British Council of Shopping Centres (BCSC)

"Hard to Beat"

BCSC have staged their annual conference and exhibition twice at ACC Liverpool, first in 2008 and then again in 2012.

More than 2,500 of the country’s leading developers, investors, shopping centre owners and managers gather for three days for the biggest event in their calendar.

Pre-event planning

The British Council of Shopping Centres conference and exhibition has been held for 27 years in locations including Manchester, Belfast and ACC Liverpool in 2008.  As Erin Rigg, BCSC’s client services manager and organiser of the event, explained: “We tend to take it where there is a good story in terms of retail development.  We try to keep the event out of London as most of the attendees are from London and we find that if we hold it away from their home city they spend more time on the show floor and taking in the conference content as well as networking.”

Objectives/ the brief

This is an annual conference and exhibition which is seen as a key date in the retail industry calendar.  Every year the theme of the event is regeneration.  It is an opportunity for the industry to look at what to do with existing and new spaces.  “Big business is written on the show floor and the event has become a real community,” said Rigg.

Challenges

The association decided to reduce the price for attendees by £100 after freezing the price over the previous few years.  2007/8 was a boom year for the show, 2009 was the most challenging year but visitor figures have remained steady at 2,500.  BCSC changed the date for the event, moving it from November to September so that business deals could be organised in time for Christmas trading.  This posed a challenge for organisers as September is the party political annual conference season, making it tough to secure a large enough venue, but ACC Liverpool was able to accommodate the dates.

The execution/ solution

The BCSC Conference and Exhibition saw 2,500 of the country’s leading developers, investors, shopping centre owners and managers gather for three days. 

Mary Portas, also known as Mary Queen of Shops, was the keynote speaker and pulled in 500 delegates to listen to her talk about the ‘death of the high street.’

Exhibitors included DTZ who took a large stand in the arena and sponsored a juice bar next to a client meeting area.  Elspeth Burrage, head of group events and retail marketing, said: “For friendliness, location and a wealth of different venues, all in one package, Liverpool is hard to beat.”

Kathryn Shirley, consultant at Path Intelligence who provided a delegate area between the arena and hall 2 in BT Convention Centre, said: “It was the first time we used our stand in this way and it provided more space for delegates looking for an area to be able to plug in their laptop and devices.

“It also enabled us to hold discussions while visitors were on the stand, which we found to be comfortable and spacious.  The feedback we received from delegates was positive.”

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Staying

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Eat & Drink

Chaophraya and Palm Sugar Lounge (Thai)

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Chaophraya and Palm Sugar Lounge are conveniently located in Liverpool ONE, just across from the venue. Chaophraya and Palm Sugar serve authentic Thai cuisine and cocktails.

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Shopping

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City Central Shopping

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UrbanCalm

UrbanCalm

Liverpool’s city centre spa hideway for grooming, relaxation and skincare. Urban Calm offers 5 star treatments with only the best brands just a 15 minute walk from the venue.

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Attractions

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there’s plenty of time to hit the shops.

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The Beatles Story

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