Sheffield is enjoying a bumper conference season, according to the organisation which has the job of attracting events to the city and its leading venues business.
Gemma Bradshaw, business tourism manager at the Sheffield Convention Bureau, claims the city region is now being seen as a top UK conference destination by event organisers from around the world.
Dominic Stokes, general manager of Sheffield International Venues’ events operation, puts the city’s success in the business events market down to the team work and the diversity of venues on offer in the city and the wider region.
“The quality and quantity of the events that are now coming through to our venues is down to sheer persistence over the past few years by all the major players to ensure we are at the forefront of any organisers mind,” says Mr Stokes.
“Other cities and destinations are quite rightly looking over their shoulder at what we have started to, and will continue to, achieve even in these challenging times.”
Many of the conferences have come to the city thanks to its Ambassador Programme, which is jointly funded by Sheffield City Council and Welcome to Yorkshire.
The Ambassador Programme encourages leading local business professionals and academics to use their connections and membership of professional bodies to identify and attract more events.
Events so far this year have ranged from the Lib Dem Conference to the Campaign for Real Ale’s AGM and conferences involving tree surgeons, semi-conductor specialists and business librarians.
Conferences still to come include an international gathering to discuss ways of harnessing energy from the sun to tackle food and energy shortages, meetings for trainers, the Green Party Conference and Sheffield’s own MADE: The Entrepreneur Festival.
Coun Helen Mirfin-Boukouris, City Council cabinet member for business, jobs and growth, says: “This diverse 2011 conference calendar it great news for the economic development and profile of Sheffield.”