The BVEP is an umbrella organisation representing leading trade and professional organisations, government agencies and other significant influencers in the business visits and events sector.
Hosted by the NewcastleGateshead Convention Bureau, the board meeting was followed by an educational trip showcasing NewcastleGateshead as an exciting destination for major business events.
BVEP board members were welcomed at the rooftop viewing platform of the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, where they could see the 15-acre Gateshead Quays site, a £250 million investment site that will see a new international convention and exhibition centre open in 2023. It will be located next to Sage Gateshead, an international music, conference and event venue designed by renowned architect Norman Foster.
To showcase the strength of the city’s food and drink offer, the board experienced dinner at Blackfriars, the UK’s oldest dining hall dating back to 1239, where they were served a locally sourced and themed menu in the cookery school.
The educational visit also included a tour of Newcastle Helix, a landmark 24-acre hybrid city quarter development, specifically designed for tech and innovation. Home to the UK National Innovation Centre for Ageing, the National Innovation Centre for Data and the National Centre for Energy Systems Integration as well as some excellent conference and event facilities.
Chair of BVEP, Michael Hirst OBE, said: “We were impressed with everything we saw on our trip, NewcastleGateshead truly is a remarkable destination for business events.
“The investment and regeneration being carried out across NewcastleGateshead and in particular the Helix site, is certainly something all those connected with it can be proud of.
“There’s no doubt the addition of these facilities and the future completion of Gateshead Quays, will position the city as a world class destination for innovation, research and major events.”
Paul Szomoru, director of business events at NewcastleGateshead Convention Bureau, said: “It was an honour to be able to showcase NewcastleGateshead to the BVEP board and for them to witness first-hand the significant investment which is being carried out across our region.
“This will act as a catalyst to an already growing and fantastic conference, events and delegate experience offering. During the trip we wanted board members to experience this with an in-depth tour of Newcastle Helix which is home to two national centres of innovation for aging and data.
“The buildings we visited on the Helix site included; Urban Sciences Building, a living laboratory and an exemplar of world-class research and education in digital technology, The Biosphere which is a unique eco-system of commercial laboratory space and The Core, home to a mix of knowledge-based, research-led businesses.
“We’re very proud of our business events offering which can only be achieved through our fantastic partnerships with hotels, venues, restaurants and attractions.”