Two in one

Located at the heart of North East England, NewcastleGateshead has a proven track record in hosting international medical and science conferences; attracting leading figures in these fields from all over the world
The dramatic transformation and regeneration of the ‘twin cities’ over the past ten years means that today international conferences in NewcastleGateshead form part of a well established conference scene – with associations bringing their flagship annual conferences here, as well as smaller associations and charities holding their meetings in the twin cities.
NewcastleGateshead provides an inspiring backdrop for conferences of all kinds and sizes. There has been a £1bn development of NewcastleGateshead Quayside, complemented by the arrival of new stunning art and music venues, such as BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art and The Sage Gateshead – both ideal for larger association conferences; and the first tilting bridge in Europe, The Gateshead Millennium Bridge; all of which provide a stunning and unique setting for delegates.

Health & science conferences
Recent international conferences highlight how well established this market is in NewcastleGateshead. In September last year, the International Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine met at Newcastle University, with 120 delegates from as far afield as North America gathering to discuss findings and developments in this vital imaging technology with the potential to revolutionise medical research.
In October, the International Society for Priorities in Healthcare held its conference, attracting more than 500 delegates and highly-regarded speakers, such as the former Minister of Health for Botswana, Shiela Dnotshe Tlou.

Conference ambassadors
Academics and researchers and professors from Newcastle and Northumbria Universities are building a lasting legacy for the region through their roles as conference ambassadors, by proactively and passionately bidding to bring their professional association’s conference to NewcastleGateshead. The internationally-respected faculties at both universities have pioneered many ground-breaking technological initiatives in health and science and created a reputation of expertise in the region which reaches far beyond these shores.
Dr Olivier Sparagano at Newcastle University successfully hosted the British Society of Parasitology’s conference in NewcastleGateshead last year. The hugely successful event attracted 470 delegates from all over the world and had an economic impact to the destination of approximately £1m.
Professor David Manning, Professor of Soil Science at Newcastle University, brought the International Biochar Initiative conference to NewcastleGateshead last year. This major international association conference was extremely well attended with 250 delegates from as far afield as New Zealand and Australia descending on the twin cities. Many of the delegates extended their stay due to a desire to see more of the destination and wider region, including the countryside and coast, which is just 20 minutes’ away from the city’s heart.
Several large health and science-based conferences will take place in NewcastleGateshead throughout this year with 300 delegates visiting for the Society of Social Medicine Conference at Newcastle University in September. Also in September this year the Royal College of Nursing Society of Orthopaedic and Trauma Nursing Conference takes place at Newcastle Civic Centre, with 300 delegates set to attend.

Growth of business tourism
The growth in business tourism has generated the revenue to enable NewcastleGateshead to re-invest in the business tourist infrastructure. This has been seen through development and investment in quality products with a new Jurys Inn arriving next year – the second in NewcastleGateshead. Crowne Plaza and Staybridge Suites are all investing in NewcastleGateshead and there is more choice than ever for delegates and organisers alike.
Other hotels such as Thistle, Copthorne and Newcastle Marriot MetroCentre have been investing heavily in improved facilities. There has been a natural growth in new hotel product in NewcastleGateshead with 42 per cent increase in hotel beds in the last five years.

Excellent transport links domestically and internationally has aided this growth in international conferences. Both UK and European flights have increased over the past ten years as well as direct rail links, making NewcastleGateshead increasingly accessible. Newcastle International Airport is located just 25 minutes from the heart of the city centre and is served by a rapidly growing number of airlines, including the successful introduction of Emirates’ daily non-stop flight between Newcastle and Dubai, which last year celebrated its first birthday anniversary and transporting over 140,000 people, breaking all passenger expectations. It has opened up a whole new audience of potential business tourists travelling for international conferences, from places such as South-East Asia, Australia and New Zealand, the Far East, Africa and the Middle East.
Excellent pedestrian areas and good public transport links, such as the Tyne and Wear Metro system, which has recently attracted £300m of investment, make getting round the twin cities a pleasant and easy experience. NewcastleGateshead was named the easiest city in the UK to get around, according to readers of Condé Nast’s Traveller magazine.

Science expertise
Unique new conference venues set the twin cities apart. Centre for Life has raised the profile of this destination through its mix of unique conferencing space; its visitor attraction and its world-renowned Institute of Human Genetics. And the twin cities’ strength in science is borne out by the emergence of Newcastle Science City.  
The development of public/private partnership Newcastle Science City could potentially transform NewcastleGateshead into the premier science centre for Europe. Scientia08, a recent conference profiling this new venture, took place at Newcastle United Football Club, overlooking the former brewery site where the science central village will be built by 2011.
And this year the MS Society will hold their annual flagship convention here in NewcastleGateshead: MS Life NewcastleGateshead. Their decision came in no little part due to the excellent accessibility of the destination and the host venue – The Sage Gateshead – which received the Best Disabled Facilities accolade at last year’s Meetings and Incentive Travel Magazine Awards.
NewcastleGateshead Convention Bureau worked closely with the MS Society highlighting the key strengths of the destination – its warmth, friendliness, compactness and accessibility and stunning new venues.

Convention Bureau
NewcastleGateshead Convention Bureau offers a bespoke package of services that include warmth and friendliness, and expert local knowledge to help conference organisers plan their major gathering in the twin cities. In a nutshell, you have an entire city at the end of the phone.
The Bureau works closely with some 90 venues, hotels and conference service providers across North East England. The Bureau offers free support and impartial expert advice in organising major conferences, venue finding and assists event organisers when they are hosting meetings, conferences and events in and around NewcastleGateshead.

For more information
To discuss bringing your next event to NewcastleGateshead, call the Convention Bureau on 0191 243 8819.

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