High-Calibre Conferences Put Spotlight on 'Twin Cities''

Article excerpt

Byline: GILL PILKINGTON

NEWCASTLEGATESHEAD has been at the vanguard of innovation in many ways over the years, whether it is Joseph Swan's light bulb, or the evolution of the steam engine.

The 'twin cities' are proving equally pioneering today, making great strides in science, medicine and technology, much of which comes from leading academic research at our two universities. News of our expertise is carried across the world via delegates attending conferences here, sharing views and forging new networks and raising the profile of the destination's cutting-edge work.

'Association-sector' conferences are a crucial part of the meetings industry today and bring together professional societies, academic associations or learned institutions, whose members from all over the world meet on a regular basis. Such conferences are often planned two, three or even four years in advance with events confirmed for the destination as far ahead as 2013/2014. This pedigree of success raises the profile of NewcastleGateshead as a leading conference destination and also delivers significant economic impact to the 'twin cities' and wider region.

NewcastleGateshead Convention Bureau's 'Conference Ambassador Programme' is a partnership involving local academics, scientists and key business figures, who lead bids to bring major conferences to North East England. Many are members of professional association bodies and well placed to influence the choice of their organisation's conference destination. The expertise of these people, working with the Convention Bureau, puts the destination on the map as a major player in international conferences. …