International Festival For Business 2016 Secures Google Backing

Digital Garage. Credit: Bevan Cockerill
INTERNATIONAL Festival for Business 2016 (IFB2016) has announced that tech giant Google will be a Festival Partner and that The Digital Garage will form a core part of the festival’s Business Club. The Digital Garage is Google’s initiative focused on helping local businesses, start-ups, and anyone interested in a ‘digital tune-up’ to learn the skills they need to make the most of the web, and grow their business or career. It focuses on equipping businesses with the knowledge they need to turbocharge growth, with the workshops acting as a one stop shop to accelerate small business success. The core training proposition focuses on two main themes: ‘Telling Your Story Online’ which helps improve digital presence, and ‘Reaching New Customers’ which is focused on increasing customer visibility. The Digital Garage will offer a one-to-one mentoring and workshops to IFB2016 attendees when the festival opens on Monday 13 June until it closes on Friday 1 July. This will be accessed through free membership of the International Festival for Business Club. Over 88% of businesses that attended a training session at The Digital Garage in the past state that they have changed the way they run or promote their business online, with 68% of people surveyed saying they’ve seen positive results – measured by increased sales, bookings, web traffic or social media. As a global showcase for great British industries and an international hub for developing trade and export deals, IFB2016 is the world’s biggest business festival and a key date in both the UK and international business calendars. It will focus on three key sectors that are transforming the business landscape of Britain and beyond: manufacturing; creative & digital; and energy & environment. This summer’s festival follows the success of the inaugural International Festival for Business in 2014, which produced more than £200m of new investment deals and export sales totalling more than £80m as a direct result of introductions and connections facilitated by the event. IFB2016 is expected to attract more than 30,000 delegates from the UK and overseas and will be a buzzing marketplace for companies to create connections and do deals. Eileen Naughton, Google’s Managing Director for UK & Ireland said: “It can be easy to think that technology is just for start-ups, but we know it can bring real growth to all businesses. With fewer than 30% of SMEs having an effective online presence, we’re working to help jump start the other 70%. At a time when there is pressure for the UK to boost productivity and contribute to real wage increases, we believe Google can be a real growth engine that helps deliver these gains. “We share IFB2016’s goal of helping UK businesses grow and export, so we look forward to being a part of the festival this year.” Max Steinberg CBE, Chair of IFB2016 added: “The partnership with Google is a strong endorsement for the world’s biggest business festival and fully aligns with our focus on boosting the UK’s creative and digital sectors. “Attendees at IFB2016 will benefit from the mentoring and advice at The Google Digital Garage as part of a broader range of exceptional services through the International Festival for Business Club. We are pleased to welcome Google to our existing group of official partners in anticipation of what will undoubtedly be the greatest global business showcase of the year.”