First look at designs for IFB Hub

Organisers of the International Festival for Business 2014 have unveiled the design of the IFB Hub which will be the festival's 'nerve-centre' this summer.

IFB HubAcoustic business-to-business meeting pods, a UK Investment Showcase, an IFB Business Club Lounge, business speed-dating and Mayor Joe Anderson in residence throughout are just some of the opportunities that will be on offer throughout the festival.

The IFB Hub, which will be spread over three floors in Merseytravel's building at No 1 Mann Island, will act as the visitor information centre and trading floor for the festival.

Planned features of the IFB Hub include a first floor welcome area featuring displays of investment opportunities in the UK, with a range of IT equipment to enable visitors to drill down into the detail of what's on offer and get in touch with businesses.

The third floor of No 1 Mann Island will be transformed into an International Trade and Investment zone. UK Trade & Investment and UK Export Finance will be on hand to provide export health checks, while international promotion associations from across the globe will advise delegates about the opportunities in their countries.

In the Professional Services Centre, lawyers, banks, accountants and other professional bodies will provide free initial consultancy to businesses interested in exporting.

Also on this level will be numerous B2B Acoustic Pods, where the Hub's Business Speed Dating meetings can take place. The pods can be booked for meetings of no more than 45-minutes from 9am until late.

IFB HubThe fourth floor will have an integrated events space, with 206-capacity theatre, more Conference Pods, and an international accredited press area with indoor and outdoor broadcast facilities, overlooking the UNESCO Liverpool Waterfront.

Mayor of Liverpool Cllr Joe Anderson will also work from a dedicated office on this floor throughout the festival, where he will meet and greet the various guests from all over the world visiting the city for the festival. The Hub will have free wi-fi throughout, refreshment facilities and numerous lounge and hot-desking clusters.

The hub was designed by Liverpool-based Evoke Solutions and Adlib Lighting.

Ian McCarthy, IFB director at Liverpool Vision, said: "The IFB is spread across the city and the wider city region, so we wanted to give businesses not only somewhere to meet, but access to the sort of consultative and advisory services that would actually help kick-start potential business deals while they're still in Liverpool.

"Delegates won't leave the hub armed with rafts of brochures and leaflets that will promptly go in the bin but the sort of intelligence that will actually help to inform their strategy at the IFB.

"It's service-led, not sales-led and we're confident that the Hub will be a key part of visitors making the most of their trip to Liverpool. And as for showcasing our city to visitors, I don't believe we could have found a better spot than Mann Island."

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