Destinations across the globe have historically reported a conference’s direct financial benefit on the local economy when measuring impact.
Although Glasgow City Marketing Bureau reports the impressive year-on- year economic benefit of its conferences, delivered through the city and industry partners, it will also use its position as a leading industry voice to delve deeper to explore the added legacy benefits that meetings bring to a host destination.
Aileen Crawford, Head of Conventions at Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, said: “We launched our Tomorrow’s bureau, today legacy project at the start of the year and we’re very excited to share our findings. We feel there is an opportunity for destinations to showcase more than just the economic impact of a conference.
“In Glasgow we always put the client and our academics at the heart of the planning and delivery of a meeting; to ensure both societal benefits and tangible impacts for the specific sector association.”
The first case study of Glasgow’s series is the 18th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS) held in 2015. Traditionally Glasgow would report that the meeting attracted 1000 delegates travelling from global destinations, injecting a substantial financial boost of £2.3m to the local economy.
However, this year the Bureau has vowed to delve deeper to measure the wide-ranging impact of legacy across the conference journey.
Understanding these impacts will position Team Glasgow as the Convention Bureau of the future, keeping the client at the heart of the city’s offering.
The bid for the conference was led by local ambassador Professor Jane Stuart Smith, a world-leading professor of phonetics and sociolinguistics, who has spent the last 20 years using Glasgow as her research platform to study the changing landscape of language.
The bid and delivery team for the conference consisted of a consortium of Scottish universities including the University of Glasgow, the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh and the University of Edinburgh.
As a direct result of the conference, relationships across the four partner universities have produced a new framework for working collaboratively, a formula which will be adopted for future academic projects.
Professor Stuart Smith is one of a pool of esteemed influential individuals in Glasgow’s award-winning Conference Ambassador Programme. The city has a portfolio of world-leading academic expertise, who work in partnership to attract large associations to the city.
Since the conference, Professor Stuart Smith has professionally advanced through increased global profile from her role in bidding for and delivering the conference.
Professor Stuart Smith’s work has gained exposure to a global community of peers, not only shining a light on her own studies but extending her influence throughout the international phonetics circuit.
She will form part of the Permanent Council for the Organisation of ICPhS (for the International Phonetic Association), for the 2019 Melbourne conference; and has undertaken a senior role within the International Phonetic Association as the Vice President of the Permanent Council.
These prestigious roles have also had tangible benefits for Glasgow, positioning the city as a global centre of excellence for the phonetics and sociolinguistics community.
Although the economic impact of a conference has a sustained and long-lasting value to the destination, research has been pivotal in legacy measurement.
Glasgow City Marketing Bureau can quantify that a third of research papers from the UK community at the conference were produced in Scotland.
Additionally, Professor Stuart Smith developed networking opportunities from her attendance at the 2011 Hong Kong conference to publish work with Canadian peer Professor Morgan Sonderegger, receiving a joint funding grant.
Since the conference four years ago, these initial concepts have advanced to develop an algorithm predominately based on the study of Glaswegian dialect.
The Glasgow conference was a platform for the culmination of four years of collaboration and the progression of networking leads to an end goal – the submission of a major project bid to profile new work on monitoring changing language over time.
Professor Stuart Smith and her colleague launched a project entitled: The voicing contrast across 100 years of real- and apparent-time in Glaswegian.
This project would not have come to fruition if Professor Stuart Smith and Professor Morgan Sonderegger hadn’t fully explored ideas from their networking session at Congress in 2011.
Aileen Crawford continued: “The International Conference of Phonetic Sciences Conference is a great starting point for our legacy series, providing us with a unique opportunity to get under the skin of evaluating the impact of a meeting.
“Our analysis shows legacy impact on every level; from raising the profile of our academic Professor Stuart Smith as a sector influencer, to showcasing the conference journey and the importance of nurturing networking relationships and project ideas; to shining a spotlight on the wealth of research developed at a meeting.
“In Glasgow we’re continually adapting to changing trends of the industry to keep the city at the forefront of innovation.
“We look forward to continuing to challenge the subject of legacy, whilst also bringing added value to our clients.”