The 50-day International Festival for Business (IFB) 2014 kicked off this week in Liverpool and the North West.
Britain for Events, a campaign for the events sector, has welcomed Prime Minister David Cameron's opening address, which lauded the festival as "the biggest showcase of British industry since 1951 and a shop window for UK innovation and creativity", underlining the major influence business events make to developing industry within the UK.
More than 300 meetings, conferences, exhibitions and trade shows will take place during the first ever IFB at a number of venues, including the Museum of Liverpool, The Liver Building, the ACC Liverpool and the National Motorcycle Museum in Solihull.
Several visitor economy events will be hosted as part of the festival with the National Tourist Board, Visit England, British Destinations, The European Tour Operators Association, and the Tourism Society delivering a full programme of events.
Event sector organisations are also out in force with the Business Visits and Events Partnership, ABPCO, ICCA, HBAA, AEV/ESSA, EVCOM and ISES also planning events during the festival.