Five major organisations - Greggs, Heineken, JML, MHW Global and D3 Events - held conferences and events at the North East venue, which is a registered charity, in January.
With 136 events due to have taken place by the end of March, Sage Gateshead is set to break its own record. Last year its conference and events programme led to £7.8 million being spent in the region.
JML is a household name and a world leader in retail screen promotions and TV shopping. Based at Port of Tyne in South Shields due its fast expanding international distribution, the company held a staff conference in Sage Gateshead’s ten-sided auditorium Sage Two.
Just three days later and the UK’s leading cider and beer business Heineken took over the iconic building with a major conference bringing together 600 people from across the country.
MHW Global, now part of Stantec, are specialists in water and natural resources, with one of their 35 global offices based on the Quayside. The UK national team held meetings and seminars in the venue’s primary function room, The Barbour Room.
Sage Gateshead also threw all its doors open to another North East-based firm and the UK’s largest bakery chain, Greggs. No stranger to supporting the international music centre, it already has its name above one of its 45 music education spaces – The Greggs Children’s Room. In January Greggs held its annual conference for staff and launched new products for 2017.
Ending the month on a high was D3 Events, who organised an action-packed staff training day for a global brand on their first visit to Sage Gateshead.
Lynn Ezard, Event Executive at Heineken, said: “There was a huge wow factor from outside with the lighting and the bridges and it’s such a unique building. It gave a real point of difference as opposed to some of the characterless boxes we have had to use in the past that are just purpose built for conferencing.
“The team were great to work with and always about or easy to get hold of. I know that we can be pretty high maintenance at events like this as we have really high standards and expectations, but we were always helped with a smile.
“The dressing rooms were a godsend too, as we always have bags, printers, documents, lanyards etc to sort out and we need to keep things safe and together. This was really useful space for our team and also gave us somewhere to escape in turn when we needed a bit of a breather or to catch up on phone calls.
“The coach spaces outside were a bonus, as dealing with coaches is always a headache. The location of the venue was also good too as we had choice of so many hotels within striking distance.”
Abigail Pogson, Managing Director at Sage Gateshead, said: “It has been a fantastic start to the year for our conference and events programme. The team works tirelessly to ensure clients receive the best experience and the building itself is always a hit as it so unique and offers such a range of spaces. Our main auditoriums, for example, are among the best in the world for acoustic quality.
“It’s always great to welcome local businesses here and their support is vital in ensuring we can continue to give people of all ages and abilities access to music in the region.”
Paul Szomoru, Head of Business Tourism at NewcastleGateshead Initiative, said: “Conferences and events are worth an estimated £104m to the local economy, a figure which continues to grow.
“Sage Gateshead is a key contributor to this and had a significant impact on our business tourism offering when it opened in 2004, allowing us to bid for a wider range of conferences and events. It is one of our crown jewels and remains one of the most inspiring venues in the UK.”