ACC Liverpool has today confirmed that it is ready to open its doors for the return of conferences and business events as soon as government restrictions are eased; issuing a new set of Covid-19 secure operational guidelines for event organisers. This follows three months of the venue operating as a food and PPE distribution centre for Liverpool City Council.
Following the Government’s announcement last week that conference and exhibition centres must currently remain closed, ACC Liverpool is stepping up its lobbying efforts alongside other UK venues and event organisers and is proceeding with its planning processes in readiness for the return of events.
Revised operational plans include new space capacities for conferences and exhibitions, virtual and hybrid production solutions, adapted food and drink offers and enhanced safety and hygiene measures. The venue’s plans have been developed following advice from Public Health England, Visitor Economy Guidance and the All Secure Standard developed by the event industry.
Bob Prattey, chief executive of The ACC Liverpool Group, said: “We wanted a way to show our event organisers just how much work has been going on in the background to make sure we are ready for their return. Our campus has been operational throughout this time, working as a distribution centre for Liverpool City Council, which is still ongoing; therefore, all social distancing protocols and management have already become second nature to our teams.
“The issuing of our new operational guidelines to event organisers is a real statement of intent from us as a business – we are ready to welcome people back and are already working with clients to develop solutions for them in this new event environment. We are ramping up our lobbying efforts and very much hope that the UK is able to follow the example of some European countries who have been able to work to a staged return of organised events”
Wider destination and city support will also be provided for event organisers through the Liverpool City Recovery Group – a multi-agency group which has been looking at the ways that the city can get back up and running safely across all sectors. The group, which has been in place since the very early stages of lockdown, comprises city partners including Marketing Liverpool, Liverpool Convention Bureau, Merseyrail, Liverpool John Lennon Airport, The Royal Albert Dock, Liverpool One and the Liverpool BID Company. The Group also includes Liverpool City Council and its key teams across licencing, emergency services and public health.
Chris Brown, Director of Marketing Liverpool, said: “Events are a vital part of the economy here in the city region and across the UK as a whole, and we need to get them back up and running as soon as possible. However people will of course need reassurance that it is safe to do so, and that’s why the work done by ACC Liverpool is so important; it shows event organisers and visitors that they can have the utmost confidence in holding and attending events here.”
The ACC Liverpool Group, which alongside the Conference Centre operates the M&S Bank Arena and Exhibition Centre Liverpool, is also working hard behind the scenes to prepare for a return of public events to its venues. Whilst there is currently no timeline in place from the Government for the return of large-scale indoor public gatherings, lobbying efforts via the National Arenas Association and UK Music are ongoing. Prattey further commented: “We have also been working hard behind the scenes with our industry colleagues from other UK arenas, large scale venues, promoters and event organisers to lobby the Government for more support and a clearer timeline for the return of large-scale indoor public events. It’s clear that fans miss live events and want to return when it’s safe to do so”.
Prattey continued: “We have seen the vast majority of our postponed concerts, entertainment and sporting events reschedule to dates in autumn 2020 and spring 2021, and so the commitment and desire from the industry and our customers is there. We will continue to prepare for a safe return for indoor public events and will work with our partners in the city recovery group to adopt any further learnings from the opening up of retail and hospitality to the public across the city.