INTRODUCING ‘CLUB LIVERPOOL’ – WELCOMING PEOPLE WHO WELCOME EVENTS
DISCOVER THE AMBASSADOR NETWORK THAT’S DETERMINED TO BRING SAFE PHYSICAL EVENTS BACK TO LIVERPOOL CITY REGION.
Since 2016 Liverpool City Region has been building a powerful network, consisting of more than 150 of our region’s most successful and influential people.
But this is no ordinary, exclusive business network. Its members can be people living and working in the city region, people who have studied here and moved away, or simply people with a connection to Liverpool and a desire help their organisation or sector invest in a great opportunity.
This ambassador network is Club Liverpool – A partnership between Liverpool Convention Bureau and ACC Liverpool, which works to bring high-profile conferences and events to the city region.
Led by Marketing Liverpool, Club Liverpool’s founders are on a mission to go even further this year, tackling the impacts of covid-19, to help realise Liverpool City Region’s growth ambitions. Marketing Liverpool’s Club Liverpool Programme Manager, Jane Fawley tells us more about the venture and how you can get involved.
A HIGHLY EFFECTIVE WAY TO HELP.
I meet Jane, between phone calls, in our new, socially distanced office at Liverpool’s Cunard Building and ask her how Club Liverpool is doing?
“Following the pandemic, everyone I speak to is looking for ways to help Liverpool City Region get back on its feet and Club Liverpool is a great way to do something easy, practical and effective to help. That’s why we’re stepping up this season’s recruitment drive.
“Conferences contribute massively to the economic success of our city, bolstering the visitor economy, the profile of our region and creating a ripple-effect that plays a huge role in across a whole range of sectors and Club Liverpool plays a critical part in that success.
PROVEN TRACK RECORD
Jane opens a large ring-binder and shows me a selection of promotional graphics for events that have been held in Liverpool City Region, thanks to direct influence from Club Liverpool ambassadors and she is clearly very proud of what the network has accomplished.
“Club Liverpool Ambassadors have successfully bid for a total of 56 conferences since 2016. The economic impact of these events combined is more than £75 million, and a number of these are yet to take place, with venues being booked as far in advance as 2025.”
STILL IN DEMAND
Jane explained that the cancellation of summer 2020 events in the Liverpool City Region has had a detrimental impact on our economy, but there is light at the end of the tunnel.
Naturally, I ask how covid-19 has impacted Liverpool City Region’s events industry. How were things going before the outbreak? What’s the event landscape looking like now?
“In many ways, conferences and events are the lifeblood of Liverpool’s visitor economy. From event space to hotels, taxi drivers to restaurants; but businesses across the city region benefit when delegates are in town.
“In early 2020, before lockdown, Club Liverpool ambassadors had worked to secure conferences worth £16million to the local economy. Whilst the coronavirus pandemic means that they are unable to go ahead this year, the good news is that many have chosen to postpone the event rather than cancel altogether.
“To me, this is a clear indication of how popular and well-received Liverpool is as a conference destination.”
HOW DOES CLUB LIVERPOOL WORK?
I ask Jane about the process. How do people become Club Liverpool members? What’s required of them and how can the Club Liverpool team, within Liverpool Convention Bureau, help them?
“Our ambassadors are usually people from across the city region who are in a position to attract and host a conferences in the city. They cover a breadth of professions including academics, leading medics and business leaders, and are all united by the enthusiasm to bring an event from their specialist field here.
“We begin by approaching members of societies and associations who hold annual conferences and we pitch the city region to them, asking them to consider bidding for the event to come to Liverpool, alongside the Club Liverpool team. It’s been an effective approach and one which generates incredibly significant returns.
“Club Liverpool Ambassadors are encouraged to work with us to help put Liverpool City Region on the radar of their event organizers within their organisation or field of expertise. This can be securing an event or even just getting Liverpool ‘on the table’ as an option which can pay off further down the line, and often does.
“Our Ambassadors are also encouraged to help spread the word and help us recruit new members. We ask Ambassadors to promote Club Liverpool to their colleagues, memberships and associations, include the Club Liverpool Ambassador email signature on their outgoing emails and attend our regular networking events.
“Club Liverpool is completely free and it supports both large scale conferences and smaller, more intimate events that can be hosted at a number of the city region’s historic venues, hotels and universities.
