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City Collaborations Reap Rewards for Edinburgh

Convention Edinburgh, the business tourism arm of Marketing Edinburgh has announced the city’s strongest first quarter performance to date.

A combination of successful new bid wins, record delegate figures and a busy itinerary which saw the business tourism team attend conferences and events across the world, has resulted in Convention Edinburgh breaking all its previous records and targets.

41 future conferences and events were confirmed for Edinburgh during the first three months of the financial year, important bid wins included the Flora Malesiana Conference 2016 and the Association of Art Historians Conference 2016. As a result, over 16,100 delegates will visit Edinburgh in the coming months and years, generating an estimated £20.9 million for the local economy.

Lesley Williams, Head of Business Tourism at Convention Edinburgh said: “It’s an incredible start to the year and very much down to the hard work of Marketing Edinburgh’s Ambassadors, our members and the Convention Edinburgh team. As a business tourism destination, Edinburgh is competing in an incredibly competitive global marketplace to attract high profile, high value conventions to the city. Raising the Capital’s profile to international conference organisers and delegates is the absolute priority and there is always more work to be done. We’re constantly striving to give new and compelling reasons for event organisers to choose Edinburgh as the host city."

Latest innovation

The latest innovation introduced by Convention Edinburgh is the world’s first delegate reward card. Exclusively for business tourists visiting the Capital, the Edinburgh Rewards card is specially designed to encourage delegates to get out and explore all the city has to offer. Featuring 60 of Edinburgh’s most iconic venues and businesses, hand-picked by Marketing Edinburgh, reward partners include Harvey Nichols, Galvin Brasserie de Luxe, The Scottish Whisky Experience and The Witchery by the Castle.

From April to June 2014, Convention Edinburgh worked with its members to host 15,864 delegates across 56 events in and around Edinburgh, generating an additional £20.5million for the local economy.

Convention Edinburgh has also attended a number of high profile UK and international events with and of behalf of its members. This has included a profile raising awareness visit to Brussels in partnership with the Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa, along with attendance at The Meetings Show in London and IMEX Frankfurt. The latter resulting in around 50 new appointments with buyers and enquiries potentially worth over £22million to the local economy.

High profile associations

An Edinburgh delegation from Convention Edinburgh, Edinburgh International Conference Centre and the Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa also travelled to Chicago in July. Meeting with event organisers from a number of high profile associations based in the USA’s third largest city, the team also attended Annual Meeting and Exposition of the Controlled Release Society (CRS) ahead of next year’s session in Edinburgh. 1,700 delegates are expected to travel to the Capital for the 2015 CRS Annual Meeting, with an estimated economic impact of £4.1 million.

Melissa Raffaelli, Director of Sales, Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa said: “This is outstanding news for business tourism in Edinburgh and is testament to a positive, collaborative approach and a united presence at key global tourism events. The Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa is committed to working in partnership with Convention Edinburgh and its members to effectively promote our city and raise its profile at key UK and international events to secure long-term business for many years to come.”

Over 109 conferences and events are so far confirmed to take place in Edinburgh between 2014 and 2021, estimated to generate over £117 million for the local economy. This includes internationally respected conventions such as the European Aquaculture Society in 2016 and the Cleft Lip/Palate and Related Craniofacial Anomalies conference in 2021.

Edinburgh is the number one ICCA (International Congress and Convention Association) conference destination in the UK outside of London and rated 21 in the top 50 European City ranking.