Conference Cambridge, the free venue-finding service for the University, Colleges, hotels and other unique properties in and around Cambridge, has just hosted this year’s meeting of the prestigious Great Ambassador Networking Group (GANG2014).
It was attended by 40 delegates representing 22 destinations - from Aberdeen in the north to Jersey in the south - from convention bureaux, universities, professional conference organisers and other venues.
Their role is to help those in business and academia put forward a strong case for bringing their association or society’s events to the city or venue they represent. Ambassador Programmes are proving successful in cities throughout the UK – including Cambridge - where they are bringing events, visitors and significant economic benefits.
Held at Murray Edwards College, GANG2014 included presentations on working with professional conference organisers by Nicola McGrane from Conference Partners; an introduction to ICCA’s new ‘big data’ research tool by Marco van Itterzon; an update on a recent survey into international ambassador programmes by Sue Beverley and Tony Rogers and a discussion with Simon Gidman from VisitEngland about adding value from a adding value from a national perspective to programmes.
Delegates also enjoyed a private tour of Pepy’s Library and drinks reception at Magdalene College, dinner at the Varsity Hotel and accommodation at Jesus College.
Judith Sloane, Deputy Manager at Conference Cambridge said: “GANG started because a group of Ambassador Programme Managers recognised that ambassador programmes per se were not featured at any of the industry’s educational events. It’s a great example of the industry coming together, recognising a gap and doing something about it!
“We were delighted to host this year’s networking event, to welcome delegates and to see more universities getting involved. Everyone was very positive about coming to Cambridge and enjoyed visiting different venues. Established programme managers were also happy to share their knowledge and expertise with destinations and venues that are just getting started and the openness and generosity of the group in sharing the knowledge was very refreshing!”
Speakers and Steering Group for GANG2014, left to right: Judith Sloane, Deputy Manager Conference Cambridge; Tony Rogers, Tony Rogers Conferences and Events; Sue Beverley, CHS Group; Marco van Itterzon, ICCA; Andrew Pratt, VisitAberdeen; Caralyn Overs, Birmingham Convention Bureau; Elaine Miller, Marketing Edinburgh; Nicola McGrane, Conference Partners; Hazel Kennedy, Marketing Liverpool; Paul Szomoru, NewcastleGateshead Convention Bureau; Natalie Bowman, NewcastleGateshead Convention Bureau; Simon Gidman, VisitEngland and Anthony Cassidy, VisitManchester.