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‘Space to Think’ day takes off across region

15th June 2010

Categories: Convention Bureau News

‘Space to Think’ day takes off across region

Businesses that make the effort to meet away from their office environment find time to plan new approaches to challenges that can ultimately boost their bottom line, with research from leading psychologists showing that meeting in tranquil, rural settings stimulates new ideas and improves business performance.

A new, region-wide campaign was launched today highlighting North East England’s inspiring, energising rural conference scene; with a whole host of venues, hotels, museums and castles across North East England supporting the campaign and holding their daily team meeting in one of their unique outdoors settings.

The campaign encourages businesses in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds and York to choose the beautiful ‘back garden’ of North East England for their conference or meeting and highlights the diversity and quality of the regional conference offer that awaits corporate conference planners. 
‘Space to Think’ is a brand-new campaign involving over 30 venues throughout North East England stretching from the atmospheric Hadrian’s Wall, to Durham’s beautiful landscapes and right through to the striking Tees Valley countryside. Each venue offers businesses space to think in abundance and the chance to escape the constant interruptions of office phone calls, emails and buzzing Blackberrys; providing vital time to plan in today’s competitive business climate.

To prove the point, events and sales teams from leading venues across the region, including Alnwick Castle, Beamish Hall Hotel, The Bowes Museum, De Vere Slaley Hall, Hall Garth Hotel, Linden Hall, Rockliffe Hall, and Seaham Hall, all found some space to think in their venues’ glorious gardens, castle grounds and lakesides for their very own ‘Space to Think’ day. 

A whole host of big-name brands are supporting ‘Space to Think’, including Barceló, De Vere, Von Essen and Macdonald, with all 30 venues involved offering a first-time campaign promotion of 10 delegate places for the price of nine.

A brand-new ‘Space to Think’ brochure guide and bespoke website have also been launched with detailed descriptions of the participating venues, plus listings and maps, making life easy for conference planners across the UK looking for something special for their clients or corporates.

The campaign’s ‘Space to Think’ day launch follows hot on the heels of new research just commissioned which shows that conferencing across the whole region brought in £378m and helped create 8,500 jobs in 2008/2009, underlining the pivotal role already played by rural venues in attracting major corporate events from across the UK to North East England.

Alnwick Castle sales and conference team held their daily meeting in front of their iconic castle and found their original meeting space hugely stimulating. Caroline Smith, marketing co-ordinator for Alnwick Castle and The Alnwick Garden, said: “The novelty of meeting in a different location outside proved really inspirational. It’s such a good thing to take time away from the office and find some space to think.”

Sarah Barber, sales director at Seaham Hall Hotel and The Serenity Spa, said: “We’re delighted to be part of a campaign which not only shows off our strengths as a leading venue but combines this with an exciting regional overview of all the great conference facilities throughout North East England. Holding our very own ‘Space to Think’ day outside proved such a great reminder of how lucky we are to work in such beautiful surroundings.”

Michael Bell, sales resort director at De Vere Slaley Hall, said: “You get exceptional quality and great value for money right across North East England. The campaign’s promotional offer of 10 delegate places for nine is a great incentive for conference and meeting organisers. However, already our venues and hotels offer high-quality experiences at excellent rates that can be as much as half the cost of other leading UK destinations. And business delegates once here are frequently blown away by the beauty of the destination and bring their family and friends back to explore it further.”

‘Space to Think’ is a partnership between NewcastleGateshead Convention Bureau, Northumberland Tourism, Visit County Durham and visitTeesvalley who have teamed up to promote the regional, rural conference offer to agents and conference planners responsible for booking major meetings and events. It is supported by Regional Development Agency, One North East.

Claire Boston Smithson, visitTeesvalley commercial development manager, said: “With summer in the air this is such an exciting campaign, uniting all the sub regions to promote our great North East rural conference scene. ‘Space to Think’ offers conference planners the unique opportunity to have the whole regional conference offer at their fingertips with a bespoke conference guide and regional website with detailed descriptions of the participating venues.”

Lucy Wearne, product development executive at Visit County Durham, said: “Access from cities such as York, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Leeds and London on East Coast mainline and by road is an integral asset to the campaign. When you get to the region too there is so much scope to get out quickly and easily to the rural venues and glorious coastline either by public transport or car, which is such a great regional quality.”

Jessica Roberts, head of business tourism at NewcastleGateshead Convention Bureau, said: “We have an enviable region which comprises stunning landscape, coast and meetings space and taking advantage of it on ‘Space to Think’ day really brought home what a great place North East England is to meet, whether it is a small board gathering or a much larger conference. If your business or clients are looking for some ‘Space to Think’ then there’s never been a better place than here to find it, as we found when we held our ‘Space to Think’ day at Newcastle Racecourse and Conference Centre. So why not join us and have your very own 'Space to Think' day?”


For further information and to request images:

David Bootle, Media and PR Manager – Business, NewcastleGateshead Initiative
Tel: 0191 440 5741 or email

Notes to editors:

• ‘Space to Think’ is a joint project between NewcastleGateshead Convention Bureau, Northumberland Tourism, visitTeesvalley and Visit County Durham to promote North East England’s rural conference offer. Visit to find out more.

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