Staff Away Day

We are experts when we are organising your conferences and events, but how would we get on with our staff away day? Find out here…


Every January the staff members in the commercial arm of the University of Leeds get together to celebrate the successes of the previous year, give out the Spotlight Awards for outstanding contributions to the services, and most importantly play some games!

Obviously, it is the responsibility of the experts at MEETinLEEDS to organise the event; from booking the guest speaker and marketing the event to arranging the delicious lunch prepared by our talented team of chefs.

Over to Emma, Conference Sales Executive at MEETinLEEDS, with a breakdown of the morning activities:

“This year’s team away day took place on site at the University. Two venues were used over the day – The Refectory and the Rupert Beckett Lecture theatre, which is the main lecture theatre in Michael Sadler Building. These are two of our most popular and well used venues as part of any conference, so we knew the tried and tested venues would serve us proud.

“Excellent energy and enthusiasm from all staff, loved Alex Mcphail’s motivational speech and a great opportunity to meet colleagues from other departments.”

The day started in the Refectory with bacon sandwiches, pastries, fresh coffee and a good selection of fruit for those who hadn’t given up on their diet 2 days after the Christmas break! We then made our way over to the Rupert Beckett lecture theatre and took our seats for the morning. As we work in the conference sales office it is not usual that we get to spend the day in a lecture theatre and we were surprised at how comfy the seating was – everyone also had a great view of the screen and the presenters due to the tiered seating. Between listening to motivational speaker Alex McPhail (highly recommended), updates from management, awards and hearing about the great work we have done for our staff chosen charities, there was time to stretch our legs, grab a drink in the foyer and network with colleagues from other departments.”

Mike, Sales and Marketing Assistant for our partners Great Food at Leeds, said:

“We were spoilt for choice when it came to the catering for the away day with our team of award winning chefs drawing on their years’ of experience as we enjoyed a fantastic selection of dishes.

Preparing three meal options for over 160 people could seem quite daunting but not for our catering team who do this and much more every day! On the day we were treated to three of the new dishes that are going to be appearing on the Refectory menus this term.

The food was definitely one of the highlights to a fantastic event and plenty of us even helped ourselves to a second helping!

Here is the menu for the day, which you could also experience if you book an event with MEETinLEEDS!”

Main Courses

  • Cajun dusted Salmon, Pan fried with Sour Cream, Tomato Chilli Salsa & Guacamole
  • Chicken wild mushroom & Spinach Stroganoff with Creamy Paprika Sauce
  • Griddled Halloumi, Sweet Potato Bhaji, Coriander Dahl & baby Naan Bread


Away-Day-CateringSides & Salads

  • Braised Rice/New Potatoes
  • Selection of Green Vegetables
  • Plum Tomato & Roast Pepper Salad
  • Pesto Pasta Salad with Toasted Pine Nuts
  • Mixed leaves with Lemon Olive Oil dressing



  • Liquorice Crème Brulee with Sugar Shortbread
  • Warm Plum, Apple & Blackberry Crumble & Custard
  • Fresh Fruit Platter

Find out more about the variety of dishes available on a daily basis in the Refectory on the Great Food at Leeds website.

After lunch the Refectory was transformed into a quiz arena (it is the chameleon of our venue portfolio), where Lisa, also a Conference Sales Executive at MEETinLEEDS, will talk you through her favourite part:

MEETinLEEDS-Team“For the afternoon we were in the hands of the team at Chillisauce, who are also experts at creating fun and engaging team activities, and split us into 20 groups and hosted a version of the Generation Game, which tested our knowledge on just about everything, including how many plums you can fit into a welly!

The afternoon was great fun and it was brilliant to experience an event one of our own venue, as I am normally booking events rather than attending them! It was great to be on the stage that has been graced by some amazing artists over the years. The Who famously recorded “Live at Leeds” here, but to name a few others: Elton John, Queen, Led Zeppelin, Bob Marley, The Rolling Stones, The Clash, The Jam, U2, Kaiser Chiefs, Manic Street Preachers, Kasabian and many more.”

The overall consensus from the attendees was that the event was a great success, with comments such as:

“Excellent energy and enthusiasm from all staff, loved Alex Mcphail’s motivational speech and a great opportunity to meet colleagues from other departments.”

“Really nice to see everyone and network. The food throughout the day was awesome!”

“Being a relatively new member of staff was good getting together out of work with others. Lovely food too!”

“I found the day to be a good balance and a great opportunity for staff to feel valued with the Spotlight Awards.”

“The programme was highly motivational and a great avenue for staff interaction. The whole day showed how highly staff are valued.”

