Marketing Edinburgh, the official promotional organisation for Scotland’s capital city, has appointed Amanda Ferguson as the new Head of the Business Tourism.
Amanda brings over 19 years of experience in UK and international B2B marketing and events, including Edinburgh International Convention Centre (EICC), University of Edinburgh, and most recently, Senior Marketing Manager at VisitScotland Business Events.
Working at VisitScotland for the last ten years, Amanda 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, Amanda will be driving the overall strategic development and operational management of the organisation’s business tourism arm, Convention Edinburgh. Managing a team of eight, including the Conference Accommodation Booking Services, her role will be to market and sell the services of Convention Edinburgh and its members, while enhancing the profile of Edinburgh as a world-leading business tourism destination.
Born and bred in Belfast, Amanda moved to Edinburgh over 20 years ago to study International Business & Languages at Herriot Watt University, before completing a Postgraduate Diploma from the Chartered Institute of Marketing at Napier University.
Amanda joins the Marketing Edinburgh team at a pivotal time for the organisation as it looks to strengthen its position, building on its success of the last four years, including 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 has further enjoyed a recent succession of high-profile bid wins for the city, expected to generate of £7M in economic impact for the city. The five bid wins include European Group for Organisational Studies Colloquium (EGOS), International Research Society for Public Management (IRSPM) and Eurocities.
Amanda Ferguson, Head of Business Tourism at Convention Edinburgh said:
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. 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.
“This is an exciting time to be joining Marketing Edinburgh. The team have achieved an incredibly positive start to 2017 with a host of new bid wins and our highest ICCA rankings in a decade. Given my experience of the European market and language skills, I'm very keen to have impact on the European associations and corporate market, whilst building on the strong collaboration with our ambassadors and key stakeholders in the city.”
John Donnelly, Chief Executive, Marketing Edinburgh said:
The hard work of the whole Convention Edinburgh team in recent years has helped reinforce Edinburgh’s global reputation as a world-leading meeting destination. 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:
We will of course be sad to see Amanda go, but I am 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, with years of very solid experience and achievements at VS. I wish her well, and look forward to working with her as key strategic partner of VS Business Events.”
Amanda replaces Lesley Williams, who is leaving the role after seven years to pursue other projects. Set to retain her position as chair of the UK Chapter of the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA), Lesley will continue to work with the Convention Edinburgh team one day a week to support the transition ahead of Amanda’s move to Marketing Edinburgh in 21 August.