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Teach First Group Photo

Leeds Universities to welcome over 2600 teachers to the city as part of the UK’s largest teacher training event.

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From Saturday 19 July to Friday 1 August, the University of Leeds and Leeds Metropolitan University will welcome the UK’s largest and most unique teacher training event to the city. As the country’s biggest graduate recruiter, Education Charity Teach First will welcome 2,600 new teachers to its annual residential training event, in an event worth £5.5m for Leeds in 2014 and 2015.

Part of the Teach First Summer Institute, the event brings together universities and schools to ensure that the expertise of those working across education is shared with those set to go into classrooms serving disadvantaged communities up and down the country.

Teams from Well Met Conferencing at Leeds Metropolitan University and MEETinLEEDS at the University of Leeds worked together to secure the University-based element of Teach First’s Summer Institute, which, in previous years, has taken place at the University of Warwick. Partners first direct arena, and accommodation providers Unite, Downing and Grey Star provide additional venue space and bedrooms for the delegates’ 28,000 bed nights.

Delegates include Teach First recruits at the end of their first year of teaching and over 1400 new teachers set to begin teaching in schools and early years settings from September.

Speaking at the event will be Teach First’s Founder and CEO, Brett Wigdortz OBE, International Author and Teacher, Tal Ben Shahar, the President for the NUT, the country’s largest teaching union, Max Hyde and General Secretary for the ATL, Dr Mary Bousted.

“…Leeds Universities provide the perfect setting both in terms of the capacity that the universities have, and for their location in the heart of the city”

This event forms a crucial part of Teach First’s annual Summer Institute and the start of the subsequent in-school training that trainees undergo during the two-year Leadership Development Programme whilst working in low-income communities across the UK. This includes areas across the Yorkshire and the Humber region where the charity has placed over 450 teachers since 2009. This year, Teach First will be placing an additional 162 teachers in the poorest areas of the region including 23 new teachers in the most disadvantaged areas of Leeds.

Speaking ahead of the event, Leeds based Director of Leadership for Teach First, Reuben Moore:

“Education in England continues to be a postcode lottery for children from poorer families, particularly in areas of Leeds.

“Through our own work in challenging schools, we know that bringing high quality graduates and career changers into the teaching profession is key to addressing this problem. As a result, we are incredibly proud of the way that Teach First has played a crucial role in ensuring that teaching in challenging circumstances is now seen as the most prestigious and popular destination for the country’s best graduates; a fact that is reflected in the massive scale of Teach First’s largest and most ambitious teacher training event in partnership with Leeds Universities.”

“As we continue to recruit more participants and ensure that all of them are able to make a difference to young people, Leeds Universities provide the perfect setting both in terms of the capacity that the universities have, and for their location in the heart of the city. This allows us to work closely with those in the community, including local businesses and schools to help tackle the national crisis of educational inequality, a crisis that is especially prevalent in the heart of Yorkshire and the Humber.”

Professor Susan Price, Vice Chancellor of Leeds Metropolitan University said:

“It gives me great pleasure to welcome Teach First’s Summer Institute to Leeds. At Leeds Metropolitan University, we share Teach First’s vision and ambition, with a long and proud history of raising educational aspiration and supporting the success of students from very diverse backgrounds. We are proud to be part of this collaborative project and to be hosting such a high profile and significant event.”

Sir Alan Langlands, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Leeds said:

“The Teach First Summer Institute represents a real coup for the city of Leeds. At the University of Leeds, we have been inspiring students to be the best that they can be since 1904 – not only in terms of academic excellence, but in life too.

“We have a common objective with Teach First and Leeds Metropolitan University – to address educational disadvantage and inequality. Like them, we have worked hard and made substantial investments to achieve progress in this area.”

 

The Teach First Summer Institute will using a number of our venues across campus.

Find out more about our venues and our campus.

Jeremy Bradshaw and the Teach First Delivery Team Winner of the Special Award for Contribution to Business Tourism in Leeds
Jeremy-Bradshaw-and-the-Teach-First-Delivery-Team-Winner-of-the-Special-Award-for-Contribution-to-Business-Tourism-in-Leeds1

Natalie Ruecroft (3rd from left) and Natasha Rahanu (3rd from right) of the MEETinLEEDS team

We are proud to announce that MEETinLEEDS hard work has been recognised at a glittering Leeds Hotels and Venues Association’s (LHVA) awards ceremony on 13th June 2014.

The LHVA awards celebrate the best in service from over 30 hotels and venues across the city.

Stars of the sector were invited to the special ceremony at Leeds United’s Centenary Pavilion on Thursday, June 12, which was hosted by TV legend Harry Gration.

