It is the fourth year of the annual two-week event, which will run from October 4 to 15.
Event organisers will be able to choose how to run their events. Although it is hoped that in-person events will have resumed by October, the digital route is also an option again and may still be preferred by many. Last year’s festival was predominantly online and successfully saw 96 registered events and nearly 900 businesses involved, despite taking place in the height of the pandemic.
The Black Country Business Festival remains one of the largest and most established business events in the region and BCBF2021 is predicted to have a strong impact as the country emerges from the pandemic.
This year will see some changes to the structure. New themes have been established, which represent key areas within the Black Country that have either thrived or been impacted over the recent months, or where support and assistance can be offered to businesses to help them bounce back.
The new themes are: inclusive growth – to include events such as leadership, selection and recruitment, diversity, HR, sustainability in the workplace, training, mental health and education; innovation – covering manufacturing, vehicles, strategies, dealing with the impact of Covid-19 and collaborations; business growth – exploring such elements as support, training, education, legal, finance, bounding back after Brexit, marketing and advertising; This is the Black Country – events which place the region at the forefront including for example, created and made by local businesses, tourism, arts, culture and leisure and regeneration – where development and growth is key, covering retail, office space, transport, construction and zero carbon economy events.
As well as fitting into the themes, events must fulfil certain criteria to be able to take part. Each event application will be assessed and scored on how well it meets the conditions set.
Corin Crane, chief executive of the Black Country Chamber of Commerce said: “Black Country businesses have faced the most challenging time over the last year, but the Festival remains a constant feature in the calendar and will certainly offer a variety of opportunities to reboot and reconnect.
“This year we have taken steps to develop the BCBF by bringing in new themes and a process to assess the event applications. This will help us to ensure the events are of the highest quality so the Festival remains beneficial to the business community as well as meeting the objectives that it was originally set up to achieve.”
The application form along with information on the criteria, application process and themes will be available on the BCBF website at: www.blackcountrybusinessfestival.com/getinvolved from Wednesday.
To make the application process as easy as possible, help and guidance is available from the team at the BCBF by emailing email@example.com or by calling 01902 912304.
The final deadline to submit event applications is August 13.