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Forum Discovers What Makes the Perfect Conference City

24th November 2010

Categories: Convention Bureau News

Senior buyers and industry figures came together on 16th November to debate the growing importance of the city ‘welcome’ to event organisers looking for the ideal destination for conferences and events.

Organised by NewcastleGateshead Convention Bureau, the forum was the first of a series of events planned as part of the destination’s research into what shape NewcastleGateshead takes in the next decade.

Simon Mills, Head of Business Visits & Events, VisitBritain, suggested that the delegate welcome presented; “a huge opportunity for UK destinations to attract inbound events,” adding that, “our welcome is often wrongly perceived as being poor when it’s actually one of the best reasons to visit the UK.”

The desire of delegates to try new, different and surprising cities presents the opportunity for a destination to win new business as a result of a strong city wide welcome. Forum members agreed that this extends beyond just the friendliness of the people to become the role and responsibility of a convention bureau or city marketing company.

Speaking highly of NewcastleGateshead directly, Paul Crossman from the MS Society commented; “While we were in NewcastleGateshead, they lit up the Gateshead Millennium Bridge; this showed both a warm welcome and also great added value for the event and for us as organisers. This is the sort of ‘money can’t buy’ value only the city can do.”


Additional points raised at the debate emphasised the value of holding events in cities that are a manageable size and where there is strong sense of partnership. Jessica Roberts, Head of Business Tourism for NewcastleGateshead Convention Bureau summarised; “Where destinations have a joined up approach with a leading body that can bring all of the city contacts together, it makes it much easier for event organisers to get things done and to create events that have a real impact.”

- ends -

The forum, took place on the 16th November at Royal Horticultural Halls, London. It was attended by;
- Simon Mills, VisitBritain
- Simon Gidman, Meet England
- Paul Crossman, MS Society
- Rachel Frankel, Kenes
- Jacinta Scannell, The Conference Collective
- Richard Foulkes, Imagination
- Sally Greenhill, The Right Consultancy
- Nathan Alemany, VisitBritain
- Jessica Roberts, NewcastleGateshead
- Robert Wright, Davies Tanner (facilitator)

Notes to Editor

For further information on NewcastleGateshead Convention Bureau contact: Shelley Staines, Media and PR Manager – Destination & Business, NewcastleGateshead Initiative on 0191 440 5739/07717 631 109 or email shelley.staines@ngi.org.uk 

NewcastleGateshead Convention Bureau uses local knowledge and expertise to help organise conferences, meetings or events in NewcastleGateshead and the surrounding area. It provides a free service including arranging everything from venue sourcing and booking, to accommodation, transport and entertainment for delegates. With a huge choice of state-of-the-art venues NewcastleGateshead is fast becoming one of the UK’s most popular destinations whether it’s for a meeting of 10 people or a conference for thousands.

It is estimated that visitors to NewcastleGateshead from around the UK and overseas contribute £1.23bn to the local economy. Press releases and copyright-free hi-res images on NewcastleGateshead are available from our website www.NewcastleGateshead.com/Media 
 

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