Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Conferences and Events Are a Great Way to Introduce North-East England to the World

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Conferences and Events Are a Great Way to Introduce North-East England to the World

Article excerpt

Byline: andrew dixon

I'VE been asked to speak at several regional, national and international gatherings of planners, economic development officers, politicians and cultural leaders over the last year and have greeted delegations to NewcastleGateshead from Japan, USA, Norway, Denmark, Germany, Ireland and South Africa.

There is no doubt that what has been achieved here in regeneration, city planning, housing and community renewal is of real interest around the globe. We had over 500 people from 77 countries at the World Summit on Arts and Culture in June and we are equally attracting scientists and medics from around the world to specialist business and medical conferences.

Conferences and events are a great way to introduce North-East England to the world and every business traveller or political visitor is a future tourist or even resident.

One NorthEast has pulled off a real coup in attracting the World Travel Awards to NewcastleGateshead. Who would have thought 10 years ago that we'd be a credible host for such an event? If only we had large enough venues and exhibition space there would seem to be no end to the possibilities of what international events might come to the region.

I was in Boston, USA, last week doing a sales talk on NewcastleGateshead and NorthEast England to the British American Project. Their annual conference will come to the region next November and brings with it up-and-coming leaders from the fields of business, the media, science, medicine and politics.

The fact that it is coming here is down to two local members, Lucy Armstrong and Lucy Winskill, who as ambassadors for the region took the initiative to bid for the event. The delegate list will be like a "who's who" of positive thinking, young leadership and entrepreneurs from two continents.

There is much we can learn from the USA when it comes to promoting our cities. Boston has not one, but four convention centres, the newest of which is four times the size of St James's Park. …

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