Conference & Hospitality Show Leeds 2016

Our girl Laura tells us about her recent trip away from the office…..

On the 26th April 2016 I went to the First Direct Arena in Leeds for the Conference and Hospitality Show #CHSRocks and I can safely say this show did ‘rock’. The day started in glorious sunshine on a First Trans Pennine train to Leeds and ended in on a First Trans Pennine train back to Manchester in drizzly rain/ sleet and miserable grey skies. Basically a day in which Leeds was hit with 4 seasons in one day.

Anyway enough of the weather (so typically British, always complaining about the weather, pretty sure in my last blogpost I moaned about snow) let’s get onto #CHSRocks.

I was a VIP (oh so fancy, I know) which meant a received a lovely little pack pre show with my lunch voucher and competition opportunities to enter. At the show there was a VIP Lounge which was great when you needed a quick little rest some snacks and a glass of prosecco. I also got gift bag of goodies on the day (below). It was a great day where I got to catch up with other agencies and venues I already know as well as meeting new venues and new contacts which we can now offer to our clients.

From the show I have two (new to me) standout venues I would like talk about. The cool and edgy Titanic Hotel & Rum Warehouse in Liverpool and beautiful and quirky Camp Hill Estate in North Yorkshire.

The Titanic Hotel & Rum Warehouse are located at the beautiful Stanley Dock in Liverpool. If you haven’t heard of them then they are quite similar to Victoria Warehouse Event Space and Hotel in Manchester in that they are both converted warehouses and both have hotels on site. Both venues are quite unusual and have a very cool and rustic vibe about them.

The Titanic Hotel has 153 bedrooms, all the bedrooms are large and have earthy rustic furnishings to make for a relaxing stay. The hotel also has a gym and spa which features a Roman-bath and aqua thermal experiences.

Joint on to the hotel is the Rum Warehouse. This area is so versatile and can accommodate pretty much anything and everything. The whole of the Rum Warehouse can be branded up to make for an event that is all about you and what you do. The warehouse has 8 event spaces and the largest, the Ground Floor, can hold 850 theatre style and 448 cabaret style.

Next up we have the Camp Hill Estate which is in Bedale, North Yorkshire. This venue is so quirky and the things dreams are made of. It has something for everyone. It is set in 300 acres of countryside so is the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. This venue is perfect for team building away days and trips.

Onsite they have quad bikes, segways, rage mud buggies and a climbing wall to name a few. The venue provides all the team buildings activities such as raft building and scavenger hunts so there is no need to bring in an external team building company.

But the fun doesn’t end at the activities, when you go to Camp Hill Estate you can stay in bunk barns, a safari tent or a yurt.

But the venue isn’t only for team building events, they have conference facilities for up to 250 people, smaller meeting and syndicate rooms and a rustic barn for up to 100 people. I meant it when I said there is something for everyone.

Whilst at CHS Rocks I attended a talk by Bianca Robinson on Social Media Campaigns. Bianca was full of usefull tips and tricks to make your social media campaign successful. Such as the importance of branding. Every touch point with your customer is a reflection of your brand so you need to make sure that every single interaction your customers have with your brand is showing your brand the way you want it to. Another top tip is to engage with people with good social media outlets.

Overall, I had a great day catching up with old and new contacts and learning more about social media. Thanks CHS Group! The show really did ‘rock’.


Ps. I also met Olly Murs!! (Okay okay, it wasn’t the real Olly Murs but it’s probably the closest I am going to get so I’m taking it).


If you are interested in knowing more or putting on an event at any of these venues then please get in touch with us.

You can email us at or give us a ring on 0844 8709963.

We look forward to hearing from you!


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A Little Bit of Christmas Cheer

Ok, ok, so we’re supposed to be into the height of the summer months…and as I look out of the window to the rain, I have to say I’m not particularly feeling it.

What I am hearing is the call for Christmas events. Yup. You heard right. C-H-R-I-S-T-M-A-S. There. I said it.

It doesn’t feel too long ago when I was discussing Christmas events last year on the blog but time does seem to fly and it’s important that you think about these things before they creep up on you and it’s too late.

For those of you thinking “You’ve got to be serious – Christmas thoughts in July” – well I forgive you. It does sound a bit ludicrous and almost feels like we’re wishing the year away.

I can assure you we’re not.

We’ve been receiving Christmas brochures in the office since the last Christmas party finished in January! I kid you not.

We’ve also been receiving Christmas party enquiries since February. I kid you not again.

While Christmas parties have changed somewhat over the last few years (namely down to a certain something happening with the economy – ssshh!) it’s still important to make your staff or work colleagues feel a bit of love from the office. While not everyone has the luxury of spending lots of money to reward staff throughout the year, it’s important that staff morale is kept high in order to keep the work flow going.

Royal Courts of Justice, London

So why not spend a little bit of money, put a bit of thought into the gathering and you’ll probably get a happier member of staff that wants to continue working hard so they can do it all again next year. It doesn’t need to be expensive to make someone feel special.

Prices range from £25.00 per head up to £150.00 per head depending on whether you want an all inclusive, drinks, food, theme and everything or just a meal. The average price for a party package in London for instance will cost between £50 – 80 per head whereas in Manchester you’re looking at more £30 – 50 per head. Obviously the price goes up or down depending on venue, date and what’s included.

