The International Festival for Business, the two-month UK trade expo due to take place in Liverpool and the North West next year, has confirmed BT as its first official partner.
Taking place in June and July 2014, IFB will be a seven-week festival containing more than 100 events in Liverpool. Organiser Liverpool Vision expects to attract more than 250,000 visitors from across the world.
The BT Global City Leaders' Summit will be one of the highlights of the festival, attracting around 150 mayors and city leaders from around the world. Over two days, they will discuss how sustainable economic growth can be generated by effective relationships between the public and private sectors and the role of communications technology as a catalyst for success.
BT, sponsor of the convention centre in Liverpool, provides communications services to 1m small firms in the UK and 7,000 corporate and public sector organisations in 170 countries around the world.
The terms of the sponsorship deal were not disclosed but BT said it will help small firms attend the festival and provide facilities to event organisers.
IFB will focus on themed weeks for manufacturing, science & technology; maritime, logistics & energy; knowledge, professional & financial services; higher & further education & research; low carbon & renewables; cities, enterprise & urban business; knowledge, creative & digital and the business of sport.