Sheffield’s reputation for hosting world class productions and events means the city is proving as popular as ever with conference and event organisers. So, what’s the allure of conferences and corporate events in Sheffield?
2019 was a great year for the city that everyone is talking about, with GQ Magazine summing it up perfectly: “Sheffield’s particular brand of northern kindness is worth the visit alone: never overly perky, it’s a city of people who immediately behave as if they’ve been putting up with you for years. It’s a subtle, gentle city. A warm hug that never judges you. Plus: the food? The drink? Insane. This is a city that isn’t trying to be London, it’s just trying to be the best version of Sheffield imaginable.”
Just two hours from London and voted in 2019 as the fifth best connected city in the UK, Sheffield has an independent and alternative spirit. A fusion of urban and outdoor, Sheffield is a real outdoor city woven into the stunning Peak District National Park. If you are looking for something new, then Sheffield makes for great delegate experiences.
A recent delegate to Sheffield DocFest – the city’s long-running international documentary festival which welcomes 2,500 delegates every year – said: “You could say it’s kind of like Cannes but with fewer fancy frocks and more friendly faces”. You can’t go wrong with corporate events in Sheffield; the city really does makes event organisers and delegates feel like locals in no time at all.
The opportunities for soaking up outdoor adventure and city culture offer delegates distinctly Sheffield experiences, whether that’s beer, live music, cutting-edge theatre or rural adventure. True North Brew Co, makers of Sheffield Dry Gin, is offering great delegate experiences with its gin schools, so how about mixing gin tasting with platters of pizza at one of its city centre venues?
But the best of the venues across Sheffield include those with some of the largest capacities including Sheffield City Hall (2,271), Cutlers Hall (500), the University of Sheffield (1,250) and Sheffield Hallam University (446). So what’s new in the city?
Sheffield’s Newest Ventures
Firmly open for business now is Ko:Host at Kollider, a brand-new event venue as part of a £3 million restoration of a much-loved Sheffield building. It has been transformed into a high-quality space for events and networking for over 200 delegates. Home to the National Video Game Museum, Kollider is a huge tech hub at the heart of the digital transformation of the city. The Ground Floor marketplace offers the coolest coffee and food brands established in the city for delegates and business users alike including an in-house bakery and exciting vegan specialists.
OEC Sheffield opened at the end of 2019 and is the city’s newest events and conferencing centre, boasting a range of impressive, multipurpose suites, catering for up to 500 delegates. The newly established venue is furnished to the highest specification and the catering offerings at the OEC are second-to-none with a head chef priding himself on using fresh, locally sourced produce wherever possible.
Rebrands include the stunning transformation of the Holiday Inn Royal Victoria to Crowne Plaza Royal Victoria which now has the newest bedrooms in the city. With its sister hotel, the combined capacity is 266 bedrooms with 14 meeting spaces and over 300 secure on-site car parking spaces
– perfect for residential corporate events in Sheffield and large day conferences.
Also rebranding is the Mercure Kenwood Hall Hotel & Spa set in stunning grounds close to the city centre. Part of the Vine hotels portfolio, offering conference space for up to 250 delegates – which open out onto the gardens in sunny weather – the venue has also opened the gorgeous Laura Ashley Tea Rooms. Mercure Barnsley Tankersley Manor (see back cover feature for more details!) and OYO Sheffield Metropolitan hotels have both taken on new brands and have plans for some exciting upgrades too.