Eden, Cumbria, The Lake District – A natural choice for business

Cumbrian firms encouraged to attend International Festival for Business

10 May 2016

Businesses in Cumbria are being urged to attend the biggest business festival of its kind in the world, with the chance to tap into subsidies and discounts to contribute to their travel and accommodation costs.

Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership, the county’s strategic economic body, is encouraging local firms to sign up for the International Festival for Business 2016 (IFB2016), which takes place at Exhibition Centre Liverpool from 13 June to 1 July 2016.

IFB2016 offers an unrivalled opportunity to meet buyers, investors, suppliers and technology partners, with the chance to win new business enhanced by an innovative delegate matching service.

Over £80m of export deals were completed following the 2014 event, and over £190m investment opportunities were created.

The biennial festival is focusing on three key themes in 2016: manufacturing in the first week, energy and environment in the second and creative and digital in the final week.

Cumbrian businesses that join the IFB2016 business club will qualify for a 20 per cent discount on Virgin Train travel to the festival and groups with five or more delegates can secure a subsidy to help fund their travel and accommodation costs.

Graham Haywood, Director of Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership, says: “This event represents a huge opportunity for Cumbrian businesses to put themselves in the limelight and showcase what they offer.

“Attending IFB2016 will be effectively giving them the chance to go on an international trade mission within their own region.  The event will put them in touch with thousands of potential buyers.  It will be a buzzing, global marketplace under one roof to inspire Cumbrian firms to make new connections and do deals.”

Features of the festival across the Exhibition Centre’s 80,000 square feet include real-time opportunities with expert matching guidance from UKTI advisers, free seminars and workshops designed for SMEs with growth and export ambitions, one-to-one meetings with buyers, suppliers and investors, and the Google Digital Garage offering free digital tune-ups for businesses.

UK Festival Partnership Manager Robert Capleton adds:  “IFB2016 has a remarkable day programme.  With around 80 of the world’s top conferences and seminars, Cumbrian businesses can network here with potential customers and investors from the rest of the UK and around the world.  They can also obtain free, bespoke advice on business growth and the export journey from leading experts.

“Our Blue Skies events take place every day of the festival and we are urging Cumbrian businesses to check out our website and come along to as many sessions as they can.  Speakers and events on everything from artificial intelligence to sustainability mean there is truly something for everyone. It’s all free and it’s just down the M6.”

Registration and attendance for IFB2016 is free. To find out more about the event or to register, visit https://www.ifb2016.com/