IT WAS on target to have its most successful year to date when the pandemic struck having a major impact on Glasgow’s multi-million pound conference market. 

Bringing in more than 140,000 delegates in 2019/2020 and worth £140million to the city’s economy, Glasgow Convention Bureau has won awards year after year.
Now as the conference circuit resumes, the bureau has secured future meetings worth almost £90million to the city through more than 100 events.
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It comes on the back of a successful year as between April 2021 and March 2022, Glasgow secured 71 new conferences, brining in more than 36,000 delegates to Scotland’s largest city while boosting the local economy by £53 million in delegate spend.

HeraldScotland: Glasgow was on the world stage for COP26 last NovemberGlasgow was on the world stage for COP26 last November
Conference numbers and attendances are now on the rise and within the next financial year, Glasgow will host more than 100 meetings which will deliver an additional £87m in delegate spend.
More than 50,000 delegates will visit Glasgow for UK and international conferences between April 2022 and March 2023, including those attending the prestigious World Congress of Soil Science, which will see 1,500 representatives gather at the Scottish Event Campus (SEC) next summer for a conference worth £4m to the city.

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Glasgow Convention Bureau, which is part of Glasgow Life, competes globally to secure conference business; working on more than 100 bids for major conferences every year alongside key partners like the SEC and NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, as well the city’s academic community, tourism and hospitality businesses, and local transport operators.
Recognised as one of the world’s leading business tourism destinations, Glasgow has been named the Best Convention Bureau in the UK at the industry-leading Meetings & Incentive Travel (M&IT) Awards for 15 consecutive years.

HeraldScotland: City venues, including SEC events campus, are welcoming delegates backCity venues, including SEC events campus, are welcoming delegates back
Aileen Crawford, Head of Tourism and Conventions at Glasgow Life, said: “Despite the significant challenges imposed by the pandemic, the city’s positive year-end results show that the global meetings industry continues to have confidence in Glasgow.
“Team Glasgow has worked tirelessly over the past 12 months, supporting clients who were forced to move or adapt their conferences while also winning more than £80m of new conference business for future years.
“Crucially, the long-awaited return of physical meetings will enable delegates to collaborate, exchange expertise and drive innovation in person across an array of specialist subjects; from climate change solutions to the future of healthcare. It’s wonderful to be able to welcome these events back and support our city’s post-pandemic renewal.”

HeraldScotland: Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museums is one of the city's flagship attractionsKelvingrove Art Gallery and Museums is one of the city's flagship attractions
The Herald is running a Fair Deal for Glasgow campaign to ensure that the city’s cultural assets and leisure are funded appropriately.
Mrs Crawford has previously backed the campaign and it is vital to have a thriving and vibrant city to help secure conferences.
She added: “The social programme of a conference is just as important as the educational aspect because that is when you get to have a flavour of the destination you are visiting.
“Having these fabulous venues, great museums and unique attractions that in the evening turn into these corporate event locations is a huge factor in attracting the conference in the first place.”
In 2021, as Glasgow hosted the COP26 UN Climate Change Conference, Glasgow Convention Bureau became the world’s first convention bureau to join the global Tourism Declares movement, which encourages the travel industry to acknowledge the climate emergency and develop appropriate action plans.
Kathleen Warden, Director of Conference Sales, SEC, said organisers and delegates were keen to return to face to face meetings.
She said: “When we set the stage for COP26 in November 2021, the SEC once again underscored its global reputation as a venue that has the people, expertise and capability to deliver the most complex of events. Looking forward through this year and beyond, we’re seeing the welcome return of conferences and corporate events.
“In 2022 we have a full calendar of conferences. Organisers and delegates are eager to get back to meeting face to face, to share knowledge and create an impact, and it’s a delight to be welcoming delegates back to the city.”
From soil science to nursing, the conventions held in Glasgow over the next year will cover numerous topics of global importance.
Bruce Lascalles, President of the British Society of Soil Science and chairman of the World Congress of Soil Science Working Group, said: “With a growing, worldwide focus on climate change and the role soils can play in securing our sustainable future, and the UN Climate Change Conference being held in Glasgow in 2021, there is no better time for our congress programme to support academics and practitioners in sharing knowledge and information as widely as possible.”
Steven Jenkinson, Events and Venue Services Manager at the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), said they are delighted to be coming back to Glasgow in June with their first in-person congress since the pandemic. 
He said: “Our members are looking forward to re-engaging with each other after being on the front-line throughout the Covid pandemic. It will be an inspirational and emotional event for all our members."