Independent venues: Tech at your fingertips

Leeds is a city at the forefront of technological innovation. Home to some of the most innovative businesses of our time and a digital festival which has become the largest tech event in the UK, Leeds has emerged as the fastest growing digital economy outside London. And Leeds’ independent conference venues are certainly a driving force behind this growth. 


It was no surprise that technology was a key consideration noted by Leeds’ Independent Venues Group at a roundtable discussion we hosted earlier in the year. In response to an increased demand for hybrid conferencing solutions, many of our independents now offer integrated and cutting-edge tech with enhanced capabilities to ensure delegates can experience exceptional. 


To celebrate Independent Venues Month, we’ve delved into the wealth of tech available at your fingertips across our network of independent venues and offer some top tips to ensure your next event runs smoothly. 


Integrated technology 

Providing integrated and cutting edge technology is at the centre of everything Horizon does. Having won multiple awards for its technological capabilities, the team at this leading-edge conference, learning and meeting space understands how important it is to have integrated and collaborative tech at your fingertips to provide a high quality experience. 


Horizon offers organisers and delegates all the state of the art tech needed to deliver an exceptional event. With a variety of different mics, from handheld to catch boxes to collaborative touch screens, digital coffee tables and conferencing cameras, organisers can feel confident that delegates will feel connected throughout. 


The Terrace at Wellington Place prioritises a seamless experience for guests, with fully integrated tech ensuring events go off without a hitch. Organisers and delegates can expect every meeting room to be completely fitted with TVs and HDMI connectivity, as well as the cables, converters and adapters to connect any laptop to the venue’s in-house equipment. 


In its larger rooms, The Terrace provides hearing loop capabilities to ensure a flawless acoustic experience for all delegates. A feature of its largest room is a roving microphone and integrated PA system with built-in overhead speakers to ensure even larger audiences can be assured of a first-class experience. 


For extra tech requirements, the events team at The Terrace work closely with local supplier, Firefly AV, to provide the latest AV and lighting technology to enhance their in-house capabilities. 


As a world class ballet company, Northern Ballet offers a bespoke hybrid event experience supported by a technical support team with over 20 years of experience. As an artistic venue, the tech team mixes creativity along with the latest technology to deliver exceptional events that bring people together. With experts in delivering productions, organisers can expect bespoke packages that include AV design, specialist lighting, digital visuals, vision mixing with theatre settings. 


Enhanced capabilities for hybrid solutions 

When the pandemic hit, the team at Horizon quickly recognised the impact it would have on the event and conferences industry. In response, the independent venue built an integrated studio at the venue to bring together delegates from all over the world to attend a virtual event. The studio boasts state of the art cameras, lighting and sound to provide sleek and professional options to organisers and delegates alike. With the move towards hybrid events, Horizon has enhanced the capabilities of its studio to ensure that whether a delegate is in the venue or in their home office, they are still receiving the same exceptional experience. 


From its Grade II listed building, Aspire’s conferencing team saw an opportunity to transform The Banking Hall into an unique event studio to deliver virtual and hybrid events. On top of offering state of the art tech, the studio can be adapted to create a professional environment boasting broadcast quality production to deliver a hybrid event which sets the standard for many others to follow. 


Alongside first-class tech, Aspire provides the same level of expertise in production, audience engagement and entertainment to guarantee delegates feel connected wherever they are. The studio is the perfect environment for conferences, exhibitions, product launches, training or broadcasting.


A unique and historic venue that recently underwent a £4m refurbishment, Thackray Museum of Medicine saw an opportunity to invest in new technology to bring hybrid events to life. By installing integrated screens and clickshare technology, delegates can easily connect to in-house systems, making presentations and collaboration effortless, no matter where guests are. 


With much to celebrate, from award-winning innovations to global firsts, Leeds’ venues provide an unrivalled technology offering. The city’s independent offering has an international vision, to choose an indie venue for your next conference or event is to experience exceptional. 


Top tips for a seamless event 

To ensure your event or conference runs smoothly without any technical glitches, some of Leeds’ independent venues have offered their top tips for organisers. 

  • Fail to prepare or prepare to fail. Make plans and preparations ahead of time to ensure everything runs smoothly. 
  • Come armed with your wants and needs. Always speak to the venue about your event’s aims and objectives to provide a vision so the team taking care of the event can ensure they can support with technology that meets your needs. 
  • Always asks questions. 
  • Have a practice run through ahead of the event to test all tech and to ensure all participants feel confident and comfortable.