Academic Venue Awards 2017

MEETinLEEDS win 3 Awards for Conferences and Events at the University of Leeds!

MEETinLEEDS win 3 Academic Venue Awards

MEETinLEEDS won three awards at the inaugural Academic Venue Awards at Queen Mary University Of London on November 22nd 2017.

The team scooped the accolades for Best Accommodation, Best Accessibility, and Best Residential Venue.

There were 14 awards in total covering all essential services academic venues offer the events industry. MEETinLEEDS were also nominated for Best Customer Service and Best Conference Venue.

Harriet Boatwright, Sales and Marketing Manager for MEETinLEEDS said:

I am so proud of my team in the wider conference service for the excellent work they do every day – the awards are a testament to that! The team would all like to thank the other services that work hard behind the scenes that make our events possible – we couldn’t have done it without you!

Below is a brief explanation of why the judges awarded the honours to the University of Leeds.

Best Accommodation

AVA Winner 2017 - Best Accommodation

From one night city stop-overs and visiting academics to large international delegations Storm Jameson Court fits the bill perfectly as our flagship campus accommodation with en-suite bedrooms right at the heart of the campus.

The four-star Visit England accredited building, which has been built to an extremely high, world-class specification, offering a 24 hour reception service and comfortable and spacious lounge.

Natasha Rahanu, Event Manager at MEETinLEEDS, gives three reasons why the accommodation was best in class:

Home Sweet Home

We want to ensure that we are like a home from home whether delegates are staying with us for one night, or in some cases can stay for up to a month.  Public spaces provide an inviting and relaxing environment for guests during their stay and these include the recent addition of a Computer Lounge for all delegates to enjoy with relaxed seating, as well as ice hockey and pool tables for a bit of fun!

Feedback Cycle

Understanding how our customers feel about the whole process of booking and staying with us at the University of Leeds is crucial to how we continue to shape the service and to ensure we are meeting their needs.  Recent upgrades as a result of this feedback include upgrades to our year round rooms to include Flat Screen Apple TVs with built in DVD and Hair Dryers.

We have mapped our multiple feedback channels to include paper feedback in the rooms, CRT machines in the foyer, Direct communication through our email marketing system and messaging through Twitter and Facebook.

Safety First

With 24 hour reception, onsite Security and a smart card system all our delegates and organisers can be confident of a safe stay.

Best Accessibility

AVA Winner 2017 - Best Accessibility

The MEETinLEEDS team and University of Leeds are aligned in their shared strategy to make to University a more accessible and inclusive venue for all conference delegates and visitors. By listening to returning clients and directly implement suggestions the conference team and University can constantly improve accessibility.

The MEETinLEEDS team have all undertaken Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) training, in order to ensure we are aware of the most professional and effective communication with delegates who use AAC.

The team host a number of events that demonstrate the performance and versatility of our accessibility, including:

Communication Matters

The Communication Matters National AAC Conference is the UK’s leading annual AAC event, with a diverse programme of plenaries, presentations, posters and exhibition held over two and a half days.

The conference provides a unique forum to meet and exchange information with representatives from all disciplines associated with AAC, including people who use AAC, parents, carers, professionals and suppliers of AAC equipment. Communication Matters encourages and supports people who use AAC to attend.

Ruth McMorran, Co-Chair of Communication Matters said:

The layout of the campus at Leeds is ideal for us with the residential accommodation, the Refectory, exhibition area, lecture theatres and seminar rooms all located close together. Many of our delegates are wheelchair users and the site is easily navigated and provides accessible routes to all buildings. The MEETinLEEDS team work extremely hard to ensure that each conference is better than the one before.”

Back Up Trust

The Back- up trust are a charity who work predominantly with people who are affected by spinal cord injury which leads to partial or total paralysis.

Both of these events return to the University campus year on year because they have such a positive experience. The conference team as a unit work so closely with clients and have the opportunity to encourage change across the campus, in the way that might not be possible in other venues, that Communication Matters moved offices to the University of Leeds campus in 2015.

Best Residential Venue

AVA Winner 2017 - Best Residential Venue

The University offers a wealth of venues for residential conferences during vacations.

The facilities are extremely flexible so that theatres can be coupled with exhibitions, as well as day meetings. In addition to this Storm Jameson Court offers delegates 459 high quality en-suite bedrooms right at the heart of the campus, with over 1500 more bedrooms available around campus and off-campus sites.

The perfect example of how an event can make the most of the facilities is the International Medieval Congress (IMC) ­– one of Europe’s largest annual academic gatherings – which takes place annually and attracts more than 2,500 researchers and scholars from more than 50 countries.

Sword-bearing knights, costumed dancers and a throne made famous by TV’s Game of Thrones have all featured as part of the historical extravaganza in its 25 year history.

The main academic activity takes place on campus, but a series of public events in Leeds, designed to bring the Middle Ages alive for members of the public of all ages, are held at at Leeds City Museum.

IMC Director Axel Müller said:

As well as welcoming thousands of scholars from all over the world to Leeds for the Congress, we take lots of pleasure in encouraging members of the public of all ages to sample some of the more colourful aspects of medieval life.

Hosting the Congress is a collaborative effort, with MEETinLEEDS not only ensuring that everyone has enough to eat and drink but also making sure that all the different meeting rooms and lecture theatres are fully resourced so that delegates have a seamless Congress. Many of the delegates attending the conference stay at Storm Jameson Court, which has been accredited with a 4-star grading for campus accommodation from Visit England.

Harriet Boatwright, Sales and Marketing Manager at MEETinLEEDS said:

Some of the statistics are amazing and will give people an idea of the scale of the events we have. During the IMC we provide over 4,000 breakfasts, 1,100 lunches, 940 evening meals, and drink receptions for over 1,000 people.