The International Festival for Business (IFB2014) will take place in Liverpool from 05 June to 24 July 2014, comprising hundreds of events and with an expected 250,000 visitors from around the world. For more details see www.ifb2014.com
Creative and digital businesses can benefit from this extraordinary opportunity in a number of ways, as set out below. But first, let’s be clear what IFB2014 is – and what it is not
• IFB2014 will mainly consist of independent events run by external businesses and organisations. IFB2014 is providing a platform, support and publicity for these independent events. Although some events will be organised by IFB2014 directly, most will not.
• IFB2014 is open to everybody and registration is free. There is no ‘ticket price’ because it is a series of independent events, not one big event for which you buy a pass. Tickets will be available from each event organiser.
• IFB2014 events will use venues throughout the Liverpool City Region – and beyond. IFB2014 headquarters will be at ‘The Hub’ on Mann Island but the vast majority of events will be elsewhere. IFB2014 is not a ‘grand exhibition’ or ‘trade fair’. There will be a range of activities: eg conferences, seminars, showcase events, workshops, launch events and private meetings.
• IFB2014 will be organised around seven business themes, with each theme focusing activities on a specific week. These themes include Creative/Digital, Maritime, Manufacturing, Low Carbon, Education etc.
• There will be a separate Cultural Festival, with arts organisations showcasing Liverpool’s cultural offer. Contact Nick Birkinshaw about the Cultural Festival. [Nick.Birkinshaw@liverpool.gov.uk] How your creative / digital business can benefit from IFB2014
Firstly, be absolutely clear about your own business strategy. Do you plan to export (or export more) and is this a priority?
As well as finding new customers, could you use IFB2014 to strengthen relationships with existing customers?
Is your target market creative/digital or one of the other business themes?
Are you looking for overseas suppliers or joint ventures?
Do you need investment?
What resources do you have available to invest in using this amazing opportunity?
Every business will have different objectives and consequently will use different tactics to benefit from IFB2014.
Business Brokerage Service
Registration is free. Register as a business and list your requirements, offers and availability. The IFB2014 website includes a business brokerage or ‘match making’ service to connect you with potential customers, suppliers and business partners.
Some businesses are promoting their own events, but this is not the only way to be involved in IFB2014 or to benefit from it. Events can range from huge conferences to much smaller events, including private meetings for your own clients. Some businesses will use the opportunity to promote their businesses through other events rather than organise their own, for example by speaking at conferences or on discussion panels. For many businesses, their main ‘events’ will be profitable meetings with new or existing clients.
Remember that most events are independently organised, so don’t look only to the IFB2014 office for opportunities to supply goods and services. Register with the IFB2014 database of suppliers. This will mean you are notified of any requirements from IFB2014 itself; in addition external organisations looking for suppliers could find you here. To be included on the database of suppliers, contact Julie MacKenzie [firstname.lastname@example.org]. Contact event organisers directly and make sure that you will be found if an external supplier searches online for your goods or services to help them with their own IFB2014 event. Venues can benefit as suppliers. Make sure you are on the IFB2014 venues database. Use your website to promote your venue for IFB2014. Get out more!
This is a massive opportunity to sell creative/digital goods and services to businesses in all other sectors – maritime, manufacturing, financial services etc. There will be thousands of people from all kinds of businesses, locally, nationally and internationally. Depending on your business strategy, it may be more useful to attend events in other themes rather than creative/digital events. You and your colleagues can use IFB2014 for professional development and learning, for focused networking, and for fun. Free up some capacity in June and July so you can get out of the studio or office to be part of the biggest business festival you’re ever likely to experience.
Further information and contacts:
Refer to www.ifb2014.com for most general information, updates to the events calendar, registration and brokerage, etc.
David Parrish is ‘Theme Lead for Creative and Digital’ [email@example.com]
and he is working closely with the Creative/Digital team at Liverpool Vision: Kevin
McManus [firstname.lastname@example.org] and Cathy Skelly
David Parrish. www.dp-ifb2014.com
Author: Stephanie Hughes
Second Skin Events produce key corporate and specialist events, launches, awards and parties, as well as providing SME's with a network of likeminded individuals to improve business strategies and drive performance within the workplace.