Host City is the largest meeting of cities and sports, business and cultural events, staged since 2015 in Glasgow where the world class conference and exhibition grows every year.
“Glasgow is incredibly proud to have been partners with Host City from the start,” says Aileen Crawford, ICCA Board Member and Head of Conventions at Glasgow Convention Bureau. “We look forward to the 2019 programme continuing the conversations and promoting best practice in the sector across the globe. Host City creates a special platform for discussion and collaboration and we are proud to be hosts of Host City 2019!”
The cost and benefits of hosting major sports events are widely discussed, but what is less well understood is the impact of business events. We asked Crawford why Glasgow is so focussed on generating a busy programme of business events.
“Glasgow Convention Bureau recognises that conferences are a vehicle for social and economic change,” she says.
“This benefit is not just economic; although the boost to the economy that comes from delegate spend is important, so too is the opportunity for local businesses to engage with a new audience and the benefit that comes to the academic community to raise their international profile among their peers.
“Glasgow recognises the importance the location plays in creating a positive environment for business to develop and the benefit the destination gains from the conference coming to our city.
“Conferences bring the world’s best minds to the destination, aiding progress and advancing the future of the sector through meetings.
Secrets of success
One such academic event bringing the best minds to Glasgow is the European Society for Therapeutic Radiology & Oncology (ESTRO) Congress, whose Head of Innovation, Sven Bossu, is speaking at Host City 2019. The former Head of Sibos shares some advice for event owners looking to expand their properties.
“The key challenge is to have a clear view on the continuously changing expectations of the different audiences you serve – and adapting your value proposal accordingly,” he told Host City.
“When it comes to ESTRO, one of the key changes we’re currently implementing is to engage much more with the local community and to actually co-create a project which has a tangible impact on cancer patients in the region the Congress will take place.
“This is not only in line with ESTRO’s mission, but it also creates a situation whereby the engagement with the community goes far beyond the five days of the event and whereby a tangible legacy is created.”
Event hosts also have their own secrets to success. Crawford shares a few of Glasgow’s with Host City.
“Glasgow is a successful and well-established business events city, welcoming more international delegates than any other UK city outside London,” she says.
“The city offers a wealth of free services to support conference organisers through the award-winning Glasgow Convention Bureau, making hosting a conference in the city an enjoyable and memorable experience. Glasgow is a city that understand Business Events, where the city partners, from the venues, academic institutions, hotel community and suppliers work together, focusing on the success of the meeting.
“Outside the business activities, Glasgow is a welcoming, vibrant and cultural city that offers a variety of engaging social venues that create a suitable back-drop for delegates to network. As the Gateway to Scotland, those delegates wishing to arrive early, or stay late can explore the ‘World’s Friendliest City’ in one of the ‘World’s Most Beautiful Countries’ (Rough Guides).”
Digitalisation has indescribably transformed the ways in which people can connect and communicate with one another. Host City asked Bossu if he could envisage a time when digital communications replace face-to-face meetings.
“To be clear: digital will not replace face-to-face meeting,” he said. “However, digital offers a wide range of opportunities to enhance the customer experience – both before, during and after the event.
“Here are some basic examples: webinars will enable delegates to attain the same knowledge level before going to the event (allowing for better discussions); networking tools will allow delegates to connect more easily during the event (it is not always easy to connect with somebody in a 6,500 meeting!); and individualised outcome reports based on the behaviour of the delegate (which sessions did she/he attend, how does this link to his professional profile) allow the engagement to continue after the event.
Bossu is also looking forward to Host City 2019, the largest meeting of cities and sports, business and cultural events. “Personally, I’m really looking forward to hearing how meeting professionals from outside my knowledge zone are dealing with the same challenges I’m facing. And most importantly: looking forward to meeting lots of meeting aficionados.”
Host City 2019 takes place at the Technology & Innovation Centre in Glasgow on 26-27 November. Register here today.