International Business Festival Should Prioritize Communication
On February 25, the U.K.’s Prime Minister David Cameron announced the International Festival of Business. This event will be hosted in Liverpool in 2014 and could attract as many as 250,000 people. Invitations have been extended to multinational corporations, entrepreneurs, policy makers, tourists and inward investors from around the world. But in order for the festival to truly be successful, the sharing of ideas and opening of doors for communication must be emphasized in the planning of the event.
According to Liverpool Vision, the city’s economic development company, “The festival will act as a launch pad for commercial success by providing opportunities to engage with new networks and make global deals. It will bring together innovators from key sectors, united by a will to win and an ambitious desire to gain competitive advances.”
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said, “We have a huge number of budding businesses – of all sizes – in Britain. The Festival is a chance to show the world that we are open for business and will create new opportunities.”
Although the attending companies have not yet been released, the media’s announcement of this festival demonstrates confidence in the event’s promise—however; it does not guarantee its success.
Liverpool can maximize the festival’s potential by encouraging those in attendance to communicate openly with one another. This would require each business executive to be fully engaged in the festival activities, thus allowing for a flow of new ideas throughout the event. The ultimate goal of the festival is to expand company profits and this comes from investors recognizing the potential of companies, so it is important that promising businesses are willing to put their ideas on the table for investors to see. If each individual is engaged with the festival on a personal level, investors will be able to make better, more educated decisions on where their investments should be placed.
Economist Richard Bowett states that “good information” and “experience in interpreting information” are essential to the business decision-making process. People will not risk large sums of money if they are uncertain of the outcome, but the more one communicates, the clearer the outcome becomes for investors.
Those invited to the festival will be genuinely interested in sharing their ideas and in investment. But it does not hurt to find ways to maximize opportunities for this to occur. The International Festival of Business is set to be the largest event of its kind in the UK since the 1951 Festival of Britain. But again, as any businessperson would say, “Our goal is to maximize profits,” and in this case the goal is to maximize this event.
Thus far, the planners of the festival have done well in achieving this goal, such as in their choice of location. Britain is a top destination for inward investment and in close geographical proximity to international markets. Liverpool, in particular, has experienced $6 billion in investment growth and has established itself globally as a business center and the UK’s third most popular tourist destination.
The festival will feature signature events organized by the city as well as smaller events catering to international, national, regional and local audiences. The events will include conferences, one-on-one meetings, exhibitions, cultural celebrations, seminars, workshops and more. These allow for a wide range of businesses, from the international to the local level, to meet the right people in the right areas. However, it is important that each and every one of these events have its own unique aspect that encourages business owners to share their ideas with investors.
It also comes down to those individuals hosting the events. Liverpool Vision’s website encourages people to get involved in the festival as sponsors, event partners, exhibitors, promoters, speakers or patrons. Ideally, everyone involved should be in tune with the ins and outs of the festival and their mentality should align with the festival’s overall goal. This will encourage the individuals representing each organization to communicate in a way that promotes information sharing.
The 21st century has been a transformative period for companies and their executives, as international business has become more and more important. I believe the International Festival of Business has the potential to open the U.K.’s doors to the world. But the processes and methods of communication used during this festival hold the key to its success.
As the festival draws closer, I hope the details of each and every single event are carefully planned, to make sure that everyone involved knows their role and that individuals are encouraged to invest by communication and the sharing of ideas.