Olivia Powell caught up with Adrian Evans, assistant director of conferences and exhibitions at The ACC Liverpool Group, to discuss growth plans.
Since its opening in 2015, Exhibition Centre Liverpool has hosted more than 116 events with around 128,000 visitors expected in 2019 (up 21.6 % on last year), firmly establishing the venue on the event circuit.
Exhibition Centre Liverpool is part of Europe’s only purpose-built interconnected arena, convention and exhibition centre, with the exhibition centre interconnected to its sister venues via a link bridge. The campus offers three hotels on-site, including the integrated 4-star Pullman Liverpool, and is located on the banks of Liverpool’s World Heritage waterfront within a lively city offering a practically untouched consumer market to launch new profiles in.
The arena and convention centre opened on 12 January 2008, coinciding with the official opening ceremony for Capital of Culture and heralding regeneration in the city.
By 2011 the venues had already welcomed almost 2 million visitors across 500 events and were looking to expand. This desire for growth culminated in March 2011, when plans were announced to build a new waterfront exhibition centre.
Since its launch, Exhibition Centre Liverpool has become an integral part of The ACC Liverpool Group, – regularly hosting exhibitions, conferences, and dinners, as well as providing flexible spaces for leading sporting events such as the Netball World Cup and Matchroom Boxing.
In 2018, Exhibition Centre Liverpool hosted 29 separate events and welcomed more than 105,000 visitors. The venue attracts those in both the B2B and B2C sectors, hosting a number of trade and consumer exhibitions each year. It has an established trade sector which includes national events, like the International Festival for Business, Digital Manufacturing Week and the Federation of Petroleum Suppliers (now UKIFDA). It has also played host some large-scale conferences with exhibition elements including the Labour Party Conference in 2018 and Revo in 2019, as well as launching new event successes within the North West, including The Gin To My Tonic show (now an EN Indy award winner for Best Consumer Launch) and For The Love of Wrestling.
The venue also has an impressive sustainability record, with 925 photovoltaic (PV) panels installed on the roof, allowing the venue to generate its own renewable energy for the next 20 years. In the four years since they were installed, the PV panels have produced £28,000 worth of electricity and reduced the venue’s CO2 emissions equivalent to planting 4259 trees.
Exhibition Centre Liverpool is one of the most technologically advanced venues in the exhibition industry. An outdoor 4.5m x 2.5m LED screen welcomes visitors and clients alike, followed by a multitude of movable digital totems that can display digital signage. A 1GB fibre optic line and free PDQ networks ensure exhibitors can make transactions with the public without delay. The venue also boasts a blank canvas of 8,100sqm via its main halls that can be transformed into many different configurations, with the entire space sub-divisible into three different sections, ensuring that the exhibition centre can suit any event. This is complemented by expansive waterfront views along The Atrium, The Lounge and The Deck providing natural light as well as eight flexible meeting rooms.
Evans comments: “We are continuously looking at ways to enhance our exhibition centre to ensure it remains one of the leading venues in the UK and continues to attract fantastic exhibitions. For example, plans are ongoing for the major development and investment of Kings Dock, where Exhibition Centre Liverpool is situated.”
One of the selling points of the centre is its proximity to the city centre. In addition, it is connected to rail, road and air networks; this provides a seamless experience for organisers, exhibitors and visitors. It is also hoped that this accessibility will encourage more event organisers to select Exhibition Centre Liverpool. EN