Summer Conference 2018 Round-Up

With a conference theme of eat, live, work, play, it was an action packed two days of conference sessions and networking, all fuelled by great hospitality!

Peter Slee, Vice Chancellor of Leeds Beckett University welcomes delegates before leadership consultant Michelle Moore shared some surprising facts about employee engagement, with examples of how enthusiastic and fulfilled staff add value to organisations and tips on creating an engaged culture.

Next Brewdog’s Andrew Marrins told the inside story of this high-energy, fast-growing company, from their outdoor activity recruitment programme to the high-performance work culture and charitable foundation.

Thursday’s hot topics slots both went to research. CUBO Chair Elect Jo Hardman, Lancaster University, presented the newly published CUBO annual benchmarking survey, while Tom Laskey of Sodexo took delegates through the findings of the latest Sodexo Student Lifestyle Survey.

Day one rounded off with a panel discussion of emerging food trends, from veganism to gut health, chaired by Professor David Russell. The panel found a ‘fragmentation of healthy eating’ where the challenge is to cater for a multitude of diets and lifestyle choices, while being inclusive and offering choice within a shared space.

Food and drink choices throughout the conference were certainly varied and inclusive, with Vegan Punks cooking up katsu curry and vegan burgers, Brewdog treating everyone to a beer tasting, and Leeds Beckett showcasing their best chefs at the conference dinner.

On Friday morning, Leeds Beckett’s Carnegie Outdoors had everyone out of their seats for a game of “human bingo” - play with the serious purpose of motivating and energising teams.

Jo Haigh of fds then outlined what it means to be a company director in the 21st century, while Simon McCaskill demonstrated how to work smarter digitally - and complete a week’s work in just four days!

The final session with the Atlantic-sailing Yorkshire Rows was moving and inspirational, and proof that you can do anything if you set your mind to it.

The conferencing finished with a fun indoor rowing competition. CUBO members and partners formed teams to see who could row the furthest in two minutes, raising money for the Student Minds charity.


The best Winter Conference I have ever attended, and I've seen a few!

Jon Greenwood, Director of Commercial Services, University of York


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