NewcastleGateshead Conference Ambassadors celebrated for success

Robert Hirt (centre) receiving recognition award on behalf of Anaerobic Protists
Last night (14 November 2016) the achievements of ambassadors who have gone above and beyond to bring conferences and events, worth an estimated £6.2m to the region, were celebrated in acknowledgement of their contribution to the NewcastleGateshead Conference Ambassador Programme (CAP).

CAP is designed to help academics, professionals, researchers and business leaders to bid and stage inspiring conferences in NewcastleGateshead. First launched sixteen years ago, a bespoke strand of the programme was re-launched in 2014 in partnership with Newcastle University.  

Over the two years 45 conferences have been confirmed, with over 6,000 delegates coming to the region contributing an estimated £6.2m to the local economy. CAP shines a light on Newcastle University’s academic expertise as well as positioning NewcastleGateshead as a leading conference destination.  

Paul Szomoru, head of business tourism at NewcastleGateshead Initiative, said: “Our conference ambassador programme has been a huge success and continues to thrive. We are truly grateful and value our ambassadors as without their support and hard work wouldn’t be able to bring these high calibre, international, events to the city.  

“Events such as these not only provide a huge economic boost to the region, but they promote our industry strengths, academic excellence and open knowledge sharing across the world. We look forward to continuing to develop this partnership with Newcastle University, securing international conferences, and profiling NewcastleGateshead as a leading conference destination.”  

The evening was hosted by Abi Kelly, Executive Director of Corporate Affairs at Newcastle University, who chairs the Conference Ambassador Programme, Sarah Stewart OBE,Chief Executive at NewcastleGateshead Initiative, and Caroline Reed, Conference Development Manager at NewcastleGateshead Initiative Abi Kelly said: “Hosting a conference is one of the best ways to promote Newcastle’s reputation as a world-class university, and showcase the university and our region. We are delighted to be working with NewcastleGateshead Convention Bureau and to be celebrating the success of the Conference Ambassador Programme and our academics who have delivered exceptional international conferences in Newcastle.”  

Over 470 academics are engaged in the programme. Key ambassadors were recognised on the night for their contribution and hard work in bidding for and bringing high profile academic conferences to the region. Those congratulated were:
·        Prof. Savvas Papagiannidis, Ruth Warwick & committe, in recognition of the efforts in hosting the 2016 Annual British Academy of Management (BAM), which welcomed over 900 delegates. ·        Newcastle University Institute for Ageing, for bringing a series of ageing focused conference to the region, in particular the 6th Alliance of Ageing. ·        Deborah Tweddle & committee, for bringing the joint SIOPEN (International Society of Paediatric Oncology European Neuroblastoma Group) Annual General Meeting and 4th Neuroblastoma Research symposium 2015. ·        Simon Pearce, for bringing the 64th British Thyroid Association annual meeting, and successfully bidding to win the European Thyroid Association conference for September 2018. ·         Robert Hirt – in recognition of his efforts to secure the Anaerobic Protists conference for August 2017. ·         Jennifer Richards – for successfully securing the English Shared Futures conference in 2017.  

In 2015 the Conference Ambassador Programmes success was recognised at the Association of British Professional Conference Organisers (ABPCO) Annual Awards for Excellence and was awarded Best Industry Partnership.

Pictured: Robert Hirt (centre) receiving recognition award on behalf of Anaerobic Protists from Abi Kelly (left) Executive Director of Corporate Affairs, Newcastle University, and Caroline Reed (right) Conference Development Manager at NewcastleGateshead Initiative