First ambassadors announced for International Festival for Business 2016

Kelly Hoppen, MBE and Wayne Hemingway, MBE are both among the first ambassadors to be announced for the International Festival for Business (IFB) 2016.

The unveiling of the new cohort of ambassadors for IFB2016 comes as new data shows the inaugural festival in 2014 was directly responsible for more than £280m worth of deals and sales.

Backed by HM Government, IFB2016 aspires to become the world’s biggest business festival and organisers are confident it will become a huge global marketplace where deals are done.

The first wave of IFB2016 Ambassadors, announced 12 November are:

· Kelly Hoppen MBE, Interior designer
· Wayne Hemingway MBE, Co-founder, Red or Dead and Hemingway Design
· Lord Bilimoria CBE, DL, Founder, Cobra Beer
· Will Butler-Adams OBE, CEO, Brompton Bicycle
· Professor Sir Keith Burnett FRS, Vice-chancellor, University of Sheffield
· Manish Madhvani, Co-founder and managing partner, GP Bullhound
· Claire Braithwaite, Head, Tech North

The ambassadors join leading business organisations that have already partnered with the festival, including HSBC, DLA Piper, Heathrow, Siemens, PWC and Virgin Trains.

The first comprehensive evaluation report of the IFB found it had led to:

· More than £280m of total investment deals and export sales
· More than 6,000 jobs created by IFB participants, a figure expected to rise to 8,000
· More than 2,000 companies secured domestic sales worth hundreds of millions of pounds
· More than 600 companies secured export sales worth more than £80m
· More than 150 companies signed investment deals worth £200m

IFB2014 was a global showcase for British business and the largest business festival in the world that year. The 50-day festival in Liverpool attracted 68,600 business attendees from 92 countries at 415 separate events.

Next year’s festival will open on 13 June 2016 and focus on three key sectors of manufacturing; creative & digital; and energy and environment.

Max Steinberg CBE, Chair of IFB2016, says: “With the backing of UK government and support of such reputable business leaders, the IFB2016 will undoubtedly be the greatest global business showcase of next year.

“The UK’s hidden business gems will come together to define the future of international business – showcasing the best Britain has to offer and forging long lasting global business relationships. Our ambassadors will play a crucial role in ensuring the legacy and impact of IFB2016.”

Paul Colston


Paul Colston

Managing Editor, Conference News & Conference & Meetings World.

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