Europe's First Global Entrepreneurship Congress Leaves a Lasting Legacy in Liverpool
The main summit day of Europe's first Global Entrepreneurship Congress (GEC), held at ACC Liverpool this month, generated more than half-a-million pounds for the city's economy, initial economic impact figures have revealed.
Around 3,000 international delegates from 125 countries attended the summit at the waterfront venue, home to BT Convention Centre and Echo Arena, to hear from a high-profile cast of speakers including Virgin tycoon Sir Richard Branson, former Deputy Prime Minister Lord Michael Heseltine, dotcom pioneer Martha Lane Fox and Sir Terry Leahy, former Tesco CEO.
Award-winning Liverpool comedian John Bishop quizzed Ian Ayre, managing director of Liverpool Football Club, as part of the main day’s event on 13 March.
Bob Prattey, chief executive of ACC Liverpool, said: “The Global Entrepreneurship Congress proved to be a fantastic opportunity to showcase all that Liverpool has to offer to a worldwide audience of business people and budding entrepreneurs.
“We were delighted to host the main event which alone generated significant economic impact for the city through accommodation bookings and delegates’ spend.
“Aside from the positive monetary value, the profile afforded to the city on 13 March due to the arrival of key speakers such as Sir Richard Branson and Lord Michael Heseltine should not be underestimated.”
An online survey carried out with delegates since GEC has revealed that the main day was regarded as “inspirational” and Liverpool is seen as an “entrepreneurial” city.
The survey found that:
The main day GEC event was an overwhelming success, with 85% of attendees stating the event had met their expectations, of which 20% thought it had exceeded expectations
80% of delegates left the GEC feeling inspired
85% of delegates had been inspired by the keynote speakers
79% of delegates though Liverpool was an entrepreneurial city
78% of delegates thought Liverpool was a good place to do business
The GEC had provided useful networking opportunities for 56% of delegates
61% of delegates thought the fringe events added value to the programme, with 60% of delegates having attended at least one fringe event
66% of delegates identified having attended the GEC would positively impact on their business
Holding the GEC in the city has helped promote the city, 34% of delegates knew very little about Liverpool before attending the GEC.
Max Steinberg, chief executive of Liverpool Vision, who with the Kauffman Foundation hosted GEC, said: “Liverpool’s GEC proved to be the largest event of its kind ever to be held anywhere in the world and it has been a resounding success. We have created a real legacy for the city while raising the bar for future GEC host cities.
“Our GEC and Festival have clearly established Liverpool on the entrepreneurial map and demonstrated once again that Liverpool can successfully host world class events, because of our mix of venues, hotels and attractions.
“While up to 3,000 people attended the main summit, thousands more attended the Festival events and this provides a real impetus for our intention to host an annual Festival of Entrepreneurship with another stellar list of speakers.”
The Kauffman Foundation – the world’s largest foundation dedicated to entrepreneurship – also hailed GEC 2012 its best ever conference with Jonathan Ortmans, Chair of GEC, stating: “The limelight remains with the people of Liverpool who beyond all being of good cheer showed courage and smarts in figuring out how to host such an extraordinary event. “
The event led to an explosion of social media, with GEC 2012 as well as Sir Richard Branson trending on Twitter.
The GEC was part of a wider week-long Festival of Entrepreneurship that featured 80 events across the city.