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Conference organisers invited to bite into NewcastleGateshead at Confex 2013

15th February 2013

Categories: Convention Bureau News

Following the launch of the ‘10 experiences your delegates will love’ campaign last month, NewcastleGateshead Convention Bureau has announced a mini showcase previewing one of the UK’s best-loved annual food festivals at International Confex (19-21 March).  

NewcastleGateshead Initiative’s acclaimed festival of adventures in food – EAT! NewcastleGateshead – returns for a seventh year in 2013 (24 August -08 September), championing local food producers, restaurants and culinary talent. Its eclectic and imaginative events programme, which in the past has featured secret paladares, a pop-up speakeasy, and the opportunity to dine suspended 50 metres in the air, helps people to see food in a brand new way.

The EAT! NewcastleGateshead Cake City Taste Challenge will give visitors to International Confex the opportunity to guess the mystery local ingredient in a selection of cakes baked especially for the exhibition and experience just one element of the annual food festival.

Sarah Stewart, chief executive at destination management and marketing organisation, NewcastleGateshead Initiative said: “Our Convention Bureau has been a regular feature at International Confex for more than a decade now, showcasing the many diverse and interesting venue options available to organisers looking to bring their next conference or event to North East England.

“This year we wanted to do something a little bit different by showcasing just a taste of the many unique experiences on offer across NewcastleGateshead that will make any delegate’s time in the destination truly memorable.”

As part of EAT!, local and national landmarks have for the past three years been constructed out of cake; the Cake City challenge at Confex plays homage to the event with an edible model of the destination’s flagship conference and event venue, The Sage Gateshead.

A survey conducted by the Convention Bureau in December 2012 revealed that delegates visiting the destination enjoyed the place so much, that 87% would consider returning with friends and family for a leisure visit. To demonstrate to conference buyers how a vibrant and unique social programme can increase delegate satisfaction, the Convention Bureau is delivering a selection of different experiences to take place across the three day exhibition.

As well as a landmark conference centre, The Sage Gateshead is an international home for music, and they too will be on the NewcastleGateshead stand delivering a unique experience for Confex visitors. Specially created Ukulele Workshops will give participants the opportunity to hold, strum and play at least 3 chords – just enough to form a band!

While one of NewcastleGateshead’s most historic properties, The Vermont Hotel, is poised to deliver a cocktail demonstration with a difference. Following the launch of the hotel’s new bar, Livello in October, molecular mixology and a touch of magic is delivered by The Cocktail Stig. No one will ever know the identity of the Cocktail Stig, just that they have North Eastern roots and an extensive cocktail knowledge.

Venues joining NewcastleGateshead Convention Bureau at International Confex in 2013 are:

• Newcastle Civic Centre
• The Sage Gateshead
• Newcastle United Football Club (Sodexo)
• The Vermont Hotel

The ’10 experiences your delegates will love campaign’ encourages event planners to inject some fun and creativity into their event social programmes and positions NewcastleGateshead as the ideal delegate destination. 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 - visit

Gold and silver level buyers at International Confex who visit the NewcastleGateshead stand will also have the opportunity to attend a Gourmet EAT! Food Festival Weekend hosted by NewcastleGateshead Convention Bureau. For more information on EAT! go to


For media enquiries contact:
Shelley Armstrong
Media & PR Manager
T. +44 (0)191 440 5739
M. +44 (0)771 763 1109

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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