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CONTENTS 5 FOREWORD An article of faith

Philip Long, Director of V&A Dundee, on how the new venue will interact with the events sector. Cover story, page 22 Picture: Mary Turner



17 SUMMIT SPECIAL IMEX 18 CULTURE Burns Night Aberdeen’s events economy



EDITOR Kevin O’Sullivan 07834 404615 kevin@eventsbase.co.uk

26 BUSINESS EVENTS Joining the dots…the Australian way

DEPUTY EDITOR William Peakin 07795 323091 will@eventsbase.co.uk

31 DELIVERY Glasgow Convention Bureau E Awards The Meetings Show National Trust for Scotland NOEA

DESIGN & PRODUCTION Palmer Watson www.palmerwatson.com


32 CLASSIFIEDS The Scottish Events Directory

Hamish Miller 0131 561 7344 hamish@eventsbase.co.uk

44 EDUCATION & TECHNOLOGY Incredible Impacts, ICE, Actavo


46 FIVE MINUTES WITH Kim Wilkinson

Shona McLean 0131 561 7347 shona@eventsbase.co.uk

47 POLICY Australian Government





Annual subscriptions from £18 Subscribe online at www.eventsbase.co.uk Call Shona McLean 0131 561 7347 Or email subscriptions@eventsbase.co.uk

You are in great company. The only magazine that talks directly to the Scottish market. Call Hamish Miller 0131 561 7344 Or email hamish@eventsbase.co.uk

The only show for festival and events professionals in Scotland. Call Judith Wilson 0131 561 7345 Or email judith@eventit.org.uk



BOOK FOR 2018 www.eventit.org.uk

Hamish Miller 0131 561 7 344 hamish@eventsbase.co.uk

CONTACT US: Write a letter: EventsBase The Creative Exchange 29 Constitution St Edinburgh EH6 7BS

EVENTIT DIRECTOR Judith Wilson judith@eventit.org.uk 0131 561 7345 www.eventit.org

ONLINE All rights reserved. Neither this publication or part of it may be stored, reproduced or transmitted in any form, electronically, photocopied or recorded without the prior permission of Eventsbase magazine. Eventsbase magazine is published by Canongate Communications Limited, The Creative Exchange, 29 Constitution St, Edinburgh, EH6 7BS. Printed by the Stephens & George Print Group, Merthyr Tydfil CF48 3TD Where opinion is expressed it is that of the author and does not necessarily coincide with that of the Editor or Publisher. We verify information to the best of our ability but do not accept responsibility for any loss for reliance on any information published. All letters must include writer’s full name and address, home telephone and may be edited for purposes of clarity or space.

www.eventsbase.co.uk www.eventit.org www.futurescot.com

TYPOGRAPHY Acta by Dino Dos Santos DSType Foundry www.dstype.com Flama by Mario Feliciano www.felicianotypefoundry.com Cover photograph: Ross Fraser McLean




An article of faith

ince the mid-1990s, governments and business have been obsessed with targets. Whether it’s exams for kids, health waiting times or emissions, no industry can seemingly operate without hitting some magical number which demonstrates to shareholders that it’s doing a good job. The global business events industry is no different. In spite of a growing consensus that the MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences & Exhibitions) industry is worth so much more than the proverbial ‘bums on seats’, it still gets evaluated on the basis of its immediate economic impact. There are other ways of doing this, though, as two leading academics from the University of Technology Sydney, Professors Carmel Foley and Deborah Edwards, will testify at the inaugural Business Events Leaders’ Summit, hosted by EventsBase, at the Scottish Event Campus in Glasgow on March 21st 2018. The academics’ work is essentially about taking a story-led approach to measuring the incalculable benefits conferences can generate for society, maybe five or ten years down the line; how a meeting helped develop the health community’s response to AIDS, or how conferences have become essential platforms for academics learning about the way cancer cells communicate. All of these benefits are defined as being ‘long tail’ and they are virtually impossible to measure in traditional metrics such as delegate spend. However, it is this approach the MICE sector must take to convince

governments about the value proposition of the industry in future years, and why it is important to align our host city destinations more closely with the economic sectors in which they are specialists. You might, in that sense, think it’s an article of faith rather than anything that can be empirically measured and you’d be right. But far worse things have been done in the name of faith, so here endeth that particular lesson. I visited Dundee last month to take a look at the new V&A Museum of Design that looms large on the banks of the Tay, and which appears at first sight to be a giant ocean liner that is about to launch itself into the river. It is ‘statement’ architecture at its best; it’s a deliberate assault to the senses and is delightfully incongruous in its otherwise fairly uniform surrounds. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to look inside but hopefully will be able to grab a sneak peak before the launch date; however, what I will say is that the ambition of the building seems only to be matched by the enthusiasm of the city to carve itself a better future. I was also impressed – and don’t tell this to Aberdeen where I spent time in November – by the fact that the new waterfront infrastructure work appears to be so well connected to the beating heart of the city in comparison to the new AECC, which is quite some way away from the urban centre. Both cities are on the up, though, and for an events industry that has been heavily centralised in the past, it is a welcome sign. Kevin O’Sullivan, Editor




A wide-ranging review into the management of events across Edinburgh – including its world-leading festivals – has been proposed following concerns over impact on residents. Organisers of the city’s iconic festivals are braced for potential changes to the way events are delivered after a council report highlighted a need to balance the needs of

‘BEAST FROM THE EAST’ IMPACTS EVENTS ORGANISERS Event organisers and venues across Scotland were impacted by the ‘Beast from the East’ snowstorm, which swept across the country at the beginning of the month. Events at major venues including the Scottish Event Campus (SEC) in Glasgow, the Edinburgh International Conference Centre (EICC) and the AECC in Aberdeen were all hit by heavy snowfall.


Among the events cancelled or postponed, and venues affected, were the The Scottish Conservatives’ Party Conference; the annual Scottish Tourism Alliance conference; the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development Scotland’s Annual Conference and Exhibition; the Chartered Institute of Housing’s two-day Housing Festival; and the Scottish Pharmacist Awards.

visitors with residents who live in the city. Under a raft of proposals included in the report – following an online survey of 800 residents in the city – some of the most iconic streets in Edinburgh could see new rules which will affect how events are delivered. High Street, Castle Street, George Street, Grassmarket,

Mound Precinct and St Andrew Square were all listed within a section of the report detailing ‘preferred uses and events’. A range of measures were being considered included a ban on pop-up bars unrelated to events activity, tighter controls on noise and events in certain zones having to be ‘cultural’.

BVEP MEETS WITH NEW MINISTER The Business Visits and Events Partnership, the industry lobby group, met last month with Michael Ellis MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Arts, Heritage and Tourism, after his recent appointment into the role. Mr Ellis, whose portfolio includes business events, thanked partners and all those working in the industry for their hard work in delivering success for the UK

and confirmed his enthusiasm and willingness to offer more support. Industry representatives impressed upon the Minister the importance of the sector and highlighted issues and opportunities arising from Brexit, calling for a bigger role for government intervention with better links between departments, greater support and a more strategic focus.

VISITBRITAIN ANNOUNCED AS #BELS18 SPONSOR VisitBritain will sponsor the inaugural Business Events Leaders’ Summit on Wednesday, March 21 at the Scottish Event Campus (SEC) in Glasgow. Leading figures from the global MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences & Exhibitions) industry are set to fly into the country for the one-day summit, hosted by EventsBase. The summit reflects efforts by the international MICE community to move business events ‘upstream’ in public policy-making, and will spotlight how new research is reshaping the industry at a strategic level – placing business events at the heart of development plans for major destinations around the globe. Kerrin MacPhie, Head of Busi-

Kerrin MacPhie

ness Events at VisitBritain, said: “VisitBritain is committed to supporting the growth of business events, working with local and national partners across Scotland to drive more international business, and developing the sector’s capability, ensuring we remain competitive in the

CONFUSION REIGNS OVER NEW GDPR RULES FOR EVENT PLANNERS A new industry survey has revealed more than half of event planners ‘don’t understand’ all the requirements of incoming changes to data protection rules. Research carried out by Eventsforce found that 62% of event planners lack understanding about the new EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) – despite the majority holding responsibility for compliance. Of the 120 surveyed events planners surveyed, 89% have already taken steps in preparing their events for the new regulation but many are concerned about meeting the May 2018 deadline. The findings of the survey are based on the views of event professional in the U.S. and the

UK and represent corporates, associations, government and educational institutions, PCOs and event management agencies. “GDPR is one of the most important changes facing our industry today as it will completely change the way events collect, process and protect the personal information of people coming from the EU,” said George Sirius, CEO of Eventsforce. “It will apply to any event holding data on EU citizens and residents – regardless of their location. It is a major global issue and one that is vital for organisers to understand and prepare for, as ignoring it could lead to some very serious financial consequences.”

global marketplace. The Business Events Leaders’ Summit is a great platform for the sector to discuss how we take international business events to the next level and we are delighted to sponsor this event.”

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Glasgow has been named the UK’s Best Convention Bureau for a record-breaking 12th consecutive year after working with industry partners to secure over £1.1bn worth of business to the city since 2007. The University of Strathclyde’s Technology and Innovation Centre was also crowned the UK’s Best Academic Venue and the Scottish Event Campus received Silver in the Best UK Conference Centre category at the Meeting & Incentive Travel (M&IT) Awards in London on March 2nd. GCB received the Gold award ahead of NewscastleGateshead Convention Bureau and Liverpool Convention Bureau. London & Partners, Convention Edinburgh and Destination Bristol also received commendations following a UK-wide poll conducted by the influential industry magazine, M&IT. See page 31

“Conferences are also looking to become a lot more creative and I’m finding that we’re having to reflect that when we’re putting our bids together, and to try and find the links where they can become involved with our creative industries. It doesn’t matter what the industry is, we’re having to find those links, which makes for a better offer when events are coming here, because organisers are wanting more than just a conference.” Karen Tocher, Business Tourism Manager, Dundee & Angus Convention Bureau EVENTSBASE | SPRING 2018 | 7



Sales leads, industry growth, education and networking EventIt – and now the Business Events Leaders’ Summit - are the mustattend shows for Scottish #eventsprofs in 2018 BY JUDITH WILSON


n 2015, encouraged by key industry stakeholders, we embarked on a journey which would see the creation of a dedicated trade show serving the £3.5bn Scottish events and festivals sector. Now in its third year, EventIt has grown its footprint substantially and has become a fixture in the calendar for Scottish events planners and buyers – and increasingly from the wider UK and international market. For many exhibitors at the show, this is a cost-effective way of showcasing their product offer to an influential audience, from near and far, on their own doorstep. Our solution has seen EventIt grow in stature from its inaugural year in 2016 at Edinburgh’s EICC, to Year Two at the Scottish Event Campus in 2017 and now to 2018, once more at the SEC, on the 22nd of March. As we conclude the sales process we are pleased to say that we have attracted some of the leading UK and international buyers to visit us in Glasgow, and we are on target to achieve over 100 exhibitors and more than 1,000 registrants – some



Judith Wilson, Director of EventIt and EventsBase magazine

of whom are travelling from global destinations including France, the United States and Greece. During the last three years we have worked very closely with the sector to ensure we have the right quality of buyer to ensure their return on investment (ROI) potential is maximised. We have reaped the benefits of that focus from last year’s event and we saw some of our exhibitors walk away from the show with sales leads worth many times the cost of space. As ever, I would encourage all exhibitors at EventIt this year to make sure their sales professionals are well-equipped to deliver an enticing product and that their stands really do ‘stand out’. Investing time, effort and creativity in a stand with ‘wow factor’ – populated by staff who are enthusiastic and motivated – will undoubtedly generate positive returns. For those unfamiliar with exhibiting at events, our team, which has more than a half century’s worth of experience at the coalface of the industry, are happy to offer guidance and support where it is required. As well as being a marketplace for the industry, we have been careful from the start to ensure that the career development needs of events professionals are catered for. There are many routes to the industry and our universities and colleges offer a multitude of events management courses, of increasing sophistication, up to Master’s Degree level.

