platform for internationally ambitious SMEs.

“Our ambitions for IFB2018 are even greater and we’re looking forward to delivering a rich, vibrant festival that brings the global business community together to innovate, connect and collaborate, all within our fantastic city region.”

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