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Delegates Love the NewcastleGateshead Experience

29th January 2013

Categories: Convention Bureau News

A new campaign to inspire conference organisers to adopt creative and fun delegate experiences in NewcastleGateshead has been launched by the city’s Convention Bureau following a survey that revealed 87% would return with friends or family for a leisure visit.

The ‘Experiences Your Delegates Will Love’ campaign positions NewcastleGateshead as the ideal delegate destination and identifies a range of activities that delegates can take part in outside of their main conference or meeting programme.  

Sarah Stewart, chief executive at destination management and marketing organisation NewcastleGateshead Initiative, said: “Like every other major conference destination, NewcastleGateshead offers world-class facilities, a variety of venue options and professional service providers, all on hand to ensure the smooth running of any event. But what makes us really stand out is our iconic location and the array of unique experiences open to organisers looking to inject some fun and creativity into their event social programmes.”
Famed as a cultural hub, NewcastleGateshead is home to some of the UK’s leading visitor attractions including The Sage Gateshead, Theatre Royal and BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, which in 2011 became the first non-Tate venue to host the Turner Prize. The survey of delegates conducted by NewcastleGateshead Convention Bureau in December 2012 also showed that more than 90% found getting to, and travelling around, NewcastleGateshead to be easy or very easy, with respondents describing the place as “friendly, vibrant, fun” and “bustling, confident, cool”.

The campaign has been launched with a dedicated website and a series of fold-out inserts available in meetings and events trade press until March 2013. The insert highlight’s the ‘twin cities’ famous locations, including the Angel of the North, in an illustrative style simply providing ten top ideas for activities across the destination alongside a ‘Geordie Phrasebook’ and ‘Mythbuster’.

One of the highlighted experiences is a ‘Science of Cocktails’ workshop delivered by Life Conference and Banqueting. Situated in Newcastle’s world-class and pioneering science village,  Centre for Life, the venue has played host to a range of medical and scientific association conferences in the past and through the Life Science Centre introduces visitors to the science behind the human body and the world at large. Here, delegates can discover the solar system at the planetarium or take a seat on the 4D motion ride which launched in 2012, but the Centre also offers bespoke experiences for delegates delivered by a team of ‘science explorers’.

Liz Dean, Director of Trading and Operations at the Centre for Life explains: “Exploring science can be amongst the most fun and interactive experiences anyone can have. Our ‘Science of Cocktails’ workshops are a great example of making science accessible and fun and are regularly booked by event organisers visiting the city.

“In the sessions, delegates get the chance to explore the science behind some of our favourite tipples. The sessions are very hands-on and a world away from most people’s memories of lab based science lessons.”

With an array of local knowledge and contacts, NewcastleGateshead Convention Bureau are able to help organisers to develop their delegate social programme, Sarah Stewart added: “Whether you’re a company looking for experiences to work into a team-building weekend, or an established event hoping to try something new – our Convention Bureau can build a bespoke programme that will help meet your event goals and truly enhance the enjoyment your delegates take away with them.” 

For more inspiring ideas for delegate activity in NewcastleGateshead, or to learn more about holding a conference in the city, meet the Convention Bureau at International Confex – 19-21 March 2013, stand K260 – or visit

Five more experiences delegates will love include:

• An authentic medieval banquet in the UK’s oldest dining hall at Blackfriars Restaurant, which was established in 1239 as a Dominican friary
• The Sage Gateshead – ‘Performing’ at an international home for music with a range of musical sessions from banging steel drums to playing the fiddle
• A drinks reception on the roof of the Castle Keep at sundown, with panoramic views of the Quayside
• Dining in one of the world’s largest tree houses at The Alnwick Garden or broomstick training at Alnwick Castle (aka Hogwarts from the Harry Potter films)
• Watching a film of their choice in the finest surviving newsreel cinema in Britain or shooting, editing and starring in their own film at Tyneside Cinema’s spectacular Pop-Up Film School


For media enquiries contact:
Shelley Armstrong
Media & PR Manager
T. +44 (0)191 440 5739
M. +44 (0)7717 631 109

Notes to editors:
NewcastleGateshead Initiative is a destination management and marketing agency; a public-private partnership supported by Gateshead and Newcastle City Councils, working with around 170 private sector partner organisations across NewcastleGateshead and the wider region

NewcastleGateshead Initiative is supported by a board offering expertise from a range of sectors and professions. We also work with a wide range of partners, stakeholders and businesses, who share our ambition to inspire people to visit and to live, learn, work and invest in NewcastleGateshead.

o Our marketing & communications team works to promote and position NewcastleGateshead as a vibrant tourism destination, through targeted campaigns nationally and internationally. Our visitor information team helps ensure visitors have the best possible experience when they’re here, providing information and support.

o Our cultural programming team work with partners across the destination to bring together NewcastleGateshead’s cultural offer and deliver some of our most popular festival & events, including EAT! NewcastleGateshead, Juice Festival and the NewcastleGateshead Winter Festival.

o Our 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, venue sourcing and accommodation booking, to arranging transport and entertainment for delegates

o Our inward investment team helps businesses locate, expand and flourish in NewcastleGateshead, providing a range of services to make it easy to realise their ambitions for growth

United by seven bridges across a spectacular riverscape, Newcastle (a city on the north bank of the River Tyne) and Gateshead (a town on the south bank) form a single, diverse and extremely vibrant visitor destination. World-class culture, vibrant nightlife, award-winning dining, inspiring heritage, fantastic shopping and acclaimed architecture are combined here like nowhere else, by the famous Geordie spirit which is symbolised by Antony Gormley’s iconic Angel of the North as it welcomes travellers to the area.

Imagery / Photography opportunities:
• - NewcastleGateshead’s Initiative’s extensive royalty free image library

Useful links:
• - NewcastleGateshead Initiative’s media website
• - NewcastleGateshead Convention Bureau website
• - destination website for NewcastleGateshead

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