It’s the new way of doing business, the first venue model of its kind and a revolutionary initiative that will see the destination and venue share event organisers’ pain and gain. So how does it work and what brought the Scottish Exhibition + Conference Centre (SECC) and the Glasgow City Marketing Bureau (GCMB) together to develop what has become known as “The Glasgow Model”?
As client budgets tighten and they have become acutely aware of the importance of delivering delegate numbers at conferences, the SECC and GCMB wanted to create a situation where the venue and destination would go into business with their clients and share in that risk on attendance numbers.
This was a confident collaborative approach on their part and part of their desire to build lasting relationships with clients coming to Glasgow that would see clients returning again and again in future years to come. By laying these foundations and building these relationships and trust over a longer period of time, both GCMB and the SECC understand this approach will deliver mutual benefits for organiser, venue and destination.
Depending on the objectives set for a conference, PCOs said the success of a conference was usually delivered through three components: the delegate experience – driven by such factors as content, the venue and destination and city experience; the financial success of the event and, directly linked to that, the number of delegates that attended. The Glasgow Model addresses these components, supporting the client on those issues they can influence and providing the strongest support possible.
After consulting with world leading professional conference organisers, a pioneering business model was born that looks at helping event organisers put on a successful event in terms of delegate experience whilst at the same time delivering delegate numbers and in turn, financial success.
For the Glasgow Model to work, it is important to have full transparency with clients and to build long term relationships based on trust in order to gain an understanding of each other’s business needs. It is based on transparency in terms of expected delegate numbers, financial commitment from the venue and subvention commitment and marketing support from GCMB. This combination creates a powerful collaborative approach towards success and builds a true partnership between the client, venue and destination.
Subvention and marketing support are key components of the city’s strategy to bring in major conferences to Glasgow; again, each offer is bespoke depending on the objectives of the event. In addition to this, the SECC can tap into ‘value-add’ in terms of city support, this could be through hosted receptions or themed social itineraries put on by the city.
Ben Goedegebuure, Director of Sales, SECC, commented: “The initiative is a direct response to concerns raised by clients worried about delegate numbers in this economic climate. We wanted to offer a way to reduce the risk to our client whilst sending a confident message from the destination that we can deliver on delegates.
“As a venue we’re set up to help organisers boost attendance using the resources and connections we have throughout the city. The Glasgow Model is an extension of a unique collaborative approach that has already put Glasgow on the map as a world class events destination.”
GCMB Chief Executive Scott Taylor, added: “The Glasgow Model is a unique commitment to a jointly shared business strategy with the conference organiser. We explicitly understand the importance of reputation and brand, and have a clear responsibility to deliver success through creating equity and profit for the association.
“This Glasgow combination offers a highly-differentiated business model that is incomparable to other cities’ schemes. Together we unlock an easy-to-buy solution, which provides support when you need it and a 360-degree marketing package that quickly builds delegate attendance. We are delighted that it is the first in the market place and believe that it will set the pace of change in the industry."
For both Glasgow and the SECC the desire to form close professional partnerships within business has always been extremely important and it is only with this unique partnership that “The Glasgow Model” is able to actually deliver on its promise. With their understanding of the meetings industry and the demands on PCOs, SECC and GCMB now offer something better than their competitors that shares in the pain and gain of holding conferences and will shape the way that business will be done in future.
The SECC Background:
The Scottish Exhibition + Conference Centre (SECC) is situated in the heart of Glasgow, Scotland’s cultural and commercial capital and is the UK’s largest integrated venue, purpose-built to provide exhibition, conference and concert space. An award winning venue with accolades including the UK Event Awards’ prestigious Event Services Grand Prix prize, awarded in 2010 in recognition of its work at the forefront of UK’s international events industry. Since first opening its doors in 1985, it has hosted 3,889 events and welcomed over 28 million visitors making it one of Europe’s most successful venues for conferences, meetings, events and concerts. From small company meetings to major international congresses, the SECC can accommodate any audience from two to well over 10,000 delegates in its two auditoria, 34 breakout rooms and 22,000m2 of highly flexible exhibition space under one roof adjacent to 3 onsite hotels.
For further information on conference and event facilities at the SECC visit www.secc.co.uk
Glasgow City Marketing Bureau Background:
Glasgow City Marketing Bureau is the official destination marketing organisation (DMO) for metropolitan Glasgow. It is engaged in national and international activity comprising: development and implementation of the city branding campaign Glasgow: Scotland with style; event creation, attraction, management and marketing; conventions, incentives, meetings and exhibition sales; accommodation bookings, public relations and optimisation of the website: www.seeglasgow.com.