Exciting Adventures Ahead for Royal Armouries Conference & Events Leeds

POSTED Friday, January 26, 2024

The Royal Armouries conference and events team is enthusiastic about a record year ahead in 2024 following a very successful 2023, nicely rounded off with the return of big Christmas party celebrations.

With 13 versatile rooms that can cater from 20 to 2500 delegates, striking waterfront views and the award-winning Royal Armouries Museum as an alternative meeting space, it’s easy to understand why it has welcomed hundreds of thousands of enthusiastic delegates to the city of Leeds for almost a quarter century. 

What’s on in 2024

A recent £1.25M refurbishment, featuring a warm palette and a number of new education suites that resemble a cosy, comfortable lounge with all the mod-cons, have all contributed to what’s shaping up to be a record-breaking year.

From rampaging dinosaurs and Star Wars characters to the largest property investment and infrastructure expo in the UK, there’s plenty to look forward to in 2024 for Royal Armouries Conference and Events, Leeds as the city’s premiere events space.

Partnerships & Networks

It's the result of two years of refocusing the business plan, building the right team, finessing the product and refreshing the marketing and collateral to reflect these changes.  The Royal Armouries is an active community neighbour too and the team have been working in partnership with local stakeholders such as Leeds Hotels and Venues Association (LHVA) and Conference Leeds to establish the city as a thriving centre for business tourism and maintain its position as one of the top five destinations for conference and events in the UK.

Quarter one sees a healthy mix of new and return business.  The conventional conference, awards and exhibition space continues to perform well and the sales team are in full throttle with walk rounds, site visits and event planning.  New for 2024 is The Square, a brand new dedicated outdoor space which will see a full calendar of events take place in the outdoor plaza.

Exciting New Outdoor Space for the Year Ahead

This multifunctional space is a frequent add-on to large-scale conference and exhibitions providing an immersive extra to corporate celebrations and summer Barbeques, when it has been a circus, a bumper car track or an extra pavilion.  Beginning this March, it will host a monthly Farmers Market in partnership with Little Hummingbird Events.  Visitors can browse the stalls for locally sourced eggs, breads, dairy products, cheeses and chutneys.  It’s perfect Sunday afternoon fare, browsing beautifully crafted products from independent artisan sellers and crafters.

Classic Car fans will love the Royal Armouries Classic Car Show in association with Chevin Motor Club when it comes to The Square on 9th June 2024.  This new, free to attend event features classic motors of all ages and types.  From family saloons to sports and performance cars and military vehicles, there’s something for petrol-heads and classic car lovers alike.  The event is co-hosted by Chevin Motor Club, which is a membership-led motor club for motor nuts’ and is fast becoming an important annual event on the classic car enthusiasts’ calendar!

Half-Term Family Fun and Fan Conventions 

Photo by 'gizem

February will see a number of unusual visitors to the Royal Armouries.  On Saturday 17th February, the venue will be transformed into Jurassic Earth as the UKs biggest Dinosaur show takes centre stage!

Stomping into the venue will be Velociraptors, Spinosaurus, Triceratops, Brontosaurus and, of course, king of the Jurassic jungle, the majestic T Rex!  Roaringly good fun, this thrilling 75-minute family-friendly experience, featuring dinosaur babies and a team of Rangers, is the perfect half-term show with the armouries providing a suitably dramatic backdrop! 

Characters from ‘a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…’ will be seen strutting the corridors when Leeds Super Comic-con comes to New Dock Hall on Sunday 18th February.  The event is an absolute-must for Star Wars, Harry Potter or Marvel fans featuring guest appearances from Jimmy Vee (Star Wars, Harry Potter, Doctor Who), Paul Warren (Star Wars, Guardians of the Galaxy) and Billy Mansell (Alien: Covenant, Snatch, Star Wars: Andor).  Expect a colourful line-up of Storm Troopers, Darth Vadars, and legions of Marvel-Universe fans queuing to get into this event.

With stage talks, cosplay masquerades and appearances from comic creators as well as a huge market selling merchandise and collectables from favourite Marvel Multiverse, Star Wars and DC Comic franchises.  Comic-con fans can take a detour to the Royal Armouries and check out its Make: Believe collection featuring armoury and weaponry from a number of cult classics such as Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Excalibur and Aliens.

UKREiiF Makes a Welcome Return

Photo by Roger V Moody

It's a packed conference and events calendar for the Royal Armouries events team too in 2024. Fighting off fierce competition from Birmingham, Manchester and Liverpool, the Royal Armouries was selected to host the UK’s Real Estate Investment and Infrastructure Forum (UKREiiF) in May 2024.

Formed in 2022, UKREiiF has quickly become the UK’s leading platform in the regeneration, development and property sectors. This three-day event brings together the public sector – with every core UK city and region involved – alongside Government, investors, funders, developers, housebuilders and more.

Photo by Roger V Moody

In 2023 UKREiiF attracted almost 10,000 delegates to the city, and the Royal Armouries was determined to welcome this event back to Leeds this year. UKREiiF 2024 is set to be bigger and bolder than ever, aiming to attract 12,000 delegates to the Leeds Dock area and the Royal Armouries team will be pulling out all of the stops, together with Conference Leeds and the hospitality sector in the city, to ensure it is the best yet. 

CHS Leeds

Also making a welcome return to the Royal Armouries will be CHS Leeds.  The Conference & Hospitality Show has been an annual conference in Leeds calendar since 2009 and has grown steadily over the last 12-years (a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic).  It is the largest exhibition of its kind outside of London, welcoming over 1,400 delegates, 250 exhibitors, speaker events and demonstrations and is one of the best events, venue and hospitality showcases in the industry calendar for event professionals.  CHS Leeds is also a wonderful opportunity to showcase Leeds too as many of the #EventProfs enjoy an overnight stay and experience the city’s hospitality first hand.

Royal Armouries & New Dock Hall Prestigious Award Spaces 

It's always Awards’ season at the Royal Armouries and the team is delighted to host Yorkshire Evening Press’s 15th Oliver Awards, which celebrates the finest restaurants, bars, pubs, cafes, hotels and chefs the city has to offer. It’s a favourite event that shines a light on the city’s hospitality superstars and recognises Leeds' exceptional food scene.

Also enjoying the red-carpet treatment will be Yorkshire Business Insider’s Made in Yorkshire Awards.  This prestigious event celebrates world-class companies based in Yorkshire and the products they are making and selling across the globe.  With categories recognising digital technology, manufacturing innovation, medical and life sciences, it’s a showcase to the immense talent and innovation across God’s own county.  

You’ll find this is the place where it is never too early to mention the ‘C-word’ and Christmas bookings and NYE party bookings are already in full swing with lots of party people booking ahead for 2024! That said, even with a packed calendar of events to look forward to, there’s always room for more and the team at Royal Armouries are on hand to take your calls and manage your conference and event queries via email: venue@armouries.org.uk or call 0113 220 1990 – they’re always happy to help.