The Black Country Business Festival (BCBF) is re-opening its doors to new event applications from Monday 18 May, giving businesses a second opportunity to become part of the 2020 Festival.
Original event organisers have been able to move their events to the new dates (Monday 5 October to Thursday 15 October) and around 65 have so far transferred across, meaning there is some capacity for more events to become part of the programme.
The event application process will re-open on the BCBF website on Monday and is expected to stay open until August.
Corin Crane, chief executive of the Black Country Chamber of Commerce, which initiated the BFBF three years ago, said, “We are under no illusion that this is a very difficult time for businesses in the Black Country. As one of the primary business support organisations in the region, the Chamber is working relentlessly to offer that crucial help, guidance and assistance in any way that we can.
“The Business Festival will be such an important part of the on-going recovery process and we will look to it to bring back an injection of positivity into the Black Country, as well as offering a solid platform for re-engagement and revival.
“The Black Country is resilient and together we can drive the renewal of the economy through initiatives such as the Festival.”
The BCBF - postponed from May due to the Coronavirus outbreak - is hoped to run in its usual format, although plans have been put in place for a digital festival or events to be simultaneously live-streamed or recorded as necessary.
Gemma West, project manager from Associate events, the agency managing the BCBF programme, said, “We’re expecting a mixture of events, many around how to help businesses re-engage and get back on their feet.
“Applying to run an event is done in exactly the same way as before – via the BCBF website - and we have added an option for events to be run digitally or live streamed. Obviously, it could be tricky to decide this now, so it’s just an indication really at this stage.
“If anyone needs help or advice with the process, then we are here to answer any questions. Just get in touch! Similarly, any business that had an event accepted into the original programme, has not yet transferred it and would like to, should also get in contact.”
The BCBF relies on sponsorship from organisations in the Black Country, which has automatically rolled over to October. The Festival Partners are: University of Wolverhampton, Talbots Law, Dudley Business First, Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership and the Black Country Growth Hub; sponsors are: Wolverhampton Racecourse, Thomas Dudley, Casino36 and M6toll. The Festival is also supported by Gecko Programmes, Sandwell Council and Walsall Council with media partners, Elonex, Signal 107 and Metro and app partner, Infonote.