Built to commemorate Liverpool being named the Capital of Culture in 2008, the ACC Liverpool was part of a 150 million pound development to Liverpool’s Kings Dock to give the city some seriously world class live event facilities. Including a mind blowing convention centre and a 11,000 capacity arena, when we checked it out this past week, what we found was exactly that… world class.
In 2023, Liverpool event campus, home to ACC Liverpool, M&S Bank Arena and Exhibition Centre Liverpool was home to none other than the Eurovision song contest, this is the awesome scale we’re talking about with this venue. We’ve covered many of the UK’s best hidden gems in our venue showcases, but the ACC is a shining star in the UK’s events industry.
With a stunning 11,000 capacity arena and the high tech ACC auditorium itself, this campus boasts some incredible facilities that we’re going to try and do justice to, but trust us, the depth and breath of these fantastic meeting, event, and conference spaces is something that you have to check out for yourself, it’s an event professional's dream.
As mentioned in our introduction, the area surrounding the Liverpool event campus on Kings Dock in Liverpool is stunning, and totally regenerated with a really nice modern vibe to it. The area feels safe and lively (especially after a rip-roaring gig at the M&S Bank Arena) and is full of options to eat, drink or go visit, either at the local Pizza Express or Sodexo Live! Lounge (more on this later), both right on site, the lounge even within the arena itself. Or right next door at some of the stunning venues at the Royal Albert Dock, a former UNESCO World Heritage site. We were really impressed by how clean and professional this area felt on our visit, and felt it just set the tone for what was about to come inside this stunning venue with some insanely good facilities!
Now we don’t want to get too into the weeds of all of the details about the ACC’s amazing meeting spaces, that’s for later in our article, but this tidbit of information alone will prove that the ACC’s main auditorium is a spectacle to behold, the space is built with two rotating drum seating areas that can literally rotate around within the auditorium to form their own halls, perfect for say… a lecture theatre. This is some seriously cool tech that we loved, loved, LOVED.
Address: Kings Dock, Liverpool L3 4FP
Conference Sales Contact: Stephanie Macfarlane
Tel: (0) 151 703 7266
Email: [email protected]
Parking: 1450 onsite spaces
Wi-fi: Free wi-fi throughout
We loved our experience visiting this place from the moment you step inside, everything feels so functional, organised, and modern. Escalators, spacious event check in areas and the huge, atrium style galleria greet you as you enter the main building on the ACC’s connected campus (the arena and auditorium). We’ll touch on this space in more detail later, but it’s a huge area, with beautiful glass windows on either side, and an entirely glass roof that’s a spectacle to behold - and brings so much light into this multi-storey high open space - it’s vast (and vastly impressive!).
The thoughtfulness of the ACC doesn’t just extend to the brilliantly thought out event spaces and meeting rooms, but also into their care for the environment in this ever changing world. The ACC Liverpool is the first large venue to become a member of ISLA, a group that helps venues move towards carbon net zero by 2030. We loved the efforts that the team here were making, proving there’s a real consideration about the community, and event-goers experience when visiting. The amazing deeds don’t stop there either, the ACC also gave back massively to the community of Liverpool (home of the Delegate Wranglers!) with over £11,000 in donations to local charities last year - we love this positive attitude focussing on bringing events to everyone.
Now we couldn’t talk about the ACC Liverpool without briefly mentioning the neighbouring sister venue of the Exhibition Centre Liverpool, a Huge, with a capital H exhibition venue that stuns across the Kings dock skyline and provides some world class exhibition facilities to go alongside the ACC’s incredible meeting and show spaces!
Also directly adjoined to the ACC is the Pullman Hotel, a spectacular space of its own with its own meeting and events spaces inside, there’s an enclosed bridge that means hotel guests can literally walk between the ACC and the hotel without having to step foot outdoors, perfect for those busy days, or cold nights where a quick nip back to the room for a pre or post-event debrief is vital… or maybe you just need a nap. The Pullman is a stunning place to stay with an interconnected 4* hotel, the Pullman Liverpool, which has 216 comfortable rooms and suites. Not to be forgotten are two other on-site hotels and a further 7,632 bedrooms within walking distance…. Remember the ‘vast’ we mentioned? Yep. This area is big, fresh, and can facilitate thousands at ease.
