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NewcastleGateshead Initiative

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Bureau brings more business boosting conferences to NewcastleGateshead

With English Tourism Week 2013 in full swing, NewcastleGateshead Convention Bureau are looking ahead to a packed calendar after bringing more high-profile conferences to the ‘twin-cities’ in 2013, helping to boost the visitor economy by an estimated £6.7m.

After celebrating a decade of success bringing 37,000 delegates to more than 120 events at the close of 2012, NewcastleGateshead Convention Bureau’s successful Conference Ambassador Programme (CAP) has attracted 17 major conferences set to take place throughout the remainder of 2013, and has business on the books as far ahead as 2018.

Sarah Stewart, chief executive at destination management and marketing organisation, NewcastleGateshead Initiative, said: “From its beginnings in 2002, our Conference Ambassador Programme has been instrumental in attracting high-value and high-profile events to NewcastleGateshead.

“As we celebrate English Tourism Week, it’s crucial that we recognise the importance of business tourism to the local visitor economy. As well as benefiting the venues that host these major events, our hotels benefit from the influx of delegates who visit the city as do AV companies, caterers, transport providers, bars, restaurants and attractions.”

The CAP builds important relationships between the Convention Bureau and professionals and academics based in the destination, with the Bureau supporting their bids to bring events and conferences for specialist associations to NewcastleGateshead.

Concentrating on three central themes, the CAP has a specific focus on key areas of expertise;

  • Science and healthcare; in particular stem cell biology and ageing
  • Marine and offshore
  • Creative and digital business

One of the 17 conferences due to take place this year is Behaviour2013, the 33rd International Ethological Conference (IEC) delivered jointly with the Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour (ASAB).

Working with the Convention Bureau Melissa Bateson, Professor of Ethology at the Centre for Behaviour and Evolution, Institute of Neuroscience at Newcastle University was the ambassador who helped secure the event for the destination. Behaviour2013 is due to take place 04-08 August 2013 at The Sage Gateshead. Alone it is worth an estimated £1.4m to the destination and is expected to attract around 750 delegates.

Speaking on the bidding process, Prof. Bateson, said: “We were eager to get our newly formed Centre for Behaviour and Evolution on the map internationally and hosting the event seemed like a fantastic opportunity to showcase and raise the profile of our research groups at Newcastle.

“The NewcastleGateshead Convention Bureau was fantastic in helping us with venue research and costings, destination information and compilation of a bespoke bid document, general guidance and ongoing support. This included putting us in touch with a range of professional conference organisers (PCOs), we enlisted support from Benchmark, and will also be using the Convention Bureau’s online delegate accommodation booking service.”

The Convention Bureau will also attend International Confex this week (19-21 March 2013) at ExCel London.

Sarah Stewart, added: “Attending Confex in the past has helped us secure some truly remarkable events, including all three leading English political parties, the last being the Liberal Democrats who held their spring Conference at The Sage Gateshead in March 2012. It is fitting that this year the exhibition takes place during English Tourism Week when we are encouraging our businesses to champion the fantastic business tourism and leisure experiences on offer across NewcastleGateshead.”

Highlighting some of the destination’s most unique experiences for leisure visitors and delegates alike, the Convention Bureau are hosting a mini showcase at Confex, featuring Ukulele Workshops from The Sage Gateshead; a locally inspired Cocktail Masterclass courtesy of The Vermont Hotel’s ‘Cocktail Stig’; and the EAT! NewcastleGateshead Cake City Taste Challenge, which previews NewcastleGateshead Initiative’s acclaimed festival of adventures in food – EAT! NewcastleGateshead (24 August -08 September).

Venues joining NewcastleGateshead Convention Bureau at International Confex in 2013 are:

  • Newcastle Civic Centre
  • The Sage Gateshead
  • Newcastle United Football Club (Sodexo)
  • The Vermont Hotel

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by NewcastleGateshead Initiative .

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