Ten Hill Place, The Royal College of Surgeons’ hotel, is expanding in August. We put 10 questions to Commercial Director Scott Mitchell on the future of the Surgeon’s Quarter Edinburgh meetings campus
Q: What is the vision for Surgeon’s Quarter as a meetings destination?
A: Surgeon’s Quarter is trying to do something different by offering all standards to all different budgets across four very different buildings, which can operate in isolation or they can be combined together for larger events: The Playfair Building, Quinncentenary Conference Centre, King Khalid Symposium Hall and the Prince Philip Building.
As an historic venue what is your offer to the 21st century delegate?
We offer 21st century service in either historic or modern environments with the benefit of outdoor space in a busy city centre location.
Challenging preconceptions…aren’t you just a meeting place for medical professionals?
Absolutely not! We are open to almost every type of meeting or event. We are owned by the Royal College of Surgeons but that does not mean that we are exclusively here to service the surgical or wider medical community. The only obvious industry we would steer away from is anything associated with tobacco.
What will the extension of Ten Hill Place hotel mean for your events?
We will go from 77 bedrooms up to 129 from August 1st, which fits in nicely with residential conferences for 80 to 100 that can be accommodated in one of our buildings.
What is your USP compared to other venues in the city?
I think because we have a collection of buildings over a relatively small area we have all the services and facilities you would expect in a modern, purpose-built conference centre and hotel but which you can walk easily between without the feeling of being confined in one place.
What do you do to try and offer a superior customer experience?
Friendly, professional service, and trying to think of the needs of the customer before we’re asked by the customer, so we fully try and consider every event in advance to suggest to people the things that haven’t been asked for.
How well matched are you to Edinburgh’s key business sectors?
We’re perfectly aligned with the Make It Edinburgh campaign and we’re happy to support it; we have our own rich medical sciences history which ties in with one of many emerging economies in the city.
What sustainable practices and event technologies have you
adopted to help win business?
We’ve invested in the technologies and the recycling capabilities of the hotel, which is a newer building and has gold Green Tourism status. We have changed to energy-efficient lighting and have reduced water consumption.
What meeting planning expertise can you offer clients?
We have around 15 people with a combined experience of over a hundred years. It includes four dedicated event planners, an events manager and a business support manager, supported by an events operation team of six managers and four supervisors.
What is your own personal idea of an exceptional meetings experience?
I would have to say, regrettably, that I haven’t necessarily found that in the UK; the better events I have been impressed by have happened abroad, so perhaps we should be trying to take the service levels you receive in the States into what we deliver here.