Fuelling your creativity – How independent venues can inspire 

Leeds is a city full of surprises. A modern city with a rich industrial past, brimming with culture while boasting a vibrant city centre and an eclectic food and drink scene. From entrepreneurs and craftspeople to creatives and cooks, the city is a host to unique venues and radical innovators at the forefront of tech, healthcare, culture and sport. 

With stunning architecture and collaborative spaces, to innovative and interactive technology, Leeds’ independent venues inspire and bolster creativity in a truly unique way – a chance for organisers and delegates to experience the exceptional.

As part of Independent Venues Month, we’re taking a closer look at how Leeds’ independent venues can bring that creative force to bear for your next event. 

Inspiring spaces 

Turning up the creativity during your event or conference all starts with an inspiring space to encourage imagination, innovation and new ideas. Leeds is packed with these kind of venues – the businesses, buildings and locations that form the beating creative heart of the city. From flexible meeting rooms and studios, to rooftop terraces and fascinating galleries, independent venues in Leeds are the perfect place to get your delegates thinking, collaborating and innovating.

At the heart of Leeds’ cultural quarter and home to the city’s leading music and performing arts school, Leeds Conservatoire is the ideal venue to get your creative juices flowing. It’s no surprise, given the venue’s status as a hub for the arts, that inventiveness and imagination weave throughout every event Leeds Conservatoire delivers.  Not only does the Conservatoire offer a 350 capacity auditorium complete with professional stage lighting and high quality tech built for performances and concerts, but there’s also a recital room and a rooftop bar. A flexible space that can seamlessly move from day into the evening, the rooftop bar is perfect for getting business out of the way before enjoying an evening of socialising with colleagues or clients. 

Horizon Leeds prides itself on being an independent venue that offers leading-edge conference, meeting and learning spaces that are bright and vibrant – an environment dedicated to fostering fresh ideas.

Horizon’s Meet@ space is perfect for collaboration and coming up with that next big thing or solving that burning question. A space full of natural daylight and bright funky colours with amazing views of Leeds skyline, it’s a place where brains are sure to get working.

Fittingly, Horizon also boasts a space called Create@ that offers the ideal atmosphere for an out of the box event or a cool new product launch. Create@ is a large open space where clients have the opportunity to completely transform the setup for different events or product launches – we’ve seen a supermarket aisle, and even a chemist!

Unique and exceptional experiences 

But it’s not all about the nuts and bolts of the event itself. Introducing unique experiences or out of the box activities is another sure-fire way to bring that creative spark. Luckily, Leeds’ independent venues have a host of options – including a few you may never have seen on a typical ‘conference’ schedule. These kinds of activities are all about encouraging delegates to take a new perspective, learn a new skill or experience something fresh.

Not only does The Terrace offer organisers and guests unique and flexible meeting spaces, but it also offers a stunning rooftop area where guests can collaborate or unwind. As working outdoors is proven to increase energy and boost creativity, The Terrace offers fun and quirky activities in the open air to boost team building or inspire creative thinking. Guests can try their hand at the human chess board or create some friendly competition with a game of table football. To help teams bond and unwind, The Terrace also offers painting workshops, chair yoga, choir classes and arcade games. 

Hosting an event at a unique and historic venue like Thackray Museum of Medicine offers delegates a sense of something totally different right from the get go. To really get the conversation started, delegates at Thackray can experience the live leeches used in Victorian times whilst taking in the history of the hungry bloodsuckers. The museum’s galleries are also open and free to all conference delegates to encourage creative thinking. 

Organisers and delegates can also take creative inspiration from Northern Ballet’s award-winning productions, bringing some serious theatre and drama to events and conferences looking to turn things up a notch. Props, costumes and sets can be used to theme events, and delegates can take advantage of an afternoon tea breakout session on the third-floor mezzanine of the ballet school and catch a sneak peak of a production’s rehearsals. 

Interactive and innovative technology 

Technology is critical for any event or conference, but providing interactive or innovative equipment that encourages collaboration, new ideas and creative thinking can make an event truly exceptional. Leeds’ independent venues prove that venues of all shapes and sizes can use cutting edge tech to ensure delegates experience an exceptional event or conference, offering interactive and state of the art communication that brings people together.

Interactive technology is a focal point at Horizon. The venue offers a catch box microphone where guests can actually throw the mic around the room to encourage the sharing of new ideas in a fun and interactive way. A touch screen coffee table also provides an engaging and easy way to share presentations, ideas or host breakout sessions to encourage collaboration and creativity. 

Choosing a performance venue, like Leeds Conservatoire, doesn’t have to mean giving up on the latest technological innovations. The venue is renowned for original and intriguing performances, and has everything to match. Organisers can add splashes of colour via electric lighting, or a dash of magic with stage fog all supported by a top tier sound system for arresting audio, and pristine representation of the spoken word. 

Creativity, imagination and innovation are at the heart of Leeds’ independent venues. With inspiring spaces, unique and exceptional experiences and world class technology, organisers can be confident that their next event will be a truly inspirational one.