EventIt takes place at the Scottish Event Campus in Glasgow on March 22

We welcome that but there is no substitute for ‘hands on’ experience and our Learning Zone once again features some of the leading figures from the industry globally, covering topics as wide-ranging as event technology, regulation and compliance, policy, sponsorship, PR/Marketing and education. No matter where you are in the industry, there will be something for you. PARTNERSHIPS have been a key focus of our behind-the-scenes efforts in the run-up to this year’s show. From the outset, we have established relationships with the Scottish events and festivals sector, and EventScotland and NOEA Scotland continue to be big supporters of EventIt. We are also working ever closer with the Business Events sector and with the opening of the V&A Museum of Design, Dundee, in

September, it is great to see the city working together under the banner of the Dundee & Angus Convention Bureau, which is supporting its events community with a dedicated ‘Dundee zone’ at the show. I’m also delighted to say that we are now working directly with The Meetings Show and Event Tech Live to try and encourage event buyers from key UK trade shows to travel to our show, and vice versa. At an industry level, I think this is the right approach, given commercial barriers to being ‘present’ at every single trade event in the calendar. According to VisitScotland, the MICE sector in Scotland is worth nearly £2bn to the economy, which accounts for the lion’s share of events in the country. Whilst these are ticketed, private events, hidden from public view, Business Events are the proverbial oil that greases

the wheels of the whole industry. Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions are also non-seasonal and for major destinations they are crucial to long-term planning, with events often bid for and secured years before they happen. Association congresses and conventions – with many thousands of delegates – are the big ticket items in that sense but it should not be forgotten that 70 per cent of business events are generated from within Scotland itself. WE ARE very good at MICE business in Scotland and cities such as Glasgow and Edinburgh often outperform destinations across the UK – with the exception of London – when it comes to securing and delivering Business Events. The industry is also increasingly working hard to position itself at the forefront of national and re-

gional economic development plans and I’m delighted to announce that EventsBase magazine will host the first-ever Business Events Leaders’ Summit on March 21st at the SEC, the day before EventIt. With speakers from Australia, Singapore, Ireland and The Netherlands, the conference will showcase best practice from international destinations which are working ever closer with the private sector and governments to embed meetings at the heart of economic development plans. The Summit reflects work being done internationally by the likes of the Joint Meetings Industry Council (JMIC) and the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA). It is very early days in Scotland’s journey to encourage politicians and business leaders to take note of the wider potential of the MICE secor –

and how it can aid our Key Economic Sectors – but we have already seen proactive campaigns delivered on the ground such as ‘Legends’, run by VisitScotland Business Events, and ‘Make it Edinburgh’, developed by Marketing Edinburgh. I hope the Business Events Leaders’ Summit – like EventIt – will be the first of many gatherings which create a platform for events professionals in Scotland to promote their work, and the benefits of it, to the wider world. n For information on EventIt visit www.eventit.org #EventIt2018 on social media For information on the Business Events Leaders’ Summit visit www. businesseventsleader.com #BELS18 on social media Judith Wilson is Director of EventIt and EventsBase magazine.




John Alexander, Leader of Dundee City Council, is working closely with events professionals to maximise the potential of business events

Forget jute, jam and journalism. In 2018 Dundee means academics, associations and ambassadors The V&A museum and £1bn waterfront development have propelled the Tayside city to international prominence – and the business events industry is aiming to follow suit. BY KEVIN O’SULLIVAN



n 1998, the number of delegates visiting Dundee and Angus for meetings and conferences was under 10,000 – with only 32 international visitors (barely a bus load) attending events in the region. Fast forward 20 years and the city by the Tay plays host to 225,000 delegates every year – with 19,500 travelling from abroad to attend business events. With the new V&A Dundee sitting

as the jewel in the crown of a £1bn waterfront regeneration, you get the sense the city is preparing for a very special chapter in its history. Already, the V&A – the only such museum outside of London – has garnered worldwide attention, and it hasn’t even opened yet. The Wall Street Journal put the city, population 148,000, in its 2018 list of “hot destinations” to visit, alongside Shanghai, Madagascar and the Faroe Islands. CNN ranked

it as one of the seven coolest places on earth this year, with Paris and Tokyo on the same list. The glory days of Jute, Jam and Journalism – and the place that pioneered the cash register – may belong to an era long past but the V&A will almost certainly change that; the waterfront development aside (lots of places undergo a facelift), it is this one building whose cultural capital will, it is hoped, become a magnet for the real stuff.

It’s refreshing on my visit to the city not only to sit down with Karen Tocher, who runs the convention bureau for Dundee & Angus, but also John Alexander, who at 29 is the youngest council leader in the country. PART OF MY focus over the last 12 months, in developing the Business Events Leaders’ Summit in Glasgow, has been to look for evidence of a willingness for senior political

leaders to work with the meetings industry, which has been banging an ever louder drum about the wider role that business events can play in the economic and social development goals of regions and nations. Mr Alexander, who is also Chair of the Scottish Cities Alliance, seems to grasp it. “A key component of our economic strategy is the Tay Cities Deal, which is a £1.8bn programme of investment over a 10-year period

and I would hope that growth through the Tay Cities Deal would bring with it additional benefits in terms of business events,” says Alexander, who mentions energy, computer gaming, medical sciences and ethical hacking as key areas of focus for Dundee. He adds: “There is potential off the back of that investment that we will see international events coming to the city. We have completed a body of work which has tried to



SPECIAL FOCUS DUNDEE broaden what the city has to offer to business, but also what we can learn from people who are working in the realms of delivering major events that are complimentary to the work of the city.” Dundee is aiming to increase its business events traffic by 20% in the next five years; its academic ambassador programme, launched in November 2000, has been a key focus to drive that agenda and there are now 250 ambassadors from the city’s three academic institutions – University of Dundee, Abertay University and the James Hutton Institute – who have brought over 200 conferences to the region, contributing over £36 million to the economy. The city has hosted business events for largescale associations over the course of the last few years, including the International Society for Addiction Medicine (ISAM), where over 600 delegates from 56 countries visited the city for its 17th annual comgress in 2015, with the support of the VisitScotland Conference Bid Fund. Although the fund is now closed, the city’s three academic institutions – along with the convention bureau - are working cooperatively to secure an educational conference in 2019 or 2020 for another 600 delegates. CAIRD HALL – which can accommodate conferences or the size of ISAM – has typically been the largest venue for delegates but there are plans afoot to boost the city’s capacity. This follows a growth in demand which has seen venues such as the Apex Hotel installing a temporary marquee for events such as the Courier Business Awards and overall the city seems to be embracing the notion of bringing in more academic and association business events, for between 300-800 delegates, which falls within the average range for the sector. To secure the upcoming World Karate Championships in June, the city will use a combination of the ice arena and a car park marquee to welcome 4,000 spectators, delegates and officials. The city itself does not have the hotel capacity to host all of those incomers, so will be working closely with accommodation providers in Fife; the emerging school of thought is to position Dundee not in isolation (or within traditional council boundaries) but as a ‘regional destination’, working more closely with tourism, business and public sector bodies across Fife and Perthshire.

Karen Tocher, Business Tourism Manager at Dundee & Angus Convention Bureau

The Tayside area currently has 1,199 bedrooms with a confirmed 617 additional rooms coming on stream between now and 2018, 283 of which will be 4-star, including a number of new hotels in and around the new V&A and train station development at the heart of the regeneration zone. The dramatic increase in bed space will also enable the city to host multiple conferences at the same time, a crucial driver for economic impact. The Tayside Conference Centre


John Alexander, Leader of Dundee City Council


Feasibility Study – commissioned by Scottish Enterprise – is also looking at ways to enhance conference capacity, as it identifies the city, ‘does not currently offer a landmark facility with major event appeal and delegate capacity’. Karen says the plan would be to have a purpose-built conference facility – with breakout capacity – which could host business events for up to 800 in the near term and with an “aspiration” of 1,200 for future years. THE EXACT location of any future centre has yet to be determined but the report states, ‘there was a clear and consistent view identified throughout the consultation process that Dundee was the most appropriate location for enhanced conference facilities in the region.’ Looking at the potential of the V&A to be a venue to host social programmes, my own view is that it would be madness if the plan wasn’t for a new centre – if given the green light - to be sited as close as possible to the incredible new £82m building, designed by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma.

“We’re putting ourselves on an international stage,” says Karen. “Dundee is growing at the moment, and we have done a phase one feasibility study looking at the opportunity for where there should be a conference facility in the Tayside region and we’re going to be progressing those plans.” She adds: “I think the drive will still be the academic and association sector but I think there’s going to be a lot more involvement between academics and private sector and being able to say ‘this is what’s happening out in the real world’, showcasing our achievements, and how that actually links back to research. We’ve always come with the attitude of punching above our weight.” Alexander says: “The waterfront project has been 20 years in the making and we’re at that pinnacle stage now where we’ve landed an internationally acclaimed museum of design, we have a UNESCO status and everything that comes with that in terms of the calibre of expertise. 2018 is a pivotal year. It is a year where we can spotlight and showcase what Dundee can do, and can do extremely well.” n



Contact: Kim Wilkinson ( 07971 283280 Email: kim.wilkinson@apexhotels.co.uk Website: https://www.apexhotels.co.uk/apex-cityquay-hotel-spa

Contact: Susan Gillan ( 01382 434030 Email: susan.gillan@leisureandculturedundee.com Website: www.cairdhall.co.uk

Dundee’s premier conference and events venue is where innovative technology and imaginative solutions deliver creative and formal event solutions for your business. Based just a 10-minute walk from the Dundee train station and city centre, you can also stay over, relax at Yu Spa and explore some of the historic attractions of Dundee & Angus.

Caird Hall is Dundee’s major Concert, Conference and Events venue and is conveniently located in the heart of the City Centre, close to hotels and local amenities. This 4-star arts venue creates a stunning profile for your event and has played host to many events from congresses, conference and exhibitions to live music events.


Contact: Doreen Stout ( 01307 840393 Email: doreen@glamis-castle.co.uk Website: www.glamist-castle.co.uk With its turrets and spires, history and romance, Glamis Castle a stunning venue has been the choice of royalty and statesmen for centuries. Situated in the heart of Angus, this legendry, atmospheric venue is a living breathing monument to Scottish hospitality and is the venue choice for international business and corporate clients.


Contact: Elizabeth Shearer ( 01382 386751 Email: e.a.shearer@dundee.ac.uk Website: www.dundee.ac.uk/main/confacil/ The University Campus is a short walk from the City Centre and the Railway station, situated within the cultural quarter of the City, the University is ideally placed for conferences and events. The campus comprises an attractive balance of late Victorian, Edwardian and postmodern architecture offering contemporary, high quality conference accommodation.

CONTACT: SHONA MCLEAN Shona@eventsbase.co.uk 0131 561 7347 DUNDEE HERITAGE TRUST

Contact: Kim Adamson ( 01382 309060 Email: kimadamson@dundeeeheritage.co.uk Website: rrsdiscovery.com verdantworks.com

With the most sought after view in Dundee, overlooking RRS Discovery, the River Tay and the new V&A Museum of Design Dundee, Discovery Point is the perfect venue for meetings, conferences and seminars. Verdant Works is a beautifully restored Victorian Mill offering unique features, stunning architecture and flexibility for inspiring conferences, events and corporate entertaining.


Contact: Joanne Pagen ( 07515 483432 Email: tara.wainwright@vandadundee.org Website: joanne@heritageportfolio.co.uk V&A Dundee is an exciting, new, world-class venue on a stunning River Tay waterfront location. A striking contemporary design by renowned Japanese architect, Kengo Kuma, it is the first V&A museum in the world outside London. For intimate dinners to grand celebrations, it offers a range of atmospheric settings for an unforgettable event.




The inaugural Business Events Leaders’ Summit takes place at the Scottish Event Campus on Wednesday, March 21st, 2018

How the business events industry can reach the next level The opening address to the inaugural Business Events Leaders’ Summit will highlight the main objectives of the gathering. By Kevin O’Sullivan 14 | EVENTSBASE | SPRING 2018


’d like to begin by issuing a very warm welcome to all the delegates, contributors and our principal sponsor, VisitBritain, as we gather today for the inaugural Business Events Leaders’ Summit at the Scottish Event Campus in Glasgow. I hope everyone attending this ‘industry first’ event will leave having gained new knowledge and connections which can stir the heart and collectively push forward the activities of the Business Events industry in Scotland, the UK and beyond. It became clear to me when I first started to research the Business Events industry last year that there was a school of thought which said, broadly, that the sector was great at doing business with itself, its clients and agents, but had difficulty in trying to explain to external audiences – particularly business and policy leaders – how it could add value to ‘key sectors’ of the

help achieve national priorities, including key sector development, securing jobs and attracting inward investment and global talent along the way. The Business Events sector is worth a putative £2bn per annum to the Scottish economy, and represents the lion’s share of the combined £3.5bn economic impact of the events and festivals industry. Business events are ticketed, have the advantage of being non-seasonal, and the delegates are worth up to three times more per head than a conventional ‘tourist’. They are also planned typically well in advance, which helps destinations schedule their activities and, vitally, secure revenue ahead of the game. In Scotland, the industry is small but well-organised, connected and the principal meetings destinations – Edinburgh and Glasgow – are consistently recognised by international bodies as doing a good job, with Dundee and Aberdeen chomping at the bit to join them with exciting new infrastructure projects underway.

economy and how best we ought to measure its impact. Following close consultation with senior stakeholders in the industry in Scotland, the ambition of the Summit is to start bridging the gap of understanding between the MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences & Exhibitions) sector and wider parts of society, as well as to provide a lasting forum that realises positive outcomes for everyone who works in the industry – from event planners to hoteliers to destination management companies (DMCs). Hopefully, by the end of the event, we will also start to see new groups express a desire to be closer to the sector and to help realise mutual objectives. SOME OF OUR speakers gathered here today have travelled great distances from leading global destinations in the Business Events field. I am delighted that Professor Carmel Foley and Professor Deborah Edwards – from the University of

