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Friday, April 26, 2013

Scotland Means Business April 2013

Providing Scotland based partners with an opportunity to showcase their products and services to potential buyers from around the globe, Scotland Means Business (SMB) took place from 22-24 April in Inverness and the stunning Cairngorms National Park. Our flagship event, SMB is one-of-a-kind as Scotland’s only business to business event for MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and events) agents. SMB enables planners to hear about exciting new developments taking place across Scotland and experience our first-class meeting facilities and unique incentive activities for themselves.


37 of Scotland’s top venue and service providers joined us for the 2013 edition of SMB, providing each with the perfect platform to demonstrate why Scotland is the natural choice for meetings and events. 41 buyers and journalists attended from key business tourism markets such as France, Germany, Switzerland, North America, Russia and the UK & Ireland, ensuring the message that Scotland is a dynamic destination for conferences, meetings and incentives was internationally received. Buyers and partners alike also had the opportunity to meet with representatives from United Airlines and Easyjet.


Proceedings began on Monday evening, 22 April, with an informal civic reception held in Inverness Town House hosted by the Provost. This provided our international buyers and press with an opportunity to mingle in a relaxed environment ahead of the main event and was attended by VisitScotland Chief Executive, Malcolm Roughead and Scott Armstrong, VisitScotland Regional Partnerships Director.


The main event got underway the following morning, where buyers and Scottish partners met face-to-face with over 450 appointments taking place at the New Drumossie Hotel. Buyers met with a full spectrum of suppliers, breaking for a theatre-style lunch where the Chef was on hand to cook a selection of west coast seafood. Local kiltmakers, Chisholms had the job of fitting our male buyers for kilts ahead of the evening’s gala dinner and provided an amusing demonstration on how these should be worn. There appeared to be a large contingent of females watching proceedings too! The media also welcomed a special guest to their presentation in the form of The Ryder Cup, an exciting addition to the day’s events.


After an energetic day of appointments, it was off to the truly unique Achnagairn House for further networking opportunities at our renowned gala dinner. The vaulted ballroom was beautifully decorated by Angela Stewart whilst Wilde Thyme had created a mouth-watering menu for us. A line-up of truly Scottish entertainment including Willie Cameron delivering an address to the haggis, an appearance from the Inverness British Legion Pipe Band and dancers from the Elizabeth Fraser School of Highland Dance made for a number of surprises throughout the evening which ended with a mini ceilidh, ensuring guests received a true taste of our infamous Scottish hospitality.


The following day took us to the Cairngorms National Park. Working with the Cairngorms Business Partnership and Wilderness Events, an exhilarating programme of activities was created for the group to enjoy in Scotland’s natural playground. Celebrating the Year of Natural Scotland, buyers and partners embarked on a morning of activities, exploring the ancient Caledonian Pine forest by bike, spotting Osprey by boat on Loch Insh and journeying to the top of the Cairngorm Mountain to name but a few. Some also enjoyed a round of golf at Castle Stuart, which proved to be quite a treat for the golfers amongst the group. Following the activity morning, our farewell lunch was held at the Aspects restaurant of Macdonald Aviemore Resort, with breath taking views of the Cairngorms National Park.


Closing the 2013 edition of Scotland Means Business, Head of Business Tourism Neil Brownlee thanked the attendees for journeying to Inverness for our flagship event, commenting, “In this, the Year of Natural Scotland, where better to end Scotland Means Business than amidst the stunning surroundings of the Scottish Highlands.”



Click here for some great pictures from Scotland Means Business 2013.