Read more about the University event app. Photography of Clothworkers Court

MEETinLEEDS has worked in collaboration with the School of Languages, Cultures and Societies to host a virtual version of the 4th Arabic Linguistics Forum (ALiF 2020), 30th June – 2nd July on the new University of Leeds Event App.
ALiF 2020 was initially to be held on campus however due to the outbreak of Covid-19, MEETinLEEDS’ assistance was sought to manage and produce an online version of the event. The virtual forum was comprised of 5 keynote lectures, 60 presentations and 10 Q&A sessions. The format is a mixture of pre-recorded videos made available on youtube and live sessions hosted on Blackboard Collaborate. The Q&A sessions offer an opportunity for live interaction and discussion on the pre-recorded content.

To provide a central “meeting place” in which attendees can browse and select their own programme, view presentations, access virtual meeting rooms, message fellow attendees, view speaker information and network, the Aventri platform was used. The platform is an app, available for apple and android products. It is also possible to access the app as a website.

Arabic Linguistics Forum (ALiF 2020) logo

The conference was expected to attract 60 – 70 attendees, however over 160 people have participated in the event, with nearly 50% of attendees joining internationally.

Harriet Boatwright, Sales and Marketing Manager at MEETinLEEDS, commented:

“It has been great to work alongside the organising team for ALiF2020.  The agility the team showed in pivoting last minute to a virtual space was fantastic. Whilst a fully virtual conference is the safest and most accessible option at this moment in time, we very much look forward to offering a blended conference experience in the coming months – combining all that is great about a physical conference with the undoubtable benefits of a virtual offer.”

Feedback from the event has been excellent, with the committee praising both the organisation of the event and the technology used to support its delivery.

Coronavirus (covid-19) information

In line with advice regarding the Coronavirus (covid-19) from the relevant authorities, including the NHS and Public Health England, the University of Leeds has taken the difficult decision to cancel or postpone activities on campus and in a number of University facilities, including Cloth Hall Court. Following Government advice on 7th May, campus remains closed to all but essential services and the University of Leeds is working on a plan for gradual reopening of the campus and the resumption of on-campus activities and services as and when the current ‘corona virus’ lockdown is eased.

Central to this decision is the health and wellbeing of our students, staff and visitors.  These are very difficult and fast-moving times and for more information on the University’s approach to the situation please visit

As a team we may be working remotely and look forward to maintaining communications with our customers over this difficult time for everyone.  Please do stay in touch with the team, we will be managing our own personal emails, as well as regularly monitoring the team inboxes at

For specific Cloth Hall Court enquiries, please email the team at

Updates from the University of Leeds will continue to be published through and our specific messages on

May we take this opportunity to extend our best wishes at this difficult time for everyone,

Cloth Hall Court

We’re very pleased to announce that the University has acquired a new city centre conference and meeting venue, Cloth Hall Court.

Cloth Hall Court has a very well established reputation as one of the best conference and meeting venues in Leeds. Offering a range of spaces including an impressive reception, multiple seminar rooms and break out areas, and ideally located in the heart of Leeds city centre opposite the train station, Cloth Hall Court will enable the University’s MEETin LEEDS team to provide an entirely new platform for meeting and conference organisers.

Cloth Hall Court

Harriet Boatwright, Sales and Marketing Manager at MEETinLEEDS, commented: “We’re thrilled to be welcoming Cloth Hall Court to our roster of venues, and look forward to developing business at the venue and showcasing all that it has to offer”

Dennis Hopper, Director of Campus Development, commented: “The University of Leeds’ conference team pride themselves on high levels of customer service, putting customers at the heart of what they do, and Cloth Hall Court will complement our existing venue portfolio as well as helping to forge new links between the University, the City and our business partners. We are looking forward to working with existing and new customers.”

Inside work space of Cloth Hall Court

The Merchants’ Hall in Cloth Hall Court

Cloth Hall Court

17 December 19: Hosted in Leeds for its very first time, MEETinLEEDS, the conference and events team for the University of Leeds, were proud to welcome the annual Photodynamic Therapy Symposium 2019. This was the sixth international photodynamic therapy event to take place, bringing clinical and scientific experts together from across the world to gain a greater insight into the true value and efficiency of photodynamic therapy in medicine.

