By Kate Davis, head of business development for campus and residential services at Leeds Beckett University
No-one could have predicted the Conservative majority that the UK woke up to on Friday morning, not least of all the business community whose worries centred largely on the problems of another hung parliament and potentially another five years of coalition. So, should events industry professionals be delighted by a majority outcome? Or cautious of promises made by a government trying to curry favour?
In the run up to the election some much needed attention was bestowed upon the events industry, with the DCMS announcing a new board for the Business Visits & Events Partnership, (BVEP) as part of its strategy for UK events. This news, of course, was almost universally welcomed by the sector – talk of new investment and new resources for an industry which is fiercely proud of its ability to thrive without those things will always be welcome.
In May’s Conference News, Michael Hirst OBE, chair of the BVEP said that, “the challenge is going to be in continuing the momentum whatever administration forms the government” From my point of view, working for Well Met at Leeds Beckett University, one of the UK’s largest Universities in one of the UK’s biggest conferencing cities, there is more that could be done in Westminster to better acknowledge and harness the capability and the capacity of cities in the North of England to work together as a stronger United Kingdom to attract bigger events business to the country.
On a city level, we are currently working in partnership with Conference Leeds, the University of Leeds and the first direct arena, to deliver the second year of teacher training charity, Teach First’s, Summer Institute. It’s the largest teacher training event in the country, this year to be attended by over 3,500 delegates and we won that bid for Leeds by thinking big and by working together. Partnership working on a national and international scale is something our industry could embrace further, and it’s something our government has now put on the table. Let’s hope they stay true to their word and support our industry to deliver growth and success over the next five years.