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Upgrades make Leeds "tech hub of the north", says bureau

ConferenceLeeds points to tech advancements in the city’s venues ahead of this week’s Leeds Digital Festival

Pictured: Leeds

ConferenceLeeds says investment in the city’s meeting venues have cemented the city's status as the tech hub of the noth.

Jennifer Young, associate director of visitor economy for ConferenceLeeds, pointed to the advances ahead of this week's Leeds Digital Festival.

Young said: “The UK is adopting digital technology much faster than any other European country, particularly in the north, with Leeds as the tech hub of the north. As we prepare for Leeds Digital Festival to hit the city for the second year from 25-29 April, it is clear that Leeds is dedicated to embracing new technologies. 

“We’ve seen some of the venues that we work closely with at ConferenceLeeds making key investments in order to upgrade their technology offering over the last few months. New technologies, including the use of social media and webinars, are being widely used not only to host conferences, but also to assist with organising them, so it’s essential that venues respond to this. Not only this, but it’s clear that organisers find it difficult to work with venues that don’t have the services to meet their requirements.

“Meetings in the modern, digital age are all about being able to collectively plug in and share data from various devices and over the last year we’ve seen many of the venues we work with make investments in advanced meeting room technologies.” 

Young pointed to the example of Carrwood Park, a serviced office and meeting room provider, which has added table top connection hubs to each of its meeting rooms. 

“While Carrwood Park has always been at the forefront of meeting room and serviced office innovations, its most recent technological investments ensure the business park is keeping up to date with industry demands,” she said.

Elsewhere in the city, conference, learning and meeting space Horizon Leeds has launched an augmented reality system that will allow conference buyers to take a virtual tour of the venue by wearing augmented reality glasses.

Oulton Hall has announced a £1m investment including an upgrade of its Wi-Fi to support 500 simultaneous connections at a bandwidth of 900MB throughout any conference or event, while the Royal Armouries has also seen recent investment in new wide format digital projectors and screens.

Young added: “We’ve seen a specific change in the expectations event organisers have for conferences – now, they want something fresh and different, an even more bespoke offering and this is likely to continue to evolve. It is vital that conferencing venues adapt to suit the changing needs of organisers and delegates, and it’s great to see Leeds investing funds and resource into this now, to ensure it maintains its status as a technology hub and an innovative city to do business.”

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