Region’s big business showcase returns to the Black Country

The region's biggest business showcase is set to return to the Black Country next year following the huge success of the inaugural event.

Thousands of people attended more than 100 events during the Black Country Business Festival this summer.

It returns next year, running from May 13-24, and will be open to applications to run an event from Tuesday, December 4.

Anyone can apply to run an event in the Festival and this can take any shape from a conference, seminar, premises tour or expo to a workshop, product demonstration, showcase, or debate. All events should look to share knowledge and showcase why the region is leading the way in innovation, commerce and culture.

Established and seed funded by the Black Country Chamber of Commerce the first Festival became the region’s biggest business event with over 5,000 attendees, more than 100 events and a phenomenal market reach of 50.6 million.

Corin Crane, chief executive of the Black Country Chamber, said: “The Business Festival is a once-a-year opportunity for the region to come together to engage, share best practice and collaborate on a completely new level. There are many ways to get involved. As well as sponsoring or partnering, we are also looking for venues and businesses to offer their room space for free to other event organisers and in doing so, will benefit from the promotional opportunities.

“We want as many businesses to get behind the Festival as possible, so as a region, we can collectively showcase the best of the Black Country to the rest of the world. This is going to be a national event, based in the Black Country and I couldn’t be prouder that the chamber is fronting it on behalf of Black Country businesses”

To guide prospective event organisers through the process, a workshop is being held on Tuesday from 11am to 1pm at the Wolverhampton Grand Theatre.

There will be lots of information about the Business Festival as well as hints and tips on how to run a successful event from organisers’ Associate Events. Places on the aptly-named ‘How to Host an amazing event’ workshop must be booked in advance via the Black Country Business Festival website or by calling 01902 912304.

Mr Crane said: “I would encourage anyone thinking of running an event who is not particularly familiar with the Business Festival or hasn’t ever organised an event before to attend the workshop on December 4 to learn more about how to run an event in the Festival."

The Festival is mainly financed through sponsorship. Sponsoring or partnering with the Festival tends to bring exposure not only locally and regionally, but also on a wider, national level.

A number of key partners and sponsors are already on board and organisers say there are still opportunities available.

Solicitors Talbots Law, DY5 - Dudley’s Business and Innovation Enterprise Zone and Birmingham Airport have signed up to be Festival partners, whilst Casino 36 has confirmed its commitment for the next two years as a sponsor.

Official Business Festival supporters include Wolverhampton Racecourse; accountancy firm Crowe UK; Wolverhampton Grand Theatre and Sandwell Council.

Matt Wistow, client relationship and business development director at Talbots Law, said: “Talbots Law was actively engaged with the first Business Festival as a sponsor, events organiser, sector lead, venue host and, in addition, many of our employees also attended several events.

“We found it incredibly beneficial: in particular, the phenomenal exposure we received, the increased business engagement and new leads that it brought. We are delighted to once again play an integral part in the Business Festival and will be looking forward to capitalising on the opportunities that it presents to our business.”

To find out more about sponsorship or for more information, visit www.blackcountrybusinessfestival.com, email hello@blackcountrybusinessfestival.com or call 01902 912304.

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