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Marketing Edinburgh welcomes conference ambassadors group to city

Marketing Edingburgh
Edinburgh yesterday (Thursday 18th April) welcomed 27 leaders of Ambassador programmes from throughout the UK and beyond. Designed to share best practice with the ultimate aim of attracting lucrative events to member cities, the Conference Ambassador Networking Group were invited by Marketing Edinburgh, Convention Bureau to network in Scotland for the first time, helping others to learn from the city’s success.

Peers from cities such as Aberdeen, Manchester, Belfast, Birmingham and even as far afield as Calgary met at The Point hotel yesterday for workshop and talks on how to develop their ambassador initiatives.

These ambassador programmes are a crucial step in successfully bidding for major conferences. As ambassadors, local specialists in each conference’s area of expertise voluntarily help to build and present the case to persuade events to come to their city – with impressive results. Edinburgh’s ambassador programme – managed by Marketing Edinburgh, Convention Bureau – has helped to attract more than £60 million per year in economic benefit to the region.

The convention industry is of huge significance to Edinburgh. The city has retained its position as the most popular place after London to host international association meetings. Also, in 2012/13, Edinburgh attracted 179 conferences, worth more than £84.3m in economic return to the region, ranging from a European Conference on Underwater Acoustics to the European Real Estate Society Annual Conference.

Lesley Williams, Head of Business Tourism, of Marketing Edinburgh said: “Sharing insight and advice with other cities is incredibly valuable. It allows us to draw from their experience – as they can from ours – to develop new ways to engage with potential business. Ambassadors are an important catalyst in growing Edinburgh's share of the convention market with over 70% of international conferences won due to the role played by a key local contact in the field. We are delighted to be able to hold the event and help expand knowledge on the subject.”

Councillor Frank Ross, Economy Convener, City of Edinburgh Council, said: “Edinburgh excels at attracting events of an international calibre, bringing tremendous economic value to the city. But we’re never complacent. This event is just one of the areas that the city is involved in to proactively find ways to keep its appeal fresh, interesting and relevant to potential conference organisers. Our ambassador scheme is crucial part of the mix in winning bids and we look forward to sharing learnings with our fellow cities, helping it to evolve in the future.”

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