Leeds rolls out the welcome mat for organisers

A business consortium is planning three major events to win conferences and events contracts.

The Leeds Business Improvement District (Leeds BID) will spend £60,000 on events in Leeds, London and either Birmingham or Liverpool. The Leeds Big Sleepover, the city’s largest familiarisation trip will take place from 8-10 October with a budget of £30,000.

It will be followed by a “Leeds in London” event next year and a familiarisation programme in either the Midlands or North West. Each of these events has a budget of £15,000.

The first Big Sleepover in 2013 was attended by more than 150 corporate, associations, agents, travel trade and event planners staying at more than 30 hotels across the city.

This year Leeds Hotels and Venues Association (LHVA) is working with newly launched ConferenceLeeds with the support of Leeds Business Improvement District to deliver the free biennial event. The event will focus on the unusual event spaces that the city has to offer including the Leeds Art Gallery, fd Arena, The Tetley, Northern Ballet, Leeds United and the Royal Armouries Museum.

Gordon Jackson, Chairman of LHVA and General Manager of Thorpe Park Hotel & Spa said: “We are delighted to be working alongside the Leeds BID to boost the city’s business and economy, and are tremendously thankful for their investment in our hosted buyer programme. The event in 2013 was such a success, and we are hopeful that with the BID’s assistance, it will be even better this time around.”

Andrew Cooper, chief executive of Leeds BID said: “Supporting business tourism and conferences was a key priority identified by the business community. We are delighted to be backing this, one our first initiatives to be given financial support. The meeting and conference sector business coming into the city is a major economic driver. I have been overwhelmed by the number and variety of venues that we have in the city that can host major events and conferences. The Leeds Big Sleepover is a great opportunity to bring potential buyers to experience these facilities for themselves and we are pleased that the Leeds BID has been able to make this possible.”

John Keenan

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John Keenan

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