MEETinLEEDS, along with Well Met, were nominated for the ‘Top Team’ award for the delivery of TeachFirst’s Summer Institute residential training programme. The combined events held by Teach First in Leeds will be worth £5.5m to the city’s economy in 2014 and 2015, plus additional revenue that delegates will bring to their stay in the city. The MEETinLEEDS sales team, which in this case was spearheaded by Natalie Ruecroft, have been working with the events team from Leeds Metropolitan for almost two years in order to secure Teach First’s Summer Institute, a huge event which, in previous years, has taken place at the University of Warwick.

Natasha Rahanu, Event Manager at MEETinLEEDS says:

“It was fantastic to be nominated involved in the LHVA Awards Ceremony. At the beginning of the night we were honoured with a ‘Special Award for Contribution to Business Tourism’, recognising our collaborative work on the Teach First Project, between institutions & also with First Direct Arena & Accommodation in Leeds, including Unite. It was a great feeling to be recognised for the hard work we have done, and that we still have to do!”

The Summer Institute this year will be attended by approximately 2700 delegates, which is set to rise to 4000 in 2015.

Roll on another Busy Summer for the MEETinLEEDS team in 2015!

 

If you are attending the Teach First Summer Institute you can find out some of our favourite places in Leeds on our blog.

International Medieval Congress 2013

This summer MEETinLEEDS are looking forward to one of its busiest summers on record!

The events team are no strangers to a packed conference season and the sales team recently recorded over 300 enquiries in one month (that’s an average of 13 enquiries per working day!) but this summer looks to be one of the busiest ever as event organisers make use of the wealth of facilities the University of Leeds has to offer.

The International Medieval Congress (IMC) is back, after being successfully hosted on campus for the first time last year, and this year Teach First will be making use of our “perfect setting” as over 3,000 delegates attend their annual residential training event.

Click this image of Devonshire Hall to find out about our wedding venues

Click this image of Devonshire Hall to find out about our wedding venues

Added to this are a number of events including: a large engineering event that will be making use of the delicious catering in our Refectory; the Tour de France taking over the city as the Grand Départ starts in Leeds; a number of summer schools using the campus; a large residential healthcare event; five weddings at Devonshire Hall and Communication Matters will be using a number of venues including Parkinson Court and our accessible accommodation as they host their National Conference.

With all of this activity you might think that the sales team are due a well-earned rest but we’re not resting on our laurels!

A packed Parkinson Court Reception

A packed Parkinson Court Reception

We are continuing to work hard with our colleagues in Sport & Physical Activity to drive sport events through our facilities and have been looking at specific events for Oxley and Devonshire Hall.  We are also working hard to secure an event for July that will be closely book-ended by both Teach First and IMC.

We do not shy away from a tight booking schedule and in turn a monster challenge for delivery – our teams are not afraid!

The Conference team take such a diverse pool of enquiries and we work hard to match, and where possible, exceed their expectations.  Although summer 2014 and summer 2015 are looking busy, we are always ready and waiting to help the next event organiser find the perfect venue!

 

If you would like to enquire about hosting an event at the University of Leeds please contact our Sales Team at enquiries@meetinleeds.co.uk or 0113 343 6100.

Tash and Alan

I had the pleasure of being the Conference Manager of the AKTIVE 2014 (Advancing Knowledge of Telecare for Independence and Vitality in later lifE) conference at the University of Leeds on 8th and 9th April 2014. Financed by the Technology Strategy Board, the project is led by CIRCLE (Centre for Care, Labour and Equalities) at the University of Leeds, with partners Oxford Institute of Population Ageing at the University of Oxford, Tunstall Healthcare (UK) Ltd and Inventya Ltd.

The main conference took place in the Leeds University Business School, along with an exclusive exhibition and conference dinner in the venue of the month for May: the Refectory.

Plenary sessions at the event included a spot on the place of technology within an assisted lifestyle by Professor Heinz Wolff (Emeritus Professor of Bioengineering and Doctor of Science, Brunel University) and Esther Rantzen CBE, who, as founder of The Silver Line, addressed delegates under the title “Old Age is not for Cissies”.

TashNAlan

Tasha and Alan – The Dream Team!

Tasha and Alan- The Dream Team!

The conference was Event Managed by me and Alan Gallacher, and with the focus on a demographic that is not traditionally catered for in either conferencing or mainstream technology, the planning and execution of the event was very rewarding. As the project is a charity we did encounter budgetary challenges, which we overcame through careful planning and a constant dialogue with the client. However, this did not compromise the quality of the event; a delicious lunch from the new Deli(very) Summer Specials menu (Summer Picnic on day 1, A Taste of Summer on day 2), a Gala Dinner with wine reception, poster sessions, orchestras, famous speakers, exhibitions, and much more. With MEETinLEEDS you really do get bang for your buck!

