Your global marketplace


Get Fit for IFB2016

Welcome to Get Fit for IFB2016 

To get the most out of IFB2016 preparation will be the key.  Get Fit for IFB2016 will help you understand what’s on offer and explore the opportunities in the world’s biggest business festival.  Regular articles from industry experts, links to relevant websites and webinars that will provoke thought and increase your understanding and updates on current worldwide business opportunities. With the latest news and views about the Festival and constantly updated information, we will help you prepare to meet your global marketplace.

IFB2016 unwrapped

ian mccarthy, festival director ifb2016, highlights the reasons why businesses should attend the festival 

Ian Mc

The International Festival for Business 2016 is the world’s top business event this year. More than 30,000 delegates from across the UK and over 90 countries around the world will gather in Liverpool for three weeks of deal-making – but there might be more to IFB2016 than you realise…

This festival is the biggest event of its kind in the world and it is the definitive marketplace to make connections, do deals and inspire you to challenge the way business is done – to innovate, change and grow in a world that never stands still.

Taking place at Exhibition Centre Liverpool from 13th June to 1st July, there will be three themed weeks of events: Week 1 – Manufacturing. Week 2 – Energy and Environment. Week 3 – Creative and Digital.

There will be practical business activities, trade events, specialist investment advice and business matching. There will also be the world’s most inspiring speakers and showcases of the most innovative products and services.

With Meet Your Future Deal, we are offering the world’s biggest, free meet the buyer event and this is supported by our digital matching service that will help businesses make the right contacts – 6,000 face-to-face meetings with businesses that are paired together through state-of-the-art technology.

The opportunities to meet buyers, investors, suppliers and technology partners at the festival are unrivalled. These are all opportunities to do deals and they are all completely free – to access them, you simply need to join the International Festival for Business Club on our website.

Meet the Expert masterclasses will unlock the secrets of commercial success, through twice-daily sessions. Like all our content, it is completely free to business club members and topics range from ‘Seven essential elements of successful international marketing’ to ‘Funny Business’ (incorporating humour into presentations for diverse or international audiences) and everything in between.

 There are also around 80 internationally renowned business conferences and seminars – IFB2016 is the place to learn, share and develop new ways of thinking. It is a festival of ideas, innovation, challenge and creativity, a place where businesses of all sizes come to grow.

Alongside all this is the specialist advice that is available to business club members. Businesses that aim to grow domestically, export for the first time or increase their international presence will all be supported by our Meet the Specialist Advisor programme, which will see experts in all aspects of the business growth and export journeys provide bespoke, one-to-one advice.

Complementing our conferences and business to business services, we have three weeks of events that are inspirational, challenging and prophetic.

Our early evening Blue Skies speaker programme will see 15 of the world’s most inspirational leaders share their experiences. Talks throughout the day will challenge the way we think about business, society, culture and the environment.

Blue Skies speakers include Sir Martin Sorrell, CEO of the world’s biggest advertising group WPP, Lady Barbara Judge, Chairman Emeritus of UK Atomic Energy Authority, Andy Palmer, CEO of Aston Martin, FW De Klerk, the former President of South Africa who ended Apartheid, Liv Garfield, CEO Severn Trent and Lord O’Neill, Commercial Secretary to the Treasury and renowned economist.

These and many other leading figures will provide a glimpse into how we can all challenge convention and achieve something incredible. Visit our website to see who completes the line-up.

Blue Skies day sessions are built around a programme that set IFB2016 apart from all other business festivals. Challenging the role business plays in everyday life through panels, talks and open debates, this programme could have a major impact on the future of how we live and work.

Global leaders from the fields of politics, business, academia and culture and trail-blazing thinkers from the worlds of sustainability, fashion, retail, banking, automotive, manufacturing, engineering and economics will discuss how we can all come together to shape the impact of business on the way we all live. It is a genuinely exciting programme that will truly bring IFB2016 to life.

Blue Skies day sessions cover everything from the disproportionate amount of public school-educated people in top professions to the future of sustainability, which challenges the idea of ‘less’ – less waste, less carbon and less packaging – and instead asks ‘what about better?’

There will be events on artificial intelligence and debates on how the development of robots could impact jobs, panels on virtual reality and theatre, debates on smart cities and the future of ‘place’, talks about employing ex-prisoners, the circular economy, the business of science, the arts, ethics and so much more.

