Its 9th annual visit lives up to expectationsIf you want recommendations for a range of interesting, contrasting venues in London, you could approach ACC Liverpool. They have just held their 9th annual London Showcase in their 9th different location. They have had their heads in the clouds at the Post Office Tower; they have been dramatic in the Shakespearean Globe Theatre by the Thames; they have tapped tradition in a hallowed livery hall in the heart of the City. This year they were upbeat in a splendid mansion amongst the ambassadorial residences of Knightsbridge.
Attending ACC Liverpool functions certainly keeps you on your toes – and it was even more true this time. They put out around 30 chairs for an attendance of over 100. It was at first imagined that they had underestimated the numbers, but from the platform it was explained that the plan was to encourage Kerrin MacPhie, Director of Sales to avoid speaking for too long. They appealed to her better nature to think of those who had to stand whilst they listened to her presentation.
Amongst those standing were many of the great and the good of the MICE sector, including ex-BI boss David Hackett (who continues to resist retirement), Steve Knight who directs The Meetings Show, Paul Colston of Conference News and Confex and a clutch of other recent acquisitions; and, of course, Sydney Paulden of ITCM Website. There were close to 100 event organisers, including representatives from BBC Worldwide Showcase, the Federation of Petroleum Suppliers and Diabetes UK. Nobody complained, because Kerrin is good value and worth suffering for.
With gusto, enthusiasm and a light shining in her eyes, she regaled us with ACC Liverpool’s basic statistics. Since opening in 2008 it had brought about £1bn into the local economy. Above her head as she spoke a clock ran down the 160 days, the hours, the minutes and seconds until the opening of the next big ACCL facility – the Exhibition Centre Liverpool. The audience was wondering what the clock would read by the time Kerrin had finished her presentation, but it turned out that she is compassionate and heeded the suffering of those of us who had no chairs.
The addition of the new building will make the ACC Liverpool Collection a formidable player on the world scene of large events. In one self-contained, accessible location there will be the BT Convention Centre, the Echo Arena and now the Exhibition Centre, all interconnecting and available in a host of configurations to suit the needs of all kinds of events, big, medium-sized and even small.
The new exhibition facility has already attracted an impressive range of bookings into the future.
Listening to Kerrin, it was nice to hear that she can also be a good listener!
A facility that she emphasised was ACC Liverpool’s restructured website, www.accliverpool.com. This has been remodelled so that it gives the most practical help to every kind of enquirer. A theme of the evening were the bold slabs of colour, with red, blue, yellow and white each representing a stratum of the attendees, such as event agencies, organisers, press and hosts. Lo and behold, when opening the inevitable goody bag after the showcase, it contained a slice of cake with the same design!
ACC Liverpool was ably supported on the night by 20 partner organisations, including Liverpool Convention Bureau, Virgin Trains and a selection of Liverpool venues such as Hilton Liverpool, Liverpool Football Club, The Rum Warehouse, Albert Dock, Radisson Blu, Malmaison and Crowne Plaza. It all conspired to prove that Liverpool is a city that wholeheartedly welcomes events, where all the amenities work as a team to make every event a success.