Innovating the nation

Expert Opinion
Innovating the nation

Rory Archibald, business development manager at VisitScotland, outlines how Scotland has kept itself in the international spotlight

Scotland has always been a confident nation. Confident in our heritage, traditions and craftsmanship. Confident in the ideas that emerge from the collaboration that Scotland can generate thanks to the size of our country and our proximity to each other.

We’ve always been proud of the innovations and inventions that have emerged from Scotland. Give any Scot a chance and they will reel off a list of inventions – from penicillin to the television – that were born here. We are home to some of the oldest universities in the world.

We like to say that innovation is in our soul.

Scotland’s innovation credentials in many industrial sectors are second to none, whether it’s technological areas such as renewable energy, medical imaging and life sciences or creative innovations in art & design, computer games, architecture and software.

Now a new wave of pride and confidence in our pioneering innovation is at the forefront of the promotion of Scotland as a business events destination.

The link is clear. Conferences, meetings and events inspire collaboration, connections, new ideas and the exchange of information. These are all the essential requirements for innovation in both the academic and business worlds.

Over the last two years, Visit Scotland Business Events has developed two linked programmes that are having an impact on promotion of Scotland at national level – INNOVATETHENATION and Legends (#ideasbecomlegend).

INNOVATETHENATION – Visit Scotland’s Ambassador Network – is a series of talks representing the many areas of excellence and innovation in Scotland within the Scottish Government’s growth sectors. The series brings together experts and influencers with the aim of inspiring potential ambassadors who we can support in attracting future events to Scotland’s cities and regions.

Themes have included INNOVATEMARINE, INNOVATETECH and INNOVATEROBOTICS. Our ambitious first year of talks was celebrated recently with a special panel discussion in Glasgow which demonstrated the huge level of collaboration between the cities and regions of Scotland in making the initiative such a success and our strengths in presenting joined-up bids for events.

Secondly, our most ambitious digital campaign yet – ‘Legends’ – was officially launched this Autumn.

Transforming how Scotland is promoted as a world-leading conferencing destination and uniting the Scottish business events market under the banner of ‘Scotland. Where ideas become legend’, the campaign highlights the reasons why event organisers should view Scotland as the perfect choice for meetings – its stellar academic credentials, pioneering spirit and history of innovation.

The campaign underlines the power of conferences and meetings to bring together like-minded people to build networks, grow knowledge and encourage collaboration. Events create ideas that have the potential to address even the most difficult challenges facing humanity.

We hope that’s an inspiring thought for anyone thinking of bringing a business event to Scotland.

And we’re pretty good at delivering a warm welcome and world-beating scenery too.