What: The Business Events Leaders’ Summit Where: SEC, Glasgow When: March 21, 2018 #BELS18 www.businesseventsleader.com

Technology Sydney – join us as Keynotes and I look forward to hearing the detail of how their research ‘sealed the deal’ on the decision to build a brand new $1.5bn convention centre in Darling Harbour – an investment that has already paid back half of its capital cost in its first year of operation. Their work, I believe, will give us all a fascinating glimpse into how state and federal governments in Australia are taking the MICE sector very seriously as a tool which can

THE CHALLENGE the industry faces, in common with most destinations, is to take that good practice and elevate it to the ‘next level’. In that sense some very creditable work has been done by the likes of the Joint Meetings Industry Council (JMIC) and the International Congress & Convention Association (ICCA) - two bodies which represent the sector’s interests at a global level – to inform destinations as to how they should be working to demonstrate the so-called ‘Beyond Tourism’ impacts of business events. Of course, a business event will fill hotels, restaurants, bars and spread its benefits across the whole supply chain, from event organiser to caterer and transport provider. But, as the JMIC-supported ‘Iceberg Project’ illustrates, it’s what is hidden from view and difficult to measure empirically that goes so much deeper: the business deals, the new knowledge shared, connections made and even new discoveries in fields such as gene therapy or Alzheimer’s which provide the lasting and arguably more meaningful legacy to a host destination. BIG BUSINESS events – especially those from the lucrative Association sector – increasingly are looking for

destinations which align with their core values. Much of what we hear today will be about ‘alignment’, and how destinations can position themselves as knowledge hubs which fit with emerging sectors including Technology, Life Sciences, Space and Design, to name a few. VisitScotland’s own ‘Legends’ digital marketing campaign is all about working towards that end and is supported by well-established national and regional Academic Ambassador programmes. Domestically, the industry is fighting for a seat at the top table, with ever-closer cooperation between the likes of the Business Visits Events Partnership (BVEP) and Government Ministers at a UK level; efforts to move the industry closer to the objectives of the Department of Trade & Industry are to be welcomed, especially with the challenge Brexit represents in terms of free movement of people, goods and services. At this point you might well be asking why does this matter to me? It’s a perfectly valid question if your ‘day job’ is to organise business events, or to host or cater for the delegates who attend them, rather than deal with lofty notions about economic development and policy. I firmly believe, however, that beneath these abstract concepts lies quite a simple equation: people. The outcomes of today will not be measured in terms of economic deliverables, it will be measured in terms of how willing people are to start working with different groups they had not previously considered as being all that relevant to what they do. If a future business event is secured on the basis of a cultural sea change that sees industry working with governments, business and those driven to succeed in their field of expertise then we can already start planning for #BELS19. n


VisitBritain Business Events EVENTSBASE | SPRING 2018 | 15



Meetings and events are ‘developing knowledge economies and acting as a catalyst for innovation’ makers and destination representatives. Current hot topics such as over-tourism, political instability, security, climate change, and the creation of innovation and knowledge hubs will also feature on the Forum’s agenda. The Forum launched in 2003 and has established itself as a crucial connection point for the meetings world and public policy-makers. Over the years it has proved to be a major catalyst in advancing the understanding of the critical role that the meetings industry plays in many aspects of national and regional development. Organisations which have attended in recent years include the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, Iceland; Ministry for Trade, Tourism and Major Events, New South Wales; Ministry of Economic Development and Trade, Ukraine; the Japan National Tourism Organisation; the Prime Minister’s Office in Tanzania and a Member of Parliament from Sweden.

IMEX CEO Carina Bauer will debate the growing importance of meetings as tools for growth at the Business Events Leaders’ Summit at Glasgow’s SEC on March 21 BY EMMA BLAKE


here is now growing awareness among the wider business community of the importance of meetings and events. In recent years national and local governments have begun to appreciate the valuable role they play in developing knowledge economies and acting as a catalyst for innovation in addition to the recognised direct benefits from business tourism,” explains Carina Bauer, CEO of the IMEX Group. This forms the basis of discussion at the Policy Forum, taking place on the first day of IMEX in Frankfurt in May, which brings together the meetings and events industry with key policy decision-makers in order to inform and influence strategy. This unique high-level event held each year brings together up to 40 policy-makers, including national and regional government ministers, mayors, city government officials and political influencers with around 80 leading representatives of the meetings industry. They meet to exchange knowledge and best practice on how to make the most of the wide-ranging benefits that investment in conferences and meetings can bring, from income and employment to inward investment, education, scientific and cultural advancement. Bauer adds: “Governments, regions and cities have a huge amount to gain from embracing the meetings industry and we want the Policy Forum to continue to play a

Carina Bauer, CEO of the IMEX Group, the global trade show platform for the meetings and events sector

major role in fostering the partnership between the meetings industry and destinations.” THE THEME of this year’s Policy Forum is the Legacy of Positive Policy Making. The Forum agenda has been designed to facilitate collaborative global discussion on how to bridge the “partnership gap” that exists between government

policy and support of the meetings industry. IMEX is delighted to once again be collaborating with Professor Greg Clark, CBE, Chairman of The Business of Cities, on the programme which includes a new workshop session exploring the evolution of cities in the meetings industry – designed specifically for city, municipal and regional policy-

THE IMEX Policy Forum takes place on Tuesday 15 May 2018, the first day of IMEX in Frankfurt, at the InterContinental Hotel. IMEX in Frankfurt 2018 is held at Messe Frankfurt from 15-17 May 2018 and is set to welcome thousands of meeting and event planners from all over the world gather to meet and do business with almost 3,500 international destinations and venues under one roof. Meeting and event professionals can also discover the latest trends and developments in more than 180 education sessions, forge new industry connections and catch up with colleagues at the many networking events. n www.imex-frankfurt.com Carina Bauer will take part in the Business Events Debate at the Business Events Leaders’ Summit on Wednesday, March 21, 2018, at the SEC in Glasgow




Graham Mains, pictured, wants to make Burns Night a national holiday; his Big Burns Supper festival in Dumfries grew by 66% this year

Ditch St Andrew and appoint Scotland’s Bard. It’s time for a National Holiday that people actually celebrate 18 | EVENTSBASE | SPRING 2018

One festival entrepreneur in Dumfries wants to shake up the national events that define Scotland. Can he take the country with him? BY KEVIN O’SULLIVAN


he man behind the biggest Burns Night event in Scotland has called for the annual celebration to become a National Holiday – and questioned Ministers’ “obsession” with St Andrew’s Day as a focus for events funding. Graham Main, the producer of the Big Burns Supper in Dumfries, believes more empahsis should be placed on Robert Burns, the national poet, owing to the “incredible”

Fringe, believes the Scottish Government has been overly influenced by the success of St Patrick’s Day in Ireland – and wanted to replicate that in Scotland. But he said the Irish event is largely now absent of cultural meaning, unlike Burns Night, which has the power to bring together audiences of all backgrounds, cultures and faiths, and reach out to young and old. “The Scottish Government is obsessed by St Andrew’s Day because they’ve looked at Paddy’s Day and what that does for Ireland round the world, and they’ve said, ‘that’s what we need’,” said Main, who counts the Dublin Fringe and Dublin Opera among past projects. “I think the Scottish Government looked at what the Irish Government was doing when the Celtic Tiger thing was going on, which is understandable given the enormous growth in popularity of Paddy’s Day celebrations across the country. But I don’t think that model translates to Scotland; I know thousands of people who celebrate Burns Night, but I know hardly anyone who does the same for St Andrew’s Day. Burns Night is so much more meaningful, it’s much more intimate and it’s about sharing stuff and evoking memory; Paddy’s Day is just a pissup!” he added.

popularity of Burns Night events. He urged government ministers to take part in a debate which would take soundings from across Scotland as to the status of Burns Night and how it might be celebrated as an annual event. There are thousands of Burns Night celebrations which take place yearly on January 25th – on or near the poet’s birthday, across Scotland and worldwide, from Tanzania to Delhi, St Petersburg to Dhaka. EventScotland provides funding to Burns Night events as part of its Winter Festivals funding programme but there is no single event which acts as a unifying platform to promote Scotland’s Bard, which Main wants to draw attention to. The producer, who in the past has worked on cultural festivals in Dublin and currently the Carlisle

MAIN, EXECUTIVE Producer of Electric Theatre Workshop, which puts on the annual Big Burns Supper in Dumfries, which describes itself as the ‘world’s biggest Burns celebration’, adds: “Dialogue has to happen about what Burns Night is; it has been very formulaic, almost masonic in approach [in the past]. I’d be up for a national conversation about what Burns Night is and where we can take it.” He said the highly eclectic 11-day programme that has been created in Dumfries could be a model for replication across the country and there is room in the calendar for a signature event which unifies the country. “We’re up for that,” he said. “We think other places would be too – think of the economic boost they could get from it. We could create a Big Burns festival if we got the likes of Creative Scotland, Event Scotland around the table to talk about that. At the moment there is no real strategy. The government think they are doing that, but there is no real strategy to grow Burns Night. They

“I KNOW THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE WHO CELEBRATE BURNS NIGHT, BUT I KNOW HARDLY ANYONE WHO DOES THE SAME FOR ST ANDREW’S DAY” Graham Main, producer of the Big Burns Supper in Dumfries are merely distributing a fund to support Burns events.” When Main first explained the concept of the multi-day festival, which includes comedy, cabaret and music, he said the reaction had been one of “confusion”. Traditionally, the majority of Burns Night events in Dumfries were closed to the public, were quite often “stuffy” and extremely formal. In addition, Main said he had been “embarassed” about the absence of public-facing Burns Night celebrations when he introduced a friend to his home town, where there had been “apathy” among locals to do anything more expressive. “I just think there’s room to do more on Burns Night – we’re not puritans about it; we’re really just a smaller version of the Edinburgh Fringe. There’s a real spirit of festival producers here making bold work. I think there’s lots of potential on Burns Night – it’s Scotland at its best, bringing people together. My aspiration would be that the Scottish Government make it a national holiday and help us get over the mental breakdown that is January. It will also give towns a much-

needed economic boost. Dumfries is not quiet in January any more and our survey shows that 30% of the audience went to dinner before or after an event.” It also grew by 66% this year – drawing a footfall of 24,500 – and featured artists such as veteran comic Bill Bailey, Donovan, Public Service Broadcasting, Eddi Reader, Badly Drawn Boy and Camille O’Sullivan. SEVEN YEARS into its creation, Main says there is now an appreciation of the diverse collection of performances the Big Burns Supper has curated under an 800-capacity Spiegeltent, which he deploys after it’s finished in Edinburgh for the Christmas festivals season (the tent itself is supplied by Dutch firm Van Rosmalen). It hosts performances such as the five-star award-winning cabaret Le Haggis; the festival, which received £30,000 last year from EventScotland and has been funded since 2012 by the national events body, as well as through the philanthropic Holywood Trust, also employs a collection of several small town-based venues to house performances. “We’ve already exported Le Haggis to the Edinburgh Fringe, where it did very well,” says Main. “It’s been proven that if you do something creative about what an event means, it has an impact. We have a ‘festivalised audience’ here in Dumfries – they want a fix when it comes to culture. We also have a major events strategy, which is unique to Scotland, and events like the Wigtown Book Festival. We were in bad need of cultural development but now we have emerging producers and funding to develop original event infrastructure to support that work.” n



Aberdeen’s great leap forward The Granite City’s cultural revolution is gathering pace BY JENNY LAING


berdeen is in the middle of a major transformation, changing from being known as a primarily energy-dominated city into one which is investing and developing what business, residents and tourists want from the region. Aberdeen City Council, along with other public and private sector partners, is committed to ensuring we continue to build a go-ahead, interesting and vibrant city that people want to work in and this includes a £560million investment in new infrastructure projects including roads, bridges, cultural centres and schools. These new cultural centres include the £333million new AECC, the £30million redevelopment of Aberdeen Art Gallery, and the £7million refurbishment of the Music Hall. The striking new AECC building is well on its way for its completion next year and is expected to attract major artists to the city as well as creating hundreds of jobs,

while contributing an additional 4.5 million visitors, £113 million of visitor spend and £63m net GVA (Gross Value Added) to the Scottish economy over the next ten years. The art gallery is one of the jewels of the city centre crown and the refurbishment, which is due to finish next year, is designed to create a world-class visitor attraction which celebrates the inspiring power of art and music, including multi-use spaces. We believe it is very important for us to take a lead role in creating the infrastructure that will encourage inward investment, and we know how important the new infrastructure is for diversifying into sectors such as business and leisure tourism and events. As well as benefiting from huge investment packages that will upgrade the north-east’s infrastructure, innovative programmes aimed at giving the region a new “feel” have also emerged. ONE OF these innovative programmes which has already started is a City Centre Masterplan, which contains 50 projects to enhance Aberdeen’s economy, environment and infrastructure over the next 25 years, as part of the £560million transformational investment. This includes the Marischal Square development which includes new offices and leisure/mixed use development, and also includes a first


for the city centre in the form of a giant steel sculpture of a leopard named Poised, by the artist Andy Scott, who also created the famous Kelpies in Falkirk (there are two leopards on the city’s crest). The City Centre Masterplan is also focused on delivering new or enhanced event space – for example, the £3.2million Broad Street project which is currently being built, and will transform the street and revitalise it by making it pedestrian-priority area, and will also improve the streetscape and turn it into an area capable of staging events throughout the year. The Union Terrace Gardens project will greatly improve access and amenity of the city centre park, while enhancing heritage features. Another strand of the Masterplan is delivering other improvements that complement the event experience, from refurbished venues to better infrastructure. The City Centre Masterplan also includes the 365 Events Strategy which aims to increase year-round activity and reposition the city centre as a ‘happening’ place. The focus will be on curating a lively and distinctive destination through several high-profile events, as well as a programme of animation and activity throughout the year such as walking tours, bus tours and street theatre that utilises city centre spaces for cultural and sporting

