Glasgow celebrates its busiest-ever May for conferences as over 22,000 delegates flock to the city

Glasgow experienced its ‘busiest-ever’ May for conferences after more than 22,000 delegates flocked to the city for a range of business events.

City coffers were boosted by an estimated £25.5 million in local economic impact making it a record for business tourism, according to Glasgow Convention Bureau (GCB).

It began with the arrival of 7,000 attendees at the All Energy Conference and Exhibition, swiftly followed by two major medical meetings held at the SEC, attracting a combined total of over 8,000 delegates.

Other venues across the city were also busy with conferences as the University of Strathclyde’s Technology & Innovation Centre welcomed 1,000 delegates to the Annual Conference of the European Marketing Academy.

Aileen Crawford, Head of Conventions at Glasgow Convention Bureau, said: “Glasgow  is recognised as one of the world’s leading conference cities with business tourism featuring as a key pillar within the city’s Tourism and Visitor Plan to 2023.  Glasgow’s reputation for innovation, the strength of our knowledge hub economy and the strong partnerships which exist between businesses and academic institutions set us apart from other potential host cities. This enables us to successfully bid to secure prestigious meetings to our city.”

Similarly, both the Scottish Event Campus (SEC) and Strathclyde University’s Technology and Innovation Centre, the city’s two major conference venues, celebrated their busiest-ever May.

Kathleen Warden, Director of Conference Sales at the Scottish Event Campus, said: “The Scottish Event Campus has successfully delivered major conferences in the past month, including the World Federation of Hemophilia and the European Sports Traumatology, Knee Surgery and Arthroscopy Congress, and has accounted for 76% of all delegates in the city in May.  These conferences take many years to secure, often against tough international competition, so we feel immensely proud to take these events from bid to delivery.  Not only do these events demonstrate the value of the venue in delivering economic impact for the city, they help to internationalise the city’s reputation, and the SEC is proud to work with the many stakeholders involved in bringing these events to Glasgow.”

Designed to accelerate the way in which researchers in academia and industry ‘collaborate and innovate together’, Strathclyde University’s Technology and Innovation Centre officially opened for business in March 2015 and has secured a number of venue awards and industry recognition as a centre of events excellence. Last month, it hosted 68 events and welcomed a total of 3,624 delegates – a 55% increase on May last year and a 277% increase on May 2016.

Gordon Hodge, Head of Conferencing and Events at the University of Strathclyde, said: “We’re delighted to have played our part in Glasgow’s busiest May ever, which is a real testament to the collaborative approach that continues to win a wide range of high-profile, influential business events for Glasgow.  What makes us truly unique at Strathclyde is our Technology & Innovation Centre (TIC), which is much more than an award-winning city-centre conference venue.  It’s first and foremost our world-class research hub, a facility where our academics work in partnership with industry and the public sector on solutions to many of society’s ‘wicked problems’.  Combining our research activity with flexible event spaces that are available all year round, TIC is a place where new innovations are showcased; where new relationships are forged; where the seeds of future collaborations are sown; and where ideas become legend.”

Other developments in the city inclyde the opening of the Clydeside Distillery, the first whisky distillery to be built in Glasgow in over a century, and the launch of the first new-build Radisson RED hotel in Europe.