Dundee’s thriving business events sector is set for even further success in 2019 with six major conferences worth over £1.6 million being brought to the city by Dundee & Angus Convention Bureau Conference Ambassador Programme.
The events, secured following a competitive bidding process and carried out in partnership with the Bureau’s conference ambassadors, will attract over 1,250 national and international delegates to the city.
The conferences already secured for 2019 build on an incredibly successful period for business events in Dundee and Angus: the sector is experiencing rapid growth, contributing £68m to the local economy and bringing, on average, 255,000 national and international delegates to the region each year.
Karen Tocher, business tourism manager at Dundee & Angus Convention Bureau, says the region is increasingly being recognised within the UK and overseas as one of Scotland’s preeminent business event destinations.
Recent initiatives, such as VisitScotland Business Events flagship Project Legend campaign which has been supported by the Bureau, have helped to showcase Scotland’s innovation, invention and pioneering spirit – with a significant profile for Dundee as blazing a trail for ground breaking developments in the past and in the present.
She adds, “Project Legend has offered a significant profile to our world-leading experts based in the region and the innovations that they are spearheading. It underlines to conference organisers why they should select Scotland – and specifically through our work in the campaign, Dundee and Angus – for their events.
“It is thanks to our excellent relationships with our partners, and the support of our conference ambassadors that we have been able to secure these six major conferences, that will add further spend in the business events sector. Business events has seen a steady annual growth each year and 2017 saw an increase of 7.4% on 2016 and continues to grow with bids in progress for conferences in 2020 and beyond.
“It is this very drive for innovation and discovery that attracts conferences and events to Dundee. The region provides an inspiring destination due to its openness to change and creativity. Having a steady business events sector – backed up by significant investment in hotels and conferencing venues - is truly an opportunity for Dundee to open its doors to the world.
“Our aim is to inspire our delegate audiences by sharing Dundee, Angus and the region with the world, where they get to experience a city where transformational thinking is changing the future of our planet; a city where innovation, design and experimentation are at the core of business.
With the recent opening of the V&A Dundee, the announcement that two design and architecture conferences are among the six major events secured for 2019 could not come at a better time.
Dundee & Angus Convention Bureau has partnered with the University of Dundee to welcome delegates for the 13th International Conference of the European Academy of Design: Running with Scissors in April. The conference, which has previously been hosted in destinations such as Paris, Rome and Barcelona, will attract in the region of 350 academics from across the globe who share a keen interest in improving the quality of life through design.
Later in 2019, the 16th Architectural Humanities Research Association Conferences will be bringing both UK-based and international delegates to the city for its annual gathering, also taking place at the University of Dundee. The event will look at how architecture as a discipline aligns with the aspirations of city planners.
Another major event taking place at the University of Dundee next year is the 66th World Community Development Conference: People, Place and Power. The conference will be run by the International Association for Community Development (IACD). Echoing the Association’s interests and concerns, Dundee as a venue will have a symbolic and inspirational value for IACD, being the city where Patrick Geddes founded the modern town planning and the global sustainable development movements.
The British Association of Sports and Exercise Sciences will be holding a student conference, which is to be jointly hosted by Abertay University and the University of Dundee. The hosts will welcome around 200 undergraduate and postgraduates from across the UK who specialise in the fields of health sciences, physiotherapy and sports therapy.
Abertay University will also be the venue for around 100 UK and international delegates attending the Leisure Studies Association Conference, which will debate the importance of leisure in transforming people’s lives.
Finally, in a new win for the city, it will welcome over 100 international visitors for the European Coal Combustion Products Association 2019 conference. The industry event, which is held every two years, will be staged at the University of Dundee and will discuss the use coal combustion products across the European construction industry.
Councillor John Alexander, leader of Dundee City Council, said: "Research has shown that people who come to the city to attend a business event spend on average two to three times more than leisure visitors, their importance to the economy cannot be underestimated.
"The additional £68m that flowed into the city from business events and the 255,000 delegates who attended conferences secured 48,000 bed nights in hotels in the city during 2016/17 and I am sure that the positive experience these delegates had will translate into more conferences, more visits and a virtuous circle for Dundee."
To find out more about meetings and conferences in Dundee and Angus – and to find out how Dundee & Angus Convention Bureau can help with the organisation of your event – visit www.conventiondundeeandangus.co.uk
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