Marketing Edinburgh, the official promotional organisation for Scotland’s capital city, has appointed Amanda Ferguson as its new head of business tourism. She replaces Lesley Williams, who will move on to pursue other projects. Williams will continue to work with the Convention Edinburgh team one day a week to support the transition ahead of Ferguson’s move to Marketing Edinburgh on 21 August.
Ferguson brings over 19 years of experience in UK and international B2B marketing and events, including Edinburgh International Convention Centre (EICC) and University of Edinburgh, and most recently.
Working at VisitScotland for the last 10 years, Ferguson was responsible for the implementation and management of the organisation’s business events marketing strategy for the UK and European markets, which combined, represent 85% of all business events and meetings in Scotland.
At Marketing Edinburgh, Ferguson will manage a team of eight, including the Conference Accommodation Booking Services.
Ferguson joins the Marketing Edinburgh team as it looks to strengthen its position, building on its record-breaking annual results in 2016/17, which reported strategic KPIs met across the board and revenue growth increase to £1.98m, a ROI of 103:1.
As the UK’s most popular destination outside London for international meetings, Edinburgh last month climbed eight places to 27 in the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) world city rankings.
Convention Edinburgh reports high-profile bid wins for the city, expected to generate of £7m in economic impact. The bid wins include European Group for Organisational Studies Colloquium (EGOS), International Research Society for Public Management (IRSPM) and Eurocities.
“I fell in love with Edinburgh when I arrived to study here and am thrilled to now have the opportunity to be selling Edinburgh as a world-class city for business events,” says Ferguson. “Promoting Scotland for the last 10 years has been a genuine privilege and the move to head up Business Tourism at Marketing Edinburgh is the ideal opportunity to build on that knowledge and apply it to a city I am passionate about and believe in.
John Donnelly, chief executive, Marketing Edinburgh adds: “Amanda is an incredibly strong appointment for Marketing Edinburgh. Her expert industry knowledge, business acumen, international experience and drive, will be crucial in the future success of Edinburgh’s business tourism offering.
“This is a very exciting time for Marketing Edinburgh as we evolve from being a traditional Destination Marketing Organisation to a Destination Marketing and Management Organisation. Along with our senior management team and new board, Amanda will also play an important role in helping to shape the vision of Marketing Edinburgh’s next five-year business strategy.”
Neil Brownlee, head of Business Events at VisitScotland said he was sad to see his colleague go but said he was, “very proud that she is moving on to such a great post. Indeed, she is moving from selling the whole of Scotland to representing the magnificent capital city of Edinburgh. It is a perfect fit and I know she will be a great leader of the business tourism team in Edinburgh…I wish her well, and look forward to working with her as key strategic partner of VS Business Events.”
VisitScotland is expecting to recruit a replacement for Ferguson’s role.