Having returned to Leeds for an eighth year with 3,500 delegates, 154 exhibition stands and 17 speakers, this year’s Buy Yorkshire Conference once again exceeded expectations reporting an estimated £8m contribution to the local economy.
Maintaining its place as the largest business-to-business event in the North, the conference continues to support organisations from across the region, giving them a platform to showcase products and services to thousands of potential customers.
Combining exhibitor spend with sales generated in the lead up to and post-event, it can be calculated that once again the Conference has generated no less than £8m that will be used to make a vital and ongoing contribution to the North’s economic climate.
Hosted by business group the Yorkshire Mafia (YM), the exhibition was hosted at the First Direct Arena for the first time. Encouraging professionals to come together to share their knowledge, experience, products and services with others, the increased capacity venue saw exhibitors, speakers and delegates benefit from an extended network of contacts and the opportunities that this presented.
Believing that we are ‘stronger together’, the Group and its events programme, which includes Buy Yorkshire, has been designed to share the philosophy that using local suppliers and services can support talent and growth, whilst retaining revenue that may otherwise have been spent outside of the region.
Geoff Shepherd, founder of the Yorkshire Mafia, said: “We’ve very much made it our mission at the Yorkshire Mafia to do all that we can to support business in Yorkshire and across the North. Within our network of over 22,000 members we have businesses who can provide a full spectrum of products and services that could benefit others.
“Therefore, whilst we do sometimes need to spread our wings commercially, very often the best deals and suppliers are right here on our doorstep. We have some exceptional suppliers here in Yorkshire and we should all be doing what we can to nurture that.
“By continuing to unite people at Buy Yorkshire we have seen a shift in how they engage and work collaboratively. Many organisations have come together and have created strong relationships that will last a lifetime thanks to The Yorkshire Mafia.”
Attracting some of the brightest minds from across the region, the event was a display of the strength of Northern business with organisations from across a range of sectors celebrating the fantastic entrepreneurial spirit which is prevalent throughout Yorkshire.
With a diverse mix of speakers, including Helen Pankhurst, great-granddaughter of Emmeline Pankhurst; Jason Miller, global content leader at LinkedIn and Chris Hamilton, head of digital at 10 Downing Street, the event combined advice and business insights with the opportunity to meet and generate new business contacts.
Adding further cause for celebration, Geoff Shepherd received the Judges Special Award during the Institute of Directors Awards thank to his work with the Yorkshire Mafia and the positive and lasting impact that the group has had on the region.