Previously hosted in London for the last five years, the esteemed conference has moved up North to take advantage of everything that the city of Leeds has to offer. Attracting over 50 international delegates from all over the world, including France, Switzerland, China, Canada and the US, the conference kicked off at the iconic Herringbone Suite at the Cloth Hall Court with a series of presentations and exhibitions, and was followed by a dinner for the keynote speakers. Notable attendees included one of the UK’s leading cardio thoracic surgeons, Professor Keyvan, as well as Professor Ron Allison from the US and Professional Xiuli Wang, Head of PDT Dermatology in Shanghai, as well as many more leading industry professionals.

Enhancing the lasting legacy of the conference, delegates will also be offered the opportunity to further discussions and collaborate with likeminded individuals as part of the upcoming association, The European Platform for Psychodynamic Medicine, which will be launching shortly.

Professor Keyvan Moghissi, Clinical Director, commented: “We’re thrilled with the success of the Photodynamic Therapy Conference at Leeds. It was really refreshing to visit an entirely new city and take advantage of all that Leeds has to offer. We saw a lot of new and exciting scientific research being shared and it was fantastic to see so many industry experts all under one roof. We would like to thank both MEETinLEEDS for their support and expertise, and we hope that our delegates thoroughly enjoyed themselves.”

Harriet Boatwright, Sales and Marketing Manager at MEETinLEEDS, commented: “We’re delighted that the prestigious conference chose Leeds as the city to host its sixth annual event. Not only is it a positive result for the city, but it also presented a fantastic opportunity to collaborate and work closely with multiple organisations across Leeds, including the team at Conference Leeds and Cloth Hall Court. We hope that both the university and the city has left a lasting impression on all delegates, and we look forward to working closely again in the future!”

Advent calendar draw 2019

This December, the team have been running a festive advent calendar draw with our colleagues across the Facilities Directorate, with all proceeds going to Leeds Mind. Leeds Mind are one of our chosen charity organisations and we have loved hosting and participating in regular events and activities to raise funds for them over the year.

advent draw

Leeds Mind promotes positive mental health and wellbeing, and provides help and support to those who need it.

The aim of Leeds Mind’s work is to help people build on their strengths, overcome obstacles, and become more in control of their lives. They work to support the people of Leeds in ‘recovering’ from periods of poor mental health and living independently with their mental health condition. They offer a wide range of different services such as counselling and mental health training.

A winner every day

Prizes for each day of the Advent calendar were kindly donated by our suppliers, with star prizes including a Fitbit, Amazon Vouchers, First Direct Arena Tickets, an Alexa, Overnight stays, Afternoon Tea, Christmas Flower Displays, Children’s Toys, and many more.

During the month, we raised a whopping £1320 and had great fun filming the grand reveals! Here are a few of our favourites.








Group posing with accessibility award

This year marked the third edition of the prestigious Academic Venue Awards, specifically crafted to bring together the best of the industry to share knowledge and highlight excellence that has been achieved over the last 12 months. The Academic Venue Conference and Awards took place on the afternoon of Friday 22nd November at the Victory Services Club in London.

group posing with award

Our team was recognised for ensuring that our academic venues are inclusive and accessible to all, taking home the 2019 Best Accessibility Award for the third year in a row. An event this year that best demonstrates the performance and versatility of our facility space was the Communication Matters National AAC Conference, which took place in September. This marks the 8th year that MEETinLEEDS has hosted the conference on campus, showcasing how the team continue to work closely with the organisers to meet their needs. The conference is the UK’s leading annual AAC event, with a diverse programme of plenaries, presentations and exhibitions held over two and a half days. What’s more, in preparation for the conference, the team at MEETinLEEDS all undertook important face-to-face training with the aim of helping trainees identify ‘good communication’. This award also follows the Early Adopter status for the Communication Access symbol that MEETinLEEDS were awarded with last year; a symbol dedicated to indicating spaces that are accessible for people with communication difficulties.

two women in conversation in exhibition hall

Harriet Boatwright, Sales and Marketing Manager at MEETinLEEDS, commented: “We are absolutely thrilled to have been recognised for the hard work and dedication of our teams over the last 12 months with the Best Accessibility award. Our customers are our inspiration and they closely work with us, and with our wider teams, to ensure that we deliver facilities and services that enhance their delegates’ experience. The Academic Venues Awards provides a great opportunity to highlight the fantastic work taking place across academic venues, and we’re extremely proud to sit alongside our friends from across the sector. “

Ian Robertson, Director of Residential and Catering services commented: “Winning this award recognises our commitment to providing equal and excellent service for our conference visitors.  Team members in the Facilities Directorate should be very proud of the work that they do to tailor services to meet the individual needs of different service users”.



