Feature News — 13 May 2018

The first Business Festival to take place in the Black Country ended on 4 May 2018 after an exciting fortnight which saw over 4,200 people attend over 100 business events, staged right across the region.

With a market reach of 50.6 million*, hundreds of quality business events and so many attendees (of which a staggering 13 per cent* came from outside the Black Country), the Festival has already become the region’s biggest business event –in its first year.

There were 122 events of all shapes and sizes registered in the programme. These ranged from conferences, seminars, plant tours, comedy nights, race days, and expos to workshops, demonstrations, showcases, networking sessions and debates in all sorts of subjects comprising new and traditional industries.

Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands Combined Authority even recognised the importance of the Business Festival, and spoke at two separate events. He said, “The Festival has clearly been a tremendous success, not just in terms of in terms of numbers but also in terms of the profile it has given the Black Country.

“The Black Country business community stood up and shown what it is all about and really done itself proud.”

The Black Country Chamber of Commerce is the driving force behind the Business Festival.  It will run initially for three years with a view to becoming a permanent fixture in the business calendar.

The Chamber’s ambition is for the Festival to bring the region together to enable the local business community to engage, share best practice and collaborate with each other on a completely new level, whilst being perfect way to showcase the outstanding innovation, culture and commerce of the area to ultimately attract investment.

Reflecting on the successes in the first year, Corin Crane, chief executive of the Black Country Chamber of Commerce said, “I am so proud of the way that the whole of the Black Country has got involved in the Festival. It’s been a mind-blowing fortnight that has exceeded all expectations. 

“The Business Festival is one of our first initiatives to reinforce our new ambition to become more modern and easily accessible to local businesses, so they can access the support they need to thrive. It has been a great example of our business community coming together to champion the local area and we want to continue to work with businesses that understand their role in the local community, their supply chain and their responsibility to their workforce.

“The 122 registered events seamlessly reflected of the strengths of the Black Country’s colourful sectorial and economy, providing an unparalleled showcase of the region’s fantastic innovation, commerce and culture.

“This is a growing region that has seen massive investment in recent years. New industries have established themselves here and are growing and thriving. It really feels like we are witnessing a renaissance in the Black Country right now, and the region is catapulting onto the national radar as a prime location to invest, work and do business.

“The Chamber will be looking to build on everything that has happened in this year’s Festival and drive this forward in 2019.”

The Black Country Business Festival is run in association with Associate Events, and partnered by the Black Country Chamber of Commerce and DY5 – Dudley’s Business & Innovation Enterprise Zone in 2018.

It has also been supported by a number of organisations which all understand its importance and relevance and have wanted to contribute to its success. The sponsors have been Cox & Plant and the Ramada Park Hall Hotel, and supporters were the University of Wolverhampton, Talbots Law, Wolverhampton Racecourse,  Sandwell Council and Nachural. Business Festival media partners have been Express & Star, Midlands in Business, Signal 107 and Elonex.

The Business Festival would like to thank and acknowledge all sponsors, partners and media partners for their incredible support throughout.

The dates for 2019 have already been set as 13-24 May 2019. In order to keep the momentum of the Festival, it needs support to grow. Any businesses interested in getting involved, can get in touch now by emailing hello@blackcountrybusinessfestival.com or calling 01902 912304.

For information about the Black Country Business Festival, visit www.blackcountrybusinessfestival.com

* all figures estimated as of 3 May 2018

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