Get answers to some of the most common questions about Business Tourism in Scotland. 

A: Known as the “meeting industry” in the USA, Business Events, also called Business Tourism, provide facilities and services to delegates who attend meetings, congresses, exhibitions and events in another area or country. It also includes travel incentives and corporate hospitality packages.

A: Because the attendees tend to stay longer, spend more per night and it’s a great opportunity to highlight notable Scottish sectors and companies. This could inspire investment or even create new jobs. If a delegate has a great experience because the conference, facilities and services are excellent, they may return as a leisure visitor – injecting more into Scotland’s economy. And nothing speaks louder than a first-hand glowing review.

A: Yes. They generally book their travel arrangements and accommodation further in advance, spend more and can be demanding because they have a fixed pre-planned itinerary. Business tourists typically book through an intermediary, particularly if there are language barriers, as they need assistance organising their journey and stay. 

A: There are several. Key ones to know include:

  • Convention Bureaux – there are four in Scotland: Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dundee and Angus and Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire . They focus on attracting Business Events to their area, preparing competitive bids for conferences and running Ambassador programmes for academics in their area. They may also book or contract accommodation on behalf of clients.
  • Professional Conference Organiser (PCO) – these specialists handle detailed venue arrangements, logistics, delegate registrations, sub-meetings, speakers and more.
  • Destination Management Company or specialist tour operators – Normally they take care of transportation and social aspects such as dinners, trips and activities.  

A: Yes, if your guests are staying with you so they can attend a conference or business event.

A: Possibly, but not all delegates are looking for 5-star hotels and luxury meals. Many attend conferences to broaden their knowledge and require budget accommodation.
Whatever your price, ensure you provide value-for-money and the best experience e.g. when your guest is pressed for time and needs an early breakfast before a transfer.   A smile and excellent knowledge of the local area is highly valuable and appreciated.

A: They have three main roles:

  • Market development: providing nationwide marketing platforms like exhibitions, website, family trips, and promotional events. They also offer academic ambassador initiatives, handle enquiries and support bids.
  • Research and market intelligence - gathering, interpreting and sharing this information.

A: A mobile App for phones and tablets that allow delegates to get more details about a conference or meeting. Dependent on the sophistication of the App, they can be used to improve the delegate experience with features such as:

- Registration and selection of options within the programme
- As an (quick to update) digital brochure with details of agenda, speakers, social programme etc.
- Mapping, both internal to the venue and external in the destination.
- Pro-active networking to explore profiles and contact details of other attendee
- Social networking to post comments and discussions
- Polling and surveys.

They can also provide useful analytics for the event organiser. N.B. They do put pressure on the bandwidth of the venue. Remember you could have a couple of hundred people all using your Wi-Fi at the same time, perhaps using 2 digital devices.

A: Event organisers usually want to visit and review prospective destinations and venues. During these site visits you need to show you’re familiar with their event, understand the market and their needs – and can provide appropriate facilities. All of this collectively sells your destination.
It’s also important that someone doing a show-round is familiar with payment terms and commissions, as they may get asked about costs.

Business Tourism For Scotland