Continuing our theme and tribute to the influencial women of the city. Have you heard of Visit Leeds? Possibly not because you’re the lucky ones who live and work here. The team is hard at work promoting our fantastic city as a world-class destination to the rest of the UK and to Europe, the US and China. And it’s not just to come for a city- break or longer holiday, but they also promote the city as a leading conference destination and also to potential investors.
The Visit Leeds and Conference Leeds team work with partners including venues, bars and restaurants, hotels, attractions, retail, culture, events and transport providers to name but a few. And they couldn’t do their job as well as they do without this valuable help and support.
Jennifer heads up the team, she used to work for Marketing Birmingham and came to Leeds in 2014 during the preparations for the Tour de France. Jennifer makes sure the team is aligned to how the city is positioned as a regional, national and international player. She regularly works in partnership with other DMOs (Destination Management Organisations) such as Manchester, Hull, Liverpool and Newcastle to secure funding from Visit Britain and commercial partners. And makes sure Leeds is well and truly on the map when it comes to the city’s profile both here and overseas.
Claire Heap is the glue that binds the team together! She looks after both the conference and the leisure side of the business. Claire oversees the operations of the conference bureau which is the main conferencing side of the business and this means identifying which events and exhibitions we attend and works closely with Charlotte to maximise opportunities at these sales events. If that isn’t enough Claire also keeps the Visit side of the business on track and makes sure we exploit every opportunity available to the team to showcase this great city.
Camilla Acey works across all the digital platforms and plans marketing campaigns alongside Hilary. Visit Leeds won the best in Yorkshire social media award this year for all the work Camilla did for promoting the city across Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. The website is packed full of inspiring content encouraging visitors to come to Leeds. Camilla also makes sure Leeds is visible across partner sites such as Visit Britain, Virgin Trains, East Coast, Trip Advisor and Transpennine Express.
Hilary Farmery looks after the marketing and PR side of the business. Hosting press trips, making sure our content is in plenty of different places, working with partners such as Visit Britain, Visit England and travel companies is a crucial part of the job. Consequently the city receives plenty of coverage throughout the UK and internationally online, in print and across social. And alongside PR, the team deliver marketing campaigns in the summer and Christmas promoting Leeds as a top-class European city-break destination.
KAREN SPENCER (Pictured) & SARAH EMMOTT
Both Karen and Sarah handle all the enquiries from conference organisers who are looking for venues and destinations to host their conference. And of course it’s their job to make sure those organisers leave with the best impression of Leeds and the services that Conference Leeds can offer. Maintaining relationships with both clients and venues and being able to really understand what a client is looking for in their event is essential. And this means keeping up to date with the full Leeds package on offer, including product and city developments. There’s absolutely nothing that Karen and Sarah shouldn’t know about what’s new in the city!
Charlotte Podlewska is Visit Leeds and Conference Leeds’ Business Development Manager…and this is going to sound glamorous. Charlotte is the one who travels in the UK and overseas – mainly in Europe – and attends huge conference and leisure trade shows. At these shows it’s Charlotte’s job to build relationships and sell, sell, sell! From the contacts she makes it’s then up to Karen and Sarah to take the relationship to the next stage. Charlotte keeps up-to-speed with new products in the city particularly in hotel and venue developments.
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DID YOU KNOW FACTS
Leeds welcomed 27.29 million day and night visitors in 2016 worth £1.64 billion to the local economy
331,000 were international visitors and the top countries include: Ireland, France, Spain and The Netherlands
Business tourism is worth £409.5 million to the local economy and 2.9 million delegates attended 48,200 meetings, events and conferences in 2016.
2nd most popular conferencing city in the North of England.
Leeds was awarded best UK city to visit in Europe in the summer of 2017 by Lonely Planet