One of the biggest events of the international distillers’ calendar is set to return to Scotland’s capital for the first time in 12 years.

The Worldwide Distilled Spirits Conference (WDSC) will be hosted at Edinburgh International Conference Centre on 25-28 May, it was announced this week.

The conference will follow the theme of ‘the spirit of diversity, knowledge and innovation’ and brings together academics, business, trade, government and media experts to discuss and share knowledge about the latest innovations across distilling. It will showcase Scotland’s growing spirits industry with Scotch whisky alongside gin, vodka and rum.

Established 40 years ago, the 2020 event will aim to reflect the expansion of the spirits industry – both in Scotland and further afield – in recent years and features a host of drinks industry chiefs.

Ulrich Adam, director of trade body Spirits Europ and Jean-Christophe Coutures, chairman and CEO of Chivas Brothers, Pernod Ricard’s Scotch whisky business, which produces The Glenlivet and Ballantine’s, will feature prominently at the event.

Joe Arciero, chair of the WDSC 2020 organising committee, said: “This year’s conference – the biggest in the long history of the WDSC – is shaping up to be an event not to be missed for anyone with a thirst for knowledge about the spirits industry.

“It showcases Scotland’s expertise in distilled spirits and attracts speakers and delegates from across the globe who want to share their knowledge, discuss the latest innovations and look forward to future developments.”

The conference will be hosted by the Scottish arm of trade association the Institute of Brewing & Distilling. The last WDSC was held in Glasgow in 2017 and attracted attendees from nearly 30 countries.