NewcastleGateshead Convention Bureau and Newcastle University have re-launched the NewcastleGateshead Conference Ambassador Programme (CAP).
The relaunch is part of the region’s renewed bid to bring more academic conferences, meetings and events to the area.
The CAP was first launched back in 2002 by the bureau and has, since its inception, supported academics, researchers, medics and business professionals to bid for and stage over 130 events in NewcastleGateshead, worth over £75m to the local economy.
Professor Chris Day, Pro-Vice Chancellor, Research and Innovation at Newcastle University and Sarah Stewart, Chief Executive at NewcastleGateshead Initiative, unveiled new plans for the two organisations to work together to further develop the programme, at a special event held at Newcastle University recently.
“Academic conferences make a sizeable contribution to the local and regional economies in North East England,” said Stewart. “In 2013 NewcastleGateshead hosted 14 international conferences, which attracted 6,300 delegates, including the International Ethological Conference ‘Behaviour 2013’, which alone contributed £1.4m of delegate spend to the local economy.”
Stewart described the new boost for using conference ambassadors as “a natural progression given that we’ve recently aligned our business tourism strategy with the work of NewcastleGateshead’s inward investment team, targeting three key sectors; Science & Healthcare (Life Sciences), Marine & Offshore Energy and Creative and Digital – all areas where we have academic excellence at our universities”.
Dr Penny Lovat, Senior Lecturer in Cellular Dermatology and Oncology at Newcastle University, spoke at the relaunch about bringing The British Society for Investigative Dermatology Meeting 2014 to Newcastle, with the help of the CAP. That event was highly successful, Dr Lovat noted, initiating new collaborative ventures, enhancing training and career development for delegates and bringing an estimated £20,000 to the local economy.
Professor Chris Day, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Faculty of Medical Science, added: “Hosting a conference is one of the best ways to promote Newcastle’s reputation as a world-class civic university and showcase the university and our region so we are delighted to be working with NewcastleGateshead Convention Bureau to help bring international conferences to Newcastle.
“By working more closely together, we can support our academics, professionals and researchers to build on the work already happening in this area, creating even more successful bids and then staging inspiring and rewarding conferences.”
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