ACC Liverpool includes the Conference Centre, the M&S Bank Arena and Exhibition Centre Liverpool and saw its income plummet to zero amid the COVID-19 lockdown. Tony McDonough reports
ACC Liverpool has created a virtual visitor tour as it looks to persuade event organisers that it can offer a COVID-secure environment.
In an interview with the Liverpool Echo earlier this month, ACC chief executive Bob Pratty said the complex, which includes the Conference Centre, the M&S Bank Arena and Exhibition Centre Liverpool, was facing an “unprecedented” challenge.
With no events since the start of the pandemic the centre, which is owned by Liverpool City Council, has had zero income. This week, organisers from The Gin to My Tonic Show, who have held their event at the venue twice, met with members of the venue team to discuss their forthcoming event in November.
ACC is hoping it can can gradually persuade more conference organisers to start bring people to the complex. The new virtual flythrough features new compliance plans, introduced in line with the Government-approved ‘All Secure Standard’.
It has also secured of a series of accreditations including VisitEngland’s We’re Good to Go industry standard and the Meetings Industry Association’s ‘AIM Secure’ standard for business events.
Measures include protective screens at welcome desks; hand sanitisers throughout including wall-mounted and free-standing; one-way systems; anti-viral electrostatic spraying machines; socially distanced meeting rooms and bathrooms as well as new digital and print messaging across the campus.
Kerry Mulloy, director of events and operations at ACC LIverpool, said: “We have been busy working behind the scenes throughout lockdown to ensure we have the necessary measures in place so that we are ready to offer a safe environment for all visitors.
“We want to make our guests feel as comfortable as possible when they visit us and the virtual tour we have created highlights the important changes we have made to our campus in line with a number of government and industry-approved accreditations.
“Now that all of our operational planning is completed, it has been encouraging to hear from event organisers who are ready to undertake site visits and planning meetings. We have started to welcome meetings for under 30 people, and are ready to get back to our large scale events from October 1.”
Following the recent easing of restrictions, ACC is starting to host a number of small meetings for under 30 people and is among a number of venues due to host the UKickstart Event 2020 on September 8.
The event will bring together meeting professionals to demonstrate the power of events, showcase the industry, inspire confidence and aims to help to kick-start the events industry.