Giant Scottish conference signals hope of a 2021 return

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Via Scott Wright

One of the largest event destinations in Scotland has underlined its belief that the conference market will recover from the pandemic in the future, as it revealed that it will host three major international congresses in the second half of next year.

Yesterday, the Edinburgh International Conference Centre (EICC) announced that it will host conferences in September, October and November 2021 for the British Society of Lifestyle Medicine, Cleantech Forum Europe and the Society for Endocrinology. It is predicted that the activities will draw 1,000, 400 and 1,000 delegates, respectively.

For the Scottish conference and events industry, the coup comes at the end of an incredibly damaging year. In mid-March, the EICC last conducted a big event – before the first lockdown to curb the rate of coronavirus infection.

However, in the meantime, the center, which is essentially owned by the Council of the City of Edinburgh, has also hosted activities online.

Chief Executive Officer Marshall Dallas said, “It would be a huge understatement to say that we look forward to the return of next year’s conferences, particularly given the difficult time our team has had since the March pandemic outbreak and venue closure.”

“There are typically long lead times in the conference and events industry, so we’re enjoying the opportunity to plan ahead for these three major conferences, and we’re continuing to accept bookings for major conferences for late 2021 and into 2022.”

Mr. Dallas said, “The rapid and successful implementation of the vaccine is what will be critical in the future.”

“We’re confident that we’ll see more conferences and events in the UK next year, with a stronger return to international conferences in 2022. We also know that business events will be a key driver in the recovery of the Scottish economy once we’re out of the pandemic.”

A spokesperson for the EICC noted that “very strong,” is the sales pipeline for future events, adding that conferences originally scheduled for this year were pushed back to 2021. For next year and into 2022, he added that demands for corporate and association business are large.

The EICC does not expect any activities to take place until at least July 2021, but this will depend on how the constraints will play out in the coming year.

“significant impact on event bookings from mid-March to the end of August.”significant impact on event bookings from mid-March to the end of August”it is difficult at this stage to determine how big an impact the crisis will have on the company from September to the end of the year.”it is difficult at this stage to determine how great an impact the crisis will have on the company from September to the end of the year.

The statement, however, said that the sales team “has continued to receive a steady stream of inquiries for 2021 and subsequent years.” in the midst of the crisis.

“Mr. Dallas added yesterday, “As we reach the end of 2020, biomedical, healthcare innovations and clean tech are among the world’s biggest social problems, so it’s fitting that we host these important conferences next year.

“It also fits with our mission to create an environment that inspires ideas that change the world.”

The impact of lifestyle medicine is increasingly recognized as an important part of addressing the increasing impact of preventable diseases of the 21st century worldwide,” said Rob Lawson, chairman of the British Society of Lifestyle Medicine.” To mark its 25th anniversary, the British Society of Lifestyle Medicine is pleased to bring its 5th annual international conference to the EICC.

“We are delighted to bring the Cleantech Forum Europe, Europe’s leading event for sustainable innovation, to the EICC in Edinburgh in 2021,” said Richard Youngman, Cleantech Group Chief Executive Officer.

The timing is good as Scotland will also be hosting next year’s postponed COP-26.

“Our innovation-driven forum, which generates solutions for the climate, hasn’t been hosted in the UK, Europe’s largest venture capital market, since 2006.”

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