VisitBritain will sponsor the inaugural Business Events Leaders’ Summit on Wednesday, March 21 at the Scottish Event Campus (SEC) in Glasgow, it was announced today.

Leading figures from the global MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences & Exhibitions) industry are set to fly into the country for the one-day summit, hosted by Scottish events and festivals magazine, EventsBase.

The summit reflects efforts by the international MICE community to move business events ‘upstream’ in public policy-making, and will spotlight how new research is reshaping the industry at a strategic level – placing business events at the heart of development plans for major destinations around the globe.

Kerrin MacPhie, Head of Business Events, Visit Britain

Kerrin MacPhie, Head of Business Events at VisitBritain, said: “VisitBritain is committed to supporting the growth of business events, working with local and national partners across Scotland to drive more international business, and developing the sector’s capability, ensuring we remain competitive in the global marketplace. The Business Events Leaders’ Summit is a great platform for the sector to discuss how we take international business events to the next level and we are delighted to sponsor this event.”

The event will showcase the global ‘Beyond Tourism’ agenda, which looks to demonstrate the lasting economic and social value of business events, and how the real value goes beyond traditional tourism-related metrics, like direct spend on hotels and restaurants. The event will provide a platform for work undertaken by two leading Australian academics, who are influencing how business events are delivered in the country, and now globally.

Dr Carmel Foley and Dr Deborah Edwards, from the University of Technology Sydney, will deliver the keynote: ‘The Power of Conferences, Stories of serendipity, innovation and driving social change’, named from the title of a book they co-authored in 2017.

The book explores the long-term impacts of conferences and the Associate Professors’ work has been cited as the academic work which ‘sealed the deal’ on the decision of the city to invest $1.5bn (AUS) in the new ICC Sydney convention centre.

The duo are currently collaborating with the Joint Meetings Industry Council (JMIC) on the Event Case Study Programme, an international project that is redefining the value proposition of the global business events industry.

They said: “We are absolutely thrilled to be attending the Business Events Leaders’ Summit in Glasgow. It is a brilliant opportunity to meet leaders in the industry including Economic Sector Heads. Forums focused on thought leadership are always great places to be – we are sure there are going to be many ‘ah ha’ moments for those in attendance.”

Judith Wilson, Director of EventsBase, added: “We are delighted to welcome and are very grateful to VisitBritain for their support as sponsor of the inaugural Business Events Leaders’ Summit. We look forward to hosting what will hopefully be a timely and topical discussion for the global MICE industry at the SEC in Glasgow.”

Sessions at the event include: ‘Identifying and Activating Key Markets’, ‘the Makings of a Tech City’ and ‘Developing the Meetings Industry’. Speakers include Martin Sirk, CEO, International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA); Associate Professor Carmel Foley, from the Australian Centre for Event Management (ACEM) and University of Technology Sydney; and Linda Hanna, Managing Director, Strategy & Sectors, Scottish Enterprise; Jeannie Lim, Executive Director, Conventions, Meetings and Incentive, Travel, Singapore Exhibition and Convention Bureau™| Singapore Tourism Board; Sam Johnston, Manager, Dublin Convention Bureau; Ian Hyland, Business & Finance Media Group; John Sharkey, Executive Vice President for Europe, SMG; Carina Bauer, CEO, IMEX Group; Kerrin MacPhie, Head of Business Events, VisitBritain; Tracy Halliwell MBE, Director of Business Tourism and Major Events, London & Partners.

More information, including a full agenda and how to register can be found at