MERSEYSIDE'S biggest business event opened last night with a launch reception at the Walker Art Gallery.

More than 200 movers and shakers from the city's world of commerce were at the start of Business Live week.

The packed programme of events, organised by the Daily Post and its sister paper the Liverpool Echo, kicks off today with a free business exhibition at City Exchange in Old Hall Street.

The exhibition features more than 70 trade stands and is open today and tomorrow between 10am and 5pm.

There will be a host of seminars and business briefings during the two days. These include a breakfast briefing at 8am today telling people how to invest in property and shares. The speakers will be Alan Bevan, director of City Residential, and Daily Post personal finance columnist Tony Hetherington.

The duo will be comparing the advantages and disadvantages of investing in the stock market, or property.

A seminar at 11.15am on how firms can profit from Capital of Culture features Jason Harborow of the Liverpool Culture Company.

He will be advising companies on how they can profit from the opportunities presented by Liverpool's Capital of Culture year in 2008.

An afternoon session on raising funds features a talk given by Rob Burbidge, financial director of business information group J4B. Mr Burbidge has experience of raising money from a wide range of investment sources, including banks and equity providers.

Wednesday's business breakfast briefing on brands and marketing is already sold out, but there are still some places at a midday briefing, again featuring Liverpool FC's brand director Davide De Maestri.

And at 11am, business coach Will Kintish discusses how to become an effective networker and on Wednesday afternoon television presenter Peter Sissons hosts a Question Time debate.

Tomorrow night the Liverpool Echo announces the winners of its Enterprise Champions Awards at the Tea Factory in Wood Street and the week's activities conclude on Thursday with a glittering dinner at St George's Hall when the winners of the Daily Post's Regional Business Awards will be announced, again with Peter Sissons as MC.


Tickets are also available by calling the hotline on 0151 472 2570.