A spotlight on: Scotland the Perfect Stage

It has been another outstanding year for the three teams within VisitScotland’s Events Directorate – EventScotland, Development – Events Industry, and Business Events. Together with Scotland’s events and festivals sector, we have experienced a number of firsts for the industry and for the country. August saw Scotland host the inaugural European Championships with co-hosts Berlin, while September saw the opening of V&A Dundee, Scotland’s first ever dedicated design museum and the only other V&A museum in the world outside of London. 2018 also saw the first themed year dedicated to Scotland’s young people, the fulfilment of a promise made during our bid to host the 2018 Youth Olympics. While unsuccessful in that bid, our belief in the idea, and what it could do to showcase the talents and ideas of our young people through genuine collaboration, has been truly embraced by a range of sectors and interests across the country. This year has also seen the one-year anniversary of Legends. The Business Events team’s first global digital campaign has provided a strong platform for the industry and has demonstrated the importance of business events to innovation, research and Scottish tourism. And the pipeline for future events is looking strong with Scotland this year securing an additional three international events. The IFSC Climbing European Championships 2019 and the Sprint World Orienteering Championships 2022 for Edinburgh and the 2023 Island Games in Orkney, join a packed portfolio of events and festivals taking place across the country over the next five years. These events, alongside those already in the calendar, including the 2019 European Athletics Indoor Championships, The 2019 Solheim Cup, UEFA EURO 2020 , plus the annual programme of Edinburgh’s Festivals that celebrate our cultural and creative vibrancy shows just how strong Scotland’s events industry is on the international stage. These achievements along with the continued work of our funding programmes, workshops and corporate and association events, shows what can be achieved when we are brave, ambitious and innovative. It also shows how far we have come in the 15 years since EventScotland was established and the MTV EMAs 2003 was one of our first funded events. Over that time we have continually pushed the boundaries to develop a diverse portfolio of sporting, cultural and business events that has made Scotland a world leading events destination, and which in turn has delivered positive social and economic impacts for the country. As we reflect on all these achievements, as well as what lies ahead for the future over the coming pages, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all the Events Directorate staff as well as the wider events and festivals sector, for all the hard work they have put in, not only this year but over the last 15 years, into making Scotland the perfect stage for events. Paul Bush OBE Director of Events Director of Events’ report 03