A group of Perthshire’s key venues and events businesses has refocused the region’s efforts on the MICE market with the relaunch of the Perthshire Business Tourism Group. The move reflects a major investment drive in the MICE market by a group which features all the big venue names in the area, including Perth Racecourse, Gleneagles, Blue Sky Events and Hilton Dunkeld.
Visit Scotland and Perth and Kinross Council are backing the group with more funding and marketing support.
The initiative will be closely linked to the aims of the wider Perth City Plan and the group is looking to draw in more venues, and is also offering a new website.
Catriona Anderson, who heads the Perthshire Business Tourism Group, believes collaboration is especially important for the sector. She said: “When a buyer is looking for a location for a trade event – and is perhaps unfamiliar with the regions and attractions of Scotland – it is hugely beneficial to showcase all the incredible businesses and opportunities Perthshire can offer under one site.”
She added that the initiative provided opportunities for smaller suppliers with a limited marketing budget to be represented alongside internationally known names – and build relationships that can lead to further offers and collaborations. “That, in turn, gives the buyer the benefit of dealing with trusted institutions but also the local character and charm of the smaller names,” she said.
For £500 a year members can benefit from attendance and professional representation at key events. In the past this has tended to be focussed on events within the UK, however international events in partnership with VisitScotland are currently being considered.
Councillor John Kellas, convener of the enterprise and infrastructure committee for Perth & Kinross Council says he is keen to see the area capitalise on successes in 2015 at the Showcasing Scotland and the UK Craft Distillers Conference, which were held at Gleneagles and Atholl Palace respectively.
“The relaunch provides a great opportunity for businesses and the region on the whole to build on recent successes in the MICE market.
“By working together in collaboration with the Perthshire Business Tourism Group there are great opportunities to support smaller businesses alongside those established MICE market businesses, to enable them to grow and develop.”
Michaela Ruff, conference and event manager at Perth Concert Hall, said: “The Perthshire Business Tourism Group gives members of all sizes easily affordable access to marketing opportunities on a large scale.
“It is a fantastic method of promoting the area to a wider audience – with a positive spin-off being that the businesses involved tend to develop a closer affiliation with each other.”