The importance of international meetings and conferences to Liverpool’s economy has been underlined by a new report.
Since January 2014, the city has welcomed a number of high-profile international conferences, aside from those held during the International Festival for Business. The report, commissioned by ACC Liverpool and Liverpool Convention Bureau, shows that around 20,000 delegates have visited the city during this period.
The European Society of Biomaterials conference, held at ACC Liverpool this month, attracted more than 1,000 delegates with an economic impact of £1.8m. Forthcoming internationals include EuroLabFocus and the European Society of Surgical Oncology, both taking place in October.
Other venues in the city boasted events such as the International Conference on Sensing Technology (Liverpool John Moores University) and the Public Administration Conference UK at the Foresight Centre, the University of Liverpool.
With factors such as accommodation, retail and social events, the economic impact of these conferences is estimated to be around £39m.
The city will look to stimulate further growth in the international market when it attends IMEX America next month. As well as a dedicated zone on the VisitEngland stand (2816) and a ‘Beatlemania’ event at the Euro Party on the show floor on the Wednesday, the team is also hosting an exclusive evening reception at Madame Tussauds complete with a Beatles tribute act for a select group of guests. Team Liverpool is also inviting visitors to a story time when they will tell the ‘Liverpool Story’ at 1.30pm on the Tuesday and Wednesday.
It is the largest show in the US, which is seen as a key market for the city’s international growth. Indeed, ACC Liverpool recently appointed an American specialist, Peter Berry, to develop enquiries and business from the States.
Kerrin MacPhie, director of sales at ACC Liverpool, said: “Liverpool has had a successful year with a number of international congresses, aside from those which were held as part of the International Festival for Business. At ACC Liverpool alone we have many more in the pipeline such as UNI Global Union due in 2018. We have a further eight potential events which we have submitted bids for, if these all confirm they will generate a further £22m in economic impact for the city region.
“The addition of Exhibition Centre Liverpool to our existing facilities will enable us to host larger international conferences with attached substantial exhibitions and is part of the city’s plan to continue to develop on an international stage.”
Emma Bellis, head of Liverpool Convention Bureau, said: “As well as conferences from the UK, the potential of the international market is huge for us.
“While we have made some great progress in recent years, we know there’s much further potential to grow this market – especially with the opening of Exhibition Centre Liverpool next year. There is a lot of interest in Liverpool in the US and people are already familiar with the city because of football and The Beatles, so we’re really targeting that market as the next step.”