Scotland as an event destination

Photo credit: Urquhart Castle, Inverness and Loch Ness ©VisitScotland / Stuart Brunton

Scotland is a captivating destination that offers ideal settings for corporate meetings and events, incentive trips, and association conferences. With its breathtaking landscapes, rich history, vibrant culture, and world-class facilities, Scotland has everything you need to ensure your event is memorable and successful.

One of the key reasons why Scotland stands out as an excellent choice for such events is its diverse range of venues. From historic castles and palaces to modern conference centres and luxurious golfing resorts, Scotland offers a wide array of options to suit every taste and requirement. Whether you are seeking a traditional setting or a contemporary space, Scotland has it all.

Scotland is a thriving innovation hub with renowned academic institutions and key industries, which makes it the perfect destination for events focused on knowledge exchange, networking, and collaboration.

The country is famous for its natural beauty, which adds a unique and enchanting element to any event. From the rugged highlands to the stunning lochs and picturesque coastlines, the country’s breathtaking landscapes create an awe-inspiring backdrop for your gathering. Whether you are organising team-building activities in the great outdoors or planning a gala dinner, Scotland’s idyllic settings will undoubtedly leave a lasting impression on your participants. Key business events cities
With eight distinct cities and an impressive array of event venues, including conference centres and luxury venues, Scotland offers an extensive range of options to cater to specific needs.

Aberdeen

Aberdeen, also known as the “city of energy”, has established itself as a global hub for energy production, and research. The city is home to E F an array of companies, research institutions, and professionals in the energy industry, making it a prime location for conferences and events related to this sector. Dundee
The city of Dundee is a vibrant hub for the cultural and creative industries and has been recognised as a UNESCO City of Design. Dundee is also renowned for various art forms including music, theatre and literature, it is home to the world’s only V&A museum outside of London. Edinburgh
Scotland’s capital, Edinburgh, is widely recognised as one of the most attractive destinations in the world, celebrated for its perfect fusion of culture, arts, heritage, dining and music. Edinburgh is home to universities and research institutions that are at the forefront of innovation and research in computer science, engineering, and medicine. These expertise have attracted several events and conferences to the city.

Glasgow 

Known as the world’s friendliest city, Glasgow offers a unique blend of Scottish culture and character. The city, which has a vibrant music scene and is recognised as a UNESCO City of Music, has a range of venues including convention centres, hotels, distilleries, and stately homes. Glasgow is a hub for cutting-edge life science and pharmaceutical research and boasts expertise in fields such as energy, engineering, photonics, and satellites. Inverness
Inverness, located in the Scottish Highlands, offers awe-inspiring locations for corporate events. It is a destination of discovery, 
heritage, and culture and home to the iconic Loch Ness.

St Andrews

Located an hour outside of Edinburgh, St Andrews is a charming destination boasting amazing venues, including 5-star resorts, country estates and castles. St Andrews is known as the Home of Golf and is also home to Scotland’s oldest University.

Scotland serves as an exceptional host for association conferences, corporate meetings, and incentives with the opportunity to engage with local communities and academics including scientists, engineers, business leaders and charities, establishing valuable connections and exchanging knowledge.

Building on a legacy of innovation, Scotland has risen to the forefront of globally significant sectors, including renewables, engineering, technology, life sciences, and marine exploration. Scotland’s strengths in these key sectors are helping to attract industry-specific events such as the Arctic Science Summit Week (21 - 29 March 2024, Edinburgh),  All-Energy Exhibition & Conference (15 – 16 May, Glasgow), World Science Fiction Congress (8 - 12 August 2024, Glasgow), Floating Offshore Wind (9 – 10 October, Aberdeen) and the International Electrotechnical Commission General Meeting 2024 (19 – 26 October, Edinburgh).

The importance of aligning with the UN SDGs

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) provide a comprehensive framework to address urgent global challenges such as poverty and environmental protection. Goal 17 of the UN SDGs emphasises the importance of partnerships in achieving these goals, recognising the urgent need for collaboration and global action to protect our world and future generations. In this context, business events have emerged as powerful platforms to facilitate discussions and bring together global communities to tackle significant issues like poverty, healthcare, and climate change.

Events provide an ideal opportunity to foster collaboration and generate innovative solutions. VisitScotland Business Events recognises the potential of business events to contribute positively towards the UN SDGs and aims to showcase a clear connection between the two through its work. VisitScotland Business Events helps organisers and businesses realise their potential to drive meaningful change and align their work with the UN SDGs by delivering value, education, and a sense of community to delegates and members. Transformation beyond the boardroom The VisitScotland Business Events team also believes that making an impact extends beyond the confines of the meeting room, which is why they created The Transformation Protocol.

This initiative enables business events’ organisers or Scottish stakeholders to connect with a wide variety of organisations and policy makers including the country’s national innovation centres, academic research units, third sector groups, leading industry bodies, Scottish government agencies, investment groups and even with Scottish Government directorates. 

VisitScotland Business Events recognises the value of business events in connecting experts, thought leaders, academics, and pioneers from around the world. The Transformation Protocol aims to facilitate these connections by involving partner organisations such as FinTech Scotland, Scotland Food & Drink, The Data Lab, Technology Scotland, and the Scottish Association of Marine Science.

By onboarding these partners, VisitScotland Business Events can ensure that events serve as catalysts for social and economic change and capitalise on the opportunity to learn from and forge new relationships with international delegates attending these events.

In addition to The Transformation Protocol, The Policy Driven Model (PDM) represents a shift in strategy to recognise business events as catalysts for social and economic change. VisitScotland Business Events launched the PDM, to shift behaviours in evaluating the impact and success of events.

This approach positions business events as strategic policy partners that drive government agendas and create opportunities for collaboration, research, funding, and investment.

The VisitScotland Business Events team understands that each event is unique and requires a personalised approach which is why the organisation is positioned as a neutral and impartial point of entry and information to Scotland.

The knowledgeable and friendly team can help organisers find the right venue and accommodation partners, to securing reliable suppliers and experienced DMCs.

The VisitScotland Business Events team are happy to provide inspiration for creating an unforgettable event in Scotland, and offer insights and connections to find the right 
event partners. They can also make introductions to the right people, ensuring a quick response from key contacts. VisitScotland Business Events believes in the power of 
events to create meaningful change and can help make introductions that transform an event’s impact

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