ISLEXPO 2018 was the culminating event of the three-year ‘START. GROW. LOCATE.’ business festival series which set out to stimulate economic growth and support entrepreneurial endeavors on the Isle of Man. Growing on the unprecedented success of ISLEXPO 2016 & 2017, local and global thought leaders contributed to a compelling 2018 programme that explored why the Island is a unique destination to locate a business.
Islexpo 2018 Highlights Video
Once again, the event attracted over 1,500 delegates with a record number of off-island delegates confirming ISLEXPO’s status at the Island’s largest and best-attended business event. Over 30 individual events took place throughout the conference showcasing insights from local entrepreneurs, business leaders and Government representatives, alongside global ingenuity from the likes of award-winning creative Dan Germain of Innocent, international futurist Thimon De Jong and the well-known millennial author and podcast host Emma Gannon.
The informal, yet lively conference atmosphere that is now associated with the ISLEXPO brand was in full swing. Keynote speakers rubbed shoulders with delegates during the opening Founders’ Feast and VIP Pop-Up Pub. Forward-thinking panel discussions, fireside chats with Q&As, interactive workshops, a live street art installment and craft beer tastings encouraged high levels of engagement. The annual live pitching finals saw standing room only. Meanwhile, the new mental wellbeing at work programme featured workshops, yoga and one-to-one business mentorships, bringing a perfect balance to the action-packed agenda.
Sponsorship acquisition surpassed that of previous years, exceeding targets with 25 sponsors and partners from across all industry supporting the highly-anticipated event. Private organisations that aligned themselves to the 2018 event campaign ranged from leading institutions and corporate brands, to emerging gaming and cryptocurrency companies, as well as entrepreneur and angel investor networks.
Over a three-year span, ISLEXPO grew from a newly conceived event brand, to a staple in the Isle of Man business community calendar with over 87% of surveyed delegates stating they would register to attend again, a growing number of entrepreneurs and expanding businesses locating to the jurisdiction and a noticeable increase in how businesses, entrepreneurs and residents view the future of business on the Isle of Man.
“The SPARK Impact team found the event to be an excellent showcase of the Island and the opportunities available for businesses to relocate from further afield. Our stand was very busy throughout the day with many enquiries made and meetings held with potential clients. A particular standout event was the SPARK & BRIDGE sponsored ‘Pitch It’ session in the tipis, which delivered a full house with standing room only and showcased the great entrepreneurial potential within the Island’s start-up community. Particular thanks and congratulations should go to Revel for their hard work and positivity both before and during the event.”
JOHN GARLAND, SPARK IMPACT, ENTREPRENEUR INVESTOR NETWORK