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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Scotland Means Business November 2012

Scotland Means Business is Scotland’s flagship business to business event for MICE agents. Our 2012 edition of Scotland Means Business (SMB) took place on 7 and 8 November in an enlightening Edinburgh setting. SMB is one-of-a-kind in that it offers Scottish businesses the chance to promote their products and services to influential buyers while allowing them to experience what Scotland can offer firsthand.


The event brought together top Scottish suppliers representing some of the best properties and service providers in the country, alongside buyers and media from key business tourism markets including the UK and Ireland, North America, Europe and Russia in order to showcase the quality of our products and our services to professional meeting and event organisers. This year 48 Scottish industry partners attended the event along with 40 buyers. Our partners also had the opportunity to meet with representatives from United Airlines and the UK Border Agency.


The two day event, kicked off on Wednesday 7 November with an intense networking workshop at the recently relaunched Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa in their dedicated meetings and events complex. Over 500 face to face appointments took place providing our partners with the opportunity to have quality time with buyers and dazzle them by explaining how the unique combination of Scotland and their venue, property, service or attraction is ideal for buyers’ future business events. Fergus Ewing MSP, Minister for Tourism also spoke at the event emphasising the vital importance that business tourism plays in Scotland, currently estimated at around £878million to the Scottish economy.


The newly re-opened A-listed Edinburgh Assembly Rooms was the spectacular venue for our renowned gala dinner served in the impressive ballroom complete with gleaming chandeliers. A delicious menu was served by Heritage Portfolio, and great Scottish singing, dancing and haggis addressing provided by Reel Time Events. Our mini ceilidh was as popular as ever with guests getting into the swing of all things Scottish.


Our activity day on Thursday 8 November was hosted by Hello Scotland and provided a thoroughly challenging and fun-filled teambuilding activity, Impulse Interactive, with participants relishing in networking in a far less formal environment. Buyers and Scottish partners were all teamed up in clans ready to defend their honour in the challenge which focused in and around the atmospheric Old Town of the capital city. Clans faced over a hundred challenges to help them discover the history of Edinburgh, along with assistance from some historical characters provided by Mercat Tours to bring the city’s vibrant history to life. Clan MacDougall beat the competition hands down to claim victory.


Closing proceedings at The Hub on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile, Head of Business Tourism Neil Brownlee said, “This event is a fantastic opportunity for businesses to come together and collaborate in making Scotland a strong contender to host meetings, events and conferences.  Scotland is a wonderful country and the best way to sell it is to experience it. Scotland Means Business is a bespoke event that does just that and does it to great effect.”