By Jennifer Young, Head of ConferenceLeeds
The most recent UKCAMS report shows that West Yorkshire held an estimated 80,000 business events during 2015, accounting for a direct spend of approximately £595m in venues and the local destination. Venues in Leeds alone generated the majority of this, hosting 58,400 events with an estimated £501m of direct expenditure.
One recent event in particular that demonstrated the importance of conferencing to our regional economy was the Conference and Hospitality Show, which was held in Leeds in April at the first direct arena. The total spend by delegates, organisers and exhibitors at the conference brought over £370,000 to Leeds. Looking at this example, it becomes very clear how much of an impact conferences and events are able to have on regional economies.
Looking at Leeds in particular, the collaborative working between key city stakeholders throughout the city allows us to excel in driving further successful conferences to the city, and we have a very strong pipeline at the moment. This collaborative working is apparent in the UKCAMS report, which shows that the number of events per venue in Leeds is almost twice the national average (717) and has shown a sustained increase since 2009. These figures highlight Leeds and its venues as leaders in the conferencing industry.
Naturally we are proud to shout about Leeds’ success and the outstanding contribution that national and international events bring to the city. UK cities can truly capitalise on having a strong conference and events focus, as this can only be beneficial for the city and the region overall.