Country’s castles and landscapes inspire international business expertScotland’s £1.9 billion meetings and conference industry is the sector’s answer to Game of Thrones, according to a leading international business expert.
Guest speaker Bo Krüger made the colourful analogy ahead of the Business Tourism Scotland Conference 2015, which takes place in Edinburgh on Tuesday 1 December.
Held in the Assembly Rooms, the conference will be chaired by BBC Radio Scotland presenter Louise White with an opening address by Fergus Ewing, Minister for Business, Energy and Tourism.
One of Europe’s leading meeting designers and the co-creator of the Danish Meetovation concept, which makes conferences and meetings more efficient and responsible, Bo said: “For me, Scotland is the meeting industry’s answer to Game of Thrones. You have amazing castles, dramatic landscapes, a heroic history, strong whisky and brave and bold people, with plenty of humour.”
The conference will feature a series of parallel sessions on the themes of Digital Opportunities, led by Charlie Smith, Director of Marketing at VisitScotland; and the Economic Impact of Business Tourism, with Bruce Redor, from Gaining Edge and the Joint Meetings Industry Council.
Bo said the 300 members of Scotland’s business tourism industry attending the event will “learn why engagement is the easiest and cheapest way to increase the value of meetings and events”, adding: “They will also learn that they have to think differently about the service they provide if they want to create a healthy business in the future.”
Business events account for around 25 per cent of all visitors to Scotland, making an estimated annual contribution to the economy of £1.9 billion.
Talking about the biggest challenges facing the business events industry, Bo said delegates at the conference need to understand that “the real value in meetings does not lie in great food, beautiful furniture or using the latest technology. The real value lies in increasing learning, networking and creativity, so the meetings can become more than just a nice experience, but actually impact the organisation afterwards.”
Neil Brownlee, Head of Business Events at VisitScotland, said: “This conference is an excellent opportunity for members of Scotland’s business tourism industry to share best practice and to gain fresh insight from some truly inspirational speakers, including Bo Krüger.
“By taking a collaborative approach, we can ensure that Scotland continues to punch above its weight in this hugely important sector.”
Organised by the Business Tourism Scotland Conference Steering Group, the conference is supported by the Business Events team at VisitScotland; Scottish Enterprise; Marketing Edinburgh; People Make Glasgow (Glasgow City Marketing Bureau); Dundee & Angus Convention Bureau and VisitAberdeen.