“Brilliant for motivation team spirit. A brilliant day at work!”



We can’t wait for next year’s event – roll on 2017!


Call us on 0113 343 6100 or send us an email to organise a fun and informative event for you and your colleagues.

Staff Montage

The MEETinLEEDS team are all experts in the field of conferences and events, so we thought we would use our expertise to help you prepare for a perfect Christmas. So without further ado, we present our “Christmas Tips from Events Experts”…




  • brussels-sprouts-22009_640turkey-532962_640Set the table, prepare all the vegetables and trimmings on Christmas Eve: this leaves plenty of time to have bubbles on the morning!
  • Looking for a guilt free alternative to Mince Pies? Try this Baked Apple recipe: it’s yummy!
  • Make sure you don’t overcook or undercook your turkey! Use a
    temperature probe between the thigh and the breast (the thickest part of the turkey) to get the internal temperature to a perfect 74 C. Don’t forget to rest it to distribute the juices.
  • Stuffed yourself with turkey and sprouts and suffering from heartburn? No Rennies to hand? Eat a few Love Hearts – they contain Sodium Bicarbonate (Baking Powder) and Calcium Carbonate (Chalk) which will give temporary and much needed relief. Get those Christmas stockings packed with them!
  • Buy your Brussels sprouts still on the stalk. They will keep for longer and cut down on packaging.
  • Or… have Christmas Lunch out: no preparation, cooking or clearing up – even more time for bubbles!



  • lovehearts-bigAre you doing a secret Santa? Use the Elfster app, it’s especially useful if you don’t live near each other.
  • We love making lists (it’s one of the reasons why we are amazing event managers) and Christmas is the time of year you definitely need to be prepared. Make a: shopping list, present list, social calendar and to do list. The Christmas List app – Gift List –  is a great way to keep track on your progress using your mobile device.
  • Framed photographs make excellent gifts. Get a favourite picture enlarged (make sure it is high resolution) at your local photgraph printer (or order online) and get it framed! You can pick up bargain frames at a charity shop, simply get your print sized appropriately.



  • dog-983023_1280Use tinfoil as wrapping paper – whoever receives a gift from you can use it for their turkey!
  • Check your fairy lights before you put them on the tree. Make sure you have LED lights – they will save you money on electric bills.
  • Make “pretend Santa snow footprints” to surprise the kids. Simply use a shake and vacuum product over a cardboard cut out of a shoe to create the trail – you will also be ready and prepared for the big clean up!
  • Put on a video of a log fire while you open your presents for that traditional effect.
  • Do you have allergies? Take an antihistamine before you unbox your Christmas Tree – it will have collected a lot of dust since last year!
  • CD’s are so 90’s man, so string them up and use them as fancy baubles.
  • Train your dog to play fetch with wrapping paper – you will have a clean-up helper on Christmas Day!
Tash Meet in Leeds


I have been an Event Manager at the University of Leeds now for 5 years, and though I love my job, I will be hanging up my event manager shoes (polished black kitten heels) to take on a new role for the next few months, becoming a first time mum (a role for which I’m guessing the shoes are flatter and more comfortable – perhaps Ugg boots or slippers?!)

I’m hoping my current role will stand me in good stead for my new one. For example, part of my job is to anticipate requirements before the client does, by making signs, arranging water for speakers and organising the air con to be on in hot summer months, I’ll probably still have to do this sort of thing, but in my own house.

“When I’m used to the responsibility of conferences for hundreds or even thousands of people, looking after just one tiny one can’t be that hard – can it?!!”

Another aspect is sending out conference information ensuring all guests to the University are aware of exactly which building and part of campus they should report to on arrival, what the travel and parking arrangements are, details of catering service, accommodation check in times and local amenities. I may not have to write these whilst I’m off work, but I have a feeling I will have to produce a similar document every time I leave the house or go somewhere new, so I am aware of the nearest changing facilities, chemist and buggy friendly café at all times.

Though for a time I will be swapping budgets for bottles and registrations for rusks, there are lots of exciting conferences taking place at the University which I will keep my eye on over the next few months, for example our degrees begin next week, and lead onto welcoming the Teach First Summer Institute back to campus for two weeks at the end of July. In addition to this we have one of the busiest September’s coming up too where we will welcome MEIbioeng 2015, Leeds International Piano Competition and a whole host of smaller day meetings and accommodation bookings.

Though I will be sad not to be part of making these events happen, I will no doubt enjoy my time with my new little one, and I’m sure will find some time over the next few months to pop in and frequent one of our delicious coffee bars. After all, when I’m used to the responsibility of conferences for hundreds or even thousands of people, looking after just one tiny one can’t be that hard – can it?!!

