30 March 2022
Business organisations are backing a major campaign designed to recapture the £150m a year events and meetings market in Newcastle and Gateshead.
A total of 35 venues ranging from major hotel chains to historic buildings are taking part in Tyne To Get Back To Business, a campaign aimed at boosting confidence in face to face events and staging everything from international conferences to team building sessions in Newcastle and Gateshead.
All the venues have AIM Secure accreditation, a Government-recognised quality standard for business meetings and events, enhanced to help venues deliver events as safely as possible in a world with Covid.
Business organisations have praised the campaign and NewcastleGateshead’s status as the first destination in the UK where venues have joined together to create a co-ordinated group of AIM Secure accredited hotels and meeting places.
John McCabe, chief executive at the North East England Chamber of Commerce (pictured above), said: “This ambitious campaign chimes perfectly with our own mission in the Chamber, to support business growth.
“Our amazing venues around the region are second to none, in terms of their location, facilities and services. They represent everything that investors and event organisers could want, right down to the friendly, local welcome.
“There has never been a more important time for us to do everything in our power to attract inward investment and this campaign is a huge boost to it all.”
His sentiments were echoed by Sarah Waddington CBE, chair for the Institute of Directors, North East (North), which has 250 members in the region and over 20,000 members across the UK.
Sarah said: “Meetings and conferences are a vital part of the region’s visitor economy as delegates don’t just meet – they stay, eat and explore the area.
“Now, more than ever, venues need our support to build confidence and encourage UK and international event planners to return to Newcastle and Gateshead, safe in the knowledge that their guests will receive a warm welcome in a secure environment.
“With restrictions eased and a degree of normality returning, we fully endorse this well-timed campaign.”
The North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) is also backing the drive.
Lucy Winskell OBE, Chair of the North East LEP, said: “NewcastleGateshead, and the wider North East region, has built a reputation as being one of the best business tourism destinations in the country.
“The variety and quality of venues on offer has helped attract global conferences and events to the region, resulting in millions of pounds being spent in our local economy, and hundreds of jobs being supported.”
John McCabe from the North East England Chamber of Commerce, which represents over 2,500 businesses in the region, emphasised how important face to face meetings are to how business is conducted.
He explained: “We know from our own experience the tremendous buzz people are getting from being back out at events and meetings.
“It is so important we do everything we can to help everyone reconnect in person where possible. Well done to all of the partners for the Tyne to Get Back to Business promotion and also its emphasis on making everyone feel safe.”
Sarah Waddington from the IoD added: “A good, effective meeting can motivate a team or an entire organisation. Everyone emerges with ideas, inspiration and fresh connections.
“Live events are the platform that brings together IoD members to support one another and collaborate.”
And Lucy Winskell said: “The experience of the pandemic has reinforced how important face to face interactions are in the business community, and the North East LEP fully supports the Tyne To Get Back To Business campaign.”
Tyne To Get Back To Business is being led by destination marketing organisation NewcastleGateshead Initiative (NGI) in collaboration with industry body the Meetings Industry Association (mia) with funding from Newcastle City Council and Gateshead Council.
Those taking part range from large venues such as the Utilita Arena, NUFC, Sage Gateshead and Newcastle and Northumbria Universities to more boutique locations including The Common Room, Newcastle Castle, St Mary’s Heritage Centre and Blackfriars restaurant.
Paul Szomoru, Director of Business Events at NewcastleGateshead Initiative, said: “It’s fantastic to get this backing for the campaign from such well-respected organisations.
“As well as promoting the venues and the destination, Tyne To Get Back To Business aims to help the confidence of businesses to get back to holding in-person meetings and events which can be so crucial to generating contacts, goodwill and revenue.
“Having the support of business in our corner makes the campaign even stronger and we’re very grateful for their help.”
Further details on the campaign and the venues taking part can be found at: Tyne To Get Back To Business