In addition to the Pullman, there's plenty of other hotels all within walking distance of the ACC - Leornardo Hotel Liverpool, Hilton Liverpool, INNSiDE by Melia, Staybridge Suites to name but a few.
The stunning facilities and capabilities of the ACC Liverpool is where this venue really shines on a scale that not many others can rival. First… Let's talk about catering.
For spaces so large and impressive catering can often provide one of the biggest challenges to putting on large scale events. Not at the ACC Liverpool. The catering here is provided by Sodexo Live!, who really blew us away with their range of stunning options and fresh meals. Over 50% of the menu that Sodexo Live! provides is vegetarian and vegan, and beyond this, one thing we loved as residents of the city, was their choice to use as many local farms as possible when sourcing food for their large-scale catering. The catering at ACC Liverpool can provide for 10 people or 1000… and had our mouths watering to boot.
Another amazing capability of the ACC Liverpool is their production facilities. The projection, lights and screens available to each potential event hosted here is off the charts. Just check out the online gallery on the ACC Liverpool’s website to get a vibe of how versatile your events can be, particularly in the auditorium which has some of the best production facilities we’ve ever seen in an events space.
Back to the incredible Galleria, even though we couldn’t fit it into our meeting space highlights, this might just be the perfect registration area.. And we’ve seen a lot. With so much space for numerous register desks, and a beautiful bright backdrop this place could also be an iconic photo opportunity pre-event for delegates to take and post before they settle into one of our three meeting space highlights.
And when you factor in the amount of parking nearby as well as dedicated coach drop off / pick up points at the rear ort the venue, as well as the access to all the glorious bars, restaurants and tourist attractions at the nearby Royal Albert Dock, the venue location doesn't disappoint at all. And we haven't even mentioned the historic River Mersey, those famous ferry boats and the Liver Building all a few steps away.
Before we get into the body of the meeting space highlights, while we’re highlighting the biggest and most headline grabbing areas of the ACC, it’s important not to forget that the complex has 21 other meeting spaces and breakout rooms which you can explore on the ACC’s online tour, or get in touch with their super helpful team about. So don’t miss these! We’d be here all day if we tried to explain just how great each and every one of these are, that’s how impressive ACC’s suite of specifically designed meeting rooms are, providing both quality and quantity.
Meeting Space Highlight: Hall 2
Connected to the galleria on the lower side of the ACC is Hall 2, a fantastic multi-functional, sub divisible, fully carpeted space that can be used in its entirety for a gala dinner or exhibition. If you don’t need the whole 3725 SQm space, then the ACC, as it does with most of its locations, has a brilliant trick up its sleeve - Modularity. Just like we mentioned before with the auditorium’s revolving drums (read below) the Hall 2 is also a modular space, with a contemporary design that allows it to be switched down into smaller or intimate areas for meetings or break-out rooms. This thinking outside the box - or hall - in this case, is what we love to see in the industry… solving problems and coming up with solutions that truly innovate.
Capacity: 2,992 theatre
Meeting Space Highlight: Auditorium
Central to the venue both in importance and in location, the auditorium boasts 1,350 theatre-style seats, an impressive stage, and even more impressive modular revolving drums in the seating area. These two areas can be used for 247-seat lectures - literally turned away from the main stage into their own full functional area with full facilities - or turned and closed off to make the auditorium smaller. It’s a brilliantly flexible yet effective facility. We’ve visited prior to this showcase, for events with the full capacity and with drums turned away, both times we were mind-blown at the actual usefulness of this capability - and then in our showr-ound this time, to see the inner workings of such a complex and impressive space was just… wow.
Capacity: 1,350 theatre-style
We left the ACC Liverpool feeling truly overwhelmed by the quantity of options at such an incredible quality, for your event. The ACC has set the bar high for convention centre competition here, if you want a place that can host your best event ever… this might be it.