Representatives from NewcastleGateshead are heading to Barcelona to showcase the area as a leading destination for business tourism.

NewcastleGateshead Convention Bureau and Sage Gateshead are heading to ibtm world at the end of November – the leading global show in the meetings, incentive, conference and exhibitions (MICE) industry.

Joining the team at VisitEngland to exhibit on the ‘England’ stand, Sage Gateshead will be exhibiting for the first time, while NewcastleGateshead Convention Bureau is returning to the show following their last presence in 2015. Both organisations will be promoting NewcastleGateshead, building on its growing global reputation as a destination for the MICE industry.

Paul Szomoru, head of business tourism at NewcastleGateshead Convention Bureau, said: “It’s important as a destination that we are visible to international buyers and that we raise our profile alongside other UK destinations at events such as ibtm world. With the recent announcement that plans are in place for the development of a brand-new international conference and exhibition centre on Gateshead Quays, as well as upcoming major events taking place across the destination including the Great Exhibition of the North in 2018 and World Transplant Games 2019, there is no better time for us to spread the word internationally, keeping NewcastleGateshead at the forefront of people’s minds when looking for a destination to host meetings, conferences or events.”

Anna Eyres, head of conferences and events at Sage Gateshead said: “Sage Gateshead are really excited to be partnering with NewcastleGateshead Convention Bureau and VisitEngland in exhibiting at this year’s ibtm world trade show. As the North East of England’s leading conference and exhibition venue, the team at Sage Gateshead are looking forward to meeting potential new clients as well as meeting up with those who we have worked with before. We are well recognised in the international conference industry and hope to be able to build on these relationships.”

Earlier this year it was announced that a new £200m, state-of-the-art entertainment arena, and conference and exhibition centre is set for North East England.

Gateshead Council, in partnership with award-winning property developers Ask Real Estate and leading investment and development manager PATRIZIA UK, are working with SMG Europe, a world leader in venue management to bring a 12,500-seat arena, and conference and exhibition facilities featuring 10,300sqm of space to Gateshead Quays.

Paul added: “While we consistently ‘punch above our weight’ as a destination, a large flat floor space capable of holding exhibition and dinners for over 1,000 people will enable us to attract major international conventions. We’ve always had the ambition and the strength of voice, and the announcement of plans to develop a dedicated conference and events space on Gateshead Quays will help us fulfil our ambitions to cement NewcastleGateshead’s place on the international map.”

NewcastleGateshead’s conference and events industry is a major contributor to the local visitor economy, which is currently worth £1.9bn. NewcastleGateshead Convention Bureau, based at NewcastleGateshead Initiative, markets the area to national and international conference and event organisers, attracting a high proportion of high-spending business visitors.

NewcastleGateshead Convention Bureau and Sage Gateshead will be exhibiting on the VisitEngland stand, G35, at ibtm world in Barcelona between 28-30 November.