The Meetings Industry Association (mia) united with venues in Sheffield this month by partnering with Vine Hotels and Marketing Sheffield to facilitate the association’s largest gathering of booking agents.
Showcasing the best Sheffield venues and facilities to the cream of the meetings and events industry, the mia’s latest Connect Day took place at the DoubleTree by Hilton Sheffield Park, part of the Vine Hotel’s group. 25 agents made the journey to Sheffield, where, after embarking on a tour of the city, they were given the opportunity to meet like-minded professionals, network and listen to inspiring talks by industry leading voices. Guests were able to view the architectural splendour of the Winter Garden, the city’s most popular networking space, before admiring the famed craftsmanship of Sheffield Cathedral which has previously earned it the RIBA Building of the Year title. The famous Cutlers Hall was the next stop where guests heard the story of the building’s history and took in its elegant grandeur before the culmination of the tour – a visit to Sheffield City Hall with drinks on the Oval Hall’s impressive stage.
The event aimed to provide a unique platform for those working in business meetings and events to engage and build mutually beneficial relationships, while also gaining exclusive insights. Opening the educational programme was highly acclaimed professional relationships strategist Andy Lopata, who discussed partnerships and the importance of empathy from both perspectives. An enlightening panel discussion was led by Edge Venue’s Jacqui Kavanagh which explored the status quo of commissions before the agents revealed what’s important to them in a quickfire debate.
Dedicated time was also put aside into the action-packed programme to allow attendees to network and build connections and facilitate business opportunities, as well as discussing hot topics such as sustainability, diversity, equity and inclusion and data compliance.
Speaking of the event, one event attendee said, “It has been an absolutely fabulous day, not only have we had chance to take in some of the impressive sights and venues in this wonderful city, we’ve heard insightful, thought-provoking discussion and had the chance to meet other professionals in our industry. I would definitely recommend it to others.”
Emma France, Marketing Sheffield, said: “Hosting delegates from the mia Connect event in Sheffield has been a fantastic experience for us. We’re proud of our city and it has been great to be able to show it off, from the stylish venues and hip regeneration projects to our wealth of green space and sustainability credentials. It’s a fantastic time for event organisers to consider Sheffield after the city was listed as the second-best city break in Europe by TimeOut and as this year’s UK foodie hot spot by Observer Food Monthly. There’s so much going on and I’m certain our delegates have loved every second.”
Garin Davies, CEO of Vine Hotels, said: “Vine Hotels was delighted to be working in partnership with the mia and Marketing Sheffield to host the city’s first Connect Day at the DoubleTree by Hilton Sheffield Park. The mia is the industry leader in championing the issues, challenges, and opportunities of the meeting sector. Their renowned credibility attracts the UK top venues and event planners, which is why the Connect event has brought the brightest and the best delegates to see our wonderful city. We hope this will be the start of many more events like this in the future.”
Kerrin MacPhie, chief executive of the mia, said: “Our Connect events have always provided highly sought-after networking opportunities for agents and venues alike, so we were delighted to bring the event to Sheffield for the first time. The event was a huge success and helped agents to see first-hand how great, and well-equipped the city is for holding meetings and events. Hosting the event in Sheffield led to our largest gathering of booking agents yet, making for a day full of engagement and exceptional feedback.”
Vine Hotels is a UK-based hotel management and development company based in Sheffield, which as well as running its growing portfolio of 14 hotels, also provides a range of services from management contracts to acquisitions, business health checks, turnaround solutions and hospitality consultancy. The company’s burgeoning portfolio stretches from the Northeast to the South Coast and includes six venues in south Yorkshire.