EventScotland is piloting local learning networks as part of the EventIt regional roadshows, which kick off on Thursday, August 24 in the Borders.

The national agency says it wants to “make it easier” to engage with events professionals around the country and will trial the approach at three of the upcoming Eventit regional events, taking place at:

Abbotsford House, Melrose – Scottish Borders – Thursday, August 24

Kingsmills Hotel, Inverness – Highlands and Islands – Thursday, September 7

Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre – Aberdeenshire – Wednesday, October 18

Led by Torquil MacLeod, Development Manager – Events Industry, the sessions, from 3 till 5pm, are designed to be informal but “highly interactive” covering some of the main policy themes facing the events industry in Scotland.

MacLeod explains: “We are supportive of EventIt, the national trade show, and we are delighted to be supporting the regional events as well. It’s an opportunity for us as we’ve been looking to pilot these local learning networks; the agenda for each session is led by the local area, so we’ve done a bit of consultation. They’re intended to be informal and an opportunity for the local event organisers to gather and discuss their own experiences, to share some good practice and to identify any issues and opportunities. We’re there to provide a bit of central input.”

Among the main themes set to be covered are:

  • Themed years
  • Funding
  • Safety Advisory Group / PREVENT / Event Plans / Licensing
  • Event charges for LA support, including police
  • Event organisers’ roles and responsibilities
  • Drones
  • Measuring impacts/value

Drones, in particular, are a pressing issue among many outdoor event organisers who are increasingly seeking to use aerial footage to promote their events.

However, the feedback EventScotland has received in advance of the learning networks indicate that many people are concerned about the legal aspects of drone usage.

MacLeod added: “A key thing just now appears to be drones and the proliferation of those being used by event organisers. People are not entirely clear about the legislation that sits behind it. We can talk about some of the difficulties that event organisers face, around the practicalities.

“We’ve also just done a whole thing around counter-terrorism awareness; there’s a range of things we’re happy to provide input on but really it’s meant to be an opportunity for local event organisers to gather and discuss the industry in their area.”

Why come?

MacLeod explains: “Hopefully it’s on your doorstep, and it’s an opportunity you don’t have regularly to meet with other event organisers; you may come across them, they may attend your event, you may attend theirs, but to sit down and spend some time discussing in the local area with the relevant partners, whether that’s the local authority, agencies like the Police, Fire, First Aid etc. It’s just to get everybody in the room together and knock it about a bit and see where things are at. We deliver seminars and the national conference, these are national events and people are having to come to us. We do a lot of outreach work individually with specific events directly in their local area but getting these local gatherings is a new thing for us. Let’s just see how that goes, whether that is an effective way for providing industry with the information that they are looking for. If it proves to be effective, it’s well received and people want to do more of it, we’ll happily do more of it.”

To register for the EventIt regional events, please visit

Thursday 24 August: Abbotsford House, Melrose – Scottish Borders
Thursday 7 September: Kingsmills Hotel, Inverness – Highlands and Islands
Wednesday 13 September: The Stirling Highland Hotel – Forth Valley & Perthshire
Wednesday 20 September: Trump Turnberry, Ayrshire – Ayrshire
Wednesday 18 October: Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre – Aberdeenshire
Wednesday 25 October: Fairmont St Andrews – Tayside and Fife