If you really don’t have a budget for an external event, have it in the office. It’s not completely wrong to be sat at your desk with a glass of wine in hand – is it?!?

Alternatively, head to a local pub or restaurant and have a meal.

For those wanting to make it a little bit more formal or more of a party, there really is something for everyone. Think about joiner parties. If you don’t have a large group to accommodate, lots of venues offer joiner-parties where you can (as it says) Join A Party. Costs per head are lower and you still get the theming, entertainment and meal with novelties.

Alternatively, for something a bit more lavish, consider having a theme created just for you – while a bit more expensive, it will be exclusive and you can have it tailored to suit your needs.

Of course, there’s still the top venues that offer a themed private party and these can be fabulous and cost less than if you were to devise and dress a venue in your own theme. You could try somewhere like the Great Hall at the Royal Courts of Justice in London for a more formal event. Or the Bloomsbury Ballroom, again in London. Alternatively, somewhere like the National Football Museum in Manchester may be more your style.

National Football Museum, Manchester

In all honesty, most venues will offer you different packages for different prices depending on what date and day of the week you want to hold it. The options are endless…with more and more venues making a bit more of an effort to draw in business, you can expect good rates, more for your money and more exciting ideas.


But I warn those of you with large groups – you need to be booking now. Dates are filling up for private parties and once they’re gone, they’re truly gone, leaving you with limited options.

So go ahead…have a look around and see what you can find for your Christmas party.

Or, if you really don’t have the time, let us know and we can do it all for you – big or small we’re here to help!

Merry Christmas Everyone! 🙂

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A Visit to the Countryside

Today we visited a venue called Cottons, a 4 star hotel located in Knutsford, Cheshire, and part of the Shire Hotel group which have properties spread across the UK.

Cottons Hotel Bedroom

Cottons is a perfect example of why choosing a venue outside of the city centre can often be the correct decision. The hotel is located close enough to Manchester, Chester and Liverpool to make an ideal day out whilst also having its own local attractions and acres of beautiful countryside to enjoy.

The shire group work on a three year plan which involves renovating and improving aspects of their hotels every three years, the main conference suite at Cottons underwent a complete renovation a couple of years ago, part of the restaurant is due to be done this year and the bedrooms will follow. There are three types of bedrooms, executive room, suites and family and each comes with complimentary water, fresh tea and coffee as well as free Wi-Fi Internet access.

Cottons prides itself on these thoughtful little touches and that mentality can be seen throughout the hotel with friendly and helpful staff on hand to help be it in the restaurant, bar & lounge or the 24 hour reception and room service. The hotel also boasts a beautiful spa which offers a range of treatments for male and female visitors as well as complimentary access to the pool, full equipped gym and even any gym classes that should catch your eye.

The hotel is a perfect destination for business as well as pleasure with 16 meeting rooms varying in size, the largest of which holding up to 220 delegates, and each boasting state of the art conference equipment and a dedicated conference team.

So if you’re wanting to get away from all the hustle and bustle of the city and try something a little more peaceful or different, have a look at those venues on the outskirts – or better still, give us a call and we can do it for you!

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Women’s Organisation and BBC Radio 4 Women’s Hour

Radio 4 Women's Hour Broadcast

I’ve just spent a Monday morning in a room full of inspirational women. Now, I’m not all about the ‘girl power’ but I will say that when you’re a women (which I am) in a world that is most definitely separated by the sexes, a room full of women wanting to improve themselves and move things forward is certainly not to be missed.

I was at the Women’s Organisation in Liverpool. The multimillion pound building was built with the aim of helping and supporting the progress of women in business. Relying totally on funding, it arranges support, advice and direction for women who have ever thought about, have set up or are already in business. This morning they were to be host to the BBC Radio 4 Women’s Hour – dedicated totally to women in business.

Four women, who are all brilliant in business but in very different ways, were on the panel hosted by Jane Garvey. They were Judith McKenna, Asda’s Chief Operating Officer, Sophie Cornish, co-founder of , Sharmadean Reid, Director of WAH Nails and Dawn Gibbins who helped build a multi-million pound business in a male orientated industry.

All four certainly have their own merits and one thing that came out of the morning was that of the confidence they had in themselves to succeed and the support of a mentor. These are two things I certainly believe are key points to think about when setting up a business on your own.

This morning wasn’t just a panel of women talking about business but an insight for anyone, male or female, that want to succeed in business. Key points were raised that you really must have in order for your business to move forward.
The women were also all willing to do their bit to help others, be it mentoring, advice or support in some way or another.
So whether you are male or female, remember that there are organisations and people out there willing to help – all you need to do is ask.

On another note – the venue was amazing, Fully equipped with up to date technology, clean and tidy with a very high calibre feel to it, the centre offers numerous meeting and conference rooms over the four floors and additional offices for rent.
Based within 15 minutes’ walk to Liverpool Lime Street it’s easily accessible and also has the facility for car parking (although charges may apply).

With facilities to provide catering onsite, the venue really can offer everything you need for a business meeting or conference and was, actually, perfect for this morning’s show.

I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of this venue and its staff (who were all extremely helpful) and the BBC Radio 4 event really showed how well organised they are.

So, for anyone who is thinking of holding a small business meeting or conference (up to 150 people) in the Liverpool area, consider the Women’s Organisation as a possibility, I’ll certainly be considering them.

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