IFB2016 generated £265m, 26,000 delegates and 80 events, say organisers

The biggest event held at Exhibition Centre Liverpool so far, the International Festival for Business 2016, has been hailed a success, with over 26,000 international delegates attending the three-week festival.

All in all, 80 separate events took place throughout June on the Liverpool waterfront and multi-million pound business deals were reported in the exhibition halls.

Highlights included the official opening of the host venue Exhibition Centre Liverpool and its adjoining hotel, Pullman Liverpool, by Her Majesty the Queen and the announcement that BBC Worldwide Show will return for a further three years at the venue.

Bob Prattey, chief executive of venue operator ACC Liverpool Group, said: “IFB2016 was the largest event we have hosted in Exhibition Centre Liverpool since we opened. For three weeks the venue was transformed into a hub for exhibitions, seminars, networking events and inspirational speakers – the scale of which has never been seen in Liverpool, or indeed the UK, before.”

The festival was delivered in partnership with UK Trade & Investment, the GREAT Britain Campaign and with the support of the UK Government. Official partners included HSBC, BT and Google. High profile business leaders such as Sir Terry Leahy and Sir Martin Sorrell gave keynote speeches and political leaders who attended included George Osborne, Michael Heseltine and F W de Clerk.

Max Steinberg, chairman of IFB2016, said the choice of Liverpool as host city was no accident. “Liverpool’s centuries-long reputation as an international trading city, its global reputation as a centre for creativity – in all spheres of life – and the outstanding Exhibition Centre Liverpool make it the perfect location.”

The International Festival for Business is set to return to the city in 2018 and 2020. The festival in 2018 has already secured the World Forum for Foreign Direct Investment: one of the world’s top, international deal-making events.

Other statistics from IFB2016 included £265m in economic value being generated around the event and 150 quality enquiries received on the Invest Liverpool stand from potential investors in the city region. There were also 4,500 face-to-face business meetings as part of Meet Your Future Deal.

Paul Colston


Paul Colston

Managing Editor, Conference News & Conference & Meetings World.

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