A CAMPAIGN to promote Scotland's collective conferencing firepower has generated £9.5 million worth of inquiries since it was launched a year ago.

Billed as the country's first business events campaign, VisitScotland's Legends has also converted £2m of inquiries into business so far with more currently in the process.

It brings together all of Scotland’s convention bureaux as well as major conference centres and regions which are often head to head in competition under one banner to grow the multi-million-pound sector.

It also sells Scotland on aspects such as the value of holding conferences in places where world-leading academics or executives are already based instead of just accommodation capability.

It focuses on one of Scotland’s key sectors every two months, such as technology, energy and life sciences, with the country’s convention bureaux and regions contributing content to highlight achievements and opportunities, which is then shared across social media using the hashtag #IdeasBecomeLegend.

Highlights from the first year include achieving more than 60 million impressions of the hashtag on Twitter, without paid promotion, and engaging with 70-plus organisations across Scotland.

The national tourism organisation’s business events team has forged new relationships with institutions such as Scottish Renewables, Technology Scotland, Publishing Scotland, Creative Scotland, Education Scotland and Scottish Government.

Rory Archibald, business development manager at VisitScotland Business Events, said: "There is internal competition with convention centres and with cities themselves, but we are in an era where there is more destinations emerging internationally and the competition in this industry is huge.

"There are some destinations that are giving away free conference centres.

"There’s a lot to compete with.

"Speaking with one voice it completely amplifies the message hugely."

He said: "Our biggest conference destinations are Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen so there is always going to be slightly more going to those areas, but at Visitscotland we are pushing and we are making sure that the likes of Perth, Stirling, St Andrews, Inverness and the west coast of Scotland, all have an equally strong voice within the campaign and the the aim off the game is to make sure that they have an equally strong share of the wins from the campaign.

"Every conference centre has its own unique selling point."

He said a key element is changing the narrative of what's on offer.

He added: "From Visitscotland’s point of view, we are trying to change the message.

"All destinations throughout the world all have conference centres, they all have international airports, they all have hotels, some have fantastic architecture, some is from the 1980s, it doesn’t matter.

"The aim of the campaign was to change the narrative from talking about conference centres, hotels, connectivity, to talking about the innovation that takes place in the country, the pioneering, invention and entrepreneurship.

"A lot of the events that we try to attract to Scotland via Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Dundee, we first have to show that we have the credentials in whatever subject matter that is like new technology and digital.

"The campaign has completely changed the way we communicate by not talking about capacities or how many seats or how may bedrooms we have but talking about the knowledge economy of Scotland and the key driver for bringing in business events into Scotland."

He said: "The wins have included industries like publishing and newspapers through to technology wins and through to events that are slightly more general in that they cover a range of different topics within the event.

"There has also been climate change and renewable wins as well.