Venues across Newcastle and Gateshead have united in a campaign to bounce back from Covid and recapture the £150 million a year business events and meetings market.
A total of 35 venues ranging from major hotel chains to historic buildings have joined forces to help build back event organisers’ confidence in staging meetings and events in Newcastle and Gateshead.
The campaign – called Tyne To Get Back To Business – has seen all 35 venues gain AIM Secure accreditation, the only Government-recognised accreditation for business meetings and events. The campaign will now take the message of Newcastle and Gateshead’s post-pandemic confidence across the country with a marketing and publicity campaign, led by the NewcastleGateshead Convention Bureau in collaboration with the Meetings Industry Association (mia).
Paul Szomoru, director of business events at NewcastleGateshead Initiative, said: “Before Covid struck, business events attracted almost one million people a year to Newcastle and Gateshead to attend meetings, conferences and exhibitions.
“It was a huge part of the visitor economy in the area, accounting for an estimated £150m in revenue every year, but it was virtually wiped out due to lockdowns and restrictions during the pandemic.
“Venues and hotels in Newcastle and Gateshead have faced a very challenging time over the past two years but they are determined to bounce back and that’s what Tyne To Get Back To Business is all about.
“As well as helping venues gain the AIM Secure accreditation, we are raising their profile to regional and national audiences, helping to build confidence and encourage events professionals to host business events in Newcastle and Gateshead.”
Kerrin MacPhie, chief executive of mia, said: “This fantastic initiative is typical of the determination and tenacity of the sector, its people and venues who operate within it.
“As we emerge from the pandemic, there is a real appetite for more face to face meetings and events, but there is still understandable caution amongst organisers about the welfare of their delegates.
“We’re delighted to be working with NewcastleGateshead Convention Bureau and the 35 venues on Tyne To Get Back To Business – it’s a really ground-breaking campaign that will act as a great case study to learn from.”
M&IT editor Paul Harvey is a journalist with more than 15 years of experience. He began his career in the local press, working for various titles across the north. Since joining M&IT in 2013, he has become a trusted and respected voice in the sector, championing event professionals and reporting on all aspects of the events industry for the brand.