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Dawn of a new MICE age

 Spending power of £640 million at Edinburgh event

Event organisers with a combined spending power of £640 million will be heading to Edinburgh next summer.
The 2015 Meetings & Incentives Summer Forum will be held in Scotland for the very first time when the capital welcomes 330 influential event planners from across Europe and the UK and introduce them to 240 European suppliers. M&I Forums are among the biggest business-to-business workshops for the MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions) industry in the world.

The successful bid for the event, which will use a speed dating-style format and see around 7,500 meetings take place in the space of only four days, was put together by the Business Tourism team at VisitScotland.  

Taking place from 29 June to 3 July 2015, the main workshop for the conference will be held in the new Lennox Suite at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre. Delegates will be accommodated at the Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa, The G&V Royal Mile Hotel, The George Hotel and Radisson Blu Edinburgh.  

In addition to the conference, VisitScotland is organising a series of familiarisation (fam) trips, allowing buyers to extend their stay and explore other parts of Scotland, such as Glasgow and the West Coast, the Highlands, Aberdeen, Fife and Perthshire.  

The Edinburgh event is the biggest M&I Forum taking place next year, with others being held in Dubai, the Philippines, Florida, Malta and Austria.  

Amanda Ferguson, VisitScotland’s Meetings & Incentives Marketing Manager, UK and Europe, said: “For four days, event organisers from all over the world, with an average spend of nearly £2 million each, will be immersed in all things Scottish. This is a wonderful opportunity for Scotland to showcase why it is such a fantastic destination for MICE events.  

“Events such as the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, The Ryder Cup at Gleneagles and Homecoming 2014 have helped raise Scotland’s worldwide profile, and this Forum will give us a chance to further showcase the country’s business events credentials. Event organisers from throughout the UK and Europe will be given the chance to experience our hospitality, culture, traditions – and our superb range of venues and accommodation – at first hand.”

Fergus Ewing, Scotland’s Tourism Minister, said: “Never before has Scotland hosted such a large-scale buyers event for the MICE market, so the M&I Summer Forum presents us with a unique opportunity to showcase this country’s world-class range of services and hospitality in a global marketplace.

“Led by the Business Tourism team at VisitScotland, we are delighted to have won the bid to host this prestigious event. Around 330 buyers from the UK and Europe are ready to descend on Edinburgh to experience our hospitality, our culture, our venues and our hotels, further enhancing the excellent reputation Scotland currently enjoys in the global MICE market and reinforcing the importance of Business tourism as a fantastic opportunity to showcase Scotland as a place to live, learn and visit – again and again.”

Richard Barnes, Marketing Director of M&I Forums, said: “We have long wanted to hold a Forum in Edinburgh. Not only is it a wonderful city offering so much in terms of incentive activity, but the Edinburgh International Conference Centre provides the world-class event space that forms the centrepiece of a Forum. We have been delighted with the work that VisitScotland has done in bringing together all the partners who are sure to make this an unforgettable Forum.”

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