£1billion

Conference business worth £1 billion to Glasgow since 2005

Billion

Business tourism secured by Glasgow City Marketing Bureau (GCMB) since its inception in 2005 has been worth £1 billion to the city's economy.

GCMB today (Monday, June 3) revealed it had reached the milestone on the back of more than 2,200 domestic and international conferences brought to the city in partnership with the Scottish Exhibition + Conference Centre (SECC) over the past eight years.

More than 800,000 conference delegates have spent 3.3 million nights in the city's hotels during that time. Delegates now account for one in five hotel beds sold in Glasgow, underscoring the importance of conventions to the local economy.

Today's announcement comes as GCMB reported its best ever conference sales for the past financial year, which helped the city break through the £1 billion barrier.

The bureau, SECC and city partners secured conventions business worth £153 million in 2012/13 - almost £3 million of new business per week - representing a 27.5% year-on-year growth.

Between April 1 2012 and March 31, 2013, GCMB's Convention Bureau, which competes worldwide to bring conference business to Glasgow, worked with the SECC and a range of city partners to confirm 450 new international and UK conventions through to 2021.

Among the major conferences won by Glasgow in 2012/13 were:

•           The International Society for Biomechanics Congress in 2015

•           The Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers' Vehicular Technology Conference in 2015

•           The International Federation for Orthopaedic and Manipulative Physiotherapy Conference in 2016

In winning these meetings, the city beat off worldwide competition from Sydney, Beijing and Melbourne.

Earlier this year Glasgow City Marketing Bureau was named the UK's best convention bureau for an incredible seventh year in a row. At the influential Meetings & Incentive Travel (M&IT) industry awards, held in London in March, GCMB beat off strong competition to secure the coveted title ahead of London, Liverpool and Manchester - becoming the first organisation to collect the top prize seven times and over consecutive years.

The annual award is considered highly prestigious because it's voted for by more than 3,000 global meetings industry professionals.

Later this year, Glasgow will host the Liberal Democrats' annual Autumn Party Conference in 2013. The city beat off strong UK-wide competition to secure the five-day event, which will take place at the SECC in September.

Over 7,000 delegates will travel to Glasgow to attend the conference, which will inject almost £12 million into the local economy and provide a welcome boost to the city's hotels, restaurants, shops, bars and other businesses.

Not only will it will be the largest conference held in the city since the Annual Congress of the European Respiratory Society in 2004, which attracted 15,000 delegates, it will also be the Lib Dems' first autumn party conference in Scotland for more than a decade.

Cllr Matheson

To have secured £1 billion of conference business and more than three million hotel room bookings, during a period when global competition in the market has been incredibly fierce, is nothing short of remarkable and underpins why we are not just the UK's conference capital, but one of the world's premier business tourism cities.

"This milestone achievement is testimony to the fantastic partnership working that exists between the different players across our conventions sector, from our venues, especially the SECC and our five universities, to our hotels, restaurants, transport providers, local ambassadors and all the other conference service providers that consistently strive to ensure Glasgow maintains its enviable reputation as a first choice, global meetings destination.

Councillor Gordon Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of Glasgow City Marketing Bureau

Glasgow has also reaped success over the past 12 months through support from VisitScotland's £2 million conference bid fund. Launched in March last year, the fund is aimed at helping cities across the country put together the best possible bids and attract high-yield conventions linked to Scotland's areas of expertise in industry, commerce, science and medicine.

Through the bid fund, GCMB and city partners have confirmed 18 conferences - which will inject almost £55 million into the city's economy - including the International Conference on Nuclear Cardiology in 2015; the International Federation of Nurse Anaesthetists in 2016; the International Congress of the World Federation of Haemophilia in 2018 and the World Biomaterials Congress in 2020.

Over the past eight years, Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, together with the SECC and city partners, has brought a clutch of large-scale, high-profile conferences to the city and will continue to do so in the months and years ahead.

These have included WorldCon - the World Science Fiction Convention - in 2005, the European Renal Association in 2006 and the World Congress on Pain in 2008, which together brought 15,000 delegates to Glasgow.

In summer 2010, Glasgow hosted the American Society of Mechanical Engineers' (ASME) Gas Turbo Expo - the world's premier gas turbine exhibition - having beaten off strong competition from Paris, Brussels and Geneva.

That same year the city hosted the prestigious World Parkinson Congress - the first time this conference had been held outside of theUS. Together, these conferences attracted more than 6,000 delegates and provided a near £10 million boost to the local economy.

John Sharkey

Glasgow enjoys an enviable reputation across the global conventions market as a destination that delivers on its promises.

At the SECC we're proud to have played an intrinsic role in bringing meetings of all sizes - including some of the largest and most prestigious in the world - to Glasgow over the past eight years and we will continue to work as one team alongside Glasgow City Marketing Bureau and our city partners to deliver future success.

John Sharkey, Chief Executive of the SECC

Later this year, Glasgow will host the Liberal Democrats' annual Autumn Party Conference in 2013. The city beat off strong UK-wide competition to secure the five-day event, which will take place at the SECC in September.

Over 7,000 delegates will travel to Glasgow to attend the conference, which will inject almost £12 million into the local economy and provide a welcome boost to the city's hotels, restaurants, shops, bars and other businesses.

