As a professional, I like to seek out and learn from others, about what is happening in Liverpool. These relate from the latest news, such as the Devolution Deal, to proposed developments, and upcoming events to be held in the city, such as the International Festival of Business. Last month, I attended a Downtown in Business event in the Cotton Exchange, to learn about how Liverpool is making its mark in the events industry.
The event included a panel discussion featuring some notable speakers, followed by a question and answer session. These speakers included Chris Brown from Marketing Liverpool, Tim Banfield from ACC Liverpool, Rosie Cooper from Liverpool Biennial and Robin Kemp from Culture Liverpool. I enjoyed listening to each of them, as they explained the successes their respective organisations have brought to the city. Each speaker was a pleasure to listen to, and I certainly found what they had to say, to be informative, interesting and exciting to hear about.
Listening to the success of ACC Liverpool, I was astonished to learn that they have brought in 15,500 delegates into the city, generating £25.7 million for the local economy. This means Liverpool as a brand is making its mark in the events industry, evidenced by ACC Liverpool’s recently deserved success in winning Best UK Conference Centre for the fourth year, and securing 17 major events, with another 47 events in the bidding pipeline.
I had never heard of Club Liverpool. Yet, I was interested to hear about their work. Club Liverpool is a network of ambassadors, passionate about attracting events, exhibitors and promoting the city. In addition, the contribution of Liverpool Biennial and Culture Liverpool, in promoting the art and culture of the city, through festivals and large-scale events cannot be underestimated.
It was refreshing to hear about what can be done better, to maintain such high standards now expected. An example is the lack of city-wide wireless internet (Wi-Fi). Upon hearing this, I was reminded of how much more Liverpool still needs to do to become technologically smart. Therefore it is important the city continually pushes and improves the visitor experience, to keep attracting major events and exhibitors.
I also reinforced my understanding of the importance of organisations like Culture Liverpool and the Biennial to work with other organisations across all sectors (I mentioned this in a previous article here). With reduced public funding, corporate sponsorships and other funding streams will be very important in the future. This will be to ensure Liverpool continues to have the ability to host and deliver world class events, exhibitions and festivals.
To conclude I would like to thank all of the speakers, and also to Chris McKenna and the Downtown team for making the event possible. I came away from the discussion feeling enlightened and satisfied, as well as thinking and pondering about what I had learned.