It was fantastic to be able to show off Brighton as a brilliant digital, media & technology hub to international UKTI reps and sector specialists last week. These people sell different parts of the UK to creative and tech businesses in their home territory.
The two day visit to the city was a chance for us to raise their awareness of Brighton as the place for creative businesses from overseas to base themselves in the UK. The reps flew in from all over the world: Sydney, New York, Delhi, San Francisco, Bangalore, Milan, Sao Paulo, Toronto, Munich, Houston, Singapore, Guangzhou, Delhi, Taipei, Los Angeles, Osaka, Seoul Madrid, Paris, and Washington DC.
The morning of day one involved an overview of Brighton’s economic strengths from Brighton & Hove Economic Partnership guru Tony Mernagh and a review of the strengths of our creative and digital sector from Wired Sussex’s very own MD Phil Jones. To mix it up, we followed that with a presentation from local agency chief Will McInnes about the radical business ideas in his book Culture Shock.
The afternoon saw us take our visitors to the Universities of Brighton and Sussex to hear about their role and ambitions in the local business community. We also met a number of the fascinating companies currently benefiting from Sussex Innovation Centre support.
Day two was about getting a flavour of some local digital businesses including Cogapp, Plug-In Media, Brightwave and iCrossing. These companies all talked eloquently about what they do and why they do it in Brighton. Interestingly and despite not being briefed (honest!), all four companies highlighted the same key reasons for being in Brighton – our creative vibe and lifestyle offer and its ability to attract talent to the city, the large amount of new graduates, the proximity to the London market and the strength that being in a dynamic cluster brings.
We believe that raising the profile of Brighton to key players at UK embassies and consulates abroad and explaining what is special about this city (so that they can sell Brighton to businesses) has real benefit to companies already based here. The more we can build the cluster and its profile, the more talent, more clients and more investment we can attract to the city. Hopefully, in Brighton of all places, all boats rise with the tide.
For more information about the UKTI Inward Investment Tour and Brighton as a destination for inward investment, feel free to check out the BHEP blog or alternatively please email email@example.com.