Business festival may be mix of online and physical events

By John Corser | Business Picks | Published:

The Black Country Business Festival is set to be a mix of physical and digital events this year.

Black Country Chamber of Commerce chief executive Corin Crane

The third annual festival had to be postponed to the autumn after the outbreak of coronavirus in the UK.

Original May 11 to 22 dates have been put back to October 5 to 15 by organisers from the Black Country Chamber of Commerce and business organisations from across the region.

So far 71 of the 113 events that had been planned have been switched to new autumn dates.

Chamber chief executive Corin Crane told the festival steering group: "We are still not entirely sure if we will be able to have face-to-face meetings in October. The best course is to have a hybrid festival with mainly online events."

If no physical events can take place then the festival will be entirely online.

"We are all now so used to using digital technology that we can run a really successful digital programme," he added.

"We still want to have one of the biggest business festivals in the country," he stressed.

The aim is to have major national business figures taking part online this year as well.


The festival will promote key sectors, such as automotive, and focus on boosting the region's economy as it bounces back from Covid-19 and opportunities for helping develop the skills that will be needed by businesses in the Black Country.

Applications to stage events for the festival will now run until August 14 and tickets will go live on August 17.

Anyone wishing to submit an event needs to simply visit the BCBF website and complete the short application form providing details about their event, date and time.

Business support is strong on the agenda and there are also a number of events surrounding the important subject of mental health and well-being in the work place. The strengths in the Black Country are also being brought to the forefront with niche events, such as building and re-powering advanced manufacturing.


University of Wolverhampton’s motor racing team – the only student-run racing team in the UK – who compete in the F3 Cup and the Morgan Challenge will be demonstrating "The Business of Winning" whilst Creative Black Country is also getting involved with their "Let's Create" events.

Mr Crane, said: “The fact that so many events have transferred to the new dates is amazing. It really demonstrates the strength and determination of businesses in the Black Country who are keen to pick themselves up and carry on.

“The programme is already looking exciting and there is time for more events to be added as businesses and the economy starts to reboot.”

Gemma West, project manager from Associate Events – the agency managing BCBF – said: “The business festival will be featuring so many interesting and useful events that will be very beneficial to the wider business community – particularly as we emerge from this unfortunate downtime.

“We would encourage any business to get involved by running events or attending. There will be lots of digital events this year which will make the festival even more accessible. Anyone that hasn’t yet transferred their events or needs help with the process should get in touch.”

John Corser

By John Corser
Business Reporter

Express & Star Business Editor at head office, Wolverhampton. Welcomes all news of companies and business organisations.

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