2018 International Business Festival opens

Today the world’s biggest business festival opens its doors to domestic and international entrepreneurs looking to take their businesses to the next level.

The 2018 International Business Festival runs until 28 June and aims to give businesses the inspiration, support and expertise they need to make connections, do deals and realise their potential.

In numbers, the Festival paints an impressive picture:

  • 200 lively TED-style talks on the Futures Stage
  • Thousands of companies represented across nine high-growth sectors
  • 150 international business delegations from key global markets including China, India and the United States
  • 50 workshops featuring practical advice and expert tips
  • Hundreds of world-leading products, ideas and services showcased in the International Marketplace

The event has the support of major high-profile partners in government and industry including from its patron HRH Duke of Cambridge, who will be attending the Festival on 19 June to meet with innovative businesses and speak to delegates.

Prime Minister, Rt Hon Theresa May MP said: “I am delighted that we are hosting a festival that will bring together hundreds of investors, innovators and industry leaders from around the world in Liverpool. It is a fantastic opportunity for international businesses to connect with their UK counterparts, to increase trade and investment opportunities, and provide companies with a platform to build their global presence.

“We are an open, competitive, trading economy. We are world leaders in science and innovation, global finance, professional services, the creative industries, in autos, aerospace and advanced engineering – and we are one of the best places to start and grow a high-tech business. And events such as the International Business Festival have an important role to play in championing and supporting business.”

Max Steinberg, Chairman of the International Business Festival “There’s still time to join us in Liverpool. We’ll be welcoming businesspeople from around the world, all looking to share knowledge and build their networks. Your next buyer, supplier or investor could well be at the International Business Festival. If you’re in business, it’s an opportunity you really can’t afford to miss.”

A comprehensive programme of speakers includes:

  • Carolyn Fairbairn, Director-General, CBI
  • Richard Bearman, Head of Business Banking, HSBC UK
  • Alex Cruz, Chairman and CEO, British Airways
  • Simon Segars, Chief Executive Officer, ARM Holdings
  • Juergen Maier FREng, Chief Executive, Siemens Plc
  • Lord Jim O’Neill of Gatley, Former chairman and economist, Goldman Sachs
  • Dr Patrick Vallance, UK Chief Scientific Adviser
  • Alan Cross, Chair of Board of Directors, Northern Space Consortium
  • Dr Ian Campbell, Interim Executive Chair Designate, Innovate UK
  • Dr Hayaatun Sillem FIET, Chief Executive, Royal Academy of Engineering
  • Lord Karan Bilimoria CBE DL, Founder and Chairman, Cobra Beer
  • Jude Kelly CBE, Former Artistic Director, Southbank Centre
  • Wayne Hemingway MBE, Founder & Fashion Designer, Hemingway Design
  • Jonathan Rigby, Commercial Director, British Cycling
  • Julio Gil, Industrial Engineering Manager in the Innovation and Advanced Technology Group, UPS Corporate

Each day of the Festival’s programme will focus on a high-growth sector, from sustainable energy through manufacturing to creative industries. Topics for discussion on the Festival’s main stage include the future world of work, cities in the 21st century, driverless futures, manufacturing in space, the productivity puzzle and culture as a soft power.

Alongside insightful and inspirational panels and presentations, delegates will also be able to access practical advice on business growth at a dedicated Knowledge Hub and interact with the latest tech in the Innovation Hub, presented with partners in UK Government.

Also making their home at the Festival are a host of world-leading third-party events including the World Forum for Foreign Direct Investment 2018, Scale-up Britain and SheTrades Global.

Liverpool Waterfront