Conference honeypots

York and Scarborough are  conference honeypots. Business tourism in York generates a total of £203m per year and Scarborough £9m. Through the help of the destinations’ shared convention bureau, York and Scarborough Conferences, they have managed to win a number of large national and international events.

The Solution Mining Research Institute, Rotary International and the Association for the Professional Development of Early Years Education have all secured conferences in York and Scarborough this year.

York and Scarborough Conferences’ Business Tourism Marketing Manager Laura Freer said: “Our work to promote the destination for conferences is paying off.

“It’s great to see so many conference bookings coming through, especially in light of the difficult economic climate which has hit some venues. “We hope the success we are seeing this year will grow and continue through next year.”


York’s largest conference venue, The York Barbican, re-opened its doors in May following a £1.5m refurbishment to upgrade the venue’s conference and event facilities. The auditorium can host large conferences for up to 1,400 delegates, a space which can be adapted to accommodate 400 dining.

The Iconic Scarborough Spa has  had a £6.5m refurbishment. The 12-month project has transformed the Grade II Victorian building to create facilities suitable for hosting up to 3,000 delegates. The Spa has 20 events already secured this year worth over £3.5m in economic value to Scarborough.   

Case study

Venue: Park Inn and Merchant Adventurers Hall, York

Event: Primary Care Rheumatology residential conference and dinner

Association: The Primary Care Rheumatology Society

Date: November 2010

Number of delegates: 100

Economic impact: Estimated £11,000

The Primary Care Rheumatology Society has used the services of York and Scarborough Conferences for the past five years for its rheumatology conference.

The main conference is held at the Park Inn by Radisson which is York’s largest city centre hotel with 200 bedrooms and capacity to host 400 delegates theatre style. The event is held there because of its central location.

The gala dinner has been held at different locations in the past including the National Railway Museum and Hospitium. This year’s venue was a medieval museum which dates back to 1357.
The Primary Care Rheumatology Society Executive Secretary Helen Livesley said: “York and Scarborough Conferences catered for our acommodation needs in a first class, friendly and extrememly professional way.”

Any comments? Email

Paul Colston


Paul Colston

Managing Editor, Conference News & Conference & Meetings World.

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