04 / 9 / 2017 12.30pm
Megan MacBrairdy is the general manager at Horizon Leeds, an award winning venue located at the heart of Leeds city centre. To mark our third birthday Megan has written a blog to explain the exciting new changes that are happening at Horizon Leeds.
Three years and counting.
This week marks Horizon’s third birthday so as an early birthday present to ourselves, we’ve turned the conference centre in to a building site! Don’t worry, it’s all for a good cause I promise.
When we opened the doors on the 4 September 2014, I really didn’t know what to expect. The aim of the project was to provide a digitally led, quality meeting and learning space for our internal clients and friends within the NHS. I can genuinely say that we opened with a bang, on our first day we had 250 delegates for a staff conference and bookings have not stopped since!
After three years we are welcoming back familiar faces and they really have become part of the Horizon family. There is nothing better than walking through the centre and chatting to so many people commenting on how happy they are to be back again, or saying how great the conference space is. Their love for the space, teamed with the fact that 100 per cent of our clients say that they would return and would recommend the venue to a colleague, has given the team the confidence to open the doors to a much wider audience and to diversify in new types of events. Our success is also being recognised by the industry awards that now sit proudly on the reception desk.
So with all this positive news why would we want to turn the conference centre in to a building site? The answer, to cater for more fantastic events. About a year ago we started noticing that we were turning away a large percentage of business due to lack of availability, when we delved deeper in to the figures we found that we were filling a room which would cater for 170 cabaret with events for between 40 – 80 delegates.
We realised that there was a real demand in Leeds for the 40 – 80 cabaret market. Still feeling I needed a little extra reassurance before I started writing new business plans and ringing builders, I turned to the National UKCAMS report for 2017 which stated that across the UK the average event size was 67 delegates. So fast forward through a number of business plan drafts, computer aided deisgn drawings, AV specifications and invisible doors talks (I promise all will be revealed), we will have a new look Horizon Leeds very soon.
We have taken Create@, our largest space, and added a discreet wall to house a new retractable partition, which when pulled across will turn the space into two rooms suitable for 80 delegates cabaret and 50 delegates cabaret. As you know we do love our tech so we have kitted out both rooms with the latest wireless AV equipment and have invested in additional mics to ensure we have all the AV you require. We have also added additional catering areas and a coffee machine to the communal space and have even managed to sneak in a 10 person capacity boardroom called Engage@ which will be available to hire out on an hourly basis.
So, the question on everyone’s minds - when can you see this new space? You’ll be pleased to hear that we are back open as usual this week, with birthday cake and party hats added to the mix, the second stage of the build will be completed by the end of October. We have already started taking bookings for the new rooms from November onwards, so feel free to drop us a line or pop in for a cuppa and some cake.
Myself, Natalie, Tracey, Aissa and Claudia are looking forward to sharing this next chapter for Horizon Leeds with you all.
To find out more about the conference centre please get in touch by email email@example.com or call 0844 334 5248.