“As you’d imagine, Liverpool Convention Bureau has excellent connections to venues and event data across the city region and we can assist in preparing bid documents for all kinds of events. We also work to find suitable venues and provide accommodation booking services, which any event organiser will tell you, is a huge help. Essentially, we’re here to help make your event as easy and successful as possible.
I ask Jane about the challenges of Club Liverpool. What are the barriers to people coming on board?
“It’s funny, but once we connect with a person and explain how Liverpool City Region can add to and enhance their event, people get on board really quickly. Liverpool is such a welcoming city, such a great city to visit, and a place with real, genuine world-leading strengths across a wide range of sectors, that it rarely needs a hard-sell. In many ways the city speaks for itself.
“The challenge really comes from finding and connecting with the right people, be they event organisers or simply influential people within organisations. One way we find people is through Liverpool’s university’s substantial diaspora and one good connection can often lead to several others.
WELCOMING THE WELL-CONNECTED
Jane goes on to tell me about a number of the network’s recent successes. Last year alone, Club Liverpool Ambassadors were responsible for bringing several high-profile events to the region. Events which also enabled Liverpool to demonstrate its world-renowned thought leadership and knowledge in these areas, particularly in the life science sector.
These events include; ‘The General Meeting of the European Maritime Pilots Association’ ‘The European Cystic Fibrosis Conference’ ‘The European Congress on Tropical Medicine and International Health’ ‘‘The International Symposium on Critical Issues in Aortic Endografting’ and ‘The British Paediatric Neurology Association Annual Conference’, contributing almost £9 million economic impact into the city region.
I ask Jane about people’s reaction to being approached to join Club Liverpool. Are there any consistencies? How do people respond?
“Yes. People always say ‘what a good idea’ and they are often flattered. People who have left the city to work further afield, tell me how much they miss Liverpool or how much they enjoyed studying here. People who live in the city understand what a great host city we are and are usually more than happy to make a few introductions and help us pitch Liverpool to event decision makers.
“You know, there’s just something about Liverpool. The city touches so many people in so many ways and it never really leaves you. the best part of my job is that people have such great associations with Liverpool. they naturally seem to want to help the city region and, crucially, they usually already know we deliver amazing events, which is great.”
REACHING PEOPLE’S RADAR
As part of their 2020 recruitment drive, Club Liverpool have launched a new website, social media accounts and a new campaign, to promote awareness, which you can see below.
Follow the hyperlink embedded in the images below to RT and like the Club Liverpool campaign tweets.
Follow @clublpool on Twitter and support the campaign.
SHARED VISION & VALUES
Jane explains that anyone interested in bidding to host an event in their field of expertise is welcome to join Club Liverpool and the Club Liverpool team are still available to offer ambassadors the support they need to attract events.
“Club Liverpool attracts all different kinds of people from all sectors and professions but they all tend to be enthusiastic, passionate people, people who are both passionate about their sector or business and people who are passionate about Liverpool, that’s the thing that unites them.
“We’re not just looking for people who work in events. We want to connect with anyone with influence, be it an influential role or someone with an influential voice, within their particular sector. Well-connected people that can help open doors.
“Ultimately, it’s all about who you know, right? And a lot of fantastic, successful and influential people know and love Liverpool. Without them and our Club, there’s no question, we simply wouldn’t be the exceptional, world-class host city that we are.
JOIN & SUPPORT CLUB LIVERPOOL
To wrap things up, I ask Jane to tell me what she would say to people considering joining Club Liverpool or to people who want to support this initiative.
“Like every industry, the covid-19 pandemic really pulled the rug out from under us. But without events, Liverpool will never recapture or build upon the success we have seen over the past decade and everyone can help.
“If you are influential in your sector or organisation and want to hold a fantastic event in a beautiful, cultural, friendly city region; one that takes the pandemic and safety seriously, get in touch, we’d love to speak to you.
“If you simply think this is a good idea and want to help Liverpool regain its footing support our campaign and follow us on social media. The more people we reach the better.
“It’s never just about that one event. Well received conferences and events help to showcase our city region as the attractive, exciting and vibrant place it is, bringing further investment, visitors and jobs.
“Happy delegates can be a gateway to so much more. Like every business in the city, we can’t wait to get back to where we were and take things further, welcoming even more events. Welcoming people is what Liverpool does best and Club Liverpool’s success is further proof of this.”