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University ambassadors set to bring more conference business to NewcastleGateshead

NewcastleGateshead Convention Bureau and Newcastle University have re-launched the NewcastleGateshead Conference Ambassador Programme (CAP) in a bid to bring even more academic conferences, meetings and events to the area.

The CAP was first launched back in 2002 by NewcastleGateshead Convention Bureau and since its inception, has supported academics, researchers, medics and business professionals to bid for and stage over 130 events in NewcastleGateshead, worth over £75m to local economy.  

Professor Chris Day, pro-vice chancellor, research and innovation at Newcastle University and Sarah Stewart, chief executive at NewcastleGateshead Initiative unveiled plans for the two organisations to work together to further develop the programme and build on its success at a special event held at Newcastle University on Monday 3 November.  

Sarah Stewart, chief executive at NewcastleGateshead Gateshead Initiative, said: “Academic conferences make a sizeable contribution to the local and regional economies in North East England - 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.  

“After more than a decade of success with the CAP, we’re delighted to be teaming up with both the academics and their support teams at Newcastle University to attract even more conference business from the association meetings sector.  

“It’s a natural progression for the programme 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.”

Delegates at the launch event heard from Dr Penny Lovat, Senior Lecturer in Cellular Dermatology and Oncology at Newcastle University. Dr Lovat brought The British Society for Investigative Dermatology Meeting 2014 to Newcastle, with the help of the Conference Ambassador Programme. The event was highly successful, 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, said: “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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