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NewcastleGateshead ambassadors bring in £6m in 2 years

Members of conference ambassador programme thanked in gala dinner

Pictured: Abi Kelly, executive director of corporate affairs at Newcastle University

The NewcastleGateshead Conference Ambassador Programme (CAP) has revealed its members brought in £6 million worth of events to the region since its relaunch two years ago.

About 45 conferences have been confirmed after a bespoke strand of the programme was relaunched in 2014 in partnership with Newcastle University, contributing an estimated £6.2m to the local economy. CAP was first launched 16 years ago.

The success was celebrated in an evening was hosted by Abi Kelly, executive director of corporate affairs at Newcastle University and chair of CAP, Sarah Stewart OBE, chief executive at NewcastleGateshead Initiative and Caroline Reed, conference development manager at NewcastleGateshead Initiative. 

Kelly said: “Hosting a conference is one of the best ways to promote Newcastle’s reputation as a world-class university, and showcase the university and our region. We are delighted to be working with NewcastleGateshead Convention Bureau and to be celebrating the success of the conference ambassador programme and our academics who have delivered exceptional international conferences in Newcastle.”

Paul Szomoru, head of business tourism at NewcastleGateshead Initiative, said: “Our conference ambassador programme has been a huge success and continues to thrive. We are truly grateful and value our ambassadors as without their support and hard work wouldn’t be able to bring these high calibre, international, events to the city. 

“Events such as these not only provide a huge economic boost to the region, but they promote our industry strengths, academic excellence and open knowledge sharing across the world. We look forward to continuing to develop this partnership with Newcastle University, securing international conferences, and profiling NewcastleGateshead as a leading conference destination.”

More than 470 academics are engaged in the programme. Key ambassadors were recognised on the night for their contribution and hard work in bidding for and bringing high profile academic conferences to the region. Those congratulated were: 

•        Prof. Savvas Papagiannidis, Ruth Warwick and committee, in recognition of the efforts in hosting the 2016 Annual British Academy of Management (BAM), which welcomed more than 900 delegates
•        Newcastle University Institute for Ageing for bringing a series of ageing focused conference to the region, in particular the 6th Alliance of Ageing
•        Deborah Tweddle and committee for bringing the joint SIOPEN (International Society of Paediatric Oncology European Neuroblastoma Group) Annual General Meeting and 4th Neuroblastoma Research symposium 2015
•        Simon Pearce for bringing the 64th British Thyroid Association annual meeting and successfully bidding to win the European Thyroid Association conference for September 2018
•         Robert Hirt – in recognition of his efforts to secure the Anaerobic Protists conference for August 2017
•         Jennifer Richards – for successfully securing the English Shared Futures conference in 2017

In 2015 CAP’s success was recognised at the Association of British Professional Conference Organisers (ABPCO) Annual Awards for Excellence and was awarded Best Industry Partnership.

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