Humber Business Week announces plans for official launch night and speaker Kevin Keegan for opening day

Former England and Newcastle football manager Kevin Keegan is to speak on the opening day of Humber Business Week 2019, it has today been confirmed.

Keegan, who now combines football punditry for television with coaching and motivational speaking, will form part of the new ‘Destination Monday’ offering at the KCOM Stadium on June 3rd, as keynote speaker at the Institute of Directors (IoD) Humber Luncheon.

The news comes as organisers for the week have also confirmed that a curtain raiser ‘launch night’ will again be held at The University of Hull in May to preview the week, such was the overwhelming success of last year’s inaugural event.

That will offer the chance to view the full programme for 2019, and hear from Lee Pitcher, Head of Resilience at Yorkshire Water, as he will give a presentation entitled ‘Living with Water - A Collaborative Approach to Resilience in Hull’. 

Amongst speakers on that night will be Paul Sewell, one of the original founders of Humber Business Week 16 years ago, and Kath Lavery, who chairs the week and heads a steering group of local business people who bring the event together each year.

Businesses across Humber urged to ‘create the week they want’

Many annual staple events will again form part of Humber Business Week in 2019, including the Bondholders Breakfast on day one and The Business Day which has again been scheduled in for the final day, Friday, June 7th at Bridlington Spa, for which broadcaster, actor and former MP Gyles Brandreth will be host.

Mrs Lavery says the ‘launch night’, on Wednesday, May 8, will provide an ideal opportunity to learn about the opportunities provided by 2019’s programme, but says the onus is now on businesses to ‘create they week they want’. 

She said: “It is fantastic to already be in a position where we have a great initial Monday shaping up at the KCOM Stadium and The Business Day again confirmed for the Friday in Bridlington, but now is the key time for businesses across the region to shape the week as they want it.

“We know there is a feeling that some events and topics which are similar in nature and target audience could be clustered together, so now is the time for businesses working in the same sectors to collaborate and get together to consider how they can make the weeks work best for them.

“We have purposely left a blank canvas there to make the programme adaptable, so if there are businesses wanting to partner together that would be a great addition this year and something we’ll look to accommodate.  

“If that sees a number of events held on the same morning at the same venue, or within close proximity to one another and at times for people to travel between, then great.

“It is over to businesses across the Humber to shape the week now and create the week they want. As a steering group, we’ll work to make it work best.”

Mrs Lavery says she is delighted to be repeating the launch night, ahead of the week itself from Monday June 3 to Friday June 7, and to have secured Mr Pitcher, having recently returned from Tokyo having been a guest speaker at the World Water Congress. 

Pat Coyle, chairman of the IoD in East Yorkshire, expects the appearance of Kevin Keegan to be hugely popular with a business audience. 

Playing for Scunthorpe, Liverpool, Hamburg, Southampton and Newcastle, he is regarded as one of the greatest players in English football history, famed for his style on the pitch, his relentless ambition and passion for the game.  

He captained England for six years until his international retirement after the 1982 World Cup and in management his spell in charge at Newcastle has become legendary, leading the club from the depths of the old Second Division to the brink of the Premier League title with a flamboyant style that saw his team dubbed 'The Entertainers'.  He was awarded an OBE in 1982. 

Mrs Coyle, said: “Kevin is one of the most recognisable names in English football with many accolades to his name not least winning the Ballon d'Or twice. We look forward to hearing about his experiences on and off the field, particularly in management, which no doubt will provide many parallels to those we encounter in running our own businesses.” 

Places at the launch event on May 8 are limited and can be reserved now by contacting Rebecca Saxby, of event partners The University of Hull, on 01482 465657 or email 

The Humber Luncheon starts at noon on Monday, June 3. Tickets are £47 + VAT for IoD members and £54 + VAT for non-members. Tables of 10 are £450 + VAT.

To book a table email Pat Coyle at or contact the IoD Regional office on

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