Andy Scott, the artist who designed the Scottish kelpies, has sculpted a leopard named ‘Poised’ – to represent the city’s ambitions for the future.

offerings. One of the successes already in place from the 365 Events Strategy is the Nuart Aberdeen street art festival, which was located for the first time outside of its home country of Norway, and the exciting 2018 line-up has just been announced. ANOTHER TWO major new events introduced last year were the Great Aberdeen Run and the popular Tour Series cycle race, both of which enjoyed a huge success bringing thousands of people to Aberdeen, attracting not only runners but families, residents, spectators and many more in creating inspirational events that everyone loved. We also recognise the important

part that roads infrastructure plays alongside the new or refurbished buildings. For example, the new AECC is sited right beside Aberdeen International Airport, but also beside the new Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route (AWPR/B-T). The AWPR, which will open this year, will reduce congestion in Aberdeen city centre, reduce journey times, and enable better connectivity with other parts of the country, all of which will help attract events and exhibitions to the city and surrounding area. The other infrastructure investments include the £26.4million Berryden Corridor Improvement Scheme, and the £426,000 A96 Dyce Park and Ride scheme and

Link Road and a £22.3million crossing over the River Don giving great access to the north part of the city, both of which have already been opened. There are also new cycle paths around the city, linking communities with each other and into the city centre. We are confident our plans for Aberdeen are transforming it into somewhere not only that residents will continue to enjoy living in, and will attract more business and leisure tourism with a definite focus of not only being event-ready, but will be one of the first places people want to hold their event. n Jenny Laing is Co-Leader of Abedeen City Council

The city is investing in major events capacity including the redevelopment of Marischal Square, Broad Street, Aberdeen Art Gallery and the £333m new AECC




More than a museum The V&A is the striking centrepiece of Dundee’s £1bn waterfront regeneration. But its value to the city will be much more than that of a tourist attraction and a piece of statement architecture BY KEVIN O’SULLIVAN


catch my first glimpse of the building as it shimmers by the water in the glorious morning sun. At a distance, it is an arresting sight – clad from head to toe in endlessly stacked concrete shelves, its vast grey and glass hull is part upturned ocean liner, part spaceship. Designed by world-leading Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, whose own vision was inspired by the cliffs at Arbroath, the new £80m V&A Dundee is statement architecture at its boldest and most raw; it sits as the centrepiece of a huge £1bn redevelopment programme breathing fresh life into a city eager to reconnect to its historic waterfront. Much as the Guggenheim revitalised Bilbao, and more locally the Tate has done for Liverpool and the Turner centre for Margate, the new V&A on the banks of the Tay looks set to transform the fortunes of Dundee, culturally, economically and socially, as it embarks on a new chapter of its history, casting aside the image of a faded gem which has been searching for a purpose amid

a period of post-industrial decline. My impressions of Dundee, however, have always been favourable; the council leader, John Alexander, who I meet on my visit, characterises the place as a ‘goldilocks city’ – not too big, or too small, but ‘just right’. It is Scotland’s fourth largest city, in population terms, and is compact, on a grid-like system with room to grow. Thankfully, the redevelopment has rid the city of a terrible guddle of spaghetti junction-like road circuitry and a repurposed rail station, with fresh, modern hotels, will make it an attractive place in which to arrive. Part of the regeneration programme is a series of interconnecting civic spaces which link the waterfront to the city proper; Slessor Gardens, the largest of the spaces, will become an open, modern themed garden; waterfront place and an ‘urban beach’ alongside the V&A will hopefully draw crowds to open-air events – on a land mass of 10,738 square metres - in reputedly the nation’s sunniest city. Whilst the venture is not quite there yet, and it is the coldest day imaginable just before the ‘Beast from the


East’ grinds the country to a halt, in terms of events it is a ‘model’ that has worked elsewhere and I can see it working here. I’m not so much interested in finding out how the V&A itself – the only other museum to carry the brand in the world outside London - will be leveraged as a tourist asset to bring in an estimated 500,000 visitors to the city in its first year (steadying to around 350,000 annually once the initial excitement is over), but crucially how it will fit in as part of a wider programme of cultural, sporting and business events – a competitive market in which destinations around the world are increasingly active. I MEET WITH Philip Long, Director of the V&A Dundee, and his team at Enterprise House in the city, just weeks after the opening date of the 15th of September is announced to the world. He tells me that the excitement which has already been steadily building in the background as part of the construction phase has now moved up a notch, and inquiries pertaining to events – and how the building might be available to them – are coming in from around the world. “The V&A is a very prestigious institution, which is known around the world, and so I think the association with something which exemplifies an excellence and provides great spaces for people to come together and to be inspired, is a great ice-breaker in terms of doing events. We also have fantastic spaces that allow events and

Philip Long, Director of the V&A Dundee, on board Scott of the Antarctic’s ship, RRS Discovery, overlooking the new museum

activities – whether that’s corporate dinners or very small-scale things, launches or photo or film or fashion are all things that are beginning to come to us now that there is a very clear day for opening,” says Long. He adds: “There’s a lot of interest, which has really surged since we went live with the opening date – and that’s whether it’s from people who want to get involved in some way, or numerous ways. We have interest groups from the States who want to come and visit; we have people who want to do events in the museum and find out more about how all of that works locally. And we’re experiencing

interest in quite formal ways through diplomatic channels in the Far East and North America.” What has been notable, they tell me, is that the interest is not strictly limited to the cultural side, in its purest sense. There is an appetite for the V&A to be part of sporting and business events, a ‘Team Dundee’ approach, and that the venue – which is backed by a conglomeration of stakeholders, including Dundee City Council, Scottish Enterprise, Dundee University and Abertay University – is keen to tap into wider programmes of activity, for example to be featured in a con-


ference bid or a social programme of a larger event than any one venue in the city can host on its own, or as a canvass for broadcasters. “We’re the focus of a lot of attention and the developing confidence in the city, but it is part of a much wider development. It’s speaking to people that the city is open for business. And that’s for business tourism, event activity in the city and the region; it’s a really exciting part of the future here,” says Long. TARA WAINWRIGHT, V&A Dundee Marketing and Communications Manager, adds: “What we provide is

something that doesn’t really exist in the city at the moment; at the moment the city is limited in terms of the number of events – whether it’s sporting events, or whether it’s big academic conferences as well, it’s limited because of its capacity, due to the scale of the buildings it has. The conversations we’ve been having most have been about providing an additional venue or part of a broader programme.” She says: “So, for example, academic conferences that might come to Edinburgh or Glasgow can now come to Dundee. The higher end hotels will similarly be touched by




COVER STORY V&A DUNDEE è this as they recognise that people

will want to come to Dundee to see this big new international visitor attraction. So whereas before they might not have come outside of St Andrews or Perthshire, they are coming to us and saying we want to come and have a big dinner and could you at least for one night be able to offer that. We’re being open as to what those things may be.” Long talks of “managing expectations” not only the public but also for his own team, as to what the building can conceivably host, but that being part of an open civic space, which connects the city from Caird Hall to the waterfront, opens up the venue to an array of possibilities, and that the museum must balance that against its core responsibility of being a museum that chronicles the history of design in Scotland, from 15th century illuminated manuscripts through to examples of design from the Industrial Revolution and the reconstructed Charles Rennie Mackintosh Oak Room, which hasn’t been seen for almost 50 years. “There are very special moments in the museum that will be quite an extraordinary thing to visit and understand more about and I think one of the special experiences that we can offer to people who might be interested in doing events with us is that sort of privileged, special access to talks and events which can relate all that,” says Long. “Then alongside that there’s a big changing exhibition programme with wonderful spaces to do that, which will bring exhibitions from around the world. Again, for events it means it’s not just a venue which has the practical facilities to do things but it has extraordinary things to see. It’s about inspiring creativity and facilitating discussion; we’re here in the business of wanting to bring people together through events and where better to do it than in a place like that,” he adds. In terms of privileged access, there have already been a number of corporates knocking on the door, wanting to know whether the venue can be hired for exclusive behind-the-scenes tours or for private dinners, all of whom have been keen to associate their brand alongside the prestige of the V&A. Wainwright says: “I think the interesting thing is that it’s the kind of exclusivity that people are asking for. I thought we’d be inundated with groups and coaches but actually it’s that exclusivity, really highend people recognising the V&A as

The V&A Dundee, which will open on 15 September, is already exciting event interest from around the world.

a brand and how that might work with them as a brand, that’s really interesting the high-level, smaller, more niche [events].” FUNCTIONALLY, the museum is still in the midst of its interior fit out, and there will be precious few glimpses of its internal working parts right up until the opening date itself; however, I am told that there will be essentially four space ‘elements’ to what the V&A can offer events organisers. The largest space will be the main hall - which has upper and lower sections, and which can be combined for events purposes. The upper section will be able to host dinners and drinks receptions and the lower used for drinks receptions, dinners, fashion shows and other events. The largest hireable closed space will be the main auditorium which will have theatre-style seating and is available for dinners and functions. Two learning suites will also be closed, smaller capacity spaces for workshops or break-out sessions; one of the learning suites connects directly to the auditorium. The venue is working with Heritage Portfolio on its catering offer throughout 2018 is the Year of Young People in Scotland, which the V&A has fully embraced for its opening ceremony. There will be a daytime programme and an evening programme to launch the venue officially to the world, all of which are being codesigned by 12 young people, aged

16 to 24, from across the city and region. The group started by meeting once a month about a year ago, but with six months till opening that activity has been upped to every Thursday evening; they have their own budget and have essentially been let loose, albeit working in tandem with a team of experienced events professionals, in creating a signature opening event ‘of scale’. V&A Dundee has its own learning team and ‘families and young people producer’, all of whom have worked closely with the group who are, according to Wainwright, not the ‘usual suspects’. The group has been selected from youth bodies in the city like Hot Chocolate, but also from schools, universities and the colleges with some in work, and some not. I ask whether there will be all the usual thrills and spills of a big opening event, including fireworks or son et lumiere, but the elements are understandably being kept under wraps. Wainwright says: “All the young people are contributing really, really strongly. Some of them are very vocal and like the group discussion; others might be quiet in that situation but will furiously write things down and email you afterwards. It’s really interesting watching them grow and develop and we want them to come out the other side feeling really confident whichever element of the event that they’ve chosen to follow. There is a skills development path in design within all that, so it’s not just an informal thing, they will get something out

of it and YoungScot are helping us with that as well in terms of promoting opportunities.” IT SHOULD not be forgotten that the V&A Dundee has a forward programme of its own events, including the opening exhibition, Ocean Liners: Speed & Style, for which tickets go on sale this month and will cost from £12; the exhibition has been curated by the V&A in London – working closely with the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts, which houses one of the finest collections of maritime history in the world. Says Long: “The exhibition will celebrate Scotland’s contribution to Ocean Liners; when you see the show you will see clearly that the major player in the design and build of ocean liners that were constructed in Britain in the 20th century was Glasgow. It was hugely important. But Dundee’s design history is also reflected in the Scottish Design Galleries in the museum so there’s a great Scottish design tradition throughout.” He adds: “The thing about having a changing exhibition programme means it should counter the challenge that places often have which is they’re attractive when they’re new but then the interest can diminish when the next thing comes along; V&A Dundee will always have extraordinary new things to see which you won’t be able to see elsewhere, and so there will be great reasons to come back and it will provide means to excite people.” n




