Held at the Assembly Rooms in the city centre, the conference kicked off with Tourism Minister, Fergus Ewing, announcing a further £1m investment in the VisitScotland Conference Bid Fund.
Since its introduction in 2012, match-funded commitments from the Fund have already helped secure 72 conferences over the next seven years, and is estimated to bring in 84,000 global delegates and generate £143m for Scotland’s economy.
Following the announcement, Neil Brownlee, head of business tourism said: "We are delighted that the success of the Conference Bid Fund has been recognised with this new investment. Conferences position Scotland in key industry sectors globally and reach into the academic and investment aims of the country as a whole."
He added that this new investment will allow Scotland to capitalise on the exposure of 2014 and continue to drive conference business into all corners of the country to the benefit of many small and large businesses across the whole economy.
The audience of Scottish C&I specialists also heard from speakers including author and futurist, Ben Hammersely, DMC Spectra’s Paul Miller and David Campbell from Banks Sadler, urging Scotland to look at "the bigger picture". Hammersley introduced the "Era of Perpetual Review", explaining that as technologies change so does our desire for accessing services and experiences.
These messages of adaptability were echoed later in the programme by Miller, providing insights on engaging with changing trends in incentive travel. Campbell shared views from a domestic and international perspective of what the industry really thinks about Scotland.Visit C&IT's Scotland Destination Guide here