Conferences have brought in more than £800 million to the city’s economy
Published by Anne Marie Hughes on Sat 09 Jun 12 @ 22:11
Conferences held in the city have boosted Glasgow's economy by a staggering £827.
Since 2006 hundreds of thousands of delegates from all over the world have flocked to Glasgow to attend high-profile conferences, spending more than £800 million during their stay.
Throughout Glasgow conference venues, snack bars, restaurants, pubs, clubs, cinemas, theatres and shops the city's famed Style Mile have all benefited from the huge influx of attendees.
Conferences are big business and marketing chiefs have promoted Glasgow world-wide since the launch of the Glasgow City Marketing Bureau (GCMB) in April 2005.
It was responsible for the hugely successful Glasgow: Scotland With Style brand and figures now reveal the massive cash boost its marketing team has brought to the city.
The hospitality sector across Glasgow has been cashing in too - it's estimated that delegates spent three million nights at hotels.
Marketing chiefs say just in the last year alone they brought £120m worth of conference business to Glasgow - 10% up year-on-year, or around an extra £12m.
The marketing team's skills to sell Scotland's leading conference city came to the fore from November to February when they secured bookings for 99 events to be held over the next three years - a mix of medical, corporate, scientific, sporting and financial conferences.
Bureau chairman and leader of Glasgow City Council Gordon Matheson praised the marketing team led by chief executive Scott Taylor for its "phenomenal achievement".
He said: "Glasgow is never complacent about its conventions business. For us it's personal.
"We fully appreciate the importance of the decision by conference organisers to hold their meetings here.
"Glasgow City Marketing Bureau specifically targets those conferences that strategically match the economic aspirations of the city and will continue to do so going forward."
The strategy is paying dividends. Influential Inter-national Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) confirmed Glasgow's status as one of the world's best conference destinations by placing the city 29th in a list of top destinations - ahead of globally recognised rivals such as Melbourne, Toronto, Boston, Bangkok, Brussels and Dublin.
London is the only UK city ranked higher than Glasgow. Notable successes included 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 the city.
Last summer, Glasgow saw off competition from Paris, Brussels and Geneva to host the world's most prestigious gas turbine exhibition and followed up by hosting the World Parkinson Congress which had never before been held outside America.
Glasgow also recently won the title of Britain's conference capital for the sixth time while the SECC was named Britain's best conference venue for the fourth time in five years.
Councillor Matheson said: "The past seven years have been a huge success story for Glasgow - we have welcomed the world's best minds to the world's best city."