Blue Skies sessions will be delivered by experts, including Clemens Wangerin, Managing Director of growing social virtual reality application vTime, who is working to turn social networks into virtual experiences with family and friends in spectacular – virtual destinations – and Timpsons’ CEO James Timpson, who will discuss his firm’s maverick approach to recruitment, which sees it work closely with the prison service to identify potential candidates.

Innovation is a key theme that will run throughout IFB2016. The GREAT British Showcase will inspire with the latest from UK businesses: ambitious and mind-blowing innovation that will change whole sectors and the ACCELERATE 2016 event will deliver a unique accelerator for growth and an opportunity to connect with organisations that think smarter, taking businesses to the next level, while the Google Digital Garage will see the tech-giant help sharing its ground-breaking expertise through a series of sessions.

IFB2016 follows the inaugural International Festival for Business, which took place in 2014 and businesses are still seeing the benefit of the festival two years ago: still doing deals and trading with contacts they made.

When we talked to businesses that took part in IFB2014, a year after it took place, we found that £hundreds of millions of trade and investment deals were done and thousands of new jobs were created as business grew as a direct result.

IFB2016 promises to be even more successful, more concentrated, more focused and with more opportunities for businesses. This year’s festival will generate an economic value of £265 million and businesses need to get involved and secure their share of that opportunity.

There is no downside. IFB2016 is the natural next step for businesses that want to grow domestically or internationally. There is nowhere else that brings all this content and all these opportunities together, under one roof this year and there is nothing else like it in the UK. IFB2016 is simply a must-attend event.

My one piece of advice to you is that you should join the International Festival for Business Club. Visit our website – – and register. It is completely free and it provides entry to the festival.  It only takes a couple of minutes and it opens up a world of opportunities: Meet Your Future Deal - free 

If you want to stretch your understanding and take part in debate and discussion on the key topics challenging and inspiring our leaders in industry, policy and academia and learn more about how the landscape around us is evolving and developing, this is the festival for you.

If you want to innovate and share ideas with the brightest and most forward-thinking business leaders, entrepreneurs and political thinkers, this is the festival for you.

If you want to connect with potential buyers, investors and technology partners – and do deals, this is the festival for you.

Find out more about opportunities at IFB2016, see the festival’s events and speakers and join the International Festival for Business Club via the website


Business club events

How to safeguard your business against bribery

EIG Hub Thursday 16th June, 2.00pm – 3.00pm

Bribery and other forms of corruption continue to pose a challenge to international business, distorting markets,  damaging local economies and communities and posing significant risks to business.

Ingrid Leonard is the Anti-Bribery Outreach lead for the National Crime Agency's International Corruption Unit. (ICU).  Her role is to promote anti-bribery compliance to business (particularly SMEs) through dialogue so that companies are aware of the defence available to them under the UK Bribery Act and the steps they can take to safeguard their business against committing offences under the Act.   DC Mark Lugton is a serving police officer with considerable experience in investigating bribery offences and anti-bribery outreach. He is currently based at the City of London Police Overseas Anti-Corruption Unit. Both will be available at IFB2016 on Thursday 16th June and would be delighted to meet businesses to discuss any bribery concerns they have.

The ICU was created in May 2015 as part of the UK Anti Corruption Plan, combining the remits of the Metropolitan Police Proceeds of Corruption Unit, the City of London Police Overseas Anti-Corruption Unit and elements of the NCA Economic Crime Command.



Watch our short video where IFB2016 Partnerships Manager Rob Capleton explains how to make the most of the festival.   



Exporting food and drink to the Indian market

Tue, 28 Jun 2016 10:30 AM - 11:30 AM BST

Food and drink is valued at £120 billion in India.  Increasing globalisation, a large growing middle class and the growth of organised retail, have made the Indian market more attractive for global players.

India’s food processing sector ranks fifth in the world in exports, production and consumption. India is fast emerging as a sourcing hub of processed food, with a large agricultural sector, abundant livestock and cost competitiveness.

Main opportunity areas are for UK companies are alcoholic beverages, dairy products, gourmet food and poultry.

Register for the webinar here   


Feature Articles 

International Trade – Three Simple Messages







Join us

Businesses - accelerate your international ambitions. Secure your place at the UK’s biggest-ever business festival.

Join business club