Europe’s largest conference on infant feeding takes place in NewcastleGateshead

1st December 2014

Categories: Convention Bureau latest news

Over 750 health professionals and those involved in the care of mothers and babies visited NewcastleGateshead to attend the UNICEF UK Baby Friendly Initiative, held at the Metro Radio Arena on 26-27 November. Now in its 17th year, the event generated £692,000 for the local economy.

During the two days a mixture of innovative, entertaining and challenging presentations on a wide range of issues supporting breastfeeding were delivered by high profile speakers, including Dr Dan Poulter, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department of Health, and Dr Helen Ball, Head of Anthropology, Durham University.

UNICEF Baby Friendly Initiative Conference

NewcastleGateshead Convention Bureau worked with the organising committee to secure the conference for the destination and over the last 18 months has supported with everything from sourcing and booking the venue and accommodation right through to the special touches that ensured a warm welcome for the conference delegates.

Organised by the Bureau, delegates were given the red carpet treatment as they stepped off the train to a welcome committee of students from Newcastle College. The students had a Unicef branded information stand and were on-hand in the station throughout the conference days to give a warm Geordie welcome and provide information on how to get to hotels and the conference venue.

Paul Szomoru, head of business tourism at NewcastleGateshead Convention Bureau said: “Delegates were travelling from all over the UK to attend the conference and this puts our destination in the spotlight. What sets us apart from other business tourism locations is our ability to really make people welcome and feel part of the place, not just a visitor. For many of the delegates, it will have been their first visit to the city and as well as enjoying the conference, we felt it was important that they were provided with a dedicated team on arrival to give that personal welcome and make sure they had all the information they needed to make the most of their time here.”

Delegate welcome at UNICEF conference

Elizabeth Freeman, Events and Services Manager, at UNICEF UK, commented: “NewcastleGateshead Convention Bureau has offered such valuable support throughout the whole process of organising the event. On one occasion when we visited the Metro Radio Arena, we were welcomed with a flash mob of breastfeeding mums which was a nice touch and showed a local commitment to the issues that are so important to the Baby Friendly Initiative. Having received such a personal welcome ourselves, we had no doubt that our delegates would love the place. The students and the Convention Bureau really pulled out the stops to make sure that our delegates had the best experience possible while in the city.”

NewcastleGateshead Convention Bureau offers support, expert advice and local knowledge to make it easy for you to bring your conferences, meetings or event to Newcastle, Gateshead and the wider North East region.

Conference organisers looking to bring an event to NewcastleGateshead in future can meet the Convention Bureau at Confex (18-19 February 2015, Olympia, London – stand CG39). Or visit


For media enquiries contact:

Vanessa Robinson

Media & PR Manager

T. +44 (0)191 440 5728

M. +44 (0)7730 750 101



February 2020

October 2019

September 2019

August 2019

June 2019

May 2019

April 2019

March 2019

February 2019

December 2018

October 2018

August 2018

July 2018

June 2018

May 2018

April 2018

March 2018

February 2018

January 2018

December 2017

October 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

March 2017

February 2017

November 2016

September 2016

August 2016

July 2016

June 2016

May 2016

April 2016

March 2016

February 2016

January 2016

December 2015

November 2015

October 2015

September 2015

June 2015

May 2015

April 2015

February 2015

December 2014

November 2014

October 2014

September 2014