Published on : Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Over the last twenty years or so, the city of Glasgow has impelled itself to become one of Europe’s best meeting, incentive, conference and events destinations. The rise of Glasgow as an economic powerhouse of Europe since the 1990s is palpable and downright amazing.
Located at the west end of Scotland’s Central Belt on the banks of the River Clyde, Glasgow’s stature as Scotland’s main industrial hub has been dotted by decades of change and various regeneration efforts. The third largest city in the entire United Kingdom (by population), Glasgow takes pride in housing a slew of astounding venues tailored for holding meetings and congresses.
In 2008, Glasgow became the second Scottish city to join the UNESCO Creative Cities initiative when it was named as a UNESCO City of Music (joining Bologna and Seville). In preparing its bid, Glasgow counted an average of 130 music events a week ranging from pop and rock to Celtic music and opera. The city has transformed itself from being the once mighty powerhouse of industrial Britain to a centre for commerce, tourism and culture. Glasgow will be the host city for the Commonwealth Games in 2014.
Glasgow has become one of the most visited cities in the British Isles in recent times. Visitors will find a revitalised city centre, undoubtedly the best shopping opportunities outside London, excellent parks and museums (most of which are free) and easy access to the Highlands and Islands. Flaunting an envious infrastructure and plush hotels, Glasgow epitomises the term – MICE. Ethnic and vibrant, Glasgow is one such business destination that never lazes around; rather it is a ‘show-stealer’ in the MICE arena. Explore the city and feel the vibe within!
Convention Centre in Glasgow
The Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre
The Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre (SECC), located on the north bank of the River Clyde in Glasgow, is Scotland’s largest exhibition centre. The centre boasts of 22,355 sq. m. of flexible space in five main exhibition halls, ranging in size from 775 sq. m. to 10,065 sq. m. The centre is best known for hosting concerts.
The Loch Suite is the SECC’s main meeting room hub. It is comprised of the Lomond Auditorium, a 624 seat auditorium with flat and racked seats, which can be easily removed to create an additional space of 490 sq. m. The Auditorium is flanked on the ground floor by the Alsh and Boisdale rooms both of which can accommodate up to 220 guests. Both rooms are divisible using a soundproofed wall to create a total of four rooms with a seating capacity for 100 people each. The SECC offers:
• 22,355 sq. m. of flexible space, in five halls, ranging in size from 775 sq. m. to 10,065 sq. m.
• Retractable partition walls that can shape halls to your exact requirements, making them as large as 19,265 sq. m.
• Ceiling height in Halls 2, 3, 4 and 5 is 9 m and the high bay areas in Hall 4 (20 m) and Hall 5 (14 m) can integrate the largest exhibits,
• Two exclusive auditoria and additional 31 meeting rooms, equipped with technical facilities of the highest standard.
The Clyde Auditorium in SECC:
The Clyde Auditorium, popularly known as “The Armadillo” charms conference delegates and visitors with its unique style and practical, comfortable facilities. Designed by award-winning architects Foster and Partners, the astonishing venue was completed in 1997. The building has quickly become one of the most noted conference venues in Europe. The auditorium’s stupendous success has led to the planning for a third venue on the complex – the Scottish Hydro Arena, due for completion in 2013.
Visitor Itineraries: Respite between meetings
The Mackintosh trail is the perfect way to enjoy the works of Glasgow’s most revered architect, Charles Rennie Mackintosh.
For only £16, the one-day Mackintosh Trail Ticket allows visitors unlimited travel on SPT Subway, First Bus services and includes entry to all participating Mackintosh attractions including: Glasgow School of Art, House for an Art Lover, The Lighthouse, The Mackintosh House, The Mackintosh Church at Queen’s Cross, Martyrs’ Public School, Scotland Street School, The Willow Tea Rooms and The Hill House.
Less than an hour’s drive from Glasgow is the splendour of the “bonnie banks” of Loch Lomond. In the shadow of Ben Lomond, Loch Lomond is Britain’s largest expanse of fresh water and whether you walk, cycle or drive through the National Park or travel by boat, it offers some of Scotland’s most breathtaking scenery. The main town is Balloch and a visit to Balloch Castle and the nearby Aquarium are highly recommended.
Why choose Glasgow as your next business destination?
Glasgow offers a plethora of opportunities for MICE planners and buyers. Since, it is impossible to jot down everything on Glasgow’s unparalleled infrastructure; we are highlighting on a few of the city’s offerings –
• Must-see city – Glasgow has been crowned as the City of Culture (1990), City of Architecture and Design (1999) and Capital of Sports (2003),
• Extensive city support – to help balance the budget and ensure high delegate attendance,
• Easy to get to – Scotland’s most accessible destination with three international airports and direct flights from 116 destinations,
• World class venues – including the award winning Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre, six major conference hotels and three universities,
• Great choice of accommodation – over 17,000 rooms, ranging from budget accommodation to five star hotels, all within close proximity of conference venues, hotels and restaurants,
• Easy to get around – a compact and walkable city, easy for visitors to find their way around,
• Affordable city for organisers and delegates – Glasgow is ranked by the Mercer Cost of Living Survey as one of Europe’s most cost effective cities.
Key facts you should know about Glasgow
Airports: Glasgow International Airport (8 miles from city centre) and Glasgow Prestwick Airport (30 miles from the city centre, close to Royal Troon) are two of the most noted airports in Scotland.
Bedrooms: There are 17,000 estimated hotel rooms within a 10 mile radius of the city centre with almost 1,000 of these belonging to five-star bracket.
Prices: As per Hotel Benchmark Survey by Deloitte, the average cost of a hotel room in Glasgow – at £67 – was less than its rival destinations such as Manchester, Birmingham, Liverpool and Belfast.
Dialect: Glaswegian is a dialect, more than an alternative pronunciation. A speaker of Glaswegian might refer to those originating from the Scottish Highlands and the Western Isles as teuchters, while they would reciprocate by referring to Glaswegians as keelies and those from the East of Scotland refer to Glaswegians as Weegies (or Weedgies).