Leaders from Scotland’s conference and events sector are reaching out directly to Glasgow’s key business influencers, encouraging them to take a more proactive role in bringing prestigious and lucrative business events to Scotland.
With business tourism events currently worth £1.9bn annually to the Scottish economy, the new Think Scotland, Think Conference (TSTC) initiative is a fresh strand of business tourism advocacy that will engage directly with commercial and private business on an unprecedented scale.
Touring Scotland’s seven cities and three key rural locations, business tourism leaders will gather in Glasgow with decision-makers from local, UK and international organisations at the Glasgow Science Centre on 3rd June.
Hosted by Judy Rae,Business Tourism for Scotland (BTfS) Chair and Head of Corporate Events at Glasgow Science Centre the event is in partnership with the Scottish Council for Development & Industry (SCDI). Its ambition is to arm local business leaders with the right marketing tools, knowledge and support to become potential advocates of Scotland’s business tourism offering. The session will reinforce the positive benefits, not only for individuals and their organisations, but their sector and the local economy.
Developed by industry group BTfS, Think Scotland, Think Conference is leading the challenge to grow business tourism by £400m (21%) to £2.3bn by 2020. TSTC is being delivered as a key strand of Scotland’s national tourism strategy, Tourism Scotland 2020, co-ordinated by the Scottish Tourism Alliance (STA).
Launched in January at Edinburgh Castle by Tourism Minister Fergus Ewing MSP, TSTC aims to encourage the national and international business world to consider opportunities to bring new meetings and conferences into Scotland. The public sector is lined up in support, with agencies such as Scottish Enterprise and VisitScotland using their networks at home and abroad to generate potential enquiries.
Judy Rae, Head of Corporate Events at Glasgow Science Centre and BTfS Chair said, “I’m a passionate believer that business tourism is about more than tourism, it’s an economic driver that brings substantial and far reaching benefits to the wider region. With TSTC we are directly engaging with business leaders, simply asking them to consider putting Glasgow and Scotland forward as the next host location for their organisation’s next annual conference, team building or incentive event.”
“Business events offer Scotland an unrivalled opportunity to showcase the country’s strengths in our key sectors. Many potential investors have their first ever experience of Scotland through attending an international business event hosted here. Equally, innovative and internationally ambitious Scottish companies use conferences to develop new business opportunities. TSTC opens a new dialogue and exciting opportunities for Scotland.”
Vince McKeown, Director of Membership & Partnership Services at SCDI said, “Scotland is ideally placed as an international conference destination, with an excellent array of hosting options across the country in both urban and rural settings. With Glasgow’s exceptional track record of success in this field, it’s an ideal location for businesses across all sectors to discuss maximising the global opportunities for increasing conference numbers in Scotland and driving economic growth.”
TSTC events are running throughout the summer, visiting Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dundee, Perth, Dumfries, Aviemore, Inverness, Stirling, Aberdeen and Fife. The launch programme will engage with over 250 hand-picked business influencers, in partnership with a range of major business organisations.