1 September 2020
Two leading universities, a Premier League football club, two museums, an art gallery, a 900 year old castle, a national train operator and many other venues, hotels, and events support service providers from across North East England have come together to create a new campaign to help support the recovery of the business events industry.
Organised by NewcastleGateshead Convention Bureau, #ItsTyneToMeetAgain has been launched today (1 September) to engage and inspire audiences, and build confidence to encourage organisers and reassure them that they can start planning again.
Government had given a provisional green light for larger business events to restart from 1 October, however this is now being reviewed due to the rise in infections this week. Meetings of up to 30 people have been allowed since 1 August, and are exempt from the 14 September law changes as they are work/education and not social gatherings. Meetings for up to 30 people are allowed in permitted venues if social distancing can be maintained and the venue can demonstrate it has followed the COVID-19 guidance.
NewcastleGateshead Convention Bureau is encouraging partners and stakeholders to get behind #ItsTyneToMeetAgain. The grassroots social media led campaign, focuses on employees in the sector creating video and photography on smartphones – showing off their events spaces, the warm and friendly people working there and the measures they have taken to adapt to national guidelines to ensure safety.
Business events attract close to a million people each year, including business leaders, professionals, academics and researchers, boosting the profile and reputation of NewcastleGateshead both nationally and internationally. The business events industry generates in the region of £150 million a year of much needed revenue for the businesses of NewcastleGateshead and supports thousands of jobs.
All the businesses taking part in the campaign, which include Newcastle and Northumbria Universities, Newcastle United Football Club, LNER and Newcastle Castle have gained the VisitBritain “We’re Good To Go” industry accreditation, demonstrating that they have taken measures to be covid secure.
Paul Szomoru, Director of Business Event at NewcastleGateshead Convention Bureau, said: “Like much of the tourism economy, business events have been completely decimated by the coronavirus pandemic. Now that the industry has been given the green light for October, it’s imperative we work together to build confidence with event organisers, to show them that venues and support service providers in NewcastleGateshead and North East England are ready to welcome them back and to host brilliant events in a safe environment.
“It’s fantastic to see the business events community come together to show solidarity and to create the content for It’s Tyne To Meet Again. The campaign has been launched with no budget, with most of the content created and edited on smartphones by frontline workers. NewcastleGateshead Convention Bureau will be broadcasting on our social media channels, as will the partners who have taken part, and we’re hoping others will like and share so we can maximise the impact of this collective effort.”
Event organisers plan many months or even years in advance, so although business events can resume from 1 October, conferences, meetings and exhibitions will not start taking place again straight away.
NewcastleGateshead Convention Bureau is urging the whole business events community to support the campaign which is targeted at event planners, agents and professional conference organisers.
Lisa Crocker, General Manager of Staybridge Suites and co-chair of the North East Hotels Association, added: “Hotels and venues across North East England rely on business events. We love hosting meetings, conferences and events which see us welcoming and hosting business travellers from across the country and the world. It’s Tyne To Meet Again is a wonderful initiative and opportunity for the business community to come together and do something proactive – we are stronger collectively than on our own.”
For more information on the campaign visit www.MeetNewcastleGateshead.com/Its-Tyne-To-Meet-Again