NewcastleGateshead Initiative has made Paul Szomoru’s position as Head of Business Tourism at the destination management and marketing organisation permanent after nine months in an interim role.
Szomoru has taken the helm at NewcastleGateshead convention bureau following six years at NewcastleGateshead Initiative in various business development roles.
“In the last nine months we have worked hard to focus on the destination’s key strengths and have aligned our proactive activity with that of our Inward Investment team,” he says. “This is an exciting time for the bureau and I’m thrilled to take on the role permanently.”
NewcastleGateshead Initiative Chief Executive, Sarah Stewart, said: “Paul has done a great job leading the bureau and developing the organisation’s business plan for business tourism.”
NewcastleGateshead has a track record for attracting medical and scientific conferences as a result of the convention bureau’s work with its Conference Ambassador Programme.
Throughout the summer months, the Association of Upper Gastrointestinal Surgeons (AUGIS), the International Ethological Conference (Behaviour 2013), and the International Colour Association (AIC) have all held major meetings in the conurbation.
Next week Sage Gateshead will host the European Academy of Childhood Disability’s annual conference (10-12 October) worth an estimated £400,000 to the destination.
Overall this year, major events attracted by the convention bureau have contributed more than £7.7m to the local economy.
Since stepping in to lead in January, Szomoru has set about growing the bureau’s activity in alignment with the organisation’s work to attract and sustain inward investment into NewcastleGateshead, focussing on three sectors:
1. Science and healthcare (bio-medicine, stem cell technology, ageing and health, health and social care)
2. Offshore and marine technology (energy, environment and sustainability)
3. Creative and digital (digital technology – including gaming, cultural and arts management, commercial creative, and knowledge intensive business services).
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