Edinburgh is ready to raise its global profile as the business tourism destination of choice for meeting and event planners with the launch of Make it Edinburgh, a landmark campaign celebrating the city’s unique position as a centre of excellence, innovation and heritage.
For the very first time in its history, Edinburgh’s diverse business tourism offering will be presented under a single, cohesive creative and digital strategy. The overarching strapline, ‘Make it Edinburgh’, ties together an integrated campaign that celebrates and promotes Edinburgh’s strongest sectors of industry, while providing compelling reasons to choose Edinburgh for future events.
Amanda Ferguson, Head of Business Tourism at Convention Edinburgh said:
Edinburgh has been criticised in the past for not being as ‘joined up’ as other competitor cities, but this campaign will prove otherwise. Never before has the city undertaken a marketing campaign on this scale, bringing together private sector partners, working collaboratively through Marketing Edinburgh, the city’s Destination Marketing Organisation.
The message we aim to promote is that Edinburgh is synonymous with innovation, discovery and thinking, a rich history of heritage, full of inspiring locations, buildings and people. Hence conference organisers should ‘Make it Edinburgh’. The campaign gives us a powerful collective voice that will help us develop our business tourism offering and promote Edinburgh’s world leading Centres of Excellence."
‘Make it Edinburgh’ has been made possible by the collaboration of private and public organisations operating in the conference and meeting industry. The biggest ever joint partnership of its kind within the city, a £40,000 investment by the VisitScotland Growth Fund has match-funded support from flagship partners: Convention Edinburgh, Edinburgh Hotel Association, Edinburgh Airport, Edinburgh International Conference Centre, Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh and Edinburgh Tourism Action Group.
Edinburgh’s Centres of Excellence, a key driver for business tourism, take centre stage in the campaign, focusing on six priority sectors in which Edinburgh excels across research and academia, as well as industry and enterprise. Progress and innovation across Technology, Life Sciences, Creative Industries, Food and Drink, Renewable Energy and Financial Services will all be showcased throughout the 12-month integrated media and marketing campaign.
Despite Edinburgh’s continued popularity as a meeting destination, external factors such as ongoing uncertainty from Brexit, a potential second Scottish Independence Referendum and the rise of subvention funding incentives by competitor cities, had been identified by Edinburgh’s business tourism leaders as a potential threat to future growth. The new campaign aims to mitigate these industry challenges facing the city.
‘Make it Edinburgh’ will also align with VisitScotland’s Business Events’ soon to launch national business events campaign, Legends. By focusing on Edinburgh’s leading sectors, ‘Make it Edinburgh’ can seamlessly integrate with VisitScotland’s planned activation and the Scottish Government’s 2020 Tourism Strategy Delivery Group.
Neil Brownlee, Head of Business Events at VisitScotland, said:
Business events are vital to the Scottish economy and are an integral way of promoting this country as a place to live, work, visit and invest. With its wealth of world-class venues, attractions and expertise, Edinburgh has a huge amount to offer the meetings industryand we are delighted to support this exciting new marketing campaign through the VisitScotland Growth Fund.”
Convention Edinburgh and its partners secured 117 meetings for the city last year, generating over £74 million for the local economy. With the majority of meetings and conferences taking place in the quieter shoulder months, business tourism is a key economic driver for the city, benefiting not only venues and accommodations providers, but a wide range of local businesses including restaurants, taxi companies, florists and photographers.
Second only to London in the UK for international conferences, and ranked 27th in the ICCA Global City Index, Edinburgh’s worldwide reputation as a business tourism destination is widely recognised. A compact city that is easily walkable and accessible, Edinburgh offers unique combination of rich heritage assets and stunning architecture, paired with an unrivalled knowledge base generated from the city’s four universities and research hubs.
Tristan Nesbitt, Chair, Edinburgh Hotel Association said: “With over 20,000 hotel beds available, Edinburgh’s impressive and diverse accommodation offering is an important part in the city’s appeal as a business tourism destination. This campaign will create an essential platform to more effectively showcase Edinburgh’s hotels and their services.”
Marshall Dallas, Chief Executive, Edinburgh International Conference Centre said: “As Edinburgh’s biggest flagship conference space, it was essential that the new campaign showcased the city’s first-class venue offering. By working together, we are able to amplify our business tourism messaging and reach new audiences.”
Rob Lang, Head of Marketing, Edinburgh Airport said: “With 188 routes from 130 destinations, Edinburgh is better connected today than ever before. There’s no better time to showcase how simple it is for delegates and organisers to arrange events here in Edinburgh. ‘Make it Edinburgh’ puts accessibility at the heart of the campaign.”
Scott Mitchell, Commercial Director, Royal College of Surgeon Edinburgh said: “With Life Sciences identified as one of Edinburgh’s seven Centres of Excellence, this campaign offers a fantastic opportunity for the Royal College of Surgeons to showcase one of the city’s many historic venues, as an alternative for business tourism.”
Robin Worsnop, Chair, Edinburgh Tourism Action Group (ETAG) said: “One of ETAG’s primary objectives is to enable more effective collaboration within Edinburgh’s tourism sector and its community. ‘Make it Edinburgh’ is the ideal example of a joined-up approach that will bring positive and far-reaching benefits for the city, beyond the partners involved.
‘Make it Edinburgh’ officially launched on 19 October 2017. A full digital media campaign will roll out from January 2018.