With October celebrating National Events Month, Jennifer Young, associate director of visitor economy at ConferenceLeeds, reflects on a golden time for venues in the city
There have been continued reports about the UK’s conference and business events sector continuing to grow in size and value. With the sector performing positively, and with the buzz created for last year’s National Events Month October (NEMO) campaign, it’s not surprising that the industry has welcomed this year’s NEMO as a way of celebrating all of the events, venues, conference spaces and business meetings currently present in the UK.
Results from the report we commissioned in partnership with the 2015 UK Conference and Meetings Survey, shows that, in 2014, Leeds hosted 54,000 events, welcoming over 3.8m delegates and generated an estimated £446.7m in direct expenditure.
Throughout the four-week NEMO campaign, ConferenceLeeds is reflecting on the success of the venues we work with, in particular the four Gold AIM accredited venues. These include:
· Royal Armouries Museum, which has the largest collection of arms, armour and artillery in the UK, as well as an conference space for over 1,200 delegates
· Leeds Beckett University, which offers extensive conferencing facilities, in addition to access to leading professors and lecturers
· Weetwood Hall Conference Centre and Hotel, which boasts 35 conference rooms and 114 contemporary en-suite bedrooms
· The tallest hotel in Leeds, Park Plaza, which is located in the heart of the city and offers panoramic views from its 20th floor
As well as the Gold accredited venues, we also work with 15 other AIM accredited venues and Leeds is the only city outside of London with this many awarded venues. Having venues like this available to offer to conference and event organisers has meant that we’ve been able to provide a quality conferencing portfolio.
Throughout October we are running our NEMO social media campaign. Each week features one of our Gold AIM accredited venues and every day we are revealing an unusual fact about each of these venues. We’re offering a venue-based gift to the person who guesses the venue first, using our Twitter page (@conferenceleeds), as well as our #NEMO and #GuessTheVenue campaign hashtags.