Next year will be a big year for conferencing in Liverpool, as the International Festival for Business 2016 returns for a second instalment. Convention bureau manager Kate Currie stresses it is not the only exciting development next year. She says: “The Waterfront will soon be the new site for the British Music Experience museum, the comprehensive exhibition on British music since 1944. It will be staged in the iconic Cunard Building, one of the city’s Three Graces, and will be next door to a new restaurant, giving organisers a series of options to make the most of the building’s grandeur.
“Liverpool is of course famous for football, and two new developments will integrate the sport into the conference offer. First is Liverpool FC’s bold development of Anfield stadium, which brings with it a wealth of new conference options. Back in the city centre, the Shankly Hotel takes its inspiration from the club’s most famous manager and offers meeting spaces surrounded by never-before-seen memorabilia.
“Other hotels opening include the DoubleTree by Hilton, in a grand old building, and the 216-room Pullman Hotel next to Exhibition Centre Liverpool.
“Finally, in preparation for IFB 2016, there are a host of new air routes to Liverpool John Lennon Airport, including Edinburgh, Barcelona, Belfast, Amsterdam and New York via Dublin.”
Over at ACC Liverpool Kerrin Macphie, director of conference and exhibition sales tells CN that in the month since the new Exhibition Centre Liverpool opened at the complex, which is already home to the BT Convention Centre and Echo Arena, a series of events have been hosted, including Wound Expo, a two-day medical exhibition; The Venue Expo, and the first consumer show, The Liverpool Wedding Show.
“We are now able to host many more consumer and trade exhibitions, national and international conferences and entertainment events,” says Macphie.
Forthcoming shows include The Ultimate Christmas Fair; Toytopia; Dualco Antiques and Collectors Fair; Girls Day Out; MCM Comic Con; The Allergy and Free From Show North and the Telegraph Cruise and Travel Show.
Trade exhibitions include LiftEx and the Federation of Petroleum Suppliers while Conferences include RenewableUK and the European Association for International Education (EAIE).
“Construction continues as we reach the final stages of work on an integrated four-star 216-room Pullman hotel which is taking bookings from January next year,” Macphie adds. She says the venue is set for a busy end of the year with Accelerate, NICE and Cancer Research UK all set to bring in events.
“Corporate business is also looking strong and recent new business wins include Forever Living Products UK – Success Express,” she says. Macphie believes increased flexibility and the ability for clients to use one venue in isolation or the entire integrated site heralds many more future successes.
One of those successes comes next month when Dr Tony Lloyd, chief executive of the ADHD Foundation, curates a two-day conference that will host internationally renowned experts in childhood and adolescence mental health at ACC Liverpool 5-6 November 2015.
Looking further ahead on the Mersey conference horizon, and the Royal College of Nurses will bring 6,500 delegates to their 2017 annual conference. It will last five days at the ACC Liverpool and will be the fourth time the RCN has brought its showpiece conference to the ’pool.