Tash Meet in Leeds

What takes 13 days, 3 exhibitions, 6 drink receptions, 4 conference dinners, 1658 delegates & a partridge in a pear tree*?

Is this the latest edition of a Tom Cruise franchise, I hear you ask…

No, this is another successful conference season facilitated by MEETinLEEDS Event Managers in collaboration with Great Food at Leeds.


Aside from being about egg box creations, Bank Holidays & lots of chocolate – Easter is one of the busiest times for the University in terms of conferences and events and this year was no different. The conference team facilitated 8 conferences ranging from the well-known University’s Suppliers Easter Fair to the I-can’t-even-hope-to-understand likes of the 11th Photovoltaic Science, Application & Technology Conference.

What our team lacks in photovoltaic knowledge we make up for in the specialist knowledge of conference facilitation.

Thankfully, what our team lacks in photovoltaic knowledge we make up for in the specialist knowledge of conference facilitation. With so many events taking place over the same few days it is especially important that we ensure all visitors know exactly where they are meant to be and when, so that they have the best possible journey to their conference and welcome from the University which we call home!

Our team are dedicated to ensure that each conference has a fantastic experience on the University campus and hope that in the future if they can return to us, they do.

But don’t take my word for it, check out our twitter feed @meetinleeds.  Here are just a few comments which have been tweeted this Easter:


So if you have a conference or event you need help with (and Ethan Hunt isn’t available) turn Mission Impossible into MEETinLEEDS and give us a shout.

*** This blog post will self destruct in 5 seconds ***


*fabricated for comic purposes.

Food for life catering gold

MEETinLEEDS are delighted to have hosted the Environmental Association for Universities and Colleges’ (EAUC) Annual Conference this year. From March 24th – 25th 2015, 300 delegates came together on Campus under the theme of “challenging connections” in order to learn more about the how sustainability can be considered in all connections of tertiary education.

In addition to keynote speakers, the event encompassed a series of informative workshops and exhibitions for delegates. Three venues were chosen by the organising team to cater to EAUC’s event needs: The spacious 1800sqm interlinked Exhibition Halls, the adjacent Conference Auditorium and the Roger Stevens Building. Not only are the Auditorium and Roger Stevens Building purpose built for lectures and therefore ideally equipped for talks and meetings, but all three venues are in close proximity to each other. This made movement between the exhibition and workshops easy for delegates.

PrintAnother venue delegates frequented was the University’s Refectory, where a specially tailored menu designed by our in-house chefs from Great Food at Leeds was served at the conference gala dinner. Highlighting ethically sourced and local produce, this menu reflects the University’s dedication to sustainable conferences down to the last bite and was awarded the Gold Standard Catering Mark by the Soil Association.

Jessica Martin, from the University’s Sustainability Team, was pleased to see all the work that had gone into managing the event: “As a delegate, it was great to see that sustainability had been embedded throughout the organisation of the conference; from the locally sourced and seasonal menu to the introduction of an App to discourage too many paper programmes. There were sustainable suppliers encouraging delegates to think about the credentials of their own organisations, and Leeds provided the perfect setting to critically engage with sustainability issues across the sector”.

Through carefully considering the EAUC’s needs and sharing each other’s values, the MEETinLEEDS Events Team are proud to have delivered this conference successfully.

Harriet Boatwright, MEETinLEEDS Sales & Marketing Manager, said: “It was great to be a key facilitator in the delivery of such a successful conference. It’s really important to us to deliver a great experience for both the organisers and the delegates and based on the feedback we received we seem to have ticked all the right boxes. However, conferencing for us is not two dimensional; we also learned a lot, and shared stories and experiences with both the organisers and also the exhibitors and delegates alike. We are even talking now to some of the exhibitors on how we, as a University conference service, can be more sustainable in our activities”.


If you would like to find out more about holding a sustainable conference at the University of Leeds please contact our team and we’ll be pleased to help.

Suppliers Easter Fair 2015

The MEETinLEEDS events team are proud to be hosting the University’s Suppliers Easter Fair 2015.

Where: The University of Leeds Exhibition Centre
When: Tuesday 31st March, 10.30-3pm

suppliers15The exhibition runs today from 10.30am – 3pm in our Exhibition Centre and all staff at the University are invited for an opportunity to speak to over 50 exhibitors; including colleagues from MEETinLEEDS, Great Food at Leeds, The Edge and The Print & Copy Bureau who are all on hand to answer questions about their services.

