EventScotland beats freeze

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EventScotland staged its International Events Conference at Perth Concert Hall on 14 December 2010 with over 200 delegates in attendance to hear an array of speakers from the sporting, culture and tourism sectors.

Chaired by broadcaster Dougie Vipond, the day offered delegates the opportunity to evaluate the industrys work, the positive impacts created around the events industry and the challenges faced. Divided into four key topics, the day started with The Perfect Stage – delivering for Scotland followed by Scotland on the World stage. Interlaced with electronic polling, debate sessions and musical entertainment from Perthshires own Dougie MacLean, the conference continued with International Reflections and Widening the impacts of events. The presentations celebrated Scotlands achievements and current standing in the extremely competitive global environment. Mike Cantlay, chairman of VisitScotland was the opening speaker who looked at events from a tourism perspective. Among other events, he talked about the Edinburgh festivals as Scotlands powerhouse. He said: Over the next decade, Scotland has immense opportunity to promote the country through our events. EventScotland is out to create a legacy from the success of all this activity and our aim is to stay out front as a leading events destination. The opening session also included Jim Mather MSP, Minister for Enterprise, Energy and Tourism who discussed promoting Scotland through world class events. Scotland has a strategy that recognises the events industry as a high–growth market worldwide and it provides a wide base for community and business engagement while enhancing our countrys reputation, Mather said. Looking at the work of EventScotland over the past seven years, he continued: EventScotland has had an incredible impact since it was founded in 2003. They have invested in over 450 events out with Homecoming and their work has provided a great return on investment. Responding to the current challenges was the topic of EventScotlands chief operating officer Paul Bush OBE. He emphasised the important factors to combat the challenges saying: The events landscape in Scotland has changed significantly in the past few years. The challenge is not only maintaining momentum but also growing opportunities in some of the most challenging economic times we have seen for a long time. It is now about return on investment and value for money. Sustainability is crucial. We must continue to invest and demonstrate that we can deliver on a world stage. The conference sessions also included presentations from Sir Craig Reedie, International Olympic Committee executive board member and 2012 LOCOG board member who covered Olympic Impacts; Kanya King MBE, CEO and founder of MOBO Awards which were staged in Glasgow in 2009; Kath Mainland, chair of Festivals Edinburgh and chief executive of The Edinburgh Festival Fringe, and Lesley Sawers, chief executive, Scottish Council for Development and Industry talking about how Scottish businesses can create opportunities. The international perceptions came from Lars Lundov, chief executive of Sports Events Denmark and Craig McLatchey, chief executive of Swiss–based Event Knowledge Services, who gave their views on Scotland and its competitor countries. The day closed with special guest and 2010 Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie answering a series of questions on the recent victory at Celtic Manor and his thoughts on the world famous event coming to Gleneagles in 2014. He said: The Ryder Cup will have a massive impact, not just for the local area but Scotland in general. It will be super for everybody and hopefully it will continue the success of Glasgow 2014 that summer. It is a fantastic sporting year for us to look forward to.

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