Glasgow enjoyed a record-breaking night at the prestigious Meeting and Incentive Travel (M&IT) Awards on Friday (March 1).
Winning a trio of top awards, Glasgow Convention Bureau was once again named the UK’s Best Convention Bureau – for the 13th consecutive year – while the Scottish Event Campus (SEC) was crowned Best UK Conference Centre and the University of Strathclyde’s Technology and Innovation Centre (TIC) collected bronze in the Best Academic Venue category.
Glasgow Convention Bureau, which is part of Glasgow Life, beat off strong competition to secure the coveted title ahead of Newcastle-Gateshead Convention Bureau; London & Partners; Liverpool Convention Bureau and Marketing Edinburgh.
Recognised as the business tourism sector’s ‘Oscars’, the M&IT Awards are voted for by more than 4,500 meetings industry professionals across the UK.
Glasgow Convention Bureau is the city’s primary point of contact for conference organisers, working with partners on more than 100 bids for major UK and international conferences each year.
Since first winning the M&IT title in 2007, Glasgow Convention Bureau has worked with industry, academic, city and national partners to deliver over £1 billion worth of business to Glasgow. That equates to securing more than 3,500 domestic and international conferences, with some 1.3 million conference delegates having spent more than four million nights in the city’s hotels.
Glasgow is one of the world’s leading conference destinations and, today, business tourism contributes significantly to the city’s economy.By the end of the current financial year (2018/19), Glasgow is forecast to have secured more than 150 new international and UK conferences through to 2024 worth £260m.
Aileen Crawford, Head of Glasgow’s Convention Bureau, said: “This suite of awards from what is widely regarded as the ‘Oscars’ of the business tourism industry reinforces Glasgow’s reputation as the UK’s conference capital. Our unrivalled success is testimony to the outstanding partnership working that exists right across our conventions sector – from the SEC and Glasgow Chamber of Commerce to NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, our five universities and the wider business community.
“With business on our books, in partnership with the SEC, until 2024 and bids in planning as far out as 2028, Glasgow’s capability and credibility in the global conventions market is stronger than ever before. Through continued innovation and collaboration, Glasgow’s conventions team will continue to drive the city’s competitive advantage; delivering a clear message to the meetings industry that Glasgow is a world-class conference city in which to do business.”
Kathleen Warden, Director of Conference Sales at the Scottish Event Campus, said: “We are extremely proud and excited to have won gold in the Best UK Conference Centre category. The M&IT Awards are special as the outcome is decided by our clients; so to be recognised in this way is fantastic. At the SEC, we invest in our people and our campus. We believe in partnerships and the value that these have to our clients, who are at the heart of everything we do. This award is testament to the outstanding team that we have here and the work that they do every day to give our clients and delegates a great meetings experience.”
Gordon Hodge, Head of Conferencing and Events at the University of Strathclyde, added: “The Technology and Innovation Centre has challenged traditional perceptions of an academic venue and allows Strathclyde to host regional, national and international meetings on campus – indeed, many now experience Strathclyde for the first time as a conference delegate.Our vision is to provide a world-class venue which is a platform for knowledge exchange, where Strathclyde academics showcase their research activity and their partnerships with industry and the public sector. Together, we are delivering economic and reputational benefit to the University and to the city of Glasgow.”