The event was a showcase of all Leeds has to offer for business and leisure tourism with a particular focus on the arts and cultural offering in the city and the unusual spaces that are available for conferences and events.
LHVA worked with two key partners to deliver the event including the newly re-launched ConferenceLeeds, the official conference desk and destination management programme for the city, and Leeds BID, a not for profit, business led organisation that aims to invest in events, marketing and promotions to raise awareness of the city.
Keith Ramsey, Interim CEO of Leeds BID said: “We are delighted that Leeds BID was able to play such a key part in both supporting and delivering increased success to the Big Sleepover event. This is exactly the kind of enhancement to business and the wider economy the Leeds BID is focused on achieving.”
The three day event began in style with delegates enjoying a VIP preview tour of British Art Show 8 and drinks reception, hosted by Leeds Art Gallery, and home to the work of 42 of the UK’s finest contemporary artists. Welcome speeches were given by the Chairman of LHVA, Gordon Jackson and the leader of Leeds City Council, Cllr Judith Blake.
Cllr Blake, Leader of Leeds City Council, commented: “Leeds Big Sleepover delivered a fantastic three day conference buyer event which enabled Leeds to further showcase its ability to deliver competitive bespoke conferences and events which enrich delegate experiences. The programme was realised through critical partnership working between ConferenceLeeds, LHVA and LeedsBID, and is an excellent example of how collaboration behind the Leeds conferencing city proposition delivers success.”
Delegates spent the next day exploring various venues including Leeds United Football Club, Headingley Stadium, first direct arena and Northern Ballet. They then took in the city’s annual multi-arts and light festival, Light Night, when the city centre is illuminated with various light shows and musical performances, followed by an after party the new Fire Lake Grill House & Cocktail Bar at Radisson Blu.
The three days came to a close with a showcase of Leeds exhibition at Horizon Leeds for delegates to meet and mingle with all the hotels and venues that participated in the event, and then concluded with a fantastic farewell lunch at The Tetley.
Gordon Jackson, Chairman of LHVA and General Manager at Thorpe Park Hotel & Spa, said: “The event was such a success, we are thrilled! Buyers came prepared to do business and I think we showed a different side to Leeds and gave our attendees a real flavour of the cultural aspects to the city. It was so lovely to see how wowed our guests were by the city and the wealth of attractions and amazing events that we host and I know a number of our venues have already secured some business on the back of the Big Sleepover.