After two incredibly busy, yet very enjoyable two weeks filled with more than 100 business events, the fifth Leicester Business Festival (LBF) drew to a close this afternoon at De Montfort University’s prestigious Vijay Patel Building.
LBF sponsors, event organisers and business leaders from across the region celebrated two fantastic weeks which saw more than 6,300 attendees go to a diverse range of events that encompassed everything from farming, flying taxis and automated air travel, basketball, to health checks and massages, diversity, Formula 1 racing, comedy, and doing business in China.
There were also plenty of invaluable business support and networking along the way as well as outstanding speakers such as Google, an astronaut, the managing director of Iceland, UBER and former BBC TV Blue Peter presenters, to name but a few.
The closing celebration included five years of the LBF, which has amassed 576 events, welcomed 36,148 attendees and boasts a total marketing circulation of 372,147,741 since it began in 2015.
Scott Charlish, head of East Midlands financial planning at Brewin Dolphin is chair of the LBF Steering Group. He said, “The Leicester Business Festival never fails to disappoint. Year after year, the business community comes out in force during these two weeks, to make the most of the events and networking opportunities it presents.
“It’s brilliant to see that 82 per cent of attendees feel they benefited from the events and 95 per cent would recommend the LBF to others. This is a true reflection of the strength of the LBF and demonstrates its worth and longevity.”
Amongst celebratory canapes and drinks, several awards were presented by the LBF and event organisers who had run their own LBF competitions.
eatPOS won the LBF 2019 Engagement Award for being extremely active in their publicity and promotion - including a competition to give away a free EPOS (Electronic Point-of-Sale) tablet worth nearly £1600 - and for running an outstanding event, ‘Increasing Customer Reach and Retention, and Streamlining Business Operations Through Technology.’
The LLEP and East Midlands Airport won the award for the most Pioneering Event for ‘The Future of Human Mobility and the Connected Region’. This packed-out event featured a range of high-profile speakers who championed future technologies like flying taxis, UBER carpools and automated plane flights.
The LBF2019 Award went to We Love Surveys, for their event, ‘Employee Engagement - Effective Strategies, Stories and Technologies to Get it Right.’ This popular event was a great success, featuring quality speakers and was promoted very well.
Event organisers, Leicestershire and Rutland Sport awarded a LRS goody bag and a £20 sports voucher to Collette Degia from the East Midlands Chamber, who was the winner of the ‘Make Your Move with the Leicester Business Festival’ challenge. Collette logged over 100,000 steps across the two-week challenge. Whilst eatPOS awarded the EPOS tablet prize to the competition winner, Hothorpe Hall.
In October, 2019 Business Festival Headline partner, Leicester Castle Business School, De Montfort University (DMU) announced the continuation of the partnership for the next three years, along with the East Midlands Chamber and the LLEP Business Gateway.
Helen Donnellan, director of Business Engagement at DMU said, "I am so pleased that we can take a cohesive approach, with businesses across all areas, business organisations, public sector and universities all working together to support the development of our economy."
Alister de Ternant, managing director of Associate Events – the company which manages the LBF programme added, “The dates for next year’s Festival have been set as Monday 2 to Friday 13 November 2020 and already, we know of events that are in the pipeline. Although applications to host events will not open until the new year, we are still keen to have conversations now with anyone that is interested in getting involved by partnering or sponsoring.
“The Business Festival is a Community Interest Company (CIC) that is funded entirely by income from partnerships. As well as supporting a fantastic business initiative run for the local business community, with a total marketing circulation of 20,260,920, organisations also benefit from impressive exposure and profile-raising opportunities.
“We are additionally seeking interest from individuals to join the Board of Directors on the LBF CIC, as we continue to drive the Festival forwards and take it to the next level. Anyone that is interested should get in touch.”
The 2019 LBF has been headline partnered by Leicester Castle Business School and other partners have included East Midlands Chamber, East Midlands Airport, LLEP Business Gateway. The sponsors have been Brewin Dolphin, Pattersons Commercial Law, FSB, Shakespeare Martineau and Eileen Richards Recruitment and supporters were Everards Brewery, Harborough District Council, Bradgate Estates, Team Leicester, Highcross Leicester, Business Central, Growth Partners, Mindera and the Nachural Entrepreneurship Awards.
To take a look back at LBF2019, visit the website.