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Leicester Business Festival 2017 celebrates its place as the region’s largest business event

After a whirlwind of a fortnight, the third annual Leicester Business Festival (LBF) officially drew to a close on Friday (3rd November) at the newly-refurbished conference and wedding venue, Winstanley Hall in Braunstone Park.

Sponsored by Leicester Castle Business School, the third annual Business Festival which started on 23rd October, boasted amazing results proving again to be the region’s largest business event, gaining international recognition. Over 10,000 individuals attended a programme which encompassed 154 events of which nearly a quarter were completely ‘sold out’.

With thirteen sectors covering a vast range of business subjects the Festival really had something for everyone with everything from tradeshows, seminars, workshops, award ceremonies and recruitment fayres, taking place all over the city and county.

Popular sectors for events included Communication, Marketing and Sales (65 events), followed by Professional and Financial Services events (24 events) and Creative Industries (20 events).

Scott Knowles, Chair of the Leicester Business Festival CiC Board said: “In our first year as a Community Interest Company, I am delighted with the direction the Festival has taken. It has been a truly fantastic fortnight, with so many inspiring events offering something for everyone from micro-businesses through to large corporates.

“This year saw almost a quarter of delegates travelling into Leicestershire from outside the county and about 80 people flying in from as far afield as Russia, China, USA, France, Greece and even Ecuador, just to attend Business Festival events. This confirms that the Leicester Business Festival has developed an international as well as a national presence and is helping to place Leicester firmly on the global map in terms of business.

“I’d like to say a huge thank you to all of our partners and sponsors, without which the Festival would not be possible. These organisations - many of which have committed until 2019 - clearly appreciate the importance of the Business Festival’s positive impact, its potential and the recognition and investment it can bring to the area.

“The Festival is now firmly established in the annual business calendar and I am looking forward to seeing how it develops in 2018.”

The Business Festival’s headline partner is Leicester Castle Business School. Principal, Professor Dana Brown said, “What makes Leicester so successful is positive energy of institutions across the board - government, local communities, schools and universities and businesses all working together toward common interests.

There is nowhere more fitting to demonstrate the reality of this than the Business Festival, with 88 per cent of businesses saying the Festival positively affected their business.

Leicester Business Festival has and continues to enable us to parade all that we have to offer here in Leicester and Leicestershire on a huge stage. Promotion of our city and region is a core component of DMU’s mission, and we firmly believe that universities will have a greater than ever role to play in regional economic development as a partner of business and government. Sponsoring the LBF for at least the next two years allows us to do just that.”

‘Event of the Festival’ was awarded to LATi and 'inCharnwood' (a Charnwood Borough Council initiative) for their Advanced Manufacturing event, ‘Innovation inCharnwood – How to Innovate and Win’.

This exhibition and showcase saw leaders from high tech, scientific and engineering businesses, Sports and Life Sciences, Biosciences and Healthcare, Advanced Manufacturing, Earth and Space Science turn out to hear about the exciting innovations from companies like 3M, TBAT Innovation, Incus Performance, Sentle and Event Engineering.

Sam Stephens, sector lead for Advanced Manufacturing said, “This is the first time the LATi and inCharnwood partnership has ever run anything like this. We were overwhelmed by the response and at one point, there were people queuing out the door to sign up for one of the many talks, bookable on the day. This really does demonstrate the strength of the Business Festival, innovation and Advanced Manufacturing in Charnwood and the Leicestershire region as well as the exceptional science and technology enterprises in our midst.”

Festival organisers, Associate Events’ Managing Director, Alister De Ternant said, “Having been involved in all three of Leicester’s Business Festivals, I can hand-on-heart say this has been the best yet. The business community shown astounding engagement with more events in the programme than ever before, many of them selling out and the sheer number of attendees has been amazing. It has truly been a fantastic two weeks and I am overwhelmed by the level of engagement and support that the local business community has provided to make the Festival an international success story.

“The promotion and publicity of the Festival has been exceptional - reaching 14.25million with a circulation of 62.7Million. As a result, we have seen nearly 27% of people that attended being from outside of Leicestershire, proving that people are hearing and about the LBF and wanting to hear about this great region.

“With Leicester Castle Business School, the LLEP Business Gateway, East Midlands Airport and East Midlands Chamber all on board for three years, the Business Festival is here to stay. We will be building on the momentum of success from 2017 right away and are already looking for more organisations to get involved and support the Festival in 2018 and beyond.”

Along with headline partners, the 2017 Festival has the support of well-known business organisations including East Midlands Chamber; LLEP Business Gateway; East Midlands Airport; the Federation of Small Businesses; Highcross Leicester; Brewin Dolphin; Leicester Racecourse and IBM.

The festival’s other supporters include East Midlands Trains, IOD, De Montfort University, University of Leicester and media partners, Capital FM, Global Radio, FU Media and the Leicester Mercury.

For more information or to get discussed involvement next year’s Festival, or call 0116 464 5995. More information is available on the LBF website

To view a short round up video about the Leicester Business Festival 2017, go to:

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