New research focusing on how the so-called ‘millennials’ generation is heralding a change in the way events and festivals are delivered will be showcased at Scotland’s national events conference in November.

David Coletto, CEO of leading Canadian public opinion and marketing research consultancy, Abacus Data, will fly in to deliver a keynote speech on changing audience trends at the National Events Conference on Monday, 27 November at the Technology & Innovation Centre, Glasgow.

The conference, titled Setting the Scene for 2025, will focus on the future of Scotland’s position as the perfect stage for events, providing insight into what demands millennials – those born between 1980 and 2000 – are placing on the industry. Colleto has almot a decade of experience in the field and will share his expertise with events and festivals sector specialists – which is expected to be a major draw ahead of 2018’s themed year, Scotland’s Year of Young People.

David Coletto

Colleto said: “Generational change is disrupting so many markets including the events and festivals sector. Understanding that change and harnessing it to your advantage is vital if you are to succeed in attracting and retaining a millennial audience.

“Over the last six years I have travelled all over North America sharing my research and insight into the millennial generation. By focusing on the generational differences and similarities that matter, I have been working to bridge the generational gap and ensure organisations can succeed in a millennial-powered world.

“I am looking forward to coming to Scotland to share my insights from what my research has uncovered about new audiences while also take advantage of the opportunity to learn more about the events industry in Scotland. I look forward to seeing you in Glasgow on 27 November.”

The conference will be hosted by rising star sports broadcaster Eilidh Barbour and will feature industry experts who will explore some of the challenges the industry may be facing; there will be a series of ‘breakout sessions’ during the day where delegates can learn about specific industry topics including policing, security, online ticketing and event tech.

Paul Bush OBE, EventScotland Director of Events, will chair the opening plenary on the changing audience for events, in a discussion with Coletto and also with input from VisitScotland’s own expert Insight team who will share their research findings associated with other emerging markets relevant to the Scottish events sector; Bush will also update the audience on Scotland’s national events strategy (2015 – 2025).

He said: “We have an exciting programme for this year’s conference that really takes stock of where we currently are with the national events strategy and the challenges and opportunities facing the industry going forward to 2025.

“I’m delighted we will be joined by David, who will provide valuable insight into the millennial generation. This is a highly influential and key audience for the events industry to tap into and understand if we are to continue to provide impact for Scotland.

“We have also listened to the feedback from our conference in 2015 and introduced more networking opportunities so delegates can spend more time meeting and building relationships with key contacts. Also in Glasgow that week is Host City 2017, the world leading event hosting conference. Taking place at the Technology & Innovation Centre the day after the National Events Conference, Host City 2017 provides even more opportunities to engage and learn with industry experts.”

Following lunch and the final breakout session, the closing plenary will look at the assets that make Scotland the perfect stage for events – our people, our cultural identity and heritage, our natural environment, our built facilities and our signature events – and consider some of the key future challenges and opportunities that we face.

Cultute Secretary Fiona Hyslop will open the day with a welcome speech and Lord Thurso, Chairman of VisitScotland, will provide the day’s closing remarks before delegates and speakers, are invited to an informal drinks reception where they can continue to network and discuss the day’s topics.

The day will also include lots of opportunity for networking, plus the additional option of bookable one-to-one appointments with a range of speakers and industry figures.

For more information about the 2017 National Events Conference programme, visit