Rocking the conference casbah at Glasgow’s SECC

The Scottish Exhibition
and Conference Centre
(SECC)
 is focusing on rock to get out of a conference hard place, according
to Glasgow
newspaper The
Herald
.

The newspaper claims the SECC suffered an
eight per cent drop in sales in the
latest financial year “as economic conditions and the timing of conferences
posed challenges”.

Directors said that the key conference
division suffered a 36 per cent drop in turnover following a fall in the number
of conferences held in the SECC, to 16 from 24.

It seems, however, income is growing (13%) from music concerts, which bodes
well for the new arena that is due to open on the site in
2013.

The council-owned centre’s latest accounts
show a recorded turnover of £16.6m in the year to March 2010, compared to sales
of £18.1m in the preceding year.

Pre tax profits fell to £228,000, from
£628,000.

The SECC says part of the drop in conference
business is due to the cyclical nature of some of the larger events. “The previous year was
exceptional, with several large international conferences held in the venue,” a
spokesman said.

Turnover on the exhibitions side of the
business was down nine per cent, and numbers of exhibitions also
fell.

Meanwhile, box office turnover grew by 14 per
cent with headline acts included Green Day, Lady Gaga and Simple
Minds.

Glasgow City Council and Scottish Enterprise
provided £22m during the year to March towards the costs of the new
12,500-seater arena, now under construction.

“When the National Arena opens in 2013, SECC
will be the only venue in Europe to have a
purpose-built exhibition centre, conference centre and arena all on one site,”
the venue’s board said.

Got a story
for CN? Email: pcolston@mashmedia.net

Paul Colston

Author

Paul Colston

Managing Editor, Conference News & Conference & Meetings World.

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