Not only will it will be the largest conference held in the city since the Annual Congress of the European Respiratory Society in 2004, which attracted 15,000 delegates, it will also be the Lib Dems' first autumn party conference inScotlandfor more than a decade.

Cllr Matheson

The past eight years have been a huge success story for Glasgow during which we have welcomed the world's best minds to the world's best city and this achievement is the perfect springboard from which to ensure the next decade is as equally successful.

"Glasgow City Marketing Bureau has confirmed business on its books through to 2021 and is bidding for new conventions business as far out as 2024 - the most exciting thing about Glasgow is that there is still a lot more to come.

Cllr Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of Glasgow City Marketing Bureau

***ENDS***

 SUPPORTING COMMENTS:

Professor Sir Jim McDonald, Principal of the University of Strathclyde and Chair of the Glasgow Economic Commission, said: "This is a significant milestone on the economic journey of Glasgowand I congratulate all those from the Glasgow City Marketing Bureau who have helped the city reach this target.

"This success is down to two things - vision and partnership. The city leadership had the vision to reposition Glasgow as a conference powerhouse and partners from across the region came together and worked to make this happen.

"The University of Strathclyde is delighted to have played a part in this success, to the tune of £55 million. Recently, the University worked in partnership with GCMB to bring the European Association for International Education conference to the city in 2015, which will see 5,000 delegates from around the world arrive in the city.

"We will continue working with the city to attract global partners from academia and industry to Glasgow and push on to the next £1 billion."

Stuart Patrick, Chief Executive of Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, said: "Glasgow City Marketing Bureau does a first class job for the city. Together with their enormous network of conference ambassadors, GCMB has been integral to Glasgow's success in attracting business conference delegates to the city, especially in the field of medical sciences.

"GCMB has shown what can be done with a clear focus on target markets and developing a long track record of working in close partnership with business, government and academia. Many businesses in the city's hospitality, travel and leisure sectors will have benefited from their work which is fantastic for the local economy. We'd like to congratulate GCMB on their success and hope it continues for many years to come."

Principal and Vice Chancellor of the University of Glasgow, Anton Muscatelli, said: "I am delighted that Glasgow City Marketing Bureau has been so successful in bringing new investment to the city. The University has benefited greatly from working in partnership with GCMB, helping us bring a series of international conferences and speakers to Glasgow.

"This is invaluable to our international strategy, which seeks to extend our global reach and forge relationships with other academics working in similar fields. I wish to congratulate the bureau on its achievements and wish it continuing success for the future."

Amanda McMillan, Managing Director of Glasgow International Airport, said: "The success of GCMB in attracting business tourism to Glasgow has helped to reposition our city as an international player, while generating millions of pounds for our economy and investment in new facilities such as hotels.

"It is difficult to understate the value of thousands of conference delegates arriving in Glasgow on a regular basis and using our transport network, hotels and restaurants. WithGlasgownow so attractive to delegates, many of these people will return to experience the city in their leisure time.

"At Glasgow Airport we take our responsibility as the city's gateway extremely seriously and we are delighted to have played our part in achieving this milestone. We will continue to work with GCMB and our other city partners to ensure visitors toGlasgowreceive the best possible welcome." 

Ryan James, Chairman of the Glasgow Restaurant Association (GRA), said: "This demonstrates that conference planners are continuing to give a resounding vote of confidence toGlasgow's offering of fantastic meetings facilities, great transport links and a wide range of first-class restaurants and hotels to meet all budgets.

"Instead of our city venues competing against each other to win business we all recognise and understand the merits of working together to present a united product to conference organisers. Glasgow City Marketing Bureau has been at the forefront of those efforts over the past nine years and this shows how coming together to bring business to the city is really paying off."

Denis MacCann, General Manager of Hotel Indigo and Co-Chair of the Greater Glasgow Hotels Association (GGHA), said: "This is a milestone achievement for Glasgow's meetings industry and underlines the city's status as leaders and innovators in business tourism, both domestically and internationally. The GGHA and its members work closely with GCMB and this justifiably reflects our strong partnership approach to winning business forGlasgow."

Stephen Flynn, Vice-Chair of Glasgow Taxis Ltd, said: "We congratulate Glasgow City Marketing Bureau and all partner organisations on this outstanding achievement and look forward to working closely with them to ensure this success continues.

"At Glasgow Taxis we take tremendous pride in the role we can play in helping visitors enjoy a positive, welcoming experience during their stay. We recognise one of the first conversations an incoming delegate may have is with a Glasgow Taxis driver which is why we commit ongoing investment to driver training, work-wear, vehicle safety and technology.

"Conference business, as proven by this latest milestone being reached, is now huge for the city. Glasgow Taxis Ltd is thrilled to have worked in partnership with GCMB, our hotels, universities, restaurants and venues to help generate this significant, long-term income stream for the city's economy." 

For more information, contact:

Graeme Watson

Senior Marketing Communications Manager - Corporate & Digital

GlasgowCityMarketing Bureau

0141 566 0835 / 07534 982 312

[email protected]

Or

Tricia Crosbie

Marketing Communications Executive - Corporate & Digital

GlasgowCityMarketing Bureau

0141 566 0838 / 07738 782 926

[email protected]