One of the world’s leading influencers in policy innovation around major events, Bruce Dewar, has been confirmed as the first of two keynote speakers for this year’s National Events Conference: Embracing Innovation, Delivering Change. 

Bruce, a key International Olympic Committee (IOC) advisor on legacy development and President and CEO of Vancouver based LIFT Philanthropy Partners, will provide the Scottish events and festivals sector with valuable insight into the importance of developing and delivering wider policy impacts as part of major events during his presentation ‘The Game is Changing: Policy Innovation and Social Impact for Major Events’.

He comes with a wealth of experience in social innovation having helped British Columbia leverage the hosting of the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games into a lasting legacy for the region through 2010 Legacies Now; known now as LIFT.

He said: “Hosting major events can provide so much more than just a great spectator experience. They can be the catalyst for long-term social change, creating benefits and impact on issues that are important to the citizens in the host community and the country.

“Over the last decade I have seen first-hand game changing social impacts and the importance of policy innovation. I’m looking forward to coming to Gleneagles this September to share some of my learnings and insight with the vibrant Scottish event industry.”

He joins Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop, who will deliver the day’s opening remarks, setting the scene for the day, and VisitScotland Director of Events, Paul Bush OBE, as the other confirmed speakers at the conference. 

Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “Scotland’s has built a strong reputation as a leader and innovator in the planning and delivery of major events. As we gear up to deliver our next major event, The 2019 Solheim Cup, there is no better time or place than Gleneagles for the industry to come together to forge new partnerships and to make future plans to help ensure that Scotland continues to be the perfect stage for the world’s major events.”  

Aimed at people working in Scotland’s events and festivals sector, including the arts, heritage, sport and wider cultural activity, this will be the sixth biennial National Events Conference. Building on the success of previous years, this year’s conference will consider innovation and change, plus future opportunities and challenges across the sector.

It will provide up to 250 delegates with a first-class opportunity to hear from industry experts and share their own event experiences, plus plenty time to meet industry colleagues.

Taking place at the world-renowned Gleneagles Hotel on 9th September, the conference will kick off an action week of the Scottish events and festivals industry as it runs alongside The 2019 Solheim Cup, the pinnacle of women’s golf.

The Solheim Cup will see the best golfers from Europe and the USA go head-to-head over three days of intense competition, attracting tens of thousands of spectators and reaching a global broadcast audience in the millions. Conference delegates will have the unique opportunity to see behind the scenes of one of the biggest sporting events in Scotland this year.

Paul Bush OBE, said: “As the world’s eyes turn to Scotland once again, the National Events Conference will kick off a stellar week for Scotland’s events and festivals industry ahead The 2019 Solheim Cup.

“I’m delighted we will be joined by both Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop and Bruce Dewar as we consider innovation and change as well as the future opportunities and challenges for our sector. I know Bruce will provide some fascinating first-hand knowledge and insight on social innovation and the importance of delivery social legacies from major sporting events, which is an important area for our industry as we look to deliver more meaningful impacts beyond the field of play when hosting major events.” 

Tickets for the conference are now available, with a limited number of early bird delegate places available at the discounted rate of £90 + VAT. To register and take advance of the early bird off, visit