The use of new technology, such as using Google+ “Hangouts” to broadcast plenary sessions and hosting the Leeds Citizens Orchestra during the conference dinner are new and exciting challenges for us. The excitement was reciprocated by the Citizens Orchestra, as they had the opportunity to grace the same stage as The Who did for “Live at Leeds”.

At its heart, the Aktive project focused upon better knowledge and understanding of individual needs, and how telecare products & services can be designed and installed to optimise those needs. Elderly participants recognised that telecare helped them to hold onto highly valued aspects of their lives, and to preserve their character as an active, independent or capable person by retaining a sense of self and confidence. As part of a wider support network, telecare gave users the confidence to try new activities that they previously found difficult. As people nowadays generally live longer, how society reacts to the needs of its senior members is an issue that is in the media zeitgeist, such as The Silver Line, Age UK and Sport Relief. The positive impacts of telecare, such as feeling safer and more connected to others, a greater sense of confidence to self-manage many aspects of their own care, and strengthening their ties with friends and neighbours are aspects of getting older that I rarely (if ever) thought about. This made me consider about the challenges which my older relatives face on a daily basis and the technological advances that are now available to assist them, which I have been sharing with my family at every gathering!

Sue Yeandle, project Director and Professor of Sociology at the University of Leeds summed up my thoughts succinctly: “Aktive’s research clearly demonstrates that more needs to be done by health and wellbeing boards to make full use of telecare which can have a positive effect on the lives of older people. But so much more could be achieved if telecare was integrated into campaigns around health and social care.”

The MEETinLEEDS team managed a number of events over our busy Easter season, so click to find out what we have been up to!

If you would like to enquire about hosting a managed event please contact our Sales Team at enquiries@meetinleeds.co.uk or 0113 343 6100.

Suppliers Meet in Leeds

The MEETinLEEDS team have been busy with an eventful Easter period that saw four major events take place on campus.

Suppliers-Meet-in-LeedsMEETinLEEDS at the Suppliers Easter Fair

The Suppliers Exhibition has been organised by the MEETinLEEDS team for the last 9 years and had a record number of stands this year. The suppliers and departments in attendance had the chance to develop their contacts and relationships with University staff, try some of the delicious catering on offer from the Deli(very) team and also see first-hand what we can offer as part of an Event Managed Exhibition.

This year the event had a facelift: the Suppliers Easter Fair included Fairtrade & Farmers Market style stalls giving attendees the opportunity pick up a few Easter treats while networking with existing and new suppliers.

Feedback from external companies has been excellent; 12 bookings have been secured for next year!

CelebritySquares9Esther Rantzen was a guest speaker at ACTIVE 2014

The MEETinLEEDS team also event managed the AKTIVE conference, an event attended by Esther Rantzen CBE and Heinz Wolff, which made use of the Business School along with an exclusive exhibition and conference dinner in our venue of the month, the Refectory. The conference brings together researchers, industry, voluntary sector and local authorities interested in the role of telecare and other technologies in supporting older people at home.

Subscribe to the blog here to find out exactly what the team did to make this a success.

Networkshops-Pano

A panoramic view of Networkshops42

Networkshop Conference 2014 has to be one of the most technologically advanced conferences ever held on campus, with 400 delegates utilising our on campus facilities. For this event MEETinLEEDS facilitated with the following:

  • Nearly 3Km of cabling ran into Sports Hall 1 to provide wired connectivity for 50 Exhibitor stands
  • 10 wireless points were installed into Sport Hall 1, (4 permanent, 6 temporary)
  • A peak of 1000 unique users were on the wireless network using over 1200 devices
  • A peak of 73 different institutions using the wireless network during Networkshop
  • A total of 131GB of wireless data was transferred during the conference

A large British association was the last to use the University’s event facilities over the Easter period- bringing 800 delegates from across the globe attended to the Conference Auditorium and the Exhibition Centre. The delegates were highly active on social media, which kept the Digital Marketing arm of MEETinLEEDS busy and also allowed the team to reduce the response time to queries.

To book any of our venues or to speak to a Sales Executive please call 0113 343 6100 or email enquiries@meetinleeds.co.uk

Suppliers Easter Fair 2014

So the 8th of April has been and gone, and the new and improved Suppliers Easter Fair 2014 (previously known as the Suppliers Exhibition) was a great success.

