IFB 2016

The biggest event held at Exhibition Centre Liverpool so far, the International Festival for Business, was hailed a success.

More than 26,000 delegates from all over the world attended the three week event held throughout June at the waterfront venue.  More than 80 events took place with multi-million pound business deals carried out in the exhibition halls. 

Highlights included the official opening of Exhibition Centre Liverpool and its adjoining hotel, Pullman Liverpool, by Her Majesty the Queen and the announcement that BBC Worldwide Show will return for a further three years.

Bob Prattey, chief executive of The ACC Liverpool Group, home to BT Convention Centre, Echo Arena and Exhibition Centre Liverpool, said: “IFB2016 was the largest event we have hosted in Exhibition Centre Liverpool since we opened our doors in September.  For three weeks the venue was transformed into a hub for exhibitions, seminars, networking events and inspirational speakers – the scale of which has never been seen in Liverpool, or indeed the UK, before.

“Among the highlights of the festival was the official opening of Exhibition Centre Liverpool and Pullman Liverpool by Her Majesty The Queen and His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh – it was an honour to welcome the royal party back to ACC Liverpool. 

“As well as more than 80 events in the exhibition centre under the umbrella of IFB2016, June was also a busy month in the arena and convention centre.”

The festival was delivered in partnership with UK Trade & Investment, the GREAT Britain Campaign and with the support of the UK Government.  Official partners included HSBC, BT and Google.  High profile business leaders such as Sir Terry Leahy and Sir Martin Sorrell gave keynote speeches and political leaders who attended included George Osborne, Michael Heseltine and F W de Clerk.

Max Steinberg, chairman of IFB2016, said: “Scores of international delegates, many of whom had never visited Liverpool before, went out of their way to tell us how much the city and Exhibition Centre Liverpool wowed them.

“The choice of Liverpool as host city is no accident. Liverpool’s centuries-long reputation as an international trading city, its global reputation as a centre for creativity – in all spheres of life – and the outstanding Exhibition Centre Liverpool make it the perfect location.”

The International Festival for Business is set to return to Exhibition Centre Liverpool in 2018 and 2020 and, following this year’s success, the festival in 2018 has already secured the prestigious World Forum for Foreign Direct Investment: one of the world’s top, international deal-making events. 

Mr Prattey added: “We now look forward to our next chapter of high profile events in the autumn which range from the European Association for International Education through to the Labour Party conference to Rod Stewart in the Echo Arena.”

IFB2016 in numbers:

  • 44,000 - members who joined the International Festival for Business Club
  • 97 - international delegations from 97 countries joined the many delegations that travelled to Liverpool from around the UK
  • £265m - economic value generated around the event
  • 150 – quality enquiries received on the Invest Liverpool stand from potential investors in the city region?, across all sectors
  • 4,500 - face-to-face business meetings as part of Meet Your Future Deal



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