A year ago, Liverpool became the first city to propose an Accommodation BID. Voted for by the city’s hotel and serviced accommodation sector, the BID is designed to give the industry a greater say in investment, destination market and to support it moving forward. The impact is not only felt within the hotel industry, it has an effect across the city’s business community.

The Accommodation BID is different from a tourist tax, and it is an important distinction to make. Revenue is raised via a levy from within businesses in the hotel and serviced accommodation sector. That revenue, which represents a £4m investment over five years, which includes a subvention fund of targeted investment. This is designed to attract small, medium and large conferences to Liverpool.

One of the most high profile examples of these this Autumn will be the Labour Conference. Running from 8-11 October, it will see Labour Party members shape the future of the party and its policies, with around 13,000 delegates in attendance.

Delegates stay in the city, which obviously has a benefit for the hotel and serviced accommodation sector. Conferences increase spend in the city centre, with hospitality and retail benefiting.

For business, conferences can support growth, attracting people and ideas, helping to create a thriving business environment and interconnected industries. A recent report into the economic impact of the UK events industry highlighted the importance of conferences, helping to attract foreign investment and promoting expertise. They encourage a knowledge transfer and encourage different sectors to explore how they can work together. Being united by a common purpose, whether that is being based in the same city, shared audiences and products or sectors, conferences and events draw people and knowledge sharing together. In total, the Uk events industry is worth £70bn in direct spend. Over £31bn of this total is business events, conferences and exhibitions.

Investing in a subvention fund, supported by both Liverpool BID and the Accommodation BID, helps to attract these conferences and events to Liverpool. These events can play a critical role in professional development and improving the performance of business. It helps to build a commercial sector in Liverpool, developing and enhancing our interconnectedness. This, in turn, helps Liverpool to be more competitive, to improve our ability to grow and strengthen our economy. While conferences might represent industry coming from around the world, on our doorstep it helps us to learn and understand what our professional neighbours do, what their expertise is and what opportunity we have to strengthen our bonds and work together.

Supporting the attraction of events and conferences to Liverpool undoubtedly has a positive impact on our world leading visitor economy, yet it is also critical in shaping and enhancing our commercial and professional industries, helping to grow our economy further.