Adapting and Innovating in 2020

Schedule of events

We are running a series of webinars looking at how the tourism industry is adapting and innovating in 2020.

Sign up to receive email alerts as new webinars in the series are announced.


Thursday 11 June, 2 – 3pm

Digitising in the cultural sector – necessity and opportunity

We’ll be joined by Sarah Younas, Digital Producer at Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums, who will talk about how their venues have moved online during lockdown, finding the right online content to engage an audience and plans for reopening.

Rebecca Ball, Creative Director at Sunderland Culture, will discuss the interplay between digital and physical engagement, and the development of its new app – Art Crush. The app is designed to help challenge perceptions by enabling users to quickly identify pieces of art that they like and dislike in a light-hearted way.



Tuesday 9 June, 2 – 3pm

Adapt to survive

Join us for a short briefing on Tuesday 9 June where we’ll draw from McKinsey, the World Health Organization and others to share information about the emerging business landscape we find ourselves in, as well as measures that you can immediately put into place after the call to better position your organisation.

The focus will be on the next 90-days; financial measures you must take and the considerations to give to pivoting your offerings quickly.

Presenters will be Laura and Damian Cook. Between them they have over 40 years of business turnaround and resilience experience. Both are already working separately and together today with a number of affected businesses and will share the action plans underway.


GX Innovation Boot Camp

This Innovation Boot Camp takes businesses through a short, structured programme to strengthen recovery and maximise the success of innovation development.

• A series of three two-hour online group sessions delivered in an online workshop style.
• The focus is on helping participants to develop and execute their innovation opportunities.
• Facilitated by industry-proven innovation experts.
• Support between sessions provided by GX Project staff.
• For SMEs of up to 250 employees with ambitions to grow through development of new products or services.



Public Health Briefing

Hear the latest update on the public health situation in the region. Alice Wiseman, Director of Public Health at Gateshead Council, gives a briefing on the current public health situation in Gateshead and how the evidence being gathered is informing decision making at a local level.

Alice discusses the position that we are in now and areas of concern and challenges moving forward.


Opportunities and challenges with the ageing audience

Nic Palmarini, Director of the National Innovation Centre for Ageing (NICA), and Abigail Pogson, Chief Executive at Sage Gateshead, discuss what the current sentiment might be towards travel, which tech and digital experiences are engaging an ageing audience, and, moving forward, how leisure and travel habits may change and what businesses can do to adapt and innovate for future visitors.


What Big Data is telling us about the future of tourism

As the tourism industry has responded to the impact of the Coronavirus, data and insight has been critical in helping with decision making and strategic thinking. A number of regional companies are at the forefront of using data gathering to support and inform the future of our towns and cities and their tourism offering.

Hear from The Urban Observatory and Wordnerds about what big data is telling us and what the future might look like.


The Economic Picture from the Bank of England

On the 7th May 2020 the Bank of England published this quarter’s Monetary Policy Report, the first since the UK lockdown.

In this webinar, Gareth Harrison, Deputy Agent for the Bank of England in the North East, talked through the figures and what they mean for the economy and North East businesses.

The Monetary Policy Report (May 2020) can be found here

Cashflow planning and funding opportunities

In this webinar, Stephanie Davidson from UNW discussed cashflow planning and what funding opportunities are currently available. Hear how businesses can adapt their forecasts, why this is so important and additional considerations that need to be taken.

Stephanie also talked through the government funding initiatives, such as CBILS, that are available and what other funding is out there.


How to set up and market a successful ecommerce business

Experts from Leaf Grow and RetroFuzz as they discuss how to set up an ecommerce business.

The webinar covers the ease, opportunity and do’s and don’ts of setting up and marketing a successful ecomm business. From Shopify store set up, to fulfilment and Facebook marketing, this will be a 360 view of everything you need to know about ecommerce.


Contracts, managing supply chain issues and the role of directors

Learn about the legal implications of event cancellations, managing supply chains and the role of directors in these financially unstable times.

Ward Hadaway also discuss the role and responsibilities of directors in these extremely unstable financial times.


The latest update on furlough

Roisin Patton from Ward Hadaway gives an update on furlough. She talks to us about what has changed in the last couple of weeks and how this could impact you or your business.


Responding to challenges and plans for restarting

Simon Laing, founder of CBK’s Adventure Co., and Sally Dixon, assistant director at Beamish Museum, discuss how their businesses are responding to the current climate and how they are planning for the future.


The New Tourism Landscape

On this webinar Sarah Green and Ian Thomas from NewcastleGateshead Initiative discussed the issues that tourism businesses are seeking to overcome and what the new normal might look like.

Hear about insights being gathered direct from the industry, the challenges being faced and the opportunities moving forward.


Positive Ways to Keep Your Audience Engaged & Crisis Comms

This webinar looked at the importance of communications during covid-19.

Whether you’re a software company or tourism business, learn how to engage with your audiences, remain visible and communicate difficult messages from communication experts.


Maintaining Employee Engagement

Therese Liddle from NRG shares advice on how to keep both existing employees and future talent engaged. She provides practical advice on how companies can manage and continue their recruitment process during this time.


If you would like to be involved in any of the webinars or have any particular subjects you would like covering, please contact Finlay Magowan

The GX project, led by NewcastleGateshead Initiative, provides a range of opportunities to North-East SMEs and scaleups before, during and after the Great Exhibition of the North. The project is delivered by NewcastleGateshead Initiative in partnership with the Innovation SuperNetwork.

With a focus on innovation the project was originally designed to enable local businesses to benefit from the unique platform provided by the Exhibition in 2018, and it continues to capitalise on collaborations between the Smart Specialisation, Education and Cultural sectors through a programme of intensive business support running until December 2020.

This project is part-funded by the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.