Record year for conference bookings at SECC; BrewDog back at AECC

Glasgow’s Scottish Exhibition & Conference Centre (SECC) is celebrating its strongest year to date for conference and corporate events business, announcing a 17% increase in turnover on 2014/15 figures (the centre’s previous strongest period). These events also delivered an 18% increase in gross profit, the venue reported.

The SECC hosted 57 conferences and corporate events during 2015/16, which broke down into 31 national, European and international association conferences and 26 corporate meetings and events.

Welcoming the results, director of conferences at the SECC, Kathleen Warden, said: “This year has been yet another incredible year for the SECC, driven by a strong performance in the international conference sector, as well as with national association meetings and smaller corporate events too – which continue to be growth sectors for the business.”

She added that levels of service from the sales and delivery teams had “undoubtedly played a key part in this success”.

The SECC continues to diversity of offering, including an increased focus in delivering healthier options for delegates. This effort was recognised earlier in the year when it became the first venue in the world to be accredited under the World Obesity Federation’s Healthy Venue Awards programme.

Such investments have included creating a healthy venue task force, partnering with Nextbike to provide free bikes to conference delegates and offering low fat, low sugar and low alcohol menu options.

For the small meetings market, the SECC recently launched a new dedicated all-inclusive meetings package, ‘Wee Too’. This has been designed to provide a cost effective and flexible solution for small to medium sized meetings, aimed largely at the local corporate market, and offers options for 50–500 delegates across the venue’s 17 dedicated conference rooms, with a special DDR rate.

And, staying in Scotland, North-east craft beer firm, BrewDog is to bring its Annual General Meeting (AGM) to Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre’s (AECC) GE Oil & Gas Arena on 9 April.

It will be the fifth year that the brewers have held their AGM at AECC, growing the meeting from an attendance of 2,000 to an expected 6,000 craft beer and music lovers due to descend on the venue.

The local craft beer firm, which began its journey in Fraserburgh in 2007, is an alternative small business owned by thousands of people who love craft beer through its share platform; Equity For Punks, which first launched in 2010 giving fans the chance to proudly own a piece of the success.
Since the platform launched the firm has recruited an army of more than 35,000 Equity Punks and raised more than £20m.

James Watt, cofounder at BrewDog, said: “I’m psyched to be back at AECC this year for #PunkAGM2016. It’s a great space and we’ve packed it to the rafters with epic food vendors, awesome bands and some of the most incredible craft breweries from across planet Earth. Bring it on!”

Senior sales manager at AECC, Anna Mackenzie said: “We have seen the AGMs grow year on year and the buzz that the event creates is so contagious not only for the venue but for the city . What BrewDog has created is something that Aberdonians can be proud of and it’s one more reason to #LoveAberdeen.”

Paul Colston

Author

Paul Colston

Managing Editor, Conference News & Conference & Meetings World.

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