The Suppliers Fair has been a successful, well attended event in the University’s calendar for the last 14 years, and is one of the largest events of its kind within the UK. It is organised by the University’s conference service, MEETinLEEDS, in collaboration with Procurement and provides a unique opportunity for staff to speak to suppliers directly enabling them to highlight, explain and showcase their products and services in a tailor made forum.

Once again this year we will have local suppliers selling treats and gifts so please bring along your bags and wallets and perhaps you can treat a colleague or pick up an Easter gift.

We look forward to seeing you there!

The Exhibition Centre-Venue, Exhibition Layout

MEETinLEEDS are proud to welcome the Environmental Association for Universities and Colleges (EAUC) to the University this week as they held their Annual Conference on our campus.

Under the title ‘Challenging Connections’, the 2015 EAUC Annual Conference offers 3 separate Summits alongside the full packed main Conference Programme which is utilising our Exhibition Centre,  Roger Stevens Building and Conference Auditorium to maximise their event.  The Student Sustainability Summit, held the day before, was held on campus at Leeds University Union.


Our Exhibition Centre comprises of two interlinking halls providing almost 1800sqm of open plan exhibition space.


The conference is also making use of our iconic Refectory to host their Gala Dinner and our team of award-winning chefs, from Great Food at Leeds, are proud to have created a special menu that was awarded the Gold Standard Catering Mark by the Soil Association for their use of ethical and environmentally friendly food and locally sourced ingredients.

The University’s Sustainability Team has also played an active role in the event and was instrumental in helping and guiding our Events Team as they tailored the conference to suit the needs of the EAUC.


If you would like to find out more about holding an event at the University of Leeds please contact our team and we’ll be pleased to help.


PICTURED (from L to R): Toby Hewson, Communication Matters Board member; Lisa Wood, MEETinLEEDS; Emma Broadhurst, MEETinLEEDS; Angie Dean, Charles Morris Hall; Catherine Harris, CM Chair; Barry Smith, CM Board member; Nicola Hayton, CM Board member; Anthony Lowe, MEETinLEEDS

The MEETinLEEDS Conference Team at the University of Leeds has been helping one of their key clients, settle in to their new home in Leeds.

Communication Matters, the UK Chapter of the International Society for Augmentative and Alternative Communication (ISAAC), have hosted their annual conference at the University for the past two years and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.  The conference is an amazing meeting place where people who use Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC); parents, professionals, researchers and suppliers gather for seminars, workshops and networking and to experience cutting edge communication aid technology within an impressive exhibition.

The conference is well supported by MEETinLEEDS, the University Conference team: Leeds is one of the few city venues that have good disabled access for a high number of people who use wheelchairs and plenty of good quality accommodation to meet their needs.


Communication Matters followed their launch party with a celebration lunch and awards ceremony at University House and were very impressed with the MEETinLEEDS events team:

Your attention to detail astounds me – from when we first muted the idea with you Anthony until John’s team put the last plate on the table – everything has been superb.  The presentation of the room on Saturday was tasteful and offered the right tone to the day.


We look forward to hosting the Communication Matters Annual Conference again later this year.


Find out what our customers think of our Event Management service.

Hunters Prayer Filming
University Square and Parkinson

Great-Hall-EntranceThe University of Leeds hosts the Universities UK members’ annual conference this week, welcoming more than a hundred vice-chancellors to campus.

Universities UK promotes and supports higher education and acts as the voice of UK universities, with this year’s conference focusing on the theme of “Strength in Diversity”.

Attendees will also include government officials, MPs, journalists, representatives from key funding bodies and stakeholders in the UK higher education sector.

With keynote speeches, panel debates and workshops throughout the three days, the conference will also centre on speeches by the Rt Hon Greg Clark MP, Minister of State for Universities, Science and Cities, and the Rt Hon Liam Byrne MP, Shadow Minister for Universities, Science and Skills.

“We look forward to a stimulating conference and wish everyone an enjoyable stay in Leeds”

Sir Alan Langlands, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Leeds, said: “We welcome the UUK annual conference, especially in light of this year’s theme, which celebrates the diversity of the UK higher education sector and its commitment to excellence in education, science and research.”

“Universities UK also plays a pivotal role in promoting the economic, social and cultural contributions of universities and in developing their international reach. We look forward to a stimulating conference and wish everyone an enjoyable stay in Leeds.”

Nicola Dandridge, Chief Executive of Universities UK, said: “We would like to thank the University of Leeds for hosting our conference and for their warm welcome. All universities have a distinctive contribution to make to these occasions, but Leeds has offered an ideal setting for this year’s conference, with its own unique mixture of building styles and history, and its belief in the value of breadth and diversity in student education.”

The UUK conference will be in Leeds Tuesday 9 September – Thursday 11 September.