While Scotland delights global audiences across the silver screen, starring in the summer box office hit Brave from Disney Pixar, Scottish meeting professionals prepare to dazzle at IMEX America in Las Vegas from October 9–11, 2012.
“With three major events taking place this summer - the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, release of Brave and hosting the Olympics, we could not be more proud that there is so much happening here,” said Richard Knight, VisitScotland Business Tourism Unit’s Marketing Manager. “Following a very successful show last year at IMEX America, we’ve further increased our level of commitment in the North American market by bringing over 16 organizations from Scotland, doubling our number of stand partners for 2012.”
Scotland has increased their commitment with an investment of over $3.2 billion towards venues and facilities to the support the MICE industry. Looking ahead, Scotland welcomes Ryder Cup 2014 to Gleneagles, an incredible draw for the incentive visits leading up to the championship, along with the Year of Homecoming and the Commonwealth Games in the same year.
“Scotland is a world-class destination for world class incentives,” says Knight. “This provides an exceptional platform to showcase offerings we have for this market.”
These global events coupled with an intrinsic commitment to hospitality and incredible investment in refurbishments has created a steady growth of the North American MICE market in Scotland. The partners attending this year’s show seamlessly showcase Scotland’s blend of luxury meeting accommodations with rich cultural charm, providing the perfect platform for these experiences:
Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Center (AECC): With over 400 events and around 300,000 people coming through the venue each year to attend a wide variety of conferences, meetings and events, the team at AECC aim to ensure that everyone has a memorable time in Aberdeen: an accessible global hub, the Energy Capital of Europe blending new technology with a breadth of Scotland's natural awe-inspiring wonder.
Apex Hotels: Dishing out contemporary city center hotels across the UK, Apex Hotels operates four premier meeting venues in Edinburgh and one in Dundee. Recent recognition includes Trip Advisor’s prestigious Certificate of Excellence award, creating the perfect stay in these major cities.
The Balmoral: Preferred by meeting planners for ease in accessibility and venue flexibility, this iconic property along Princes Street has 188 suites and rooms, 10 conference suites, and readily available history and culture experiences. The Balmoral earned the title of Scotland’s Leading Hotel at the World Travel Awards 2011, the Top UK Business Hotel outside of London at the Condé Nast Traveller’s Readers’ Travel Awards 2011 and, most recently, accepted Chef of the Year at the Scottish Restaurant Awards 2012.
Cameron House Loch Lomond: World-renowned for its location along the shores of Loch Lomond with unrivaled views of the Highlands matched with legendary Scottish hospitality, the Cameron House is the business traveler’s destination of choice. Coupled with engaging meeting venues, Cameron House on Loch Lomond provides an enticing retreat with state-of-the-art wellness systems from TechnoGym at The Cameron Club, tee times at The Carrick with its epic journey of stunning greens and finish with a nightcap at the Great Scots Bar.
Cashel Travel: Experts in conference and incentive program planning and management in Scotland, Cashel Travel makes events happen efficiently and on budget, their experience, drawn from organizing hundreds of events, means that they can help clients to design en event with maximum outcome and ensure that each incentive proposal is converted to an incentive success.
Dundas Castle: Dating back to 1416, Dundas Castle provides a truly unique and inspirational backdrop to get any top achiever or meeting delegate excited about a program in Scotland. Set within 1,000 acres of Scotland’s most spectacular countryside, but only 8 miles from Edinburgh, the Castle combines the elegance and warmth of a family home with the distinguished hospitality of a luxury venue. Whether it is for a residential incentive experience, an executive meeting, or a gala dinner, the extensive facilities allow Dundas Castle to welcome from 10 to 180 people.
The Fairmont, St. Andrews: Providing meeting planners with a blend of luxury and functionality, the award winning Fairmont St Andrews has served as the address to prominent world leaders, business people and championship golfers alike. Perched on a 520-acres estate overlooking the medieval town of St Andrews and the North Sea, Fairmont St Andrews encompasses 209 bedrooms, 15,000 square foot conference center including a ballroom, 110 seat auditorium, 10 multi-purpose meeting rooms, and communications facilities.
