Your Festival


Tuesday, October 10, 2023

The first day kicked off with an exclusive launch event for Sunderland Business Partnership members. In the afternoon there was a panel discussion around how to develop a high performance culture and the benefits to businesses, with panellists Paige Hailes from Tombola, Kelly Swinney from Ocado Retail, Sam Spoors from Talentheads, Louise Kennedy from Oculus HR, and host Natasha McDonough from MMC Research and Marketing.
In the evening Sunderland AFC sporting director Kristjaan Speakman and chief operating officer Steve Davison appeared at an event giving attendees insight into the business of football.

Wednesday, October 11, 2023

Day two featured headliner Gary Neville who discussed his business career and how the leadership skills that led him to being captain of one of the biggest clubs in the world helped him become one of the UK’s most high profile business people. Later in the day, British Esports hosted a talk and offered a guided tour of its cutting-edge National Esports Performance Campus. And North East BIC ran a session exploring how adopting the cooperative principles and ethos can help to create a more engaged, dynamic workforce and a more connected business community.
In the evening, there was a chance to hear about Sunderland Business Improvement District’s new business plan and. Rounding off the day was former Sunderland AFC Chairman Sir Bob Murray, who joined guests for a special talk-in, hosted by BBC’s lead sports commentator Guy Mowbray.

Thursday, October 12, 2023

The final day kicked off with Access to Business Support Sunderland, showcasing help available to businesses in the city. Later there was a panel discussion focussing on future skills needs featuring Fulwell 73, following its recently announced plans for a film studio to Sunderland. On the same day, EcoFest 2023 took place looking at why net zero matters to business.
In the afternoon Ladies, Wine & Design Sunderland hosted its first mini makers market, bringing together local creative lasses and championing their entrepreneurial journeys. The festival culminated with the Wear Businesswomen Awards, which shone a light on the Wear region’s female high achievers, at a ceremony held at the Stadium of Light.