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“My audience was my life. What I did and how I did it, was all for my audience” Cab Calloway

Over the past few months I’ve delivered Social Media training to over 1500 people and if you include public speaking audiences that number would be double that

I learnt my craft working in the music industry for 14 years – the art of performing, the art of winning over an audience, the importance of educating and the importance of entertaining

The audience, the venue, the stage show, the atmosphere are all equally important

I’ve spoken in TV Studios, Music Venues, Churches, Banks, Bingo Halls, Hotels, Town Halls, Libraries and Conference Centres and many more

You can read more about my speaking career here:

This is a tribute to the great venues that I’ve spoken at across the UK, the wonderful people that make these venues tick and the enablers of talent

Salford Lads Club

When I was 14 years old I listened for the 1st time to one of the greatest albums ever made – The Queen Is Dead by the Smiths

I never imagined that years later I would be stood in the same steps as Morrissey, Marr, Joyce and Rourke inspiring hundreds of 16 year old kids on the National Citizenship Program

I hope that in 20 years time one of those kids carries on the baton and inspires the next generation

Salford Lads Club venue is one steeped in history – cultural, music and sporting

It’s a venue that people all around the world make a pilgrimage to pay their respects to and it’s one that is still very much over every week

Without a doubt this is one of the best venues in the country I’ve spoken at

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Victoria Baths

I didn’t know much about the Victoria Baths until 2003 when they won the first series of the BBC’s Restoration programme

Victoria Baths is a Grade II listed building, situated in the Longsight area of Manchester. The Baths opened to the public in 1906 and cost £59,144 to build.

Manchester City Council closed the baths in 1993 and the building was left derelict. A multimillion-pound restoration project began in 2007.

I think it’s a venue you have to experience for yourself to really appreciate and when I spoke there I met an ex-Services guy who said “The stories these walls could tell from all the lads that have passed through this building”

It truly is a special place – even more so as Manchester is going through a period of regeneration and will soon become a wall of glass

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Old Granada Studios 2   Old Granada Studios 1
Is there anything more Manchester than Coronation Street?

Oasis, The Stone Roses, Tony Wilson, The Smiths, Mrs Merton, Steve Coogan all had their moments but Coronation Street transcends time

In 2015 I got to speak for Small Business Saturday tour when it arrived in Manchester at Old Granada Studios

Walking through the studios that had previously housed the Coronation Street Tour that I went to as a child brought back to many memories

Months later I saw Skepta perform at the very same venue

Coronation Street to Skepta via Altrincham HQ – it doesn’t get better

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Lancashire County Cricket Ground

Lancashire Country Cricket Ground has so many memories to myself

I saw David Bowie there. I met Joe Strummer and Martin Fry in the VIP area. One Love Manchester was one of those events in Manchester where the whole city came out in defiance against the tragic events at the Arena

On the flipside I once walked out of REM before the event of the gig because they ignore the hits and were too dull

Lancashire County Cricket Ground is a venue I’ve had the pleasure of speaking at numerous times for the Trafford Expo

Genuinely a stunning venue and a hotel is set to open very soon right next to the venue itself

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Bridgewater Hall Manchester


I had the privilege of flying out to Cannes on the same flight as Tony Wilson for MIDEM festival many years ago

Ok, I was just a music industry management student and Tony Wilson was – well the freaking legend that is Tony Wilson

In The City was perhaps the greatest annual Manchester event on the music calendar and Tony Wilson put that event together to put Manchester on the world stage

I was honoured to speak at the Bridgewater Hall for Break In The City – an fringe offshoot event aimed at people looking to break into the music industry

That young student has progressed years later to part of the Manchester music scene and was giving advice to the next generation as part of a demo panel

It’s still one of my highlights from the music industry days. I still love The Bridgewater Hall as I pass it on the tram most weeks now

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The Cavern Club

A little throwback to my music industry days where I got to speak on the stage of the Cavern Club for a music industry conference

If I’m totally honest, and I know many will see this as sacrilege, I love Liverpool more for Brookside than the Beatles – but this venue is one steeped in history

Matthew Street as an experience is one that everyone must experience with a thriving bar scene in the streets surrounding it

The Cavern currently resides at 10 Mathew St. which is the same address it held when opening in 1957. Contrary to popular belief the Cavern Club today is on the same side of the street as when it originally opened. Unfortunately, due to a decision by the local council the Cavern was torn down in the 70’s and was built again in the 80’s using the same design and most of the original bricks.

