Sheffield Meetings Guide

Sheffield Meetings Guide

Botanical gardens

Ross Fountain


According to the 2011 Census, Sheffield’s population stood at 552,700; with a 7.7% increase from 2011, in line with the national average.  Interestingly, the 15-24 age group has increased by almost double than the average with 67,000 students – this is probably due to the increasing popularity of the two Universities Sheffield offers.

Employment-wise, Sheffield’s main industry was cutlery-making; but was much more well-known for their steel industry from 1700 onwards; and to a lesser extent, coal mining.  All of these once-popular industries are now extinct or have rapidly declined; and the most popular employment area currently in Sheffield is the public sector, of which 83,000 are employed, or 20% of Sheffield’s working-age population.  Other popular industries include wholesale and retail trade, employing just over 37,000; and manufacturing with 22,500 people employed.


Whilst Sheffield’s closest airport – Robin Hood airport, located 30 miles away from the city centre – only tends to fly to holiday destinations such as Spain and Greece; it’s proximity to other airports means it is a relatively easy city to reach by air.  East Midlands and Leeds/Bradford airports are both an hour’s drive away, with flights to many major European cities.  For those wishing to reach Sheffield from further afield, Manchester airport is just over an hour away; easily accessible by car, train and coach.

Located in South Yorkshire, Sheffield is easily accessible for all major cities in the UK.  Sheffield train station is the largest in its county, with 9 platforms serving 8.4 million passengers each year.  The station offers direct trains to cities such as London, with trains leaving every 30 minutes and taking just over 2 hours; Liverpool in 110 minutes and Edinburgh in 3 hours 45.

Although classed as the 5th biggest city in UK by population size; Sheffield’s city centre is relatively small, which makes it easy to get around once there – especially due to the regular tram and bus services operated.  There are 25 trams in Sheffield taking three different routes – one to popular shopping centre Meadowhall.  Both First Buses and Stagecoach offer routes through Sheffield and South Yorkshire; with a range of different tickets from singles to day riders, to tickets allowing you to travel by both bus and tram; meaning travel around Sheffield couldn’t be any quicker and easier.

The Shore at Leith


Sheffield is regularly hailed as one of the UK’s top conference cities due to the ease of access via all transport links, and the close proximity to the Pennines and Peak District – both perfect areas for teambuilding activities.  Such popularity is reflected by the volume of conference venues available – 104 in total; from modern hotels to grand old buildings such as the Sheffield Town Hall.  If you are looking to hold a conference for more than 500 delegates, there are 11 venues to choose from; and 7 venues for companies with more than 1,000 delegates.  The largest venue is Sheffield City Hall, able to hold up to 2,200 delegates, with four different halls, a ballroom and hospitality suites all on offer.  Equally, companies with a smaller party will still find plenty of choice in Sheffield, with 39 venues offering rooms exclusively for 30 delegates or less.   Sheffield really is a city that has something for everyone.

There are 91 hotels offering 12,000 rooms in Sheffield; with average prices lower than other major cities due to the lack of 5 star hotels in the city centre.  For those of you who look for opulence in a hotel, you’ll still find plenty of choice with 34 four star hotels to choose from.  However, what Sheffield does particularly well is cater for companies who still like a little luxury, but have a smaller budget, and this is evident with the 37 three star and 9 two star hotels on offer.


Whilst on conference in Sheffield, you and your delegates should make the most of seeing what Sheffield has to offer, with a range of attractions to suit everyone.  Meadowhall Shopping centre is a shopaholic’s paradise stretching 1.5million square feet housing 280 stores.  Located just outside the city centre, it is easily accessible by train, bus and tram.  Delegates who appreciate architecture and scenery should head to Sheffield cathedral – one of the oldest buildings in the city, dating back to the 12th century – and Chatsworth House, located 35 minutes away in the heart of the Peak District, it offers beautiful gardens and a stately home.

Those of you who enjoy nothing more than a good night out will definitely be at home in Sheffield; and as it’s home to two Universities, you would expect no less!  For the ultimate clubbing experience, head to Leadmill, Embrace or Babylon – the final which regularly plays nineties hits.  If it’s a sophisticated bar your delegates are after, most are located on Division Street near the train station – sample some cocktails and you won’t be disappointed.

Images courtesy of Visit Sheffield


  • Mercure St Pauls Hotel and Spa has unrivalled views of the city.
  • Meeting facilities for up to 700 delegates.
  • Spa, pool and fully equipped gym.
  • Restaurant and Champagne Bar.
  • 163 Bedrooms.