Finalists unveiled for the inaugural Best Business Event award at the Scottish Thistle Awards National Final

Finalists unveiled for the inaugural Best Business Event award at the Scottish Thistle Awards National Final


EDINBURGH, Scotland, 2018-Feb-06 — /Travel PR News/ — Six of Scotland’s leading business events will battle it out to be crowned best in the business at Scottish tourism’s ‘Oscars’.

Business events curated by Aberdeen Exhibition & Conference Centre (AECC), Edinburgh International Conference Centre (EICC), Hello ScotlandK&N Travel Associates, Political Studies Association and 2B UKare all vying for the inaugural Best Business Event award at this year’s Scottish Thistle Awards National Final to be held on 15 March at the EICC.

The new category, sponsored by M&it/CAT Publications, was launched in the 25th year of Scotland’s premier tourism awards scheme to celebrate the importance of business events in showcasing Scotland’s world-class credentials in sectors such as life sciences and robotics, as well as being a leading destination for congresses, meetings and incentive programmes from around the world.

Business events have been identified as a key factor in the ability to succeed in Scotland’s drive to grow visitor spend by £1bn by 2020.

The six finalists for Best Business Event are:

  • Aberdeen Exhibition & Conference Centre (AECC) – For hosting the Alzheimer’s Research UK, the largest dementia research conference in the UK, delivering insight into new technologies metabolic factors of dementia and new drug discovery. Judges praised the AECC for “initiating and engaging key non-tourism stakeholders” such as NHS Grampian Health & Social Care Department and Aberdeen Football Club Community Trust.
  • Edinburgh International Conference Centre (EICC) – For the Shaw Trust’s Rehabilitation International 23rd Congress, which saw 1,000 delegates from 68 countries attend, bringing an estimated economic impact of £2.4 million. Judges described the congress as a “break-through” in “overcoming accessibility challenges and amplifying the need for equality and inclusiveness in today’s world”.
  • Hello Scotland – For the Amway North American Growth Council Incentive, a strategically focused retreat for 80 Amway executives to meet, discuss and set the direction for the future of the business in an intimate setting, which brought in an estimated £1 million to the economy. Judges said a helicopter castle hunt, requiring air-side arrival and the largest combined helicopter lift in Scottish aviation history, “sets the bar for what Incentives mean in Scotland”.
  • K&N Travel Associates – For a Nissan Dealer Australian Incentive in which 38 major Nissan dealership owners were treated to some of Scotland’s iconic experiences such as the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. Judges said the “creative programme” helped Scotland to beat off strong competition from other countries including Japan, Peru and Iceland, with 70 Scottish suppliers and partners contributing to the success.
  • Political Studies Association – For the 67th PSA International Conference which saw more than 770 attendees from around the world coming to Glasgow. Judges described it as an “excellent example” of a business event “showcasing the breadth of academic talent and expertise in Glasgow and Scotland, wrapped around a creative programme using unique local venues”.
  • 2B UK – For an American Incentive in which 300 US incentive delegates, who had formed part of a larger 600 delegate group in London, were brought to Scotland where they experienced the “scenery, smells and feel of the highlands” at the Gleneagles Arena. Judges praised the firm for “demonstrating the day-to-day creative and sheer standards required in the business events world of incentives”.

Over the past 25 years, the Scottish Thistle Awards has commended success, innovation and excellence in Scotland’s tourism and hospitality industry.

The new category celebrates creative, logistically complex or prestigious Business Events including Incentive Programmes, Association Congresses, Product Launches, Corporate Conferences, and Exhibitions held in Scotland. To qualify for the award, events had to be aimed a private audience or delegates related to an organisation or company, and not be public facing or ticketed.

Neil Brownlee, Head of Business Events VisitScotland, said: “We are delighted with the strong calibre of business events shortlisted for the inaugural award, which is a reflection of the excellence and innovation that makes Scotland a world-class destination for business events where the destination is not fixed every year, and we have to compete with some amazing places around the world.

“The re-booted category is a chance to celebrate the contribution that business events make to the national economy and recognise the important role they play in creating economic and social change.”

“Best of luck to all of the finalists at the Scottish Thistle Awards National Final.”

Rebecca Brooks, Chair of the Scottish Thistle Awards Industry Panel, said:

“On behalf of the panel, I’d like to congratulate all of those business events shortlisted for the national final.The Scottish Thistle Awards let us recognise the unsung heroes of our industry who show real dedication and enthusiasm for Scotland’s tourism industry and we look forward to celebrating 25 years of excellence and innovation with all our wonderful national finalists in March.”

The Scottish Thistle Awards are led by a panel of industry experts from several organisations including VisitScotland, Aberdeen City and Shire Tourism Awards, Highlands & Islands Tourism Awards, the Hospitality Industry Trust Scotland, Scotland Food and Drink, Scottish Tourism Alliance, the Scottish Licensed Trade Association, sportscotland and Wild Scotland.

For the full list of national finalists for the Scottish Thistle Awards visit:

Notes to Editors

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  • VisitScotland is Scotland’s national tourism organisation. Its core purpose is to maximise the economic benefit of tourism to Scotland.
  • The organisation’s core objective is to contribute to the Tourism 2020 Strategy ambition of growing tourism revenues by £1 billion by 2020.
  • This will be supported by five overarching strategies: Marketing, Events, Quality and Sustainability, Inclusive Tourism, International Engagement.
  • The organisation employs 700 people and has offices and VisitScotland Information Centres across Scotland.
  • Spending by tourists in Scotland generates around £12 billion of economic activity in the wider Scottish supply chain and contributes around £6 billion to Scottish GDP (in basic prices). This represents about 5% of total Scottish GDP
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2018 Year of Young People

  • The Year of Young People 2018 will be the next of the Scottish Government’s series of themed years, following the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology 2017.
  • The Year of Young People (YoYP 2018) will inspire Scotland through its young people aged 8 to 26, celebrating their achievements, valuing their contributions to communities and creating new opportunities for them to shine locally, nationally and globally
  • Central to YoYP 2018 will be a celebratory events programme that puts young people at the heart of its development and delivery, creating new and valuable experiences for young Scots and the wider public, with links to the inaugural 2018 European Championships.
  • Over 200 young people throughout Scotland are currently being recruited to become YoYP 2018 Ambassadors. Ambassadors will ensure that people and organisations in their communities know about what’s happening and will lead on projects and activities to create events and opportunities to celebrate young people.
  • The Year of Young People will have six themes which were developed in co-production with young people themselves:
  • oParticipation – looking at how young people can influence public services and decisions which affect their lives
  • oEducation – creating a stronger role for young people in shaping their learning
  • oHealth and Wellbeing – supporting young people to lead healthier, active lives and have opportunities to learn about and improve their mental health and resilience
  • oEquality and Discrimination – broadcasting the value of young Scots, challenging negative perceptions of young people, and supporting young people to take leading roles in challenging discrimination in all its forms.
  • oEnterprise and regeneration – celebrating young people’s role in innovation, entrepreneurship and the Scottish economy as well as making Scotland a greener and more pleasant place to live
  • oCulture – celebrating young people’s talent and contribution to Scottish culture and arts.
  • Further information on what’s happening and how people can get involved can be found on the new website or @YOYP2018 on Twitter.


Kate Turnbull
Senior Corporate Press and Social Media Manager
0131 472 2324
Out of hours – 0131 472 2324

Source: VisitScotland