I’ve been thinking a lot recently about the elements that come
together to make a conference a great success; state-of-the-art
facilities, expert event management, an engaging programme, key note
speakers with clout, the ideal location?
And while all of this
is important in achieving the overall aims of any event, I feel that a
consistent gauge for measuring the success of any meeting or conference
lies in the volume and quality of delegates attracted, and the level to
which they engage with conference content. What use is an event without
an interested audience?
A vibrant, attractive and interesting
location to hold an event can increase delegate satisfaction
significantly and help drive event success by attracting key audiences
in the first instance. As a destination, NewcastleGateshead has a real
strength in that our largest venues aren’t purpose-built shells on the
outside of town.
So how do you help to keep delegates interested
outside of the seminar room, and what role do event social programmes
and the personality of a place play in creating an overall successful
A survey of delegates conducted by our convention bureau
in December 2012 found that 87 per cent would return to the destination
with friends or family for a leisure visit, with respondents describing
the place as ’friendly, vibrant, fun’ and ’bustling, confident, cool’.
the delegate feedback we’ve seen, it’s clear that place, its
personality, location and social facets play an incredibly important
part in ensuring the delivery of a successful event.
to find a way to bring these experiences together to help event
organisers to think about how NewcastleGateshead can enhance the
enjoyment delegates take away from their next big event. So we created
our ‘experiences your delegates will love’ campaign, bringing together
unique activities to inspire organisers to create delegate programmes
that will enhance the main conference schedule.
So far we’ve had
some brilliant responses to the campaign, with organisers really
engaging with the ideas we’ve pulled together – from shooting and
starring in a film to enjoying a medieval banquet in the UKs oldest
dining room. To extend the campaign further, we’re taking some of our
unique experiences to International Confex later this month, including
EAT! NewcastleGateshead – a festival of adventures in food – where we’ll
host a guess the mystery ingredient ‘Cake City Challenge’.
all of this in mind, I think the key to ensuring conferences and events
are truly memorable is to ensure they become part of the place
throughout their duration. Placing them in the heart of a destination
and incorporating local flavours, its sights, sounds and traditions
ensures delegates not only fall in love with the host destination, they
also fall in love with your events and will be sure to register for your
next big conference!
Any comments? Email firstname.lastname@example.org