Jennifer Young, Head of ConferenceLeeds, quotes the statsThe UKCAMS report (UK Conference and Meeting Survey 2016) 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 event in particular that demonstrated the importance of conferencing to our regional economy was the Conference and Hospitality Show, held in Leeds in April 2016 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 can have on regional economies.
Leeds in particular proves that collaborative working between key stakeholders throughout the city allows us to excel in attracting more and more successful conferences to the city and we have many in the 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. Cities can truly capitalise on having a strong conference and events focus, as this can only be beneficial for the city and its region overall.
As the UK’s sixth most popular conferencing city, according to the 2016 UKCAMS report, Leeds hosted almost 4m delegates in 2015. Leeds also welcomed 26.21m tourism visits in 2015 and the visitor economy sector is growing at an impressive rate, with day visitors up by 4.7% from 2014 and overnight stays increasing by 12.5 %.
The ConferenceLeeds team has an extensive list of partners. They are key people across the city, including thought leaders and industry bodies, allowing the team to open doors to create exciting opportunities for event organisers.
Full information is available at www.visitleeds.co.uk/conferences