September 1, 2021

Technology, safety & bespoke experiences

Conference Leeds identifies conference organisers’ top considerations

Conference Leeds, the conferencing bureau for the city of Leeds, has revealed the key considerations of conference organisers as in-person events resume, following the results from the Independent Venues Group’s round table discussion which was hosted by Conference Leeds. The Independent Venues Group represents some of Leeds’ leading independent venues.

The discussion revealed that the Independent Venues Group were all genuinely excited to welcome the return of in-person conferences and events to the city. Representatives from each of the venues have already professed their desire to meet face-to-face, highlighting that there is no substitute for in-person events to meet new people, expand their networks and learn from joint experiences. And this has been echoed from conversations with their clients.

Leeds’ Independent Venues Group, which includes Horizon, Northern Ballet, Duke Studios, The Studio, Shine, and Leeds Conservatoire, all shared their thoughts as part of Conference Leeds’ latest virtual round table event, which assessed the importance of independent venues across the city and what were organisers' most popular requirements when booking post-Covid conferences and events.

After over a year of lockdowns and restrictions, organisers are keen for their conferences and events to go above and beyond, to ensure their delegates have an enjoyable experience that leaves them with a lasting impression and an assured view of conferences in a post-Covid landscape. As a result of this, the Independent Venues Group have seen an increase in bookings where organisers are seeking the personalised experiences that the Group are renowned for offering; including tailoring the event completely to an organiser’s needs, flexibility and benefits such as cutting edge technology and easy cancellation policies.

Further benefits from the Independent Venue’s Group include use of unique spaces such as the Yarden at Duke Studios; a stunning outdoor space that can be utilised as an evening event space to host a private party catered by the inhouse team at Sheaf Street; a cafe, bar and multifunctional event space that’s a favourite amongst Leeds locals and the rooftop bar at Leeds Conservatoire that showcases it’s stunning, modern architect design. Similarly, each of the venues have invested in their conference and event spaces to offer delegates a first-class experience on their return.

Shine’s clients have expressed their desire to have space where they can connect with colleagues after time apart. As a result, all of the Independent Venues Group have dedicated breakout spaces, which can be used to suit a variety of conference needs from refreshment areas and collaborative break-out sessions to exhibition spaces and networking drinks. The Studio also offers private al fresco event spaces that allow delegates to get creative in a setting that encourages relaxation and wellbeing. With quirky bean bags where delegates can enjoy their meetings outdoors, or simply to make the most of the external space after a busy day, to network with chilled drinks and nibbles in a beautiful setting.

The venues also revealed that instilling confidence in conference organisers, delegates and staff feeling safe and secure in their venue is high on their agenda, putting Covid-secure procedures in place to instil confidence as events return. The Group has adapted their offerings, from removing buffet-style dining in exchange for QR codes to facilitate food deliveries to meeting rooms as well as taking regular temperature checks, implementing Covid-secure policies and being flexible with terms and conditions relating to Covid measures and possible changes due to Government guidance.

Following the increase in virtual demand, many independent venues across the city stated that they placed a huge focus on technology when evaluating their offering and acknowledged how this remains a key consideration for conference organisers as we move forward out of lockdown. Horizon, Northern Ballet and Duke Studios have all used the time during lockdown to develop their in-house tech, now offering the most up to date AV technology to ensure delegates have everything they need. These digital enhancements ensure that venues are following key trends from the last year, whilst giving conference organisers plenty of options, whether their event be in-person, hybrid or virtual. And what’s more they have also invested in their teams making sure conference organisers aren’t just left to navigate the tech on their own but have the support from highly skilled tech savvy experts.

From existing clients to brand new enquiries, conference organisers and delegates are guaranteed a friendly welcome from the venues and their teams. Conference Leeds, the conferencing bureau for the city of Leeds offers a free and impartial service to assist delegates in experiencing the exceptional. To explore your options ahead of your next conference, visit:

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