Category Archives: Downtown in Business

Is Liverpool making its mark in the events industry?

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.


Sexy Networking with Downtown in Business – Thursday 21st January 2016

Last Thursday, I attended my first networking event of 2016, held at the delightful Palm Sugar cocktail bar in Liverpool. This beautiful establishment was the location for Downtown In Business’s popular Sexy Networking event in Liverpool, which attracts a massive turnout of people from many organisations across Merseyside.

I have previously attended and enjoyed these occasions immensely. Once again, the evening was no disappointment, as the quality of the event, the surroundings and the diverse mix of attendees to network with, made for a terrific night. Not only was it a pleasure to catch up with familiar faces, but it was also a delight to meet new contacts, from recruiters, HR professionals, graphic designers, web developers, solicitors and entrepreneurs. What I enjoy about meeting new people at these events, is the opportunity to listen and share stories. This symbolises one of the most important aspects of networking, which is to meet and interact with people from outside your own industry.

It was a pleasure to hear Downtown’s CEO Frank McKenna give a warm and welcoming speech to everyone. As Frank talked about exciting developments and events planned for Downtown in 2016, I sensed his enthusiasm burning brightly. In addition, I also learned that Downtown has been running for 13 years and has expanded to Manchester, Leeds, Lancashire and recently Birmingham. Quite a testament to the hard work and vision of Frank and everyone at Downtown.

Looking back on the event, I enjoyed the atmosphere generated by the informal and relaxing environment. Certainly this was helped by the luxurious surroundings of Palm Sugar, with its blue lit tables, black leather sofas and the smell of delicious Thai-flavoured nibbles provided by their kind, friendly and professional staff.

To conclude, I would like to thank everyone at Downtown and Palm Sugar for once again organising and hosting a terrific and informal evening of networking

Rise & Grind with Downtown in Business – Wednesday 16th September

I recently attended a Rise & Grind breakfast event organised by Downtown in Business. Held in Liverpool’s fabulous Richmond Hotel, I enjoyed the event because I was able to network and socialise with new and familiar faces, and listen to a wonderful talk from the event’s speaker Michael Finnigan.

Michael is the CEO of Impossible 2 Inevitable (i2i), an organisation that works with companies and individuals worldwide in helping them fulfil their potential. In addition, Michael has worked with many prestigious clients in the world of sport. These include Jimmy White, Darren Clarke and Andrew Flintoff amongst others. You can find more information on what Impossible 2 Inevitable can do for you here.

The essence of the talk was about how anything is possible. Michael talked briefly about his background and some of his experiences of working with well known clients. One that struck a chord with me, was his story about working with Jimmy White and how he boosted the snooker star’s confidence and self esteem, to the extent that Jimmy went on to beat Stephen Hendry for the first time ever in 1998. As I listened, I was entranced and mesmerised by Michael’s storytelling, which was so charged with positive energy, that it got my own enthusiasm burning brightly.

Other words of wisdom that I picked up from Michael included:

  1. You are never too old to set a new goal!
  2. There are no limits to what you can achieve.
  3. Be the best you can be and don’t let anyone put a limit on you!
  4. Set yourself a small goal for the first time and once you have achieved that goal, set another one.
  5. Create a life plan for yourself and write about where your life is going, and what it is to be like when you are 50.

Michael’s talk impressed me greatly, as his passion made me think positively about how anything was possible, and that there are no limits to what anyone can achieve in life and in business. The best compliment I can pay Michael is that afterwards, I left the event feeling ten foot taller. Thank goodness I didn’t bang my hand against the ceiling!

To conclude, I would like to express my thanks to Michael and to Frank McKenna and everyone at Downtown in Business. In addition, my thanks also go to the staff at the Richmond Hotel for an excellent event, held in such beautiful and stylish surroundings.