A new vision for Humber Business Week is to be revealed later this month as organisers aim to deliver a ‘refreshed’ platform in 2021 that provides a programme ‘relevant, inclusive and supportive’ to local businesses.
The event has been a staple of the region’s business calendar for 15 years but was one of many to fall by the wayside in 2020 in the wake of Covid-19.
Now, as plans are being developed for a return this June, those who bring the week together say they are taking the opportunity to refresh the format to ensure it provides relevant support to businesses of all shapes and sizes in 2021 and beyond.
“It was certainly very disappointing to see Humber Business Week not take place in 2020 but that happened because we were perhaps somewhat focused on trying to deliver what we’d always done before, which was a week based around physical events and networking, and that was impossible,” said chairman Kath Lavery (left).
“Everybody involved is determined to return in some form this year with an event which is very much refreshed and reflective of where we are as a society at present, ensuring we can provide great value and support to our business community.
“The steering group has been very positive in using what has happened to reflect upon how Humber Business Week needs to change to ensure it continues to deliver on the values of inspiring the business community, supporting innovation and helping people make valuable connections.
“Most importantly, we need to be there to guide and support businesses throughout the region. That means we are all committed to staging an event which will overcome difficulties to go ahead in some form this year.
“Business goes on. Business has had to find a way to go on for the past nine months, and we want to be reflective of that and support the many great companies we have on both banks of the Humber.
“We naturally expect the week to have a majority of remote, digital events, which offer many benefits from being more easily accessible to potentially attracting more high-profile speakers. If we can deliver some physical events, we will do so too. We have to be flexible.
“As a steering group we have also committed to playing a greater role in defining the week’s agenda and content to ensure we only deliver the highest quality events which meet our goals. It must be relevant, inclusive and supportive.
“I’ve been delighted with the enthusiasm of the steering group, for which we have a few new members this year, and to once again have the great support of the University of Hull as partners.
“We see 2021 as a refresh for Business Week. It perhaps won’t be the biggest, but our focus is on relevance and quality given the current climate, providing us with a new platform to build towards something really special in 2022 when, of course, we will hopefully be in a much more stable position.”
Entrepreneur behind ‘Top 30 Under 30’ programme to speak to launch event
One of the new members to the steering group is entrepreneur Simon Jones, who established the successful Top 30 Under 30 programme which highlights, recognises and helps develop up-and-coming talent in the region.
He will speak at an online 2021 Humber Business Week launch event, which is being held at 4pm on Wednesday, January 27, to outline the new vision, mission and values for the week.
“I’m absolutely delighted to have been given a chance to have an input into where Humber Business Week heads in the future and I think this is a really exciting opportunity,” he said.
“It was disappointing to see the week not go ahead last year and we are all in agreement that we can’t let that happen again.
“We have talked about it being an evolution, not a revolution, as our goal is to be a leading local business group which provides real value to the all companies across this region, from the biggest businesses to one-man bands.
“The key is remaining relevant, inclusive and accessible at all times. We want to ensure that every business in the Humber region is supported and given the best chance to grow and prosper, and Business Week has worked with many of the region’s leading organisations for many years to do that.
“Last year didn’t mark the end of Humber Business Week, but this year certainly marks an exciting and new beginning, all of which will be explained at our launch later this month.”
Humber Business Week 2021 will be staged from the week beginning Monday, June 7, 2021.