Glasgow City Marketing Bureau (GCMB): Gearing up to be the host city for the 2014 Commonwealth Games, one of the World's largest sporting events, Glasgow is a key player in the UK for hosting meetings and conventions! The team at GCMB serves as the one point of contact for placing meetings into any venue in the city and offers a range of free support to ease the planning phase.
Gleneagles: All eyes will be on Perthshire as this world-class golf hotel prepares to host the 40th Ryder Cup in 2014. With the championship course ready two years ahead of tournament play, guests can take to the links after a morning meeting, relax in the ESPA Life spa with its new approach to health and wellbeing, and dine on locally-sourced produce at Restaurant Andrew Fairlie, recently named Grand Chef by Relais & Chateaux.
Historic Scotland: Responsible for safeguarding the nation’s historic environment and promoting its understanding and enjoyment on behalf of Scottish Ministers, Historic Scotland is busily promoting ancient Scottish tradition during the Winning Years. Its most famous two sites, Edinburgh (pictured) & Stirling Castle, offer unforgettable settings for banquets, meetings and receptions.
Hotel Missoni: Situated on the historic Royal Mile in the heart of Edinburgh, Hotel Missoni is Edinburgh’s newest 5 star hotel offering meeting planners a contemporary venue in Scotland’s famed capital city from esteemed Italian fashion house Missoni. Scotland’s rooted creativity pairs with modern indulgences and design for memorable meetings.
Radisson Blu Hotel, Edinburgh: Prominently located along the Royal Mile, Radisson Blu Hotel, Edinburgh offers state-of-the-art facilities matched with awe-inspiring architecture and design. Banquet rooms provide accommodations for up to 240 guests while up-to-date conference technology creates ideal settings for intimate board meetings to large-scale corporate events.
The Royal Yacht Britannia: In this historic year of The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, there is no better time to host a stunning event aboard The Royal Yacht Britannia in Edinburgh. Having served the Royal Family as a floating royal residence for 968 official visits, the Royal Yacht is a unique option which exudes regality and prestige.
Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre (SECC): The countdown has begun for the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre (SECC) to welcome The Hydro to its impressive roster of meeting and conference centers. Debuting in 2013, The Hydro will augment the SECC’s to host international associations, and will garner one million visitors each year making it the fifth busiest conference center in the world.
Sheraton Grand Hotel and Spa, Edinburgh: Contemporary Scotland meets tradition with 269 newly-renovated guest rooms welcoming business travelers with its close proximity to the Edinburgh International Convention Center. A short ride from Edinburgh Airport (EDI), the Sheraton Grand Hotel and Spa’s location and new refurbishment marry accessibility with plush meeting accommodations.
Spectra: Offering 60 years of top-tier destination, conference and event management, Spectra knows how to craft a winning motivational program, meeting, conference or event in Scotland. Their established working relationships with Scotland’s premier venues deliver innovative & unique experiences.
Those visiting the VisitScotland stand at IMEX America also have the opportunity to witness traditional Scottish entertainment while learning more about one of the leading international meeting, incentive and convention destinations.
From ancient lore to modern celebrity news, Scotland continues to be one of the world’s most intriguing destinations for North American meetings, incentive and conventions. The creativity of Scotland’s meeting planners with the ingenuity of its DMCs streamlines the process for planners as they seek to deliver memorable programs.
VisitScotland is Scotland’s national tourism organization. Its core purpose is to maximize the economic benefit of tourism to Scotland. VisitScotland’s Business Tourism Unit, drives meeting and incentive business and generates more than $800 million in revenue annually for the country. For information about business tourism in Scotland—press releases, tourism statistics and frequently asked questions—go to www.conventionscotland.com/US.