Leading Meeting Professionals

Professional Convention Management Association


by Ali Gramaglia | Dec 26, 2012

Innovative new settings for international meetings

When it comes to association meetings, the destination checklist can often be long and demanding. Scotland, however, satisfies every requirement and has the accolades to back it up. Scotland and the United Kingdom rank in the top four most popular destinations for international association meetings, and when it comes to affordability, Edinburgh and Glasgow rank as two of the top European destinations for association conferences. Why the praise? The reasons to meet in Scotland are vast and varied - dramatic landscapes, a distinctive culture, and warm hospitality, to name a few. And as the European leader in renewable-energy research, the country is setting the pace for many areas of scientific research and innovation.

As a result of this popularity, Scotland is heavily investing in its business tourism infrastructure. The Edinburgh International Conference Centre, the venue of choice for many of Scotland’s larger conventions and exhibitions, is currently undergoing a $114-million renovation set for completion in early 2013. New additions will include a 17,200-squarefoot multipurpose hall with state-of-the-art moving floor technology that can easily reconfigure the space from flat exhibition flooring into a number of different auditorium- and arena-style setups. The renovation will also add a 2,000-seat auditorium and a banquet area accommodating up to 1,400 attendees.

In 2013, the Scottish Exhibition + Conference Centre (SECC) will debut the 12,000- seat Hydro Arena. Nicknamed simply “The Hydro,” the arena will be the only facility of its scale in the U.K. built specifically for concerts, conferences, and events. The SECC, in Scotland’s cultural and commercial center of Glasgow, is already the U.K.’s largest venue for exhibitions and conferences of 10,000- plus attendees.

In Aberdeen, Scotland’s third most populous city and a steadily growing economic hub, the Aberdeen Exhibition & Conference Centre (AECC) is flexible enough to handle almost any type of event, from congresses to concerts. With meeting space, an arena, and an auditorium, the AECC is also one of the only conference centers in the U.K. with in-house catering, audiovisual/IT, and event-management teams.

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