Joining the dots...the Australian way. How two academics convinced politicians to put business events at the heart of economic planning Educating politicians and connecting to trade – how regional and national governments can benefit from an understanding of the wider impact of business events BY CHERYL MALONE


hen Business Events Sydney (BESydney) threw down the gauntlet in search of ways to determine conference benefits beyond tourism, a small group of academics, unknown to the meetings industry, rose to the challenge. That was nearly a decade ago, and the work they’ve done so far has not only provided BESydney with the tools to identify and measure the less-tangible values of business events for host destinations; it’s redefining how conferences and meetings are organised, funded, marketed, consumed and evaluated across the globe. Associate Professors Carmel Foley and Deborah Edwards from the University of Technology, Sydney – who are keynote speakers at the inaugural Business Events Leaders’ Summit at the SEC in Glasgow on March 21 – are leading the way in the quest to quantify

what many thought immeasurable. “BESydney believed conferences gave host destinations a lot more than just a financial boost from tourism, but there was no evidence or methodology available to prove it. They provided a small amount of funding and they wanted it yesterday, but it was just that challenge that excited us,” said Foley. The academics then built five case studies focusing on the contributions and outcomes of conferences for delegates, industry, the community and other stakeholders. “We started to see that the ‘bums on seats’ mentality and counting tourism dollars were the overt yardsticks used to evaluate success, but they were just the tip of the iceberg in terms of conference outcomes. The rest was so much more powerful and so much more significant. We presented them with our report and they were over the moon,” added Foley. BESydney took the report to the NSW State Government, which at the time was deliberating over


whether to go ahead with funding and approval for Sydney’s $1.5bn International Convention Centre (ICC). “They’ve told us it was our little report that sealed the deal,” she said. “Apparently they felt the report demonstrated just how valuable conferences really were to the NSW community and signed off on it.” Once the benefits of the relationship between industry and research were clear, more formal and directed research projects were initiated. IN OCTOBER last year, the academics’ book, ‘The Power of Conferences – Stories of serendipity, innovation and driving social change’ was published to help them share what they’d learned with the international community, and in March the ‘academic duo’ are looking forward to sharing their insights with delegates at the Business Events Leaders’ Summit in Glasgow. Edwards says whilst attracting new money may be the most striking benefit of conferences for host destinations initially, it is just one of the many that can be derived for individuals, industry, government agencies and the wider destination community if events are organised to obtain greatest leverage. “We just love this industry,” Edwards said. Foley adds: “If I can’t be one of the amazing people discovering

cures for diseases or the secrets of the universe, then the next best thing I can do is to support the meetings and conferences that have played a role in assisting their work”. And for Edwards it’s the ‘ah ha!’ moments one can experience at a conference, and there would be few who hadn’t had such a moment. “What our book shows is that those moments of serendipity can lead to truly great outcomes,” she said. Before the research was undertaken, Foley said business events and conventions were generally included only as an ‘afterthought’ in the government’s tourism portfolio and were evaluated only in terms of tourism dollars generated. She said BESydney now uses the research to help governments recognise that the sector should be under trade, innovation and industry portfolios – rather than simply tourism. “The government’s vision for events has shifted,” Foley said. “They are now much more aware of the full value of business events and BESydney are becoming highly effective in terms of ‘educating’ relevant politicians about those values and connecting with trade ministers and their staff. “The only trouble is when governments or cabinet members change, that education process has to start over, so this understanding really needs to permeate through-


Professors Carmel Foley, left, and Deborah Edwards, from the University of Technology Sydney, will address the inaugural Business Events Leaders’ Summit at the SEC in Glasgow on March 21



The professors’ report on the beyond tourism benefits of business events helped ‘seal the deal’ on Sydney’s new $1.5bn International Convention Centre (ICC)


out the whole community until it’s just common knowledge.” BESYDNEY itself has also responded to the findings, and have restructured their organisation so that bid teams are aligned with key NSW industry sectors rather than traditional tourism objectives. Edwards and Foley are confident their research has had a significant impact on the industry already and that the research investment BESydney has made has paid dividends. “The industry in NSW is now armed with quality data and information to help them educate decision-makers about the full extent of the value of conferences,” Edwards said. “They’re also celebrating their Ambassadors’ stories about how conferences have helped them achieve their own goals, and they’re using those stories in their marketing. “Even more significant is their focus on targeting conferences that are linked to key industry sectors, which is proving a very successful strategy.” Edwards says their research now has new frontiers to explore. “In writing the book we discovered that no clear business model for the business events sector has been established,” she said. “There were models out there, but they weren’t fully documented.” THEY PROVIDED one in the book and will develop it further over


Associate Professor Carmel Foley, University of Technology, Sydney

coming months. The pair have also undertaken some preliminary studies on people taking time out from conferences. “We’re interested in why some people don’t attend the full conference, and the effect this has on the conference and the destination,” she said. “We have an open mind on what the findings will be.” She added: “We think there are going to be both positive and


negative outcomes because by doing things other than sitting in presentations (such as shopping, sightseeing, and dining out) people may spend more in the destination, which is great for local firms.” She also said it was no surprise some delegates took time out from conferences, adding: “Destinations like Scotland just have so much to offer visitors – it’s natural they’ll make time to see and do what they can.” “But that makes estimating attendance numbers at lunches, dinners and afternoon teas more difficult and can lead to food wastage and the like, so there will be consequences. “But what’s important is to do the research and be clear about what those consequences are.” Another area they are interested in exploring is the role of social media and technology in transforming the way conferences are delivered and operate. “When Kindle was launched in 2007 the demise of the bookshop was predicted,” she said. “Certainly, booksellers had to adjust, but today you see bookstores returning, and in the same way, we feel the sector will have to respond to technological advancement.” BUT SHE and Foley believe nothing can take the place of people meeting real people in real settings particularly when it is in ones like the Glasgow’s newly-launched SEC Meeting Academy.

“There’s currently no replacement for the camaraderie and sense of community that can develop around conferences, or the appeal of engaging face-to-face with peers,” Edwards said. “Indeed, technology may accord the sector any manner of new and exciting opportunities. But doing this in the right environment is critical “There’s just so much for the sector to learn from each other that can help them improve their systems and processes.” Foley said whilst the early motivator for her and Edwards was the challenge of breaking new ground, it’s now the importance of establishing ways to maximise conference legacies that inspires them. “Some of the ‘long-tail’ outcomes can be so powerful, as we know from the stories in our book,” she said. “I often find myself wondering just how much potential is being wasted because people still don’t really understand the power of conferences or the importance of legacy-building. “If we can do anything in terms of making conferences more effective I think that’s really worthwhile.” n Professors Carmel Foley & Deborah Edwards are keynote speakers at the Business Events Leaders’ Summit at the SEC in Glasgow on Wednesday, March 21, 2018





Triple whammy for Glasgow at the ‘Oscars of the events industry’ The city scoops three awards at UK meetings industry ceremony BY KEVIN O’SULLIVAN


lasgow has been named the UK’s Best Convention Bureau for a recordbreaking 12th consecutive year after working with industry partners to secure over £1.1bn worth of business to the city since 2007. The University of Strathclyde’s Technology and Innovation Centre was also crowned the UK’s Best Academic Venue and the Scottish Event Campus received Silver in the Best UK Conference Centre category at the Meeting & Incentive Travel (M&IT) Awards in London on March 2nd. GCB received the Gold award ahead of NewscastleGateshead Convention Bureau and Liverpool Convention Bureau. London & Partners, Convention Edinburgh and Destination Bristol also received commendations following a UK-wide poll conducted by the influential industry magazine, M&IT. In the last financial year alone, Glasgow secured 526 conferences through to 2022, bringing an additional 140,000 business tourists to the city and an estimated £142 million in economic impact over the next five years. Councillor David McDonald, Depute Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of Glasgow Life,

said: “Glasgow is recognised as one of the world’s leading conventions cities and this suite of awards from what is widely regarded as the ‘Oscars’ of the events industry reinforces the city’s reputation as the UK’s conference capital. “Winning the award for the UK’s Best Convention Bureau for the 12th consecutive year is unprecedented and it’s fantastic to see two of the city’s world class conferencing facilities picking up Gold and Silver for team Glasgow, too. “Indeed, Glasgow’s unrivalled success is testimony to the outstanding partnership working that exists right across our conventions sector – from VisitScotland, the SEC and Glasgow Chamber of Commerce to NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, our five universities and the wider business community including Greater Glasgow Hotels Association, Glasgow Restaurant Association, Glasgow Taxis and ScotRail, to name but a few.” Figures show that the volume of international associations choosing to bring their conference to Glasgow has grown by more than 60% over the past five years. Following a win over strong competition from the University of Cambridge, Warwick and Nottingham, Gordon Hodge, Head of Conferencing and Events at the University of Strathclyde, said: “The Technology and Innovation Centre has challenged traditional perceptions of an academic venue, and allows Strathclyde to host regional, national and international meetings

Glasgow’s TIC conference centre was named the UK’s best academic venue on a record-breaking night for the city

on campus – indeed, many now experience Strathclyde for the first time as a conference delegate.” Kathleen Warden, Director of Conference Sales at the Scottish Event Campus, added: “We are delighted to be a part of Glasgow’s success at this years’ M&IT Awards. We are continually investing in our campus and in the experiences that we can help our clients create in partnership with our colleagues across the city.” Major conferences won by Glasgow in the current financial year (2017/18) which will be hosted at the

Scottish Event Campus include: l The International Forum on Quality & Safety in Health Care, which will bring 3,500 delegates to the city and generate nearly £4.3 million for the local economy; l The Annual Congress of the European College of Sport Science, which will bring 3,000 delegates to the city and generate nearly £4.9 million for the local economy; l The British Society for Gastroenterology Annual Conference, which will bring 1,800 delegates to the city and generate approximately £3.7 million for the local economy. n


Scottish Events Directory 20/20 PRODUCTIONS



Contact: Alastair Scott ( +44 (0)131 668 2020 Email: hello@2020productions.com Website: www.2020productions.com

Contact: Barry Lawford ( 01312854238 Email: events@actavo.com Website: actavo.com/events/

Contact: Adam Cameron ( 07748637689 Email: adamc@alleventhire.co.uk Website: www.alleventhire.co.uk

For more than 27 years, we have been in the business of communication, providing creative solutions for some of the world’s leading organisations. Encompassing event production, film, animation, digital and print design, we have the expertise and experience to deliver bespoke communication solutions that exceed client’s expectations - we deliver the message, whatever the medium.

Actavo Events delivers award-winning infrastructure services for your event or festival including Staging, Grandstand Seating, Fence & Barrier, Bespoke Structures, Brand Activations, Ground Protection. Our Film & Television department also offers specialist structures and services. Whatever the event our dedicated account manager will guide and support you from initial enquiry right through to delivery.

As one of the UK’s leading events companies, we’re suppliers, event organisers and a creative solution all in one. EventIt 2018’s the launching platform for our latest exciting service, Twilight Trees. A vibrant selection of LED and non-LED Event Trees that’ll add sparkle to any event. Indoor or outdoor trees as seen on the X Factor.




Contact: Ross McKinnon ( 0141 212 8929 Email: info@amazingdays-scotland.com Website: www.amazingdays-scotland.com

Contact: Angela Andrews ( 0141 639 4210 Email: info@arrowcorporate.co.uk Website: www.arrowcorporate.co.uk

Contact: AJ Maguire ( 0141 212 6356 Email: events@brandcalibre.com Website: www.brandcalibre.com

Amazing Days is an award-winning team building and corporate events business. We have over 20 themed team building challenges and specialise in creating bespoke corporate events and incentive experiences for corporate groups visiting Scotland. Loch Lomond is a specialism, with many of our events featuring our fantastic speedboat adventures and 4x4 off road driving adventures.

Arrow Corporate Promotions are experienced suppliers of promotional merchandise, corporate gifts and branded clothing. Providing a personal service by working closely with clients to find effective promotional solutions, achieving marketing objectives, maximising impact all within the required budget and time scales. We have experience working with business of all sizes and from all sectors.

Video Marketing Agency, specialising in Awards and Events films. Through our love of storytelling we create engaging and entertaining videos for your awards ceremony or event. Our team are experienced in working to the tightest of deadlines, even providing on-site editors to create same-day content to maximise the traction of your event.




Contact: Maria Joliny ( 01355 521325 Email: sales@blueparrotcompany.com Website: www.blueparrotcompany.com

Contact: Carol Ward ( Direct: 0141 354 4490 Email: Carol.ward@brucestevenson.co.uk Website: www.brucestevenson.co.uk/our-services/

Contact: Leigh Craig ( 01383 410000 Email: dos@doubletree-queensferry.co.uk Website: www.cairnhotelgroup.com/

Established in 2007, Blue Parrot has become the first choice for event hire in the corporate and commercial Scottish events industry. Continual investment in the latest market innovations allows us to offer something unique. From full room décor, silent auction technology, theming, bespoke designs and production, your imagination is the only limitation to how we can assist.


We are specialists in the hospitality and tourism industry and are proud patrons of the Scottish Tourism Alliance, sponsors of HIT (Scotland) and members of Scotland Food & Drink. As a leading Scottish Business it’s great to engage with the tourism industry and bring benefit by way of expert advice and offers for their members.

Our professional team are well versed in creating tailor-made business solutions, so whether you’re looking to host an inspiring product launch or an innovative corporate event, Cairn Group will ensure you have the perfect combination of find refreshments and modern facilities to make your event a success.



Contact: Nicola Hillhouse ( 07834 219646 Email: nicola@confbuzz.com Website: confbuzz.com

Contact: Colin Philip ( 07967 312191 Email: cphilip@national-amusements.com Website: www.showcasecinemas.co.uk/groups-and-

Confbuzz helps delegates to make the most of their time at events by quickly and easily finding the top 5 or 6 people they would like to speak to, before they arrive. Confbuzz also helps organisers to generate reports, which they can use to: promote subsequent events; provide ROI; or standardise their business development process.