The suppliers and departments in attendance had the chance to develop their contacts and relationships with University staff and try some of the delicious catering on offer from the Deli(very) team and also see first-hand what the MEETinLEEDS team can offer as part of an Event Managed Exhibition.

This year we gave the event a facelift: the Suppliers Easter Fair included Fairtrade & Farmers Market style stalls giving attendees the opportunity pick up a few Easter treats while networking with existing and new suppliers.

 

Suppliers-Blog-in-post-photoHead of Environmental Sustainability, Louise Ellis, kicked us off on the day and then it was over to me and the rest of the MEETinLEEDS team to hand out Fairtrade Choc- Affair Easter lollies to the first 200 arrivals. Over 500 people attended the event and generated a fun and relaxed atmosphere, which was added to by the attendance of many Post-Graduate students, who will be the future faces of the University and also procurers of goods and services.

Feedback from external companies has been excellent; we have had many emails from the suppliers containing many kind words, and have even secured 10 bookings for next year!

A massive thank you to everyone who got involved and roll on next year, where we anticipate an even higher number of people through the door!

If you would like to hold an Exhibition at the University of Leeds or would like to attend the Suppliers Easter Fair 2015 please contact the MEETinLEEDS team on 0113 343 6100 or enquiries@meetinleeds.co.uk

Tash and Alan

MEETinLEEDS is proud to welcome the AKTIVE 2014 (Advancing Knowledge of Telecare for Independence and Vitality in later lifE) conference to the University of Leeds on 8th and 9th April 2014. Financed by the Technology Strategy Board, the project is led by CIRCLE (Centre for Care, Labour and Equalities) at the University of Leeds, with partners Oxford Institute of Population Ageing at the University of Oxford, Tunstall Healthcare (UK) Ltd and Inventya Ltd.

The conference brings together researchers, industry, voluntary sector and local authorities interested in the role of telecare and other technologies in supporting older people at home.

TashNAlan

Natasha and Alan from MEETinLEEDS

Natasha and Alan from MEETinLEEDS

The conference is Event Managed by MEETinLEEDS, and with the focus on a demographic that is not traditionally catered for in either conferencing or mainstream technology, the planning and execution of the event has been a rewarding challenge for the Conference team, in particular the Conference Managers Natasha Rahanu and Alan Gallacher. The use of new technology, such as using Google+ “Hangouts” to broadcast plenary sessions and hosting the Leeds Citizens Orchestra during the conference dinner are new and exciting challenges for the team and facilities on offer.

The main conference will take place in the MEETinLEEDS venue of the month for April, Leeds University Business School, along with an exclusive exhibition and conference dinner in the Refectory.

Plenary sessions at the event include a spot on the place of technology within an assisted lifestyle by founder of the Institute of Bio-engineering at Brunel University, Professor Heinz Wolff (Emeritus Professor of Bioengineering and Doctor of Science, Brunel University) and Esther Rantzen CBE, who, as founder of The Silver Line, will be addressing delegates under the title “Old Age is not for Cissies”.

There is a whole host of associated events, publications and programmes to enjoy, so to find out more about the conference please see the following details:

meetinleeds heart

Rumour has it that the recession is over and recovery has begun! This may be so, but in the events market it’s still a fact that there is an over-abundance of suppliers and therefore a massive choice – a buyer’s market.

When retail shopping, we tend not to compare products with products – we compare experiences, and this in the end guides where we shop. As venues, it’s hard to resist bigging up” our décor and audio-visual facilities as state-of-the-art”, but in reality, buyers now simply expect top quality facilities in any venue.

The two main deciders in the conference market have historically been location and price, and the former is often a combination of geographical, micro- and macro-location. At first glance, if a potential customer states that the destination they want is for instance Liverpool, and we are in Leeds, the location seems hard to counter in a sales context. And also, in this over-supplied market, price can be tough to beat. This is where differentiation can play a major part, and there are two key differentiators – innovation and service. The experience.

To work to advantage, innovation needs to be creative and constant, because, given the speed of modern communications and mass connectivity, competitor copying can occur instantly. Overnight change is a reality we have to live with.

Excellent service gives us the edge, and if we get it right, can overcome both location and price challenges. I have even experienced examples myself, where good service has even overcome product quality issues! I gave one particular Leeds restaurant – which shall be nameless – a second chance, due to fantastic service, even though the quality of the meal was dire. Suffice it to say that they won’t be getting a third chance regardless of the service!

meetinleeds-heart2There’s an old adage that people buy people, indeed in some cases people are the ONLY experience, for example many products bought from visits by trusted sales reps. Customers will also buy trusted brands without even trying them first. But service is also a major factor in many successful top brands, eg M&S, Prêt á Manger, John Lewis. Once this close association of service, quality and brand becomes complete you’re flying. The idea behind the marketing of these companies is to induce loyalty beyond reason. The creation of loyal customers who don’t quite realise why.

