IFB 2016 delivers £250 million in sales for UK businesses


The International Festival for Business 2016 is expected to deliver around £250m of sales for UK businesses and create over 2,000 jobs, according to an independent evaluation.

The three-week UK festival hosted in Liverpool ran from June 13 to July 1 and drew tens of thousands of business people to the city region to trade with UK businesses.

The festival welcomed 103 international delegations made up of 800 companies from across the globe, along with thousands of UK businesses and visitors.

An independent evaluation report, commissioned by Liverpool Vision, reveals that more than 500 UK businesses secured or expect to secure £87m in export sales as a direct result of the festival.

Domestic trade was also strong, with over 850 UK businesses reporting that they had secured or expect to secure £145m of UK sales.

Attending the festival boosted engagement and interest in exporting, with 13 per cent of participant UK companies now actively exploring exporting for the first time and 17 per cent of UK businesses exploring new export markets.

The research also shows that 250 UK businesses expect to attract about £10m of overseas investment as a result of taking part in IFB2016, and 300 UK businesses expect to secure some £12m of investment from within the UK.

IFB2016 was delivered by the Mayor of Liverpool’s economic development agency Liverpool Vision in partnership with UK Trade & Investment (UKTI), the GREAT Britain Campaign and with the support of the UK Government.

More than 14,000 delegates took part in the festival, 1,700 from 98 countries overseas and 12,700 from the UK. Together, they made more than 26,000 day visits to the festival.

It is also estimated that there was more than £3m of spending in the Liverpool City Region visitor economy, generating 60 jobs.

Almost 60 per cent of participants said the IFB2016 had exceeded their expectations for business benefit. Eighty per cent said they had a positive experience overall and seventy-eight per cent said they were interested in attending IFB2018.

Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson said: “IFB2016 was a brilliant platform to boost UK business and showcase the UK’s offering to the world. It was also a brilliant opportunity to showcase Liverpool. The findings of the research show that this year’s event has built on the success of IFB2014 and delivered tangible benefits to UK businesses and communities.”

Max Steinberg, Chief Executive of Liverpool Vision and Chair of IFB2016, said: “This report shows IFB’s strong impact on the UK economy – both in terms of sales delivered and investment secured, but also as a platform for UK businesses to connect with global partners, create valuable connections and develop new international networks.

“Removing barriers to international trade and enabling collaboration is at the heart of the IFB vision and we’re delighted to be celebrating another successful festival in 2018.”

Festival director Ian McCarthy added: “This very extensive survey of business participants in IFB2016 demonstrates that the festival provides a great platform for internationally ambitious SME’s. Our ambitions for IFB2018 are even greater and we’re looking forward to delivering a rich, vibrant festival that brings the global business community together to innovate, connect and collaborate, all within our fantastic city region.

“The Liverpool City Region has once again shown its ability to deliver an outstanding global business festival. We delivered a world-class conference experience to thousands of delegates and our host city delivered a friendly welcome to the thousands of attendees.”

Inventor Brian Wilkinson said: “IFB2016 has put us in face to face contact with people from around the world: something that would otherwise involve a lot of time and effort. I can’t begin to emphasise how helpful it is to have a global market in one convention centre. As well as China, we have had interest from Mexico and Pakistan. To say that we could secure more than £20 million worth of new deals after the first three days of the IFB2016, and this figure could grow significantly, is fantastic.

Paul Horan, Director of Cracker 123, said: “IFB2016 has been a fantastic platform for the company to make connections and raise awareness of the business and our services. We’ve secured 20 serious leads that we’re confident will translate into tangible deals and we’re delighted with the level of interest in our services.”


Liverpool Waterfront