Leeds’ conferencing venues receive training on showround excellence

Last month, ConferenceLeeds, the conference bureau for the city of Leeds, hosted an event for its partners in the conferencing space at The University of Leeds. The event aimed to bring together the conference venues in the city, alert them to key developments taking place and provide an update on Leeds’ sector strengths, as well as give them the opportunity to work together and get involved in wider activity and collaboration. This recent session also offered each of the venues the ability to develop their skills with a workshop on showround excellence, delivered by a professional trainer.

Following a talk from the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) about Leeds’ uniquely positioned sector strengths, James Lee from James Lee Associates was able to work with venues such as Leeds Playhouse, Horizon, The Studio, The Queens Hotel and many others to enhance their staff’s showround skills - ensuring that they are best positioned to host organisers and present their venues in the best possible light. The session was centred around all of the ways that the venues can make simple changes to achieve a higher standard of showround excellence, with the knowledge that a good showround can improve the chances of an organiser choosing the venue for their conference or event, and ultimately drive more conference business into the city of Leeds.

James Lee said: “The principles we discussed in the session were really all about seizing the opportunity when working with a client and showing them around a given venue. For too long, showrounds have been treated with scant regard when you take into account the value of the opportunity they present. So we discussed how these opportunities are about taking your chance, standing out in a crowd and demonstrating to the customer that you really understand their event and are a safe pair of hands in helping them deliver. The session took the form of an interactive workshop, and gave venues food for thought, as well as some tips for when it comes to improving the simplest of things to make the biggest difference.

“They have all taken away the value of teamwork when it comes to winning business, which is something that does seem to be embedded within Leeds’ conferencing proposition. I work with a large number of organisations and love working with people who are open to doing things differently. It was a great pleasure working with the Leeds venues and I have had some amazing feedback as well as interest in further opportunities to work with them all again.”

Claire Heap, Head of ConferenceLeeds, said: “We are always delighted to host the partner event and see all of our venues come together in one place to discuss the current position and future goals of conferencing in Leeds.. This session was particularly interesting because we were able to welcome James Lee, who offered a great deal of insight and expertise to our venues in showround excellence. Being able to provide partners with these skills will be incredibly beneficial for Leeds, as strong showrounds will of course help to drive more conferencing business into the city.”

James Lee is a qualified training consultant with over 15 years of training experience and has been working in the hospitality arena for over 25 years; with hotels, conference centres, academic venues and others from across the sector. He now works with people across the hospitality industry - supporting, training and coaching teams from a range of venues, in areas ranging from sales to customer service and senior management.

Find out more about MeetInLeeds at the University of Leeds.

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