It’s very similar to LOVE.

Brands that have this have actually been called “Lovemarks” (Saatchi & Saatchi).

At the heart of a strong brand, will be a great experience, and at the heart of that are people.

Success needs people who are committed, creative, engaging, professional, pleasant, caring, competitive, enthusiastic, conscientious, and saleable (phew!). Commitment to providing good service needs to be strong Service delivery needs to be excellent, and the product great. Exactly our goals at MeetInLeeds. No wonder our order books are filling!

Wedding Fayre Flyer

Over the past few months we’ve been working hard on a new project that has added an extra dimension to the event facilities we can offer: weddings!  Whilst the University has hosted these special days in the past this is the first time that MEETinLEEDS will have hosted a wedding fayre.

Wedding-Fayre-FlyerDevonshire Hall offers brides and grooms a beautiful and unique location to create their fairy-tale wedding and will be the scene for our first Wedding Fayre this Sunday September 1st.
The event is free to enter and takes place between 11am and 4pm and we think it’s the perfect opportunity to see the venue in all its splendour, as well as offering the opportunity for couples to find inspiration as they meet a number of our hand-picked wedding suppliers.

A champagne reception will be the start of the experience where brides and grooms-to-be can view wedding cars in the courtyard, listen to the live band playing throughout the day and speak to the exhibitors including cake designers, florists, a photographer and wedding venue dresser as well as stands with wedding gowns and a photo booth.
Should you choose to book an exhibitor for your wedding day, for your convenience all of the suppliers are located in Yorkshire.

During the wedding fayre people can picture themselves on their special day as they ascend the winding stone staircase, stand by the open fireplace and take a stroll through the picture-perfect courtyard and lawns.

Couples can also see Devonshire Hall dressed for an evening reception as well as meet our wedding team who will be on hand to help you plan your special day.

I’ve been working with Natalie Ruecroft, Sales Executive in our very own office, on this project and she’s really looking forward to showcasing the picturesque location. She said: “Devonshire Hall really is a hidden gem in Leeds and the fayre will showcase exactly what can be achieved here for that special day – in fact a one-stop wedding shop”.

The wedding fayre will be held at Devonshire Hall, Cumberland Road, Leeds, LS6 2EQ on Sunday September 1 between 11am and 4pm.

For more details visit the website herevisit the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/meetinleeds or follow on Twitter @meetinleeds and use the hashtag #wedinleeds.

The University of Leeds is taking bookings now for 2014 onwards for June to September and the Christmas period. University term-time dates are unavailable.

International Medieval Congress 2013

International-Medieval-Congress-2013

Largest Academic Event in Europe Comes to Leeds.

MEETinLEEDS played host to almost 2,000 delegates this July as the world’s most knowledgeable medievalists attended the 20th annual International Medieval Congress – this year on the theme of pleasure. Delegates discussed all aspects of medieval studies at the event before the creation of a Medieval Village in the centre of the University.

Director of the Congress, Axel Muller explained:

Experts from around the world discussed everything from the pleasure of food, music and literature to sex and spirituality. Although it was many hundreds of years ago, we can learn a lot from this period that is relevant to today’s society. They certainly knew how to gain pleasure from a variety of activities and it was fantastic to hear and discuss this subject further during the Congress.”

This is the first time that the congress, the largest of its kind in Europe, has been hosted on the main campus but, thanks to MEETinLEEDS’ excellent events team, delegates experienced an exceptionally well-managed event and have already given some excellent feedback.

As well as a comprehensive programme of lectures for visitors, there were also several events that were open to the public for the first time including; musical performances, food workshops and a lecture on the recent discovery of the skeleton of Richard III in Leicester, by the team who found it.

The Medieval Village in University Square featured a range of activities including historical craft demonstrations such as chain mail production, spinning, textile production, dyeing and even an apothecary. There were also samples of medieval food, a falconry display, musicians and a storyteller.

Hosting an event as large as this takes a great deal of planning explains Richard Handscombe, Head of Sales & Marketing for MEETinLEEDS. Thankfully we have an events team at the University who are second to none and have a wealth of experience in organising events such as these. Work has already begun on next year’s Congress and the team are looking forward to seeing them again.

If you would like to find out more about organising a large event at the University then we would be delighted to speak to you. Just call our Conference and Events Team on 0113 343 6100 or email enquiries@meetinleeds.co.uk