The recently published British Meetings & Events Industry Survey announced that Leeds has taken its place in the top five cities for conferencing in the UK, with the strong influence of universities in the city being highlighted as a key factor.
Academic venues are well known for their value for money; being part of an established university means that the cost of the conference facilities is supported by a number of services often already employed to deliver a service to students. As highlighted in the BMEIS, top of the list for preferred venue incentives is the all-important added value element, with 75% corporates and 56.5% associations reporting as such. Universities are able to offer AV facilities as standard, along with free Wifi, both of which are considered essential for corporates and associations alike.
Associations in particular have shown a shift towards university destinations, with 17.6% choosing Leeds, indicating that influential academics and ambassadors continue to be valuable assets which the likes of city centre hotels cannot match. Well Met Conferencing, the AIM Gold Accredited conference office at Leeds Beckett University, are one of the Leeds venues which is keen to promote their additional offerings.
Clare Vidler, Conference Manager at Well Met comments:
“Being part of a University affords us the opportunity to provide speakers who are experts in their fields and it’s clear that this is an area that associations are keen to tap into. We recognise that conference bookers are increasingly pressured in terms of budgets and those ‘added value’ extras such as AV facilities being included and unique offerings such as the opportunity to utilise expert lecturers are now a priority.”