Contact: Judy Elvey ( 0203 519 7768 Email: JElvey@cvent.com Website: www.cvent.com Cvent, Inc. is a leading cloud-based enterprise event management platform, with over 2,000 employees and over 28,000 customers worldwide. Cvent offers a range of software solutions for event planners, hoteliers and venues.


Contact: Terry McBeth ( 07956382859 Email: Terry_mcbeth@dtglasgowcentral.com Website: www.dtglasgowcentral.com Having completed a £11m refurbishment in 2016 Doubletree by Hilton Glasgow Central is now one of the leading MICE Hotels in Scotland. We have 300 stylish bedrooms, 11 meeting rooms and the largest Hotel banqueting suite in Scotland. Free WiFi throughout the Hotel. Cask bar, Brisket restaurant, Juvenate Health & Leisure Club complete the picture….oh and 200 car parking spaces!

parties/conferences-and-events With 21 Showcase and Showcase Cinema de Lux UK locations, we have the perfect venue for your conference or event. Our dedicated team can offer you the chance to host your event and can provide a great opportunity to communicate with your colleagues, customers or suppliers in an inviting setting.


Contact: Sarah Brown ( 0131 335 1845 Email: conferenceandevents@dalmahoyhotelandcountryclub.co.uk Website: www.dalmahoyhotelandcountryclub.co.uk/ meetings-events/ Discover Dalmahoy Hotel & Country Club just 20 minutes from Edinburgh’s city centre. Dalmahoy boasts a rich history. Originally a Scottish Baronial Manor house, the hotel now offers meetings and events space from 6 to 300 people as well as 215 bedrooms, two golf courses and inclusive leisure facilities.


Contact: Selina Van Hagen ( 0131 523 1269 Email: Selina.VanHagen@dynamicearth.co.uk Website: www.dynamicearth.co.uk/ As one of the leading conference and gala dinner venues in Edinburgh, Dynamic Earth attracts visitors from all over the world to prestigious business meetings, glittering gala dinners, weddings and other innovative corporate functions in Scotland’s iconic capital.


Contact: Jill Parsons ( 0141 306 9988 Email: jill.parsons@valoreurope.com Website: www.ihg.com/crowneplaza/hotels/gb/en/ glasgow/glwcr/hoteldetail Crowne Plaza Glasgow is a landmark hotel within the City, not only for its size and location, but also its unique contemporary style and simple elegance. With 283 bedrooms, 15 function rooms, car parking, restaurant, bar and leisure club the hotel offers an excellent choice of facilities.


Contact: Annabel Drysdale ( +44 (0) 131 221 5414 Email: events@doubletreeedinburghcity.co.uk Website: http://www.doubletreeedinburghcity.co.uk/ Our dedicated Conference Centre situated in the heart of Edinburgh is the perfect venue for events with up to 200 delegates. Enjoy the spectacular backdrop of Edinburgh Castle and the city skyline by hosting your event in our exclusive Penthouse with rooftop terrace. We take your business very personally and are always at your service.


Contact: Richard Ellis ( 0131 221 2999 Email: Richard.ellis@edinburghchamber.co.uk Website: www.edinburghchamber.co.uk The Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce is an independent business membership organisation which promotes trade and encourages growth in the capital and beyond. We are one of Edinburgh’s best-connected business networks with over 1000 members. First and foremost, we support our members, helping them to grow and develop by inspiring connections and facilitating collaboration across all sectors and communities.




Contact: Amanda Wrathall ( 0131 300 3333 Email: sales@eicc.co.uk Website: www.eicc.co.uk

Contact: Graeme Grindle ( 01592 749796 Email: shellschemescotland@gmail.com Website: www.shellschemescotland.com

The EICC is an impressive multi-purpose venue in central Edinburgh, a short walk from Haymarket Station and minutes by taxi from Waverley Station. All of the flexible and innovative spaces are complemented with the latest technologies, whilst the dynamic team are experts in creating the perfect environment to inspire your delegates networking and idea sharing.

EL Event Services Scotland Ltd t/a Shell Scheme Scotland are a family run business and proud to offer our customers a bespoke shell scheme hire and build service across the country. Our team have built a reputation for meeting and exceeding client expectations offering a service that has that all important personal touch.


Contact: Ashley Pink ( (+44) 07521 508331 Email: ashley@event-trees.com Website: www.event-trees.co.uk ‘Creating stunning environments’ With a range of products designed and created in our workshops with the event industry in mind; Event Trees can deliver anything from a bespoke entrance piece to an exquisite immersive environment in a very short time frame.




Contact: Ian Webb ( +44 (0)20-7785-7040 Email: Ian.webb@eventsforce.com Website: www.eventsforce.com/products/

Contact: Ash Austin ( Direct: 01487 640640 Email: ash@evolutiondome.com Website: www.evolutiondome.com

Contact: Tim Vardy ( 0031-23-5251400 Email: info@festivalchairs.com Website: www.festivalchairs.com/en

Eventsforce provides event management software that helps results-driven professionals deliver thousands of successful events each year. Its web-based solutions address all aspects of the event management lifecycle - from event planning, marketing and registration, to abstracts and awards management, as well as postevent analysis and reporting.

Evolution Dome is an Award Winning Temporary Inflatable Structure supplier to the Events industry. Supplying Temporary Inflatable Structures for Conferences, Exhibitions and corporate events worldwide.

The corporate FestivalChair is sturdy, trendy, cool, classic, cheerful, creative, stylish and informal. This multipurpose cardboard stool can be customized to match whatever theme you have chosen for your event. Looking for a more creative solution than a boring grey chair for your event. The FestivalChair is what you are looking for!




Contact: Stephanie Beattie ( 0845 388 1599 Email: bookings@1599.co.uk Website: www.1599.co.uk

Contact: Greg O’Donnell ( 0141 331 3520 Email: greg.odonnell@gcu.ac.uk Website: www.gcu.ac.uk/conferences/

Contact: Pauline Shaw ( 0141 287 4350 Email: pauline.shaw@glasgowlife.org.uk Website:www.glasgowlife.org.uk/Pages/default.aspx

1599 at the Royal College is host to a collection of unique rooms and function suites available for conferences and events, private dining, meetings and formal functions. Cutting edge technology including fully A/V equipped lecture theatres, video conferencing equipment and presentation facilities ensure that the venue provides the ultimate delegate experience.


Glasgow Caledonian University is located in the heart of Glasgow’s vibrant city centre with modern conference facilities. Our spaces include a distinctive, flexible, 488 seat lecture theatre as well as spaces to accommodate a host of events including conferences and exhibitions. The stunning Lantern room is available year round for smaller events and private dinners.

Glasgow has a wealth of iconic venues for hire that will provide the perfect setting for any event. From ultra modern spaces to buildings steeped in history there is no limit to the type of occasion we can host including conferences, exhibitions, receptions, meetings, award functions, parties, weddings and everything else in between.

CONTACT: SHONA MCLEAN Shona@eventsbase.co.uk 0131 561 7347 GLASGOW SCIENCE CENTRE



Contact: Hannah Wright ( 0141 420 5008 Email: hannah.wright@gsc.org.uk Website: www.glasgowsciencecentre.org

Contact: Georgia McKay ( 01698 206 478 Email: Georgia.mckay@sodexo.com Website: https://hamilton-park.co.uk/

Contact: Jill Nicholson ( 0141 620 4136 Email: Venues&events.prestige.uk@sodexo.com Website: www.prestigevenuesandevents.sodexo.com

Why Choose Ordinary? Located on the Clyde waterfront, a vibrant place where historic Glasgow meets the modern city, Glasgow Science Centre’s iconic buildings of glass, titanium and steel provide an unforgettable backdrop for your event. With creative in-house catering and expert audio-visual, our experienced events team will work with you to ensure the smooth delivery of your event.

Hamilton Park Racecourse is the venue of choice for any type of event. Whether you are organising a conference, private party or corporate team building day, we guarantee first class service from your initial enquiry right through to your event taking place.

Hampden Park, Scotland’s National Stadium offers high quality meeting spaces combined with top class services and award winning menus to create a memorable event experience. Whether you are organising a conference, exhibition, private party or something a bit different, we guarantee professional, first class service with a smile.




Contact: Jane Henderson ( 0141 566 1871 Email: JaneHenderson@theiet.org Website: teacherbuilding.theiet.org

Contact: Victoria Smeaton ( 07329 196 426 Email: Victoria.smeaton@jupiterhotels.co.uk Website: www.jupiterhotels.co.uk

Contact: Dawn Lister ( 0141 314 4820 Email: Dawn_lister@jurysinns.com Website: www.jurysinns.com

IET Glasgow: Teacher Building is a multi-award winning popular city-centre venue, truly versatile and offers 5-star customer service. With 14 multi-use rooms enjoy the convenience of the latest technology, including complimentary high-speed WiFi and HD video conferencing. The Laphroaig Theatre is a modern, tiered auditorium for up to 125 delegates, with built-in AV.

Jupiter Hotels operate 29 hotels in the UK. 27 properties under the Mercure brand and two Holiday Inns. From Inverness to Brighton and Swansea to Norwich. Our hotels offer a wide range of facilities intimate meeting rooms or larger function rooms for your conference and event requirements for up to 800 guests.

Jurys Inn offers over 364 stylish, well located meeting and function rooms across 36 hotels in the UK, Ireland and Czech Republic. Each location is has an experienced and dedicated team on hand as well our 12 point customer promise to ensure the smooth running of your event.




Contact: Gina Clark ( 0344 879 9192 Email: MandE@macdonald-hotels.co.uk Website: www.macdonaldhotels.co.uk

Contact: Sarah-Jane Friedman ( 0131 314 4008 Email: Sarah-jane@metroecosse.com Website: www.metroecosse.com

Contact: Allie Barr ( 07538 381298 Email: a.barr.externalnh@nh-hotels.com Website: www.nh-hotels.com

Who says you can’t mix business with pleasure? We do it every single day at over 40 locations across the UK. Each of our hotels has a unique style and character as well as a host of services and facilities for business events, conferences and team building.

Lights, conference, action! Metro Ecosse can provide you with a creative and technical event production solution across Scotland, the UK and beyond. Our unique combination of skills in creative design, content creation, video and technical event production allows us to create engaging and memorable, live communications that meet your corporate communication goals every time.

NH Hotel Group is a consolidated trusted operator, leader in the urban segment in Europe and with strong presence in Latin America. It operates over 380 hotels with almost 60,000 rooms in 30 countries in top destinations such as Berlin, Madrid, Amsterdam, Buenos Aires, Bogotá, Rome, Mexico City, Barcelona and New York.



Contact: Frances Crolla ( 0131 333 6442 Email: fcrolla@handpicked.co.uk Website: www.handpickedhotels.co.uk/nortonhouse The historic Norton House Hotel & Spa is set within 55 acres of grounds just 5 minutes from Edinburgh airport and 20 minutes from the city centre. Facilities include a Ballroom for up to 300 guests, a dedicated Conference Centre, a Brasserie, Lounges, a car park and 83 bedrooms. Free Wi-Fi and a central events team complete the offering.


Contact: Kimberly Walker ( 0131 335 6200 Email: kimberlyw@rhass.org.uk Website: www.royalhighlandcentre.co.uk/ The RHC is Scotland’s largest indoor & outdoor venue, offering a range of superb space, suitable for a wide range of events. Playing host to over 220 events annually and attracting over one million visitors each year, the RHC offers versatility for event owners.


Contact: Robert Bell ( 0800 328 1372 Email: sales@pchires.com Website: www.pchires.com Hire the latest tech from Scotland’s premier IT Rental company. We hold the largest stock of IT equipment, & can setup & customise configurations & presentations to suit your requirements. Our extensive stock includes computers, laptops, iPads, tablets, LCD & plasma screens, touch screens, servers, networking, routers, printers etc. Call us today on Freephone 08000851176


( 0370 606 1100 Email: hire@saville-av.com Website: www.saville-av.com/hire With a heritage spanning over 50 years, Saville AV is one of the industry’s most established and dynamic live event specialists. Our team of experts offers a range of solutions for live events including technical event design and production, digital event services, AV equipment hire and venue support, across the UK and globally.


Contact: Leanne Scobie ( 0141 240 3750 Email: Leanne.scobie@theprincipalhotel.com Website: www.phcompany.com/ Principal is a collection of award-winning hotels in city centre locations the length and breadth of Britain. Many of them occupy heritage, grande dame buildings; all of them are distinctive in their own way.


Contact: Glenda Carlyle ( 0141 275 6212 Email: Glenda.carlyle@sec.co.uk Website: Sec.co.uk/secmeetingacademy The Scottish Event Campus is Scotland’s premier venue for events of all shapes and sizes. From small meetings of 100 delegates to exhibitions and live events welcoming thousands of visitors, you can do it all at the SEC. The venue comprises the SEC Centre, the SEC Armadillo and The SSE Hydro.




