Be the Business Festival 2022

Our free Be the Business Festival is back! Join us at the Royal Armouries in Leeds this March for an interactive, business-boosting event. Book your place and find who will be speaking below.
Be the Business Festival

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Bringing together the best in British business

After a two-year hiatus, we’re pleased to announce the return of our free, in-person Be the Business Festival, proudly sponsored by CISCO, Lloyds Bank and Sage.

When: 31 March 2022

Times: 10:00 to 16:00

Where: Royal Armouries, Leeds

We’re delighted to be coming together in person again to celebrate technology and leadership, and to exchange and explore ideas relating to productivity.

Our aim is for each attendee to leave the Festival with three things:

  • One new way to overcome a business challenge
  • One new contact
  • One new idea for innovation

On the day

Designed for business leaders, the festival will be packed with business-boosting talks from a host of specially-curated experts and business leaders on a variety of topics, including communication, collaboration, exportation and business growth.

You’ll also have the opportunity to find the right support network for your new business ideas and grow your business connections.

A taster of our speakers

Adrian Simpson, co-founder of Wavelength, a world-class leadership company: How to create a great place to work

Why you should listen: With over 20 years’ experience advising CEOs from some of the world’s biggest businesses, including Google, Apple and Netflix, Adrian has the tips you need to make your workplace happier, healthier and more productive.

Tamara Lohan MBE, co-founder and CEO of Mr & Mrs Smith: How I grew my business from £0 to £100m

Why you should listen: Tamara has worked at Mr & Mrs Smith from the very beginning, starting as a hands-on CTO, progressing to COO and now to CEO. Her first-hand insights are essential for any business leader looking to grow.

Sir Charlie Mayfield, chair of Q&A and Be the Business, former chair of John Lewis Partnership: Communication is key when it comes to organisational change

Why you should listen: Having guided the John Lewis Partnership through periods of immense change, Sir Charlie has plenty of pointers on how to set out a new strategy, plan a transition or bring in new technology – all with your team on board.

Barry Leahey MBE, MD of Playdale Playgrounds: Managing your finances intelligently

Why you should listen: Finances are a big challenge for business leaders, but did you know that by up-skilling current employees, you could save money in the long term? Having received numerous accolades for his work, Barry will now be sharing his money-saving tips with you.

Rachel Garrett, MD of CMG Technologies: Four-day week trailblazer on the lessons learnt

Why you should listen: With a four-day week being trialled nationally in June, it’s clear that the pre-pandemic 9-5 has become less favourable. Rachel’s team were one of the first UK businesses to make the leap to a shorter week in 2014, making her an expert on the subject.

View the full agenda

Our sponsors

Áine Rogers

Director of small business UKI at Cisco

“We're delighted to support the Be the Business Festival! We know first-hand the power of collaboration and can’t wait to see it in action at this special event. We’re thrilled to unite business leaders under one roof for a day of performance-boosting collaboration, education, and inspiration. No topic is off limits, so whether you're chasing growth or efficiency, looking to innovate, or cut your costs, come along and share your experiences. We look forward to seeing you there.”

Find out how Cisco can help you and your business

Visit Cisco's Small Business Resource Centre

Paul Gordon

MD, SME & mid corporates, commercial banking, at Lloyds Bank

“We’re excited to support Be the Business Festival 2022 because together we can help businesses adapt, grow and thrive. By encouraging SMEs to increase productivity, Be the Business complements our goal to create a more sustainable and inclusive future for businesses. We look forward to sharing and learning with you together at the Be the Business Festival.”

Paul Struthers

MD for Sage UK & Ireland

“Sage is always looking for the most innovative ways to support small businesses in being the best they can be, which is one of many reasons why we’re supporting this year’s Be the Business Festival. It’s an amazing chance to hear from some of the country’s most talented leaders and entrepreneurs, as you build out your own experiences and network to accelerate business growth. Can’t wait to see you there!”