The Team Aberdeen – Ambassadors programme has been launched to attract association meetings to the city and the surrounding areas. The new 30-strong group, drawn from local academic and business leaders, will be able to offer financial support to conferences that are considered to have significant economic impact prospects.
The programme, launched at Drum Castle, is a partnership between VisitAberdeen, Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre (AECC), the University of Aberdeen and Robert Gordon University.
Business tourism is calculated to be worth £878m to Scotland annually.
Peter Medley, Marketing Director at VisitAberdeen, says: “These Ambassadors are in a unique position to place Aberdeen at the heart of conference destination decisions; and Aberdeen is uniquely positioned with two highly regarded Universities and world leading energy sector professionals.”
The alliance says the Team Aberdeen programme will help equip ambassadors with the tools and advice they need on all aspects of meeting and conference organising. This conference bid management advice will be offered free, as well as support including researching the viability of conferences or event coming to Aberdeen. An accommodation booking service and planning of social programmes are also part of the support package.
During the project’s development phase, former student of the University of Aberdeen and Senior Lecturer in Events Management at the University of Greenwich in London, Rob Davidson, had shared his experiences of setting up ambassador programmes in other destinations.
“In some cases, where the economic benefit of bringing a conference to Aberdeen is evaluated to be significant, Team Aberdeen may also provide financial support,” says Medley, who adds that 19 per cent of the total tourism expenditure in Scotland is from business tourism.
Brian Horsburgh, AECC’s Managing Director, says: “The Team Aberdeen approach has already proved successful with the securing of one major international conference (Routes Europe 2015) already this year. Supporting local Ambassadors in bidding for conferences to bring to the region will not only enhance our reputation for excellence in many academic arenas, but also as a conference destination of choice for national and international learned societies.”
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