( 02073260286 Email: marketing@shocklogic.com Website: www.shocklogic.com/

Contact: Cheryl Goff ( 0131 275 7745 Email: cherylgoff@nhs.net Website: www.shsc.scot

Contact: Mark Kisby ( 01383 825709 Email: mark.kisby@avdept.co.uk Website: avdept.co.uk/products-services/simultaneous-

Shocklogic provides powerful technology solutions for events, meetings and members. Founded in 1997, our team is a unique mixture of technical experts and event specialists, with over 50 years of combined industry experience. Shocklogic is the one-stop-shop for your event management technology needs.


SHSC provides an events management and meeting support service in a purpose built conference and training centre located in the heart of Edinburgh. Working together SHSC can deliver a bespoke package of event services tailored to suit all requirements. To find out more give us a call or visit our website.

interpretation/ To ensure you are literally speaking the same language at international events AV Department can supply and install Simultaneous Interpretation (SI) systems. These consist of interpreter booths, an infrared language transmission system and delegate headset receivers. We can also arrange for qualified and experienced conferencing interpreters.

CONTACT: SHONA MCLEAN Shona@eventsbase.co.uk 0131 561 7347 SURGEONS QUARTER

Contact: Moira Walker ( Direct: 0131 527 1731 Email: m.walker@surgeonshall.com Website: www.surgeonshall.com/ Here at Surgeons Quarter we have a long history of innovation and inspiration. This level of care and attention to detail is now being channelled into providing outstanding conference venues for businesses that are as passionate about getting things right.


Contact: Susan Kynoch ( 01324 819819 Email: info@thepaexchange.co.uk Website: www.thepaexchange.co.uk Scotland’s only dedicated online concierge service tailored to the specific needs of busy PAs, Secretaries and Office Personnel.


Contact: Business Development ( 0141 553 4148 Email: conferenceglasgow@strath.ac.uk Website: www.strath.ac.uk/conferencingandevents/ Located in the heart of Glasgow, within easy reach of transport networks, hotels and the Scottish Event Campus, the University of Strathclyde’s Technology and Innovation Centre offers flexible, state-of-theart conferencing facilities all year round. Versatile Auditoria accommodate up to 450, alongside 10 bright, comfortable Conference Rooms and spacious Foyers, perfect for networking, catering and exhibitions.


Contact: Andrew Hampson ( 01732 866122 Email: enquiries@target-response.co.uk Website: www.target-response.co.uk Since 1985, Target Response has supplied databases of meeting, conference & event organisers and PAs within major UK companies and associations for your mailing, telemarketing and emailing campaigns.


Contact: Tracey Morrison ( 07814 781 930 Email: tracey.morrison@studiovenues.co.uk Website: www.studiovenues.co.uk Situated in the heart of Glasgow’s city centre just opposite central train station, The Studio offers much more than 6 vibrant events spaces equipped with the latest in IT AV and apple TV: a tailored experience with a team driven by our mission statement… Customer First.


Contact: Georgina Phillips ( 07717 707321 Email: gphillips@qhotels.co.uk Website: www.qhotels.co.uk/our-locations/thewesterwood-hotel-golf-resort/ Located in central Scotland, the award winning Westerwood Hotel & Golf Resort is a magnificent conference and meeting venue. The hotel offers a range of meeting rooms including the Carrick Suite which can cater for up to 400 theatre style and has the flexibility to be divided into smaller meeting space and breakout areas.


Contact: Ronnie Dukes ( Direct: 0141 240 1308/ 1340 Email: ronniedukes@theambassadors.com Website: www.atg.co.uk The King’s Theatre and Theatre Royal Glasgow are two of Scotland’s most historic and significant theatres. Our unique and flexible spaces are available for you and your company to plan meetings, workshops, presentations, corporate hospitality and more.


Contact: Simon Page ( 020 7183 9665 or 07939 021175 Email: simon@titaniumfireworks.com Website: www.titaniumfireworks.com Responsible for the Mayor of London’s New Year’s Eve 2018, Edinburgh’s Hogmanay 2018, Launch of the Hull 2017 City of Culture & the Rugby World Cup 2015.


Contact: Sophie Moss ( 01904 449620 Email: sophie@wowgrass.com Website: www.wowgrass.com/ WowGrass is real grass; it’s fresh, alive and soilfree. A unique product and an alternative surface for experiential events, exhibitions, weddings and parties. It can be laid indoors or outdoors, anywhere, it can cover furniture, walls anything you can imagine.



Contact: Edinburgh Napier Events Team ( 0131 455 3711 Email: conferences@napier.ac.uk Website: www.napier.ac.uk/venue-hire


Contact: Chris Malcolm ( 0141 291 5955 Email: enquiries@eventcom.co.uk Website: www.eventcom.co.uk

Edinburgh Napier University offers a multi-site events space, with 3 campuses located around the inspiring capital of Edinburgh. With venues ranging from 400 max capacity lecture theatres, to flexible break out spaces and meeting rooms and historic dinner venues, all equipped with the latest technology and wi-fi as you’d expect from a first-class university venue.

EventCom are a truly unique consultancy positioned between a wide range of Audio Visual suppliers and Event and Communication professionals, negotiating on your behalf to ensure the equipment, people and costs are the best available. This allows you to maximise your budget without sacrificing on quality.



Contact: Laura Robertson ( 0131 333 6833 Email: laura.robertson@gtg.co.uk Website: www.gtg.co.uk For over 40 years, GTG has been offering expert training – and now we also offer industry-leading conference facilities at our sites in Glasgow, Edinburgh and the West Midlands. We provide business services to some of the largest companies in the UK, with flexible venues that can hold events of varying sizes and requirements.


Contact: Nancy Braid ( +44 141 221 8272 Email: events@merchantshouse.org.uk Website: www.merchantshouse.org.uk/contact Our venue is available for your private event, conference, or dinner. Maximum capacity 120. Smaller rooms available for receptions or break out rooms. We are one of the oldest social enterprises in Glasgow, steeped in history and tradition. Each time you hire our venue your income is exported back to the local communities in Glasgow.


Contact: 0141 951 6006 Email: conferences@goldenjubilee.scot.nhs.uk Website: www.goldenjubileehotel.com

Scotland’s Award-Winning Venue of Excellence has 168 bedrooms and 15 versatile meeting spaces, including a 174-seat auditorium, cutting edge Innovation Centre, a dynamic Central Plaza networking space and a brandnew Inspiration Space. Accommodating up to 250 delegates with complementary wi-fi throughout. Come for a show around and meet our event planners.


Contact: Gemma Macniven ( 0141 221 1030 Email: gemma@rosspromo.com Website: www.rosspromotional.co.uk Established in 1984, Ross Promotional continues to be a family run business. Our team is motivated by a huge pride in the company and focus on providing customers with the best possible products delivered in a fast, friendly and efficient way. We supply a wide range of promotional products from giveaways, corporate gifts, uniforms and awards.



Join us for the E Awards ceremony at the Scottish Event Campus on Wednesday, March 21, 2018


Registers of Scotland

20/20 Productions Europe Ltd

RZSS Edinburgh Zoo


Scottish Maritime Museum

Actavo Events

Silverstream TV

Action Against Stalking



strEAT Events

Dynamic Earth


Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce

Tag Digital

Edinburgh International Conference Centre



University of Strathclyde

FillMyBus MCI UK


Oban Live c/o Decade Events LLP

Aberdeen Student Festival


Impact Conference 2017 at Destiny Church


Universities of Scotland Events Conference 2017

Red Bus Bistro

UWS Scottish Music Festival EVENTSBASE | SPRING 2018 | 39



Meet, network and learn at The Meetings Show 2018 Scotland’s meeting and events planners urged to sign up for the annual showcase at Olympia London on June 27-28 BY EMMA CARTWRIGHT


he Meetings Show, the premier event for the inbound and outbound meetings and events industry in the UK, has opened registration for its hosted buyer programme and is encouraging Scotland's meeting and event planners to sign up. Open to individuals from event management agencies, venue finding companies, incentive houses, associations, PCOs, AMCs, charities, government and corporate organisations, the programme is designed to bring tangible benefits to both buyers and exhibitors. This year's show, which takes place at Olympia London on 27 and 28 June, will welcome over 2,000 UK and international buyers to do business with over 700 exhibitors. Visitors from Scotland can easily access the show with flights from Edinburgh and Glasgow to London taking just an hour – and for as little as £49 via the Skyscanner website. For those on the hosted buyer programme, all of the logistics are handled by the show team including the 30-minute transfers from airport to venue to make the journey as hassle-free as possible. Taking part in the hosted buyer programme gives meeting and event buyers exclusive networking opportunities, access to invaluable education sessions and the opportunity to pre-schedule appointments with key suppliers from around the world, as well as having transport and accommodation costs covered. WITH THE show taking place over two days instead of three as well as the introduction of simplified hosted buyer attendance options, buyers will get access to the same amount of valuable contacts but

The Meetings Show will deliver a new two-day format to cut down on the amount of time busy delegates need to spend away from the office

with less time away from the office. There will also be a new pre-show conference with tailored education streams exclusively for hosted buyers, and a Hosted Buyer Welcome Reception which this year will be held at the Science Museum. The targeted format of The Meetings Show's hosted buyer programme also has benefits, says David Chapple, Group Event Director for The Meetings Show. “The new two-day format means

less of a time commitment for buyers and makes their time away from the office more productive," he said. "We’ve also streamlined the options for attendance, enabling buyers to choose the one that is most appropriate to their needs and requirements. “Unlike some trade shows, we don’t carry out appointment matches. Buyers are in control and choose all their own appointments based on who they want to meet, so

all the meetings are about real business needs and interest.” Event planners can apply directly to The Meetings Show to take part in the hosted buyer programme, but also have the option of joining a group organised by a group coordinator. n For more information about The Meetings Show and to apply to be a hosted buyer at this year’s event, visit www.themeetingsshow.com


DELIVERY NATIONAL TRUST FOR SCOTLAND National Trust for Scotland venues include castles, country houses, hunting lodges and world-class attractions across Scotland

Extraordinary experiences that help protect Scotland’s rich heritage


rganising an event through the National Trust for Scotland not only offers a truly unforgettable experience it also plays a crucial part in helping to protect Scotland’s heritage for generations to enjoy. Since 1931, National Trust for Scotland has been inspiring people to learn, love and connect with the places, stories and things that make Scotland unique. As an independent charity the Trust protects and shares some of the country’s most precious historic places, on behalf of everyone who lives in and visits Scotland. The properties open their doors to visitors from around the world throughout the season and beyond, and offer a truly authentic experi-


ence for corporate entertaining, private events and incentives. The collection of magnificent castles, breath-taking royal palaces, elegant country houses, world-class museums, colourful gardens and rolling country estates, provides an outstanding backdrop to suit all occasions. The Trust has recently appointed a new hospitality team, brimming with unique ideas that are designed to inspire, entertain and engage, including: A Call from the Wild, Georgian House Party, Get in the Swing, Adventure Unlimited and Forage & Feast plus many more. For further details contact functions@nts.org.uk or call + 44 (0) 131 458 0438. www.nts.org.uk/hire-a-venue


NOEA Scotland – the unique voice of the Scottish events industry


s the voice of the events industry, NOEA is the UK’s largest trade body representing the events and festivals sector. The organisation represents its members’ interests on everything from the event ‘bible’ – the purple guide – to police and TTRO charging, local authority planning and any issue that affects our members. NOEA Scotland adds specific market knowledge for events north of the Border – a process which although similar has some important differences in terms of legislation. The body advises members not only on compliance issues relating to Scotland but also offer a supportive community of fellow event

professionals trying to go about their jobs in an often fast-changing environment. NOEA Scotland took part in the inaugural EventIt in 2016, for Year Two in 2017 and looks forward to participation in the event once again on March 22. Tom Clements, Chairman of

NOEA Scotland, said: “There are some big topics on the horizon for events organisers, including changes to data protection but also the thorny issues of police charging and TTROs continue to dominate the landscape. “EventIt is a very useful meeting place for events professionals within and outwith Scotland who gather to discuss how we meet the challenges the industry throws up together.” Tom himself has been Director of Specialized Security for nearly 30 years and holds a degree in event safety management. As part of the Health and Safety Executive’s working party Tom was responsible for the revision and implementation of the Industry essential

‘Purple Guide’, ‘Green Guide’ and other Event Safety Guides widely used today. He added: “As an organisation, there is nothing to rival NOEA for all events professionals who are seeking to navigate health and safety guidelines and compliance across the board. “There are some big international events coming up in Scotland – this year with Glasgow 2018 and also the Solheim Cup in 2019, so it’s important events professionals continue to develop close relationships with the services upon which we all rely to deliver healthy, wealthy and sustainable events for all to enjoy.” n www.noea.org.uk

The last straw – for the SEC Ever the trail blazer on sustainability, the Scottish Event Campus has a ban on the use of plastic straws. The SSE Hydro, SEC Centre and SEC Armadillo have all ceased to use plastic sraws as part of a global campaign to crack down on

non-recyclable plastics which are damaging marine life. Scottish rock band Mogwai chose the Marine Conservation Society as its charity for the sold-out gig at the SSE Hydro on December 16 and asked about waste policies at

venue. The only items which were not compostable were the drinking straws and in line with several ‘no straws’ campaigns Mogwai requested that none were served at the event. Since then the SEC has managed

to source recyclable straws from Vegware, bringing about an end to the use of the plastic version. Mark Laidlaw, Director of Operations at the SEC, said: “This is a great achievement for such a large venue.”



