City outlines business tourism bold ambition

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Marketing Sheffield stepped up their campaign to double the number of ambassadors taking part in the Sheffield Ambassador Programme last on November 8 with a recruitment dinner, hosted at the Mercure St Pauls Hotel.

Sponsored by industry body Hospitality Sheffield, the Sheffield Ambassador Dinner, was both a celebratory occasion to thank the individuals who have joined the initiative over the last five years and a call to increase the number of conference advocates for the city.

The 180 guests at the event, who included many leading figures from local business, tourism and academia, experienced a pink and black-themed affair with a pre-dinner drinks reception in the Winter Garden, masked waiting staff, jazz music and flaming fire spectacular, before enjoying a sumptuous four course dinner.

During the dinner, guests heard from speakers, Jillian Thomas- Managing Director of Future Life Wealth Management and one of Sheffield’s outstanding world champions, squash player- Nick Matthew.

The speeches all echoed the same sentiment, emphasising the difference individuals can make to the city, by advocating all that Sheffield has to offer. In particular Jillian Thomas, highlighted that “if half the people at tonight’s event brought a conference of 50 people to the city, who’s spend was £500 per head that would inject £2.25 million into the local economy and would secure jobs for the future”.

Following the speeches, guests were encouraged to submit their ideas for conferences and events that the city could potentially host. Marketing Sheffield were delighted with the response and will now actively follow up the leads suggested.

Speaking after the event, Brendan Moffett, director of marketing Sheffield said “Overall the evening has been a resounding success and a highly positive night for Sheffield. Going forward, Marketing Sheffield have set an ambitious target of 100 new Ambassadors and an additional £5m of conference business in the next two years”. Moffett added: “Our track record of delivery, coupled with the excellence of our venues gives us a great platform to build on.”

Ian Slater, Chair of Hospitality Sheffield, head sponsor of the event said “Hospitality Sheffield is a leading supporter of Marketing Sheffield’s ambassador programme. We feel the programme has the potential to make a vital contribution to business tourism in the city. The concept is simple and that is its strength.

“Ambassadors are knowledgeable and passionate advocates for Sheffield and are able to influence their peers in making key decisions about where conferences are held. This event showcased what strong partnerships exist in Sheffield and the value of a collaborative approach.”

Liz Pickering, relationship manager at Santander and one of the guests attending the event said: “Sheffield is a fabulous city and spending an evening celebrating this and listening to positive speakers was fantastic. It shows what can be done if everyone works together to promote the city”

Becoming a Sheffield Ambassador is easy. Individuals simply have to flag up conference opportunities from niche sectors and then Marketing Sheffield head up the rest of the work, supporting the promotion and delivery of the event to make it a success.

To get involved or for more information on the Sheffield Ambassador programme visit www.welcometosheffield.co.uk/conference/ambassadors .