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Earlier this month, our logistics coordinator, Kathryn embarked on a tour of the new ACC Liverpool. We get the lowdown on the venue and her escapade along memory lane in Merseyside.

ACC Liverpool are currently building three new 2,700sqm halls. They invited a bunch of us down to model hard hats and take a look around. They already have the BT Convention Centre and Echo Arena next to each other, so this is in addition. They are also all connected so you don’t need to leave one to enter another. Bonus for rainy days!

The three halls will increase the already massive entertainment and conference space available. Hosting concerts in addition to the Echo Arena, it has a passage underneath the floors for staff to easily transfer from one hall to the next. Brightly coloured walls and snippets of Liverpool destinations on the walls are a nice touch as it reminds you that you are in a culturally creative city, not just a convention centre anywhere in the world.

The main auditorium has two rotating sections. Picture ‘Mickey Mouse’ – the two ears at the top can turn (with no one sitting in them) to create separate breakout spaces. If you are in the breakout space with the seats facing the auditorium, you would just see a wall and if you are in the auditorium with the seats facing the breakout rooms then you would not know the difference as the wooden panelling joins perfectly to complete the room. It takes less than 10 minutes to turn around and therefore it is ideal when changing sessions during a coffee break.

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As it is a convention centre it will be better suited to exhibitions and car launches (easy accessibility to drive cars in) however in the existing building there are smaller spaces all with natural daylight with anything from 24 cabaret up to 230. It could also be an option for a gala dinner if you wanted to keep everything in-house especially with large groups, however I would definitely recommend heading offsite for that. A 216 room Pullman Hotel is being built onsite therefore smaller, more adequate spaces are available for intimate boardroom/leadership meetings.

I went to university in Liverpool (2009-2012) and so much has changed since. It’s a very creative city especially when it comes to music and there’s endless amounts of new cafes which are always full of acoustics gigs in the evenings. They are also ‘creative’ spaces with funky furniture, low lighting and are full of students and young professionals on their laptops. Hit up Bold Street for a selection of some of the best coffees in town.

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Liverpool has such a rich history especially with the Titanic connections. Most of the event venues have an amazing story behind them too so it’s always a bit of an added extra to incorporate that somehow – even just by giving optional tours during a drinks reception. The best thing about Liverpool though is that you can walk absolutely everywhere (except some of it is on a hill…)  A few people mentioned the Birmingham NEC while we were on the trip but this new ACC you can’t compare because the city makes all the difference. There isn’t a competitiveness about who gets the business, the city and the people truly work together to create such a welcoming environment. In addition, the ACC is right on the docks, so not only do you have amazing views across the Mersey to the Wirral, you are on the doorstep of most of the hotels, Museum of Liverpool, Beatles Museum, and numerous restaurants and bars. With everything so close together (and nothing more than a 10 minute transfer) you can make the most of everything Liverpool has to offer whether it be a dinner in a more modern setting at The Venue in the Liver Building, or a once-in-a-lifetime experience created in the awe inspiring Anglican Cathedral at the top of the hill. I would also recommend St George’s Hall, we had a mini tour around there and it was fascinating, such a dark history and you even see the cells where they held people!