Following the successful Good Business COVID-19 pilot event, ACC Liverpool is ready to open its doors from May 17 with a number of live events already scheduled. Tony McDonough reports
ACC Liverpool says it is ready to see the “buzz and energy” of live events return to its arena and conference centre from next week.
On Monday, the Government gave the go-ahead for the next stage of the UK’s opening up on May 17. With COVID-19 cases now very low and the vaccine rollout continuing, hospitality and entertainment venues will be allowed to open indoors from next Monday.
This means the city council-owned ACC Liverpool complex, which includes Exhibition Centre Liverpool, the conference centre and the M&S Bank Arena, as well as the Pullman Hotel, will be able to welcome crowds of up to 1,000 people or half-full (whichever is a lower number).
In late April the campus welcomed hundreds of delegates at the Good Business Festival’s Change Business for Good event in Liverpool, without COVID-19 measures in place, as part of a national pilot. That was deemed to be a success.
On Monday, May 17, ACC Liverpool will host the European Health-Tech Innovation Week, a one day hybrid conference and exhibition which will virtually connect delegates across Europe’s leading healthcare innovation regions. Delegates will also be able to attend sessions on site in the convention centre.
Other forthcoming conferences at the venue include the Royal College of Ophthalmologists virtual event and, looking further ahead, the Royal College of Nursing in September.A series of on-site corporate conferences are also in the pipeline.
The auditorium at M&S Bank Arena, also part of the event campus, is set to host a series of entertainment shows including X-treme Magic; Sleeping Beauty; Hot Water Comedy Club, Bippo’s Circus Spectacular and Circus of Horrors.
Faye Dyer, managing director of The ACC Liverpool Group, said: “While everyone has adapted to a new landscape over the past year and is used to zooming in business meetings or watching events on the internet, nothing can replace the buzz and energy of live events.
“We have really missed all of our customers and delegates since we had to close our doors in March last year so we are really excited about welcoming people back. We are confident that there will be a real appetite for attending live events and people will be just as thrilled to return to our venues.
“After June 21 – if the Government roadmap continues to stay on track – restrictions will continue to be eased for large events and performances when all legal limits on social contact are set to be removed which will mean we can get back to hosting large events.”
Events set to take place in Exhibition Centre Liverpool after the June 21 restrictions are lifted include The Gin to My Tonic Show; The Outdoor Trade Show; Fit Xpo; The Curve Fashion Festival, The North West Wedding Show and Liverpool Comic Con.
Looking further ahead, entertainment events include Strictly Come Dancing: The Professionals; King of Pop; The Drifters and Paw Patrol Live!.
COVID-secure measures across the campus have been introduced in line with the government approved ‘All Secure Standard’ and as part of a series of accreditations received by the venue including VisitEngland’s ‘We’re Good to Go’ industry standard for tourism and hospitality.