Convention Bureau Partnership Update - April 2016

Sales mission to USA and Europe

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 Sales mission

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 Sales mission

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 Sales mission

NewcastleGateshead wows international conference buyers in Northern England fam trip

At the end of April NewcastleGateshead, Leeds, Liverpool and Manchester hosted a group of international conference organisers on a large-scale familiarisation (FAM) trip across Northern England.

As part of the Northern Tourism Growth Fund, a £10m Government-funded programme, destinations across the North have been working together, alongside VisitBritain and VisitEngland, to promote the region in key international markets - £1m of which was used to maximise on international conferences and events coming to Northern England.

The North attended IMEX Frankfurt before bringing a group of international buyers to the region on a FAM trip. Across four days the delegates saw the region first-hand, visiting diverse venues as well as the unique experiences that make the North so distinctive. Their itinerary stretched from a visit to Liverpool’s UNESCO World Heritage Site to meeting a knight in shining armour at the Newcastle Castle, via the grandeur of Manchester Town Hall and The Mansion in Leeds.

Delegates loved the trip, commenting the destination had the WOW factor. Here are some images from their time here:

Northern England Fam Trip

Northern England Fam Trip

Northern England Fam Trip

Northern England Fam Trip

Northern England Fam Trip

Northern England Fam Trip

Northern England Fam Trip

A successful show at International Confex

At Olympia London on 2-3 March, we were joined by businesses from across North East England to showcase the best of what the region has to offer the meetings and event industry at International Confex.

Our stellar line up of stand partners included Sage Gateshead, Newcastle United Football Club, Sunderland Association Football Club & Hilton Garden Inn, Hilton NewcastleGateshead, R&B Group and Mercure Newcastle County Hotel.

It was a very successful show where our Convention Bureau team met with over XXXXX contacts and secured enquiries worth a potential £4.9m to the local economy, from potential clients including XXXXXX, XXXXXXXXXX, XXXXXX, XXXXXXX, XXXXXXXX, XXXXXX.

Confex 2016

Paul Szomoru, Head of Business Tourism, said: “It was a pleasure to attend International Confex again this year. The show is a key part of our annual calendar of events. With continual new developments happening in NewcastleGateshead and around the region, it is important we continue to connect with existing contacts as well as building additional connections and developing new business leads.

“The team and I were delighted to meet with a range of conference and event organisers from associations and corporations. We look forward to working with these contacts going forward with the aim of bringing even more conferences and events into the region – and delivering a boost to the local economy.”

During the show, we launched our new look Conferencing, Events & Accommodation Guide at a drinks reception on the first evening which proved to be a popular event. Visitors to our stand also experienced a unique way of turning a celebratory cake into a video interactive display by using projection technology, which was created by our stand partner R&B Group.

What is the press saying about NewcastleGateshead?

NewcastleGateshead has been gaining lots of coverage in the press recently - declaring it as a leading conference destination.

Coverage has included big conference wins such, as the European Thyroid Association, our ABPCO award for ‘Best Industry Partnership’, destination features, conference case studies and our attendance at trade shows.

Here’s a selection of some of the top online articles from the past couple of months.

Meetings, Incentive, Conference and Events (MICE) press play a huge part in profiling the destination, venues, accommodation and support services to conference and events professionals – drawing more conferences and events into the region.

We’re always keen to help promote what our partners are doing so keep us in the loop by sending press releases to or if you have a big conference or event coming to your venue let us know and we can support you with developing a case study.

NewcastleGateshead Convention Bureau awarded prestigious industry accolade

We were delighted to be awarded silver for ‘Best UK Convention Bureau’ at the prestigious Meetings & Incentive Travel Industry Awards ceremony, which took place on Friday 26 February.

NewcastleGateshead Convention Bureau beat off stiff competition from other prestigious UK bureaux including Edinburgh, Liverpool and London. Glasgow was awarded gold for the tenth year in a row.

M&IT Awards

Paul Szomoru, head of business tourism at NewcastleGateshead Convention Bureau, said: “It’s a fantastic achievement to be awarded such a prestigious accolade. These awards celebrate the best in the business, both nationally and internationally, and are voted for by our valued clients who have used our services over the past year. I’m delighted that the calibre of the team’s work has been recognised this way and would like to give a huge thanks to those who took the time to vote for us.

“Business tourism is a key part of the overall visitor economy – the latest figures show that around 15,000 conferences and meetings are held in venues across NewcastleGateshead annually, attracting 940,000 delegates who spend £104 million during their visit.

 “Our work to bring high-quality conferences and events here not only delivers direct economic impact, it also showcases the destination’s industry sector strengths and academic excellence to business visitors - who become influential advocates for the place. With this latest award under our belt, we’re looking forward to another busy and successful 2016.”

M&IT Awards

Organised by Meetings & Incentive Travel (M&IT) magazine, the awards event took place at Battersea Evolution in London, bringing together over 1000 international industry leaders from the conference sector to reward service and product excellence. There were 19 awards in total, voted for by the readers of M&IT Magazine. 

Launch of our new Conferences, Events & Accommodation Guide

In early March we launched our brand new Conferences, Events and Accommodation Guide to NewcastleGateshead, which has an eye-catching yellow colour and illustrative style – a design we have carried through to our trade show stand design and advertising campaigns. 

The new guide includes the best of NewcastleGateshead’s venues, accommodation and services as well as information on transport and delegate experiences - giving organisers all they need in one publication.

The guide features adverts from over 55 of our partner venues, hotels and support services. All Convention Bureau partners also receive a free listing in the back pages of the guide.

It was distributed in a direct mailing to our database of over 3,500 event buyers and a launch event was held at International Confex on Wednesday 2 March.

We’ve received great feedback from the guide so far. Here’s just a selection of some of the tweets we received in response to the mailing:

Guide feedback

If you haven't yet received your copy, please email us at and we'll pop one in the post for you.

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