The Leicester Business Festival (LBF) will return between 23rd October and 3rd November 2017 and, for a further 2 years, structured under a new community interest company and with thanks to the generous support of the festival’s headline partner’ Leicester Castle Business School.
Leicester and Leicestershire is the East Midland’s largest economy and in 2014, Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership reported Gross Value Added of 3.9%, growing the economy to £19bn by 2015; a growth rate which outstretched that of London. With the economy predicted to grow to £23bn by 2020, Leicester Business Festival festival continues to play a critical role in the landscape Leicester and Leicestershire’s economic success.
LBF feeds this success by offering a unique combination of events that drive the strength, diversity, innovation and forward thinking culture of Leicester and Leicestershire’s business community forwards – it has become the platform to place the region at the centre of the UK’s business agenda.
Offering an extensive and wide-ranging programme of more than 120+ impressive events each year over a two-week period, LBF is currently the region’s largest business event. In 2016, 24% of the c.12,500 visitors were from outside Leicester and Leicestershire demonstrating the extent to which the festival is reaching far beyond the boundaries of the region and securing interest and investment from elsewhere in the UK and abroad. By business and for business, these events are hosted by the dynamic leaders of the business community and are programmed to showcase the developments and innovation coming out of the region.
Founded in 2014 by the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership (LLEP), the festival’s core objective is to place the region’s activities on a national and international platform in order to attract inward investment that will facilitate economic growth. The vision of the LLEP was to bring individual local businesses together to facilitate collective growth.
LBF is the antithesis of a ‘top down’ organisation. The entire festival is developed by business, for business allowing partners and supporters to take the lead in organising events and collectively setting the agenda and programme each year alongside the supportive framework of the LBF infrastructure and delivery team. LBF truly is the demonstration of Leicester and Leicestershire’s business community as it is today; dynamic, diverse and driven towards economic prosperity. This ownership of the programme has played a critical role in the festival’s success to this point and with the support of likeminded partners and sponsors we are delighted to be able to continue to showcase Leicester and Leicestershire’s rising success, locally, nationally and internationally for the foreseeable future.
The inaugural LBF was hosted in 2015 with an aim to host just 20 events and achieve local community buy-in in to the concept. It succeeded in hosting 80 events, following more than 140 applications and attracted more than 7,500 visitors. With a market reach of around 12.7Million, LBF 2016 grew to 117 events with c.12,500 visitors and over 97% of attendees questioned said that their business benefitted as a direct result of attending LBF. Forged private and public sector partnerships and contributions from companies such as Horiba MIRA Technology Park, PWC and Brewin Dolphin, along with access to events such as TedX talks and ‘Gateway to India’, emphasise the fruits to be harvested by companies both large and small from involvement in LBF’s vision. Organisations with a national and international reach, such as Norton Motorcycles and Make it British outline the far reaching scope of the festival whilst of equal value, LBF is always mindful that 67% of Leicester and Leicestershire’s businesses are SMEs; the programme consequentially also saw events hosted by local media and marketing companies, the LOROS charity hospice, Exchange Bar, Be Happy Yoga Project and Big Difference Company to name but a few.
Get involved in 2017
LBF depends on its partners, sponsors and event organisers for its annual success. Subject to defined criteria, everyone has the option to host their own events to demonstrate the strength and diversity of Leicester and Leicestershire’s offer, and organisers accept applications from businesses and organisations from right across the region.
Events are generally free to attend but must be hosted for the direct benefit of Leicester and Leicestershire’s business community and/or in the demonstration of the innovation coming from the region. Event applications that are purely promotional are instantly dismissed.
Sponsorship and support are key to the heart of the business festival and LBF 2017 already prides itself on a growing synergy of dynamic partners for this coming year. Scott Knowles, Chief Executive of the East Midlands Chamber and Chair of the Board and Director of the not-for-profit Community Interest Company which operates, owns and holds responsibility for developing Leicester Business Festival outlines this key element of LBF’s success:
“Leicester Business Festival provides a showcase for the innovative, creative and world class businesses in Leicester and Leicestershire via a programme of business events over two weeks. East Midlands Chamber is proud to be a stakeholder in the Festival to ensure its members, customers and the wider business community get the opportunity to participate in this world class business festival which is a key component in creating an environment that is conducive to good business in an ever evolving business community
We are delighted to welcome Leicester Castle Business School as our Headline Partner for the next three years, demonstrating their commitment to local businesses and the growth of the Leicester and Leicestershire economy. They are becoming a European leader in business education and are clearly equipping the next generation of our community to innovate and grow from the ground up. Without their continued support and partnership, we would not be able to produce such a unique and impactful event.”
In addition to the support secured from The Leicester Castle Business School, LBF has also received extensive support from the likes of East Midlands Chamber, East Midlands Airport, LLEP Business Gateway, MAG and the Federation of Small Businesses – with more to be confirmed shortly. Opportunities to support the festival are still available with a range of sponsorship packages on offer.
The benefits of sponsorship, partnership and shared vision advocated by LBF are outlined by Professor Dana Brown of Leicester Castle Business School:
By committing to the Leicester Business Festival for the next three years, we want the local business community to know that The Leicester Castle Business School is very much part of, and a resource for, the city’s business community.
There are many dimensions to your local university and whilst teaching and research form a crucial part of what we do, working with businesses is equally important and our university academics and staff can support your business growth in many ways.
The launch of Leicester Castle Business School at De Montfort University provides a unique opportunity to deliver research and skills fit for a rapidly changing business environment. Our new business school is focused on teaching skills of leadership, creativity and entrepreneurship, and exploring the broader purpose of business in helping to address local and global challenges.
Our programmes are predicated on an understanding that to be successful in business today, it is essential to have deep knowledge of the business context and how it is changing and evolving in relation to political events and social changes in our time. In highly competitive and changing global businesses, all employees need to embrace continual learning and to know how to and to use information wisely, to reach decisions, communicate, negotiate and work in team-based environments. Success in business in the 21st century requires creativity, cultural sensitivity and empathy, all of which we foster through unique educational experiences for undergraduates through to senior executives.
The Leicester Business Festival is something of which we were determined to be part of and we are proud to have been headline sponsors for 2016 and partners for the next three years.
The festival’s key aims of promoting the region and supporting the drive for economic growth falls into perfect harmony with the university’s own strategies and initiatives.
Joining forces with LBF will showcase what the city and county have to offer, supporting the university’s and the government’s wider strategy for UK economic prosperity.”
Making LBF 2017 Your Year
This year’s festival will be run in association with Associate Events. The full programme of events for LBF 2017 will be announced in September 2017 and applications to host an event will be live from 1st April 2017 closing on 31st August 2017. Whether you are interested in sponsorship, hosting an event or simply attending, the diverse opportunities LBF has to offer make this the year that you can put your business and Leicester and Leicestershire at the forefront of the regional and national business agenda.
For further information please contact:
Associate Events Press Office via [email protected] or 07393198103.
Visit the Leicester Business Festival website from the 1st April.
Leicester Business Festival is a Community Interest Company registered in England and Wales (company number 10522854).
www.leicesterbusinessfestival.com #LBF2017 /LBFestival