The “Bidding for Business Events” Academic Dinner was held at P&J Live on Tuesday 27th September 2022, welcoming 110 academics from the University of Aberdeen, Robert Gordon University and the James Hutton Institution. The evening was held to showcase the event complex and to highlight the support services available for academics when bidding to host national and global association conferences at P&J Live in the future.
Academics from a range of schools and disciplines were welcomed to the venue and given a guided tour, before sitting down to a three-course dinner, crafted by the venue’s inhouse culinary team.
Guests listened to a series of presentations detailing why they should bring their specialist conference to the city of Aberdeen. First, guests heard from Patrick Lamont, VisitScotland Business Events, who provided insight into the importance business events have in Scotland and how conferences help beyond just economic development. This looked at the wider impacts and factors that can help to change society, many of which were linked to UN sustainability goals – a key target and driver for Scotland.
Guests then heard from Millie Clarke, Head of Business Development for VisitAberdeenshire, who spoke about the support services available to them when bidding to host a specialist conference in Aberdeen. This explored how academics can take full advantage of the complimentary services available to those wishing to bring their conference to Aberdeen. This includes bid document creation, site visit support, funding, marketing and a lot more to help with the successful delivery of the bid, and of course the conference when it comes to Aberdeen.
After dinner, guests heard from Lindsay McClenaghan of Abbey Conferences, a Professional Conference Organiser (PCO). Lindsay spoke about the International Association for Suicide Prevention Conference held in Derry. Guests were able to hear about the challenges Derry faced as a destination and how these were overcome with a successful marketing campaign and links to the destination, helping to attract their highest ever attendance. Derry and Aberdeen seem to have similar challenges when it comes to bidding for events, but the success of this event in Derry helped academics see that there are solutions that can be overcome to help deliver a successful conference.
Finally, the dinner finished with a panel discussion led by Professor Cherry Wainwright, RGU, Nikki Pearce, CPD and Events Services team at the University of Aberdeen, Lindsay McClenaghan and Millie Clarke. The panel was used to help the audience find out more about the bidding process when looking to host events in Aberdeen. Guests listened to the experience of another academic who has already gone through the process. This gave guests the opportunity to ask questions about their own challenges and queries with regard to bringing business to the venue.
To find out more about bringing your specialist conference to Aberdeen, please contact the CPD and Event Services for more information.