That’s the message from Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland, ahead of the Host City conference in Glasgow next week
Delivering high-impact events in the ‘current climate’ will be the dominant theme of this year’s Host City conference, which takes place in Glasgow next Tuesday and Wednesday. Generating economic and social impact whilst also managing security concerns will be among the main topics of discussion for international event organisers as they gather for the annual forum on November 28-29 at the Technology and Innovation Centre (TIC) in the city.
The event is billed as ‘the largest international meeting of cities and sports, business and cultural events’ and this year features a range of top speakers, including Sir Craig Reedie CBE, IOC Member and President of the World Anti-Doping Agency. Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland will also be among the guest speakers, as will David Grevemberg CBE, Chief Executive, Commonwealth Games Federation, and former Chief Executive of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games Organising Committee.
Bush said: “To ensure the best possible impact from major events in today’s climate, hosts must follow the event impacts model, which means generating economic growth, international and domestic profile as well as social and cultural benefits both through their immediate delivery as well as their subsequent legacy. It is no longer acceptable to put on an event without considering all of these areas. They must ensure impact by responding to customers’ needs and using the latest technology.”
In terms of managing security risks to events, Bush adds: “It is an exciting but also a challenging time for hosts of High Impact Events. The recent events in London, Manchester and the rest of the world have again brought security to the fore.
He says: “The current security climate and the rising costs this brings, even withstanding the operational implications of heightened security procedures, is a major issue for events for all sizes, especially ones of High Impact that attract wide-spread attention and large crowds, so the session on ‘Strategies for hosting safe and accessible events’ is especially pertinent. We know from the recent work we did with Police Scotland during Counter-terrorism Awareness Week how important this issue is to the industry.”
He adds: “However, alongside the challenges there are also great opportunities. The rise in technology means that audiences engage with an event in a whole new and exciting way. The streaming of content, for example, allows event audiences to share their experience instantaneously with friends and family, making them part of the moment. “It also allows event operators to engage with audiences around the world not just those within the stadium or arena, meaning the impact of an event can be far greater than ever before. So the sessions on ‘How technology can enhance the live experience’ will be particularly apt for events adjusting to this new way of engagement and delivery. For High Impact Events in the current climate, dealing with these challenges while harnessing these new opportunities is vital and it’s great to see the conference programme reflecting these current issues.”
Host City takes place at the TIC in Glasgow on November 28-29 – a day after EventScotland’s own National Events Conference at the same venue.