De Montfort University’s new events centre, The Venue@DMU, played host to more than 100 business leaders and prominent figures from the region, 5 October, as the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership (LLEP) held a special breakfast event to launch this year’s Leicester Business Festival (LBF).
Delegates heard how in 2015, the LBF board had high hopes to schedule 20 events and to gain community buy-in in to the concept. Instead, the inaugural festival succeeded at putting a marker in the region’s business calendar.
With 19 weeks lead time, LBF managed to organise 80 seminars, lectures, workshops and conferences, all taking place within two weeks, and attract 7,500 visitors from across the UK.
In 2016, the festival’s landscape has expanded again. With 117 events currently confirmed and 12,500 people expected to attend what is now dubbed “the region’s largest business event”.
Organisers claim the reach of the festival has more than quadrupled to around 9.7m individuals and more than 322,000 on associated contactable databases – the ‘brand’ of the festival is clearly a big opportunity for the region.
Announcing this year’s programme, Leicester Business Festival board member Alister de Ternant said: “This year’s programme boasts some spectacular, highly topical and nationally important events which span right across the region and its sectors. Whether the subject is autonomous vehicle testing, speed networking, political and economic announcements or improving business productivity through Lego and yoga, LBF16 really has something for everyone.”
This year’s programme has been segmented into nine key business sectors and paralleled with the LLEP’s identification of sectors that hold the highest level of economic ‘opportunity’ for growth in the region.
Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership chair Nick Pulley says that Leicester and Leicestershire together boast the largest economy in the East Midlands and the fastest growing in the UK with a GVA (Gross Value Added) of around £22bn.
“The region’s rate of growth has even surpassed that of London so the Leicester Business Festival is perfectly placed to showcase the success of local businesses and what they have to offer,” he says.