Tuesday, July 07, 2015
M&I Forum = Marvellous & Incredible
Last week our Business Events team pulled off an impressive feat helping to deliver the first ever M&I Forum to be hosted in Scotland with over 650 delegates from all over Europe. VisitScotland was the key sponsor of the event which is expected to bring in over £50 million for Scotland over the next three years.
Not only did the team help organisers Worldwide Events in the successful hosting of the event, they were also responsible for bringing the M&I Forum to Scotland in the first place, as Amanda Ferguson (Meeting and Incentives Marketing Manager) put together the bid for the event to be held in Edinburgh. As part of the bid Amanda worked with Scottish partners to secure their support to accommodate the group, negotiating everything from bedrooms to conference facilities, entertainment to transport.
As the host destination, Amanda also negotiated places for 42 Scottish partners to attend the forum, far more than would usually attend the forum. Businesses such as Glasgow Science Centre and Crieff Hydro showcased their product to 380 influential event planners from all Europe.
Each morning, there was a terrific buzz around the Edinburgh International Conference Centre where over 500 delegates met at desks for short business appointments, similar to speed dating. The EICC demonstrated beyond doubt that it was up to the challenge of hosting this ‘Rolls Royce’ event with world class facilities and sumptuous Scottish fare.
In addition to the individual meeting schedules there were plenty of opportunities to network and enjoy exhilarating Scottish experiences such as clan fighting re-enactment, falconry and mini Highland Games amongst many others at Gosford House, as well as a catalogue of activities to choose from including whisky tasting and treasure hunts around Edinburgh. Over 80 buyers immersed themselves in the 'Scottish experience' further by joining one of the 11 pre and post event fam trips exploring the regions around the country.
The team has received incredible feedback about their efforts, including the Managing Director of Worldwide Events Richard Barnes who said: “All of you should be immensely satisfied and proud with the way in which you have seized your opportunity to showcase Scotland to the MICE community. We have held over 50 M&I Forums and I cannot think of another which has been as well conceived, coordinated and delivered. Really, everybody involved deserves to be singled out for thanks but, I would like to reserve special thanks for Amanda Ferguson. The work that she has done over the last two years to pull together this band of wonderful and highly motivated partners has been quite exceptional.”
Amanda said: “In the past week we saw two years of organising and planning come to life and it was wonderful to see everything go so well. Everyone involved did a fantastic job at showcasing Scotland as a place to do business and host business events and I’m confident all of our delegates couldn’t have left with a better impression.
“As a result of the M&I Forum millions of pounds worth of business will be done, with some of that coming right back to benefit Scotland, not to mention the initial boost to the economy thanks to the event taking place in Edinburgh. So far all of the feedback has been superb and we can all be proud of playing our part in securing and delivering a truly exceptional event.”