Events Provide "Unique Opportunity" for Scotland as First Speakers for National Events Conference Announced

Scotland has “an almost unique opportunity to benefit from event tourism; perhaps in a way no other country has done so far”, according to Professor Donald Getz, the world’s leading academic on event tourism.

Professor Getz, will speak at the National Events Conference, ‘Scotland Prepares’ at Glasgow’s Emirates Arena on 13 December along with other leading figures from the events, tourism and sports industries. The Conference will focus on the vital role events play in driving the visitor economy, and how the major events of 2014 - The Commonwealth Games, The 2014 Ryder Cup and Homecoming Scotland - sit at the heart of this.

2014 is hugely important for the Scottish events and tourism industry, and the conference will challenge its delegates to ensure they are prepared for the delivery of the year. Post-2014 will also be on the agenda, with a view to future major events in Scotland including Glasgow’s bid to host the 2018 Youth Olympic Games.

The key note address will be delivered by Fergus Ewing MSP, Minister for Energy, Enterprise and Tourism, with the morning sessions chaired by Dr Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland. David Zolkwer, Head of Ceremonies for Glasgow 2014 at Jack Morton will also take to the stage at the newly opened Commonwealth Games venue.

Mike Cantlay said:   “The eyes of the world will be on Scotland in 2014 and it is crucial that every visitor has the experience of a lifetime as the country takes centre-stage with a programme of global events which represent an unprecedented opportunity for tourism.     2014 will see two of the world’s biggest showcase events coming to Scotland and the return of Homecoming - we have to catch the moment and secure the legacy.”

Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer at EventScotland said: “This one day conference at one of Glasgow's newest Commonwealth venues will hear from internationally renowned speakers as well as challenge everyone to ensure that 2014 is truly a memorable year. The audience, spectators, participants, the industry, media and partners all have a role to play in 2014, which will clearly demonstrate that Scotland is The Perfect Stage for events and event tourism.

Professor Donald Getz, added: “Attracting visitors from around the world by using the Commonwealth Games, The Ryder Cup and Homecoming Scotland year, puts events at the heart of the country’s tourism offer for 2014 and will clearly demonstrate the importance of the events industry to expanding Scotland’s visitor economy.”

David Zolkwer, said: “2014 will be a massive year for Scotland and I’m keen to explore the essentials for a world-class Opening Ceremony for the Commonwealth Games. It’s about getting it right for Glasgow and Scotland and attending the conference is an ideal way for the events industry to hear about the direction of this work.”

The programme for the day will also examine how Scotland’s events and tourism industries  can capitalise on these big occasions and build on previous years of focus - the year of food and drink; the year of active Scotland; the year of creative Scotland and the year of natural Scotland.

As well as informative plenary sessions, delegates will be able to attend a series of industry specific seminars allowing greater time to explore and discuss trends and developments.

Conference places are on sale now here.

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