Stadium of Light
Tom Keighley

Member Article

Former Newcastle United and Sunderland AFC stars sell North East conferencing sector

Two North East football legends will come face-to-face on the foosball table in a Tyne-Wear derby rematch to market the region’s conferencing prowess to international businesspeople.

Former Newcastle United player John Beresford will take on Sunderland legend Jimmy Montgomery in a game on the NewcastleGateshead stand at the International Confex in London in March.

The conference will host delegates from around the world and will feature big names in the industry such as Eventbrite and CrowdCompass.

Paul Szomoru, head of Business Tourism at NewcastleGateshead Convention Bureau, said: “In the North East we love our football and with two top-flight clubs just a few miles apart, derby matches are always met with anticipation and excitement.

“This year, we’re delighted to be joined by the conferencing arms of both Newcastle United and Sunderland football clubs at Confex and that the clubs have been able to help us deliver such a fun football themed piece of entertainment.

“International Confex is an important opportunity for us to profile the North East to global conference organisers. We’ve been attending for over a decade, taking some of the region’s top venues with us and attracting important high profile conferences to the region.

“At last year’s event we were able to secure a 3 day conference for 400 delegates at St. James Park – a fantastic win for us. We’re very much looking forward to welcoming the Physiological Society’s annual Topic Meeting in September and are excited about what opportunities Confex 2014 has in store for the destination.”

The North East contingent will include events firm R&B Group; Sage Gateshead; Newcastle United Football Club (Sodexo); Sunderland Association Football Club; Hilton NewcastleGateshead and Crowne Plaza Newcastle.

NewcastleGateshead’s new Meetings and Events Guide will also launch to conference planners at the show, having twice won the Meetings Industry Marketing Award for Best Brochure (2010, 2012). The new guide is designed with the Convention Bureau’s successful ‘Experiences Delegates Love’ campaign in mind and has maintained its most popular features; integrated QR codes, testimonials and a destination user guide.

Paul Szomoru added: “We’ve been blown away by the positive response to our ‘Experiences Delegates Love’ campaign – it really tapped into the personality of NewcastleGateshead and has helped us reach conference organisers in a new and interesting way.

“We hosted a fam trip on the same theme in July, pinned around the destination’s EAT! Festival, from which we’ve secured important business for the place.

“It made perfect sense to extend the delegate experiences theme into the new Meetings and Events Guide, and we hope it proves to be as popular and as successful with conference organisers as its predecessors.”

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Tom Keighley .

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