Walking down the countless stairs with the history on the walls of the Cavern with some of the most well known songs in history blasting out

It’s an experience and one would that make for a unique event

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Manchester Central Library

You probably don’t know a lot of this but …

Manchester was the first local authority to provide a public lending and reference library after the passing of the Public Libraries Act 1850.

In 1926 the city council held a competition to design an extension to the town hall and a central library. E. Vincent Harris was selected to design both buildings. His circular design for the library, reminiscent of the Pantheon in Rome, was based on libraries in America.

A four-year project to renovate and refurbish the library commenced in 2010. Central Library re-opened on 22 March 2014.

I used to go to Manchester Central Library in the pre-Spotify days where you borrowed CDs from the library

A couple of years ago after the renovation I got to speak to a group of Startup Businesses in Manchester about the power of Social Media

It really is a library for the times we live in now

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Workplace Manchester

Workplace describe themselves as “Boutique-style offices with the type of service you expect from a hotel concierge”

And it’s true

The moment you walk through the 4th floor doors of Workplace it doesn’t feel like an office

It’s bright, it’s warm, it’s welcoming, it’s friendly

To the left of the entrance is the office space where people work and to the right as you walk in a glorious open meeting place where people drink unlimited coffee and tuck into biscuits and sweets

Tucked away in the corner is fantastic meeting space which can be used for training sessions like we do with

The only downside to Workplace is I feel like I have to double up my gym sessions as the unlimited Club biscuits and lemon drops are so moreish

A total joy to work at

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SM Conf 2016

The Northern Quarter will always have a special place in my heart after working in music for 14 years

It also has a special place in my heart because it’s where the Social Media Conference in Manchester takes place each year

This year I’ll be keynote speaker after delivering successful workshops for the past 2 years

The Studio is like a cavern once you get inside – rooms for all sizes of events. And a huge buzz at the start of the morning and at lunchtime as people network in a huge reception space interlinking all the rooms

As well as Manchester, they’ve got spaces in Birmingham (the original), Leeds and Glasgow – so they’re doing something right

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Pendulum Hotels

When I was 1st booked into this venue I got it mixed up with GMex (aka Manchester Central) until the day before the event

It wasn’t a disappointment though when I turned up to the venue on Sackville Street Manchester

Part of the Pendulum hotel the one thing that really stands out here for conference and meetings is the food

Taking a break for lunch I remarked how the bar food alone was restaurant quality food – as someone who speaks in hotels around the country they really do raise the bar for catering

If you book this venue make sure you take advantage of the catering facilities here

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Event City is absolutely huge – seriously HUGE

The second largest venue outside of London it hosts events such as The Classic Car Show, The Baby & Toddler Show, Family Pet Show and the Ideal Home Show

In the heart of Trafford City it’s based right next to the Trafford Centre

The 2 events we’ve spoken at have been the Choices Show, an event to help young people decide what to do after formal education, and the British Franchise Show – showcasing off both well-known franchises and new upcoming brands

You always feel you’re part of something massive at Event City

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Birmingham NIA

My mother worked as a Nurse in the NHS all her life till she took retirement

When I got asked to speak at a Digital Health conference at the Birmingham NIA last year it brought the family full circle

Mum helping the general public all her life and then her son helping the companies whose tech impacts greater delivery and service in the health sector

Birmingham NIA is a stunning venue and situated right next The Library Of Birmingham which is one of the most unique buildings i’ve even seen

This was our 1st steps on the Arena Stage – hopefully more to come

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Last but not least – The Cresta Court is my home town show

I’ve spoke at this venue more times than I can count on fingers and toes that it literally does feel like home

The Cresta Court is my Cavern Club, my 100 Club, my Hacienda – it’s where I’ve won multiple awards, where I speak to a packed audiences every time and where many of my early Social Media talks took place

If you haven’t been to the venue in a while The Hotel invested nearly £1.5 million on its ongoing refurbishment back in 2016 and it really does look fantastic

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Chat to us about your event and we can tell you what value you’ll bring to it

Everybody wants to know more about Social Media – it’s a topic which gets bums on seats

Alex McCann at Altrincham HQ has spoken at events to 1000’s of people and Altrincham HQ have been voted the Best Social Media Company in Manchester

Please call Alex on 07806774279 or email

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Alex McCann

Author Alex McCann

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