Tourism and Events

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Glasgow’s reputation as a global centre for scientific conventions

The project: Glasgow’s reputation as a global centre for scientific conventions

The challenge: Raising Glasgow’s profile as a world-class business tourism destination with particular focus on attracting scientific conferences.

The purpose: For Glasgow to become a centre of convergence for the world’s leading minds within the scientific community – bringing tangible benefit to the west of Scotland’s scientific and academic sectors, and driving Glasgow’s economic growth.

The people: Strong partnership working exists across the city’s conventions sector – venues, specifically the Scottish Exhibition + Conference Centre (SECC) and the Glasgow Science Centre, hotels, universities, the NHS, local ambassadors, restaurants, transport providers, and all the other conference service providers, who work collaboratively to present a unique and united meetings product to organisers across the world.

Glasgow City Marketing Bureau operates the Glasgow Conference Ambassador Programme. A third of these 2,000 Ambassadors are drawn from the city’s scientific community, working collaboratively with GCMB to help bring their sector’s conventions to Glasgow.

The outcomes: Since GCMB’s inception in 2005, 247 scientific conventions have met in Glasgow, bringing nearly 66,000 delegates from across the world to the city. Inviting conferences to Glasgow meets the strategic priorities of the city's Universities and scientific leaders by showcasing key sector research and promoting knowledge exchange and internationalisation.

The impact: Glasgow enjoys an enviable reputation as one of the world’s premier business tourism destinations. Just last month (February 2014), GCMB was named the UK’s Best Convention Bureau for an incredible eighth year in a row.

Over the past nine years, scientific conferences have been worth nearly £100 million to Glasgow. Delegates now account for one in five hotel beds sold in the city, underscoring the importance of conventions to the local economy.


This case study was published in May 2014.



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