Incredible Impacts funds associations which have demonstrated the ‘beyond tourism’ benefits of their events

Incredible Impacts programme back for a second year Associations which can demonstrate ‘beyond tourism’ impacts can apply for funding BY KEVIN O’SULLIVAN


scheme that provides grants to associations which demonstrate the ‘beyond tourism’ impacts of their events has opened to applicants for a second year. The Incredible Impacts programme – developed by the BestCities Global Alliance and ICCA – will offer three grants of $7,500 (US) to associations which can provide examples of the long-term legacies of their conferences.

Factors such as sustainability, environmental considerations and knowledge sharing are fundamental elements of international associations and the Incredible Impacts Grant presents an opportunity to showcase best practice. The programme launched with 20 associations submitting their innovative approaches to beyond tourism in 2017. Evaluation was conducted through a peer review by a panel of judges from international associations. One of the winners was The International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis (ISTH) for its World Thrombosis Day Campaign. Louise St. Germain, Director of Membership and Marketing of ISTH, said: “The Incredible Impacts Programme is an amazing platform for associations like ISTH to show-


case the creative ways they are addressing issues beyond tourism. “Receiving the $7,500 grant has enabled us to further build awareness of the critical condition of Thrombosis and Haemostasis than ever before. The money will be utilised to develop and distribute additional online and print resources that will be crucial to the education of health care providers and the public which is such a fantastic step forward for us.” Louise will join the panel to judge this year’s nominations alongside fellow 2017 Incredible Impacts winners; Tracy Bury, Director of World Confederation for Physical Therapy and Elisabeth Pollard, Executive Director of World Parkinson Coalition Inc. Silke Schlinnertz, Head of Events & Operations of Euroheat & Power,

Belgium and Bettina Borisch, Executive Director of World Federation of Public Health Associations, Switzerland will also join the panel. Paul Vallee, Managing Director of BestCities said: “We couldn’t be more pleased with the success of the first Incredible Impacts Grant Programme and year two is expected to bring even more attention to international associations that are truly making a difference to improve the world.” ICCA CEO Martin Sirk said: “Over the last decade the world’s leading meetings destinations have all embraced strategies that place intellectual capital creation and knowledge exchange, and economic and societal development goals ahead of traditional bed-night driven, tourist-centric metrics.” n

The Evntz App helped fans navigate their way to a series of summer concerts in Dublin last summer, including Guns N’ Roses at Slane Castle

Partnership with ICE is far from frosty SEC set to develop closer links with in-house corporate event planners BY KEVIN O’SULLIVAN The Scottish Event Campus (SEC) has agreed a partnership with ICE, the community of corporate meeting and event planners, as part of its commitment to work closer with brands and businesses. The agreement will build on the SEC’s existing partnership with ICE, and includes sponsorship of the ICEAwards, which take place this summer for the fourth time. The SEC will also work collaboratively with ICE, both as supporters of the ICEAwards’ ‘Best In-House Team Award’, and through a number of research projects within its community. The venue campus will also support ICETalks, ICEDay and ICEOnline as part of the partnership. The corporate market continues to be an important one to the SEC, with the venue’s rebrand to Scottish Event Campus last year stimulating more interest from brands and businesses looking to host meetings, events and activations in Scotland. “We’re seeing great brands come to the SEC in 2018, and a high level of loyalty as we go into the new financial year with 85% of corporate business being repeat. We have some great relationships with major businesses,” said Kathleen Warden, Director of Conference Sales, SEC. n

Sweet app o’mine Events platform launched at Guns N’ Roses concert is a real hit with concertgoers


vntz App was founded in 2017 as a joint venture between Actavo Events Ltd (an award-winning event services company specialising in the supply of event infrastructure and solutions for the events sector), Kim O’Callaghan (event professional & founder) and Sendrato Ltd (a hardware and software company that develops wearable technology for events). Kim O’Callaghan, co-founder of Evntz App came up with the concept of the app, having discussed about how customer service and safety could be improved at events. Evntz App is as an event customer navigation, information and reporting app for fans prior to,

during and was first used at the following 2017 summer concerts which happened in Dublin – Guns N’ Roses in Slane Castle, Robbie Williams and Phil Collins concerts in the Aviva Stadium and Coldplay and U2 concerts in Croke Park. It can be tailored for indoor and outdoor events, venues and performing artists. Evntz App includes a map and navigation feature, a frequently asked questions section, a purchasing feature which allows the customer to purchase tickets to upcoming concerts/ car parking and local transport options, an ‘ask us’ feature which allows the user to get in direct contact with a member of the customer support team, a transport section that allows the user to view recommended transport routes to the venue/ site and book various transport options and a feedback option enabling users to share their experience of the event.

Evntz App is a platform to enable customer engagement to improve their overall event experience. The two biggest issues for customers at a large-scale concert/festival is; (A) Getting in direct contact with key personnel that can assist them with any issue they have and (B) Getting access to up-to-date information about all aspects of the event. Evntz App is a solution which gives the user direct access before, during and after the event to liase with key personnel from the customer support team to have their issue resolved promptly while also giving attendees an option to provide feedback of their experience at the event. The App ensures that you can find your way to the venue or festival site even if you’re unsure of the city that you’re in or you don’t know the location very well with recommended methods of transportation to and from the venue/site. n



Entering straight into the world aged 17, Kim Wilkinson has steadily made her way up the career ladder in the hospitality industry to Director of Sales, Scotland, for Apex Hotels, with responsibility for corporate, group and MICE sales across the country. Based in Dundee, she now finds herself on the cusp of a city-wide transformation. Recent past: I’m celebrating my 15th year with Apex Hotels in July and it has been an amazing 15 years. I joined shortly after Apex City Quay in Dundee opened as the Group’s first hotel outside of Edinburgh - and at that time we only had four hotels between these two cities. It was with great foresight that Apex chose to open the hotel; whilst the £1billion waterfront development was in play, the V&A was not even a pipe dream at that stage. I started as Sales Manager, was later promoted to Business Development Director taking on the strategy and management of Events & Sales, and within the last three years Apex provided me with the opportunity to take on the role of Director of Sales for Scotland. Before that: I didn’t start on the ca-

reer ladder with any formal hospitality training – I went straight into the world of work at 17 doing admin sales, later trained to be a paralegal in conveyancing, then spent some time in retail sales. But two decades ago I discovered the hospitality industry and never looked back. I spent two years with the Dundee & Angus Convention Bureau (DACB); my role was to promote the area for UK and international events. A key focus of the DACB is reaching out to influential conference ambassadors for the area – key individuals respected within their specialist academic and corporate fields, and who have the ability to singlehandedly bring international events to the city. This role really opened my eyes to the potential of the city and educated me on the many benefits of the area.

Industry: Apex works hard to separate itself from the industry norm. Just this month we began


that the Marquee – Dundee’s largest event space – has given us. The Marquee is a venue that can facilitate up to 700 guests for a dinner dance and is constructed on site for a limited time. It has shown us that there is a real desire, and a need, for this type of facility in the city. In the long term I’d love to see investment in an extension to the hotel in the form of a permanent structure which could be filled throughout the year.

the rollout of our #warmerwelcome campaign which sees us putting a stronger focus than ever on guest wellbeing. And this approach to going over and above applies to all aspects of the business. From an event organising point of view we don’t have a ‘one size fits all’ approach and we don’t say “computer says no”. Every enquiry that comes through is completely different, so while we do publicise our hotels’ capacity and layout, we also think outside the box. We are problem solvers and even if we get a request that might not seem possible, we work with clients to come up with solutions and do our utmost to offer them what they need. We also strive to keep one step ahead which is essential in a competitive marketplace. This takes the form of continued investment, refurbishment and offering services you won’t find elsewhere. For example in Bath we have a bespoke, cutting-edge conferencing app that we make available to organisers, allowing them to share conference programmes

and papers with delegates, and its interactive capabilities provide features including live polling during conferences. This is something we are gearing up to introduce in Dundee later this year. Vision: As my title would sug-

gest I’m focused on sales so my personal vision is to exceed the revenue required across our Scottish properties. And while my remit is officially Scotland, I also welcome opportunities to bring my expertise to our properties further afield. I was recently involved in the Bath opening for example, as it is similar in size to Dundee and I had experience of selling that type of property in a provincial city. Apex is actively looking for other opportunities and that excites me. During the time I’ve worked here there has been constant evolution – things have never stood still, the company has changed year-on-year as has my job. Looking specifically at Dundee, I want to explore ways to further capitalise on the great opportunity

Best moment: My proudest career moment to-date was winning the Dundee & Angus Women Ahead Outstanding Achievement Award 2015. We all hope that we make a difference in the work that we carry out and this showed me I have done so. The Women Ahead award required references – and the response from clients and past colleagues really blew me away. Had I not won the award, these would still have been reward enough. I was also honoured to be awarded the Apex Directors Award the same year for my contribution to securing and executing the Commonwealth Games Satellite Village for the shooting competition. Is Scotland the perfect stage? Absolutely. Dundee in particular is thriving and the excitement around the V&A is putting it in the spotlight more and helping showcase the many things it has to offer. And rightly so – it’s in an incredible location with 90 per cent of Scotland within a 90-minute drive. It has long been an ambition of Dundee to be a conference city, and while people looking to bring events to Scotland might not have considered it before, there is now a strong message being sent out that the city should be on your radar. n


An influential report detailing the lasting benefits of business events helped pave the way for the $1.5bn ICC Sydney

Business events take a top seat at the top table of government planning MICE agenda moves closer to the heart of growth agenda in Australia BY KEVIN O’SULLIVAN


ast month Australia took steps to move business events closer to the national government’s growth agenda – linking them explicitly to trade and investment plans. The Federal government convened its first ‘Beyond Tourism 2020 Steering Committee’ with the task of developing a long-term tourism strategy to drive and facilitate growth. Federal Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Steven Ciobo said: “Supported by the Turnbull Coalition Government, the Beyond Tourism 2020 Steering Committee has been established to attract an even greater share of the world’s 1.3 billion international travellers. Doing so will create new Australian jobs.” ‘Beyond Tourism’ is a concept

fostered and supported by the MICE industry for approaching a decade; it is not a new term, but it has struggled to pick up agency and make a policy breakthrough. Broadly speaking, there are immediate benefits to hosting MICE business – the tourism spend generated by hotels, bars & restaurants, and transport providers etc – and there are longer term, so-called ‘beyond tourism’ benefits. Policy-makers have long been wedded to immediate economic impacts because they are easy to measure whereas beyond tourism benefits – knowledge exchange, business deals, educational outcomes etc – are hard and sometimes impossible to grasp in traditional metrics. It is therefore hardly a surprise that the efforts being made by the likes of the Joint Meetings Industry Council – through its Iceberg Project – and others to create a paradigm shift in policy have been difficult to communicate. However, the work now being undertaken at State and Federal Government level in Australia indicates that might be changing, and

research undertaken by Professors Carmel Foley and Deborah Edwards at the University of Technology Sydney, which does measure the longer term benefits, is being credited with capital investment into the new $1.5bn ICC Sydney convention centre. AS A REPORT from Business Events Sydney notes: “BESydney has used its Beyond Tourism Benefits: the Social Legacy of Business Events research findings to underpin its ongoing engagement with Government and build the business case for a new convention centre. Our new convention centre is not only an essential piece of infrastructure for the future of business events, the project is aligned with the Government’s objectives of rebuilding the economy and maintaining NSW’s standing as Australia’s commercial and economic hub. We also used these findings to demonstrate to Government how business events can contribute to achieving the goals and objectives set out in its 2021 plan - NSW 2021: A plan to make NSW

number one. As a result of the state plan, the Government established six taskforces to develop a 10-year growth plan for the industries they identified as priority sectors for the State. BESydney compiled a submission to each of these taskforces that demonstrated how business events can contribute to the growth of these sectors and the Government’s overall objectives… We’ve made the paradigm shift. Our industry in NSW is in the best place it’s been for a long time, with broader understanding and even broader support across government and business.” At UK level, the Business Visits & Events Partnership (BVEP) and the Events Industry Board have been working to promote a bigger role for government intervention with better links between departments, greater support and a more strategic focus. All efforts are to be welcomed and outcomes from the Business Events Leaders’ Summit on March 21st at the SEC in Glasgow will be published in this magazine in support of that agenda. n


Profile for Canongate Communications

Eventsbase Spring 2018  

Issue 10

Eventsbase Spring 2018  

Issue 10