The region represented 63% of the value of all business tourism in North East England, worth £378m in total, according to research commissioned by One North East.
More recently, the twin cities have hosted more than a million delegates in the past fortnight for the Royal College of Nursing Annual International Nursing Research Conference and The Obstetric Anaesthetists' Association convention, worth more than £1m to the regional economy.
It has also won its bid to host the Liberal Democrat conference for 2012 and has previously hosted Labour and the Conservative conferences.
Newcastle Gateshead Convention Bureau head of business tourism Jessica Roberts said the bureau "experienced strong levels of new enquiries and confirmed business during 2009 and this trend looks set to continue during 2010".
Newcastle Gateshead attracted an estimated 1.6 million conference delegates in the year ended January 2010, accounting for 57% of the total number of delegates visiting the region, the research revealed.
Roberts said: "With further investment and improved infrastructure, business tourism can play an even greater role in the region's economic prosperity. Our present lack of large-scale, flat-floor exhibition space means bigger conventions are sometimes turned away."
Establishing an international conference and exhibition centre in Newcastle Gateshead would be a great economic driver for the region, she added.
The research project was supported by the four sub-regional area tourism partnerships including Visit Tees Valley, Visit County Durham, Tourism Tyne and Wear and Northumberland Tourism.
Newcastle Gateshead has previously hosted events including:
- British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy in November 2009
- National Pain Management Programme Conference in September 2009
- Society for Social Medicine in September 2009
- Multiple Sclerosis Society in June 2009
- British Trauma Society in May 2009
- Conference of the Consultant Orthodontists Group in March 2009
- National Point of Contact Ultrasound Conference in November 2008
- International Society for Priorities in Healthcare in October 2008
- International Nanoindentation Conference in July 2008
- British Society for Parasitology in April 2008
- Royal College of Psychiatrists in March 2008