A LETTER OF THANKS FROM OUR FESTIVAL DIRECTOR, IAN McCARTHY
Dear Festival supporter,
It was a privilege to welcome so many thousands of businesses from across the UK, and all around the world to Liverpool for the feast of insight, inspiration and innovation that was the 2018 International Business Festival.
This third edition of this event – the biggest of its kind in the world – attracted nearly 2,000 overseas visitors from more than 100 countries. And what a show it was.
Delegates heard from industry heavyweights like Confederation of British Industry director-general Carolyn Fairbairn, Simon Segars, who heads UK microprocessor giant Arm Holdings, and Liverpool FC chief executive Peter Moores, as well as Festival patron, HRH the Duke of Cambridge.
It was heartening to hear Prince William tell our audience how much :"The Business Festival is already demonstrating its success in bringing together international businesspeople to build networks and share knowledge."
The Duke paid tribute to the SMEs who demonstrated on our UK Innovation Hub, saying they were "responsible for many things that are the bedrock of our society: quality of life, meaningful employment, prosperity and technological solutions".
Indeed, innovative SMEs were at the heart of the Festival, whether as delegates, exhibitors, or those appearing on stage.
Many delegates attended one of the 50 specialist events hosted by the Festival, including the World Forum for Foreign Direct Investment and SheTrades Global, an International Trade Centre summit aimed at connecting women from developing countries to market.
Attendees used the Festival’s networking facilities to arrange meetings in the Global Connections Lounge, or elsewhere in the city, and it’s been wonderful to hear how the Festival has proven a hub for so many connections with real potential. The increasingly digitally connected world places an even greater premium on the value of face to face contact, and so many delegates took the opportunity to begin building the trusting friendships and relationships which are fundamental to business.
Sustainability and ethics were key components of our strand on the Future World of Work. Along with our #NextGenFest youth programme – curated by Festival sponsor HSBC– it meant our event proudly focused on the role of business as a force for good.
I hope people enjoyed the Festival as much as I did, do follow up those introductions, and I sincerely hope to welcome thousands more entrepreneurs back to Liverpool for future events and opportunities.
Director, 2018 International Business Festival