Venues unite in £150m Covid fightback

NewcastleGateshead Convention Bureau works to attract major national and international business events to Newcastle and Gateshead, offering expert advice and support, established partnerships with local academia, business and industry, and extensive local knowledge. It is the business events brand/service arm of NewcastleGateshead Initiative (NGI). NCGB worked in partnership with the Meetings Industry Association (mia), the principal association supporting and growing the business meetings and events industry in the UK, and the keeper of AIM Secure – the UK’s only recognised quality standard for the sector.

The two aimed to deliver a project providing business support and training to 37 venues and hotels to gain the AIM Secure Accreditation from mia and to raise the profile of the destination, the project and the businesses taking part. AIM Secure recognises an organisation’s desire to demonstrate a professional approach to the meetings and events business. It highlights dedication to offering an environment that is healthy and hygienic as well as commitment to do the very best for both customers and staff. Our challenge was to work with both organisations and all participating venues to plan and deliver a four-month communication strategy to position NewcastleGateshead regionally and nationally as a safe place to host business events, and to drive business event enquiries to venues taking part in the project.

NewastleGateshead Tyne to Get Back to Business NewastleGateshead Tyne to Get Back to Business

Through a series of meetings with NGCB and mia members, we established the key themes and messages for the campaign. This was challenging at the time because of the emergence of the highly infectious new ‘Omicron’ variant of Covid-19 so we needed to build in flexibility into the messaging and our plans to allow for potential changes in Government guidelines and regulations. It was important to secure the buy-in and participation of the venues involved and to give them a sense of ownership of the campaign.

As a result, we engaged in a series of online meetings with the venues, outlining our approach to the campaign and giving a flavour of the kind of activations and promotions we were intending to carry out. We also got them to choose the name of the campaign brand – Tyne To Get Back To Business – from a range of options so that they had a real say in how the campaign was presented.

Results

Over an 8-week campaign period

962,950

total audience reach with 15 appearances across 12 different publications

8,000

impressions on social media

57% increase

on web traffic between March 2022 and May 2022

Highest

monthly business confirmed bookings value for 6 years

Highest

monthly business enquiry value for 6 years

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