Glasgow has been named the UK’s Best Convention Bureau for a record-breaking 12th consecutive year after working with industry partners to secure over £1.1bn worth of business to the city since 2007.
Alongside this, the University of Strathclyde’s Technology and Innovation Centre was crowned the UK’s Best Academic Venue and the Scottish Event Campus received Silver in the Best UK Conference Centre category, making it a triple whammy for the city at the Meeting & Incentive Travel (M&IT) Awards in London last week.
GCB received the Gold award ahead of NewscastleGateshead Convention Bureau and Liverpool Convention Bureau. London & Partners, Convention Edinburgh and Destination Bristol also received commendations following a UK-wide poll conducted by the influential industry magazine, M&IT.
In the last financial year alone, Glasgow secured 526 conferences for future years through to 2022. This will bring an additional 140,000 business tourists to the city and contribute an estimated £142 million to the city’s economy over the next five years.
Councillor David McDonald, Depute Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of Glasgow Life, said: “Glasgow is recognised as one of the world’s leading conventions cities and this suite of awards from what is widely regarded as the ‘Oscars’ of the events industry reinforces the city’s reputation as the UK’s conference capital.
“Winning the award for the UK’s Best Convention Bureau for the 12th consecutive year is unprecedented and it’s fantastic to see two of the city’s world class conferencing facilities picking up Gold and Silver for team Glasgow, too.
“Indeed, Glasgow’s unrivalled success is testimony to the outstanding partnership working that exists right across our conventions sector – from VisitScotland, the SEC and Glasgow Chamber of Commerce to NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, our five universities and the wider business community including Greater Glasgow Hotels Association, Glasgow Restaurant Association, Glasgow Taxis and ScotRail, to name but a few.”
At the end of the last financial year, figures show that the volume of international associations choosing to bring their conference to Glasgow has grown by more than 60% over the past five years. This is a reflection of the strength and global reach of the city’s academic and business communities and their wider knowledge hub networks.
Following a win over strong competition from the University of Cambridge, Warwick and Nottingham, Gordon Hodge, Head of Conferencing and Events at the University of Strathclyde, said: “The Technology and Innovation Centre has challenged traditional perceptions of an academic venue, and allows Strathclyde to host regional, national and international meetings on campus – indeed, many now experience Strathclyde for the first time as a conference delegate.
“Our vision is to provide a world-class venue which is a platform for knowledge exchange, where Strathclyde academics showcase their research activity and their partnerships with industry and the public sector. Together, we are delivering economic and reputational benefit to the University and to the city of Glasgow.
“We’re delighted to have won such a prestigious award after just three years of operation. Best of all, it’s thanks to votes from our loyal and growing client base, which is testimony to the power of putting your customer at the heart of everything you do.”
Commenting of the SEC’s Silver Award win, Kathleen Warden, Director of Conference Sales at the Scottish Event Campus, said: “We are delighted to be a part of Glasgow’s success at this years’ M&IT Awards. We are continually investing in our campus and in the experiences that we can help our clients create in partnership with our colleagues across the city. The SEC’s Silver award is testament to the exceptional work our teams put in to drive client satisfaction and the business’ success.”
Major conferences won by Glasgow in the current financial year (2017/18) which will be hosted at the Scottish Event Campus include:
- The International Forum on Quality & Safety in Health Care, which will bring 3,500 delegates to the city and generate nearly £4.3 million for the local economy
- The Annual Congress of the European College of Sport Science, which will bring 3,000 delegates to the city and generate nearly £4.9 million for the local economy
- The British Society for Gastroenterology Annual Conference, which will bring 1,800 delegates to the city and generate approximately £3.7 million for the local economy