Tourism body VisitAberdeenshire is upping its drive to entice world class conferences to the region following the completion of P&J Live.
With the £333 million venue having opened its doors just over a month ago, delegates to Offshore Europe, Brick Live and a number of black tie events have already been impressed by the north-east’s newest exhibition space.
And with the recent announcement that the BBC’s Sport’s Personality of the Year awards to be held in the city the team behind the convention bureau hope its charisma and charm, coupled with the most sustainable conference centre in the UK, will create the must have location for future events.
But in order to secure some of the biggest conferences in the academic and scientific calender VisitAberdeenshire relies on a team of ambassadors to entice the conferences here.
The Aberdeen Ambassador Network is a collaboration of active local professionals, academics, business leaders and local individuals who want to bring a national, international event or association conference to Aberdeen.
Next month an awards ceremony will be held to recognise the achievements of those who have successfully hosted an event in Aberdeen and attracted delegates from across the globe to meet in the city.
The Network offers a range of support services through Aberdeen Convention and Events Bureau and they work alongside industry partners in the region to strengthen Aberdeen’s position as a world-class destination for business events.
Laurie Scott, head of the bureau, said: “Business Events is one of the fastest-growing sectors within the tourism industry and following the downturn of the oil and gas industry, is a key part of the north-east’s economic growth strategy. They account for 10% of global GDP and is estimated to be worth £33 billion to the UK economy.”
There are currently around 1,310,000 conferences and meetings in the UK every year and since the opening of P&J Live a number of high profile events have signed up to have their next meeting here.
In order to boost spend in the local economy VisitAberdeenshire has to work hard to ensure these delegates don’t just spend the few days they are in the region behind the walls of a conference centre.
And it is with the help of the ambassadors that they can encourage them to visit local shops, businesses and restaurants as well and even potentially extend their stay.
Mr Scott added: “After we win sales we then help to support the hotel association and transport providers, etc.
“Ideally we want these delegates to come in and have a longer stay and come back in future years. If they’re flying over from the States why not add an extra week on to your stay.
“It’s also about leveraging P&J Live to have additional bed nights in the city and additional spend whether that’s in a shop on Union Street or with taxi companies. It’s the additional spend that’s a great opportunity for us.”