Convention Edinburgh partnership showcases power of business events for the city

Women in Leadership Conference at the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, one of the business events brought to the city by Convention Edinburgh

CONVENTION Edinburgh, Edinburgh’s convention bureau, has partnered with Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce to showcase the power of business events for the city.  

At an inaugural partnership event – ‘Why business events matter: the economic power and impact of events’ – on Tuesday 30th April at the EICC, speakers from across Edinburgh’s events, technology, and academic sectors will discuss how a collaborative cross-sector approach can pay dividends for the city.  

The speakers lined up for the event are Professor Gary Hutchison, Dean of Applied Science at Edinburgh Napier University, Turing Fest’s chief operating officer Tanya Gaxiola, and Lesley Williams, Director at Caellium and former Managing Director of Best Cities. 

Marshall Dallas, EICC, CEO, said: “We’re excited to partner with the Chamber of Commerce, and we fully expect next week’s event to be insightful given the calibre of speakers we have in place.  Importantly, it also reflects on the shared passion we have for Edinburgh and how business events can have an outsized benefit towards local economic impact.” 

VisitScotland’s Business Events Association Report in March revealed that business event visitors to Scotland spend more per head than any other kind of visitor, with an International delegate spending approximately £450 per day.  By contrast, leisure visitors from Scotland’s highest-value international market, the USA, spend around £180 per day according to latest data. 

The EICC took on the guardianship of Convention Edinburgh on behalf of the City of Edinburgh Council in May 2022, with a remit that includes attracting conferences and events to Edinburgh, supporting city bids, and assisting event bookers during the destination and venue selection process for their conferences. 

During this time, Convention Edinburgh has received over 400 enquiries, confirming 52 events which will attract over 11,000 delegates to the city, equating to £47 million of economic impact.  Events won include the International Network for Social Network Analysis at Heriot-Watt University, the International Association of Young Lawyers at the Sheraton Grand Hotel, and the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society 2024 at the John McIntyre Conference Centre, Pollock Halls.  

Amanda Wrathall, Lead at Convention Edinburgh said: “The small but agile team we put together for Convention Edinburgh has done a fantastic job over the last couple of years, with their performance reflected in the positive numbers that have come through. Credit must also go to the multiple city partners who have supported and contributed to the business event outcomes to date.” 

Liz McAreavey, Chief Executive of the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce, added: “The £47 million economic benefit clearly illustrates the value that the convention bureau brings to the city. In addition to this, the bureau’s work supports jobs across a wide range of sectors in the city, both directly and indirectly.

“It is vital that our policy-makers understand the role and impact of business tourism, which attracts high-spending visitors, many of whom will return to the city for holidays after attending business events here, and some even to live and work. It is a crucial component in promoting our city to the global community and has proven to be extremely successful.”

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