AAC Awards sign on TV

The very first Communication Matters AAC Awards 2019 took place at the University of Leeds on Friday 11th October, as part of Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Awareness month. As the first of its kind, the awards ceremony celebrated the individuals,that use all forms of communication, their families, as well as the companies and professionals that provide support in these areas.

screen displaying AAC Awards signage

The evening celebrated nine award categories, crediting multiple winners for their hard work and dedication to the AAC community. The Research Award, which was created to recognise those that have made strides towards valuable research within the AAC sector, was scooped up by Professor Janice Murray due to her highly regarded research projects in the field of language, disability and AAC as well as her successful presentations at international conferences. Runners up of the award include Oliver Wendt and the I-ASC Project, which was managed under the leadership of award-winner Professor Janice Murray.

Janice Murray recieving the Research Award

a table dressed with wine glasses in ambiet light

The Outstanding Community Inclusion award was designed to celebrate those who have made exceptional contributions to AAC use within local communities across the country. CALL Scotland & Scottish Book Trust Partnership are the proud winners of the award, due to their hard work in creating accessible digital versions of the Bookbug Bag; meaning that three books are gifted to every Primary 1 child across the whole of Scotland, making resources for children with communication difficulties easy and accessible. Runners up include Sign Out Loud, who were recognised for the vital service that they provide, that not only enriches the lives of young adults and children with communication needs, but also makes Makaton signing an accessible and fun pastime for the whole of the Lancaster community.

Three women standing with an award

CALL Scotland & Scottish Book Trust Partnership are the proud winners of the Outstanding Community Inclusion award

Group on a stage signing a song in Makaton

Another stand-out category included the Rising Star award, which was awarded to 16-year-old Laith Ritchie for making such a significant impact on the lives of many AAC users over the past 12 months. Since attending the Communication Matters conference last year and listening to the ATmentor team share information about their role, Laith immediately registered his interest in working as an ATmentor himself, and by October 2018, he was volunteering on the team and demonstrating consistent hard work, commitment and an eagerness to learn. Runners up to the category include Amy Hanschell and Jemima Hughes, who showcased exceptional commitment and dedication to the AAC community.

Other awards include:

Setting of the Year Award
• Winner: ACE Centre
• Runners up: SCTCI and 1 Voice



Alan Martin Award
• Winner: John Larkins
• Runners up: Jodie Turner and Oli Cunningham

John Larkin posing with award

AAC Innovation Award
• Winner: Talking Mats
• Runner up: Debbie Jans and CODES


Student Award
• Winner: AT Therapy Mentors Team
• Runner up: Helen Paterson

Jamie Munro Award
• Winner: Anna Reeves
• Runner up: Marion Stanton

Anna Reeves took home the Jamie Munro award

Lifetime Achievement Award
• Paul Hawes

Paul Hawes won the Lifetime Achievement award

Harriet Boatwright, Sales and Marketing Manager from MEETinLEEDS, commented: “We’re absolutely thrilled that the very first AAC awards with Communication Matters was such a huge success. It’s wonderful to be able to honour those within the AAC community and we would like to congratulate the many winners from the evening. We look forward to working with Communication Matters on future award ceremonies!”

Helen Whittle, Chair of the Board of Trustees of Communication Matters, commented: “We’re over the moon with the response to the recent AAC Awards ceremony. We believe in celebrating the dedication and commitment of those who work so hard within the AAC sector, and these awards created the perfect opportunity to do exactly that. We’re so grateful for all of the work that MEETinLEEDS have dedicated to the awards ceremony to help it run so smoothly, and we look forward to continuing to celebrate those within the AAC community in future award ceremonies.”