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4 - 15 October 2021
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Instead of sectors this year the BCBF Board have provided themes for your events to be allocated into (some of these may consist of multiple themes and if this is the case, please let us know in your application form). These themes represent the key areas within the Black Country that have been impacted over the recent months, those that have thrived and those that can offer the business community support and assistance to help them bounce back.

  • Inclusive Growth: To include events such as leadership, selection and recruitment, diversity, HR, sustainability in the workplace, training, mental health, education etc.

  • Innovation: Covering manufacturing, vehicles, strategies, dealing with the impact of COVID 19, collaborations etc.

  • Business Growth: Exploring such elements as support, training, education, legal, finance, bounding back after Brexit, marketing and advertising.

  • This is the Black Country: Events which place the region at the forefront including for example, created and made by local businesses, tourism, arts, culture, leisure etc.

  • Regeneration: Where development and growth is key, covering retail, office space, transport, construction, zero carbon economy events etc.


If you have any questions, please contact 01902 912 304 or email us at


Download the Terms and Conditions for BCBF Event Organisers.

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Step 1 – Submit application form via the BCBF website. In addition to meeting at least TWO of the BCBF criteria and objectives, this year we are introducing a weighting percentage point system against each application form. The Board/Programming Committee shall be scoring your application form, making sure your answers meet the BCBF criteria, objectives and themes, as well as being clear, concise and detailed. You shall receive an automatic notification to advise you that we have received your application form and that you will hear back from us with a decision if your application has been successful within two weeks after the date of your submission.


Step 2 – The Board/Programming Committee will review, mark and decide whether the information provided is sufficient and meets the BCBF criteria, objectives and themes to be accepted into the programme.


Step 3 – If your application is successful, the Team will send you a notification email within two weeks of your submission with the Event Organisers handbook (this includes information on how to promote your event). At this stage you will need to confirm the date and time with your venue (if applicable) as well as your speakers.


BCBF Calendar of Events: Your event shall also appear in the BCBF calendar, which will be live on the BCBF website. Viewers will only be able to see the category of theme, time and date for your event. We will not be disclosing the title or the event organiser name until the official calendar of events is live, once the whole programme is complete, after applications close. This is to give event hosts applying for events an idea of time slots available during the two-week period, so as not clash with the same theme where possible. These will be added on a first come first served basis as the event applications are submitted and accepted.




Step 3 – If your application does not meet the criteria/objectives/themes of the BCBF or insufficient detail has been provided, the Team will decline your application with a full explanation of their decision, including suggested comments on how to improve your event. At this point, you may re submit your application for further approval by the same deadline of Friday 13th August 2021. However, your provisional event date and time slot will not be held for you.


Step 4 – Once the team have confirmed your event they will get to work on producing your event listing on our ticketing website and shall then send you the link to view your event before it goes live for ticket sales. 


Step 5 – Once your event is live on our ticketing website, approximately one month before the festival begins, you shall start to receive an encrypted report that advises you of your attendee numbers, as well as their details (name, email and contact number). This shall be emailed once a week.

Title of the event – 10%

The amount of detail and information about the event that has been provided -15%

Whether the event meets at least TWO of the BCBF criteria/objectives and how - 25%

How well the event and topics covered reflect the theme - 25%

The benefit businesses will gain out of attending this event - 25%


Marked out of 100%


Each application will be marked based on the above weighting system and given a mark out of 5 on each of the above points. Each section in the application must be completed in full for your application to be processed. Should you have an agenda and speakers at your event, we appreciate it may be too early to confirm these details, therefore we will allow an extension on this information to be submitted to us, should your application be successful. We will require these details to be sent to us no later than Friday 20th August.


70% + - All events that achieve 70% and above will be accepted into the BCBF programme providing that each question has been answered in full.


50% - 69% - Any events which score between 50% – 69% will be provisionally accepted with the condition of the event host providing the required missing detail/information from their application form. We shall hold your provisional event date/time slot, but any missing information must be provided prior to the final deadline of Friday 13th August.


Less than 50% - Any event application scoring less than 50% will be declined from the BCBF programme with a detailed explanation from the BCBF Team, giving event hosts the opportunity to amend and re submit their application before the final application form deadline of Friday 13th August. If received after this date, the application will not be accepted. Unfortunately, your provisional event date and time slot will not be held for you.



0 – Not completed

1 – Insufficient information given with no specific details and/or no relevance to the theme/festival   criteria/objectives.

2 – Some information given, partially relevant to the theme/festival and/or criteria/objectives.

3 – Reasonable amount of information provided, mostly relevant to the theme/festival and/or criteria/objectives.

4 – Good amount of information provided, almost all relevant to the theme/festival and/or criteria/objectives.

5 – Excellent amount of information provided, very detailed and all relevant to the theme/festival and/or criteria/objectives.

Before you submit your application form you will need to think about the below points:

  1. Decide on your subject, subject matter and title. Make sure your event is interesting and attractive to your audience. It can take any shape.Top tip! Think, ‘Would I attend this event? Does it sound interesting / exciting / appealing?’​

  2. Audience – have a clear strategy about who your target audience is (this might include a specific sector e.g., tourism businesses or particular level of employee or manager for example. Top tip! Consider why they would go and what they might get out of the event.

  3. Decide on a date, time and duration of the event  Top tip! Make sure the event does not go on longer than necessary; consider when would be the best time E.g., after work, early morning. Also, do some background research to check that nothing else e.g., big industry events are happening at the same time. If you are holding a digital/ hybrid event, you may want to shorten the length to keep you audience interacted and engaged.

  4. Find and book a venue NOTE: We advise not confirming your venue for your physical/hybrid event until your application has been confirmed. Most venues will happily keep your preferred date on hold until this time. See the venue partner webpage for further assistance on helping you find a suitable venue.

  5. Speakers Contact your intended presenters to check their availability and hold the date in their diary.

  6. Submit your application form before the deadline of Friday 13th August!

To meet the objectives of the Festival, every event should aim to meet at least two of the following criteria:

  • Benefit the local business community (such as opportunities to interact, engage, promote, share best practice, learn new skills and network).

  • Aim to increase economic growth and drive inward investment for the region.

  • Showcase what the Black Country has to offer, demonstrating to the wider world the prominence within the region.

  • Strengthen ongoing partnerships or develop new collaborations between research and academic institutions, local authorities and businesses.

  • Help to increase employability and grow talent within the region, raise aspirations, cultivate future stars and show opportunities for progression.

  • Drive business engagement and cross-sector collaboration.

  • Have potential to attract interest from businesses/individuals from outside of the region, to cultivate a range of local, national and international links.

  • Focus on wider issues or controversial topics (for example new technologies, innovation, economic issues or address challenges facing the local economy, such as the pandemic).

  • Offer support and educate businesses coming out from the pandemic.

Weighting Point System
Things to think about next
Criteria & objectives
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5 Themes

100+ Events


Applications are now closed

Weighting Point System

Things to Think About

2021 BCBF Criteria & Objectives



Thank you for considering to run an event in this year's Festival.

Applications are currently closed. If you wish to keep up to date with when applications will open, please subscribe to the BCBF by joining our mailing list - details at the bottom of this page.


If you would still like to get involved in this year's Festival, or would also like more information on how to get involved this year, please get in touch with one of the team on 01902 912 304 or email

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