The power of unity and strong industry collaboration
By Rory Archibald at VisitScotland Business Events
Launched by VisitScotland Business Events in November 2017, “Legends” is Scotland’s first digital campaign for the global meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions market, highlighting the country’s innovative spirit and pioneering ambition.
Joining forces under one unified message - ‘Scotland, where ideas become legend’- Scotland’s city convention bureaux (Glasgow, Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Dundee) and other partners have successfully captured stories and proof points that demonstrate the “why” of Scotland as the perfect destination for business events.
Behind the campaign is the belief that ideas drive change, progress and development and that business events generate both ideas and create connections. Thanks to a remarkably collaborative spirit from our industry partners, we have already gained some key learnings and achievements during the first six months of our Legends campaign.
The benefits of collaboration
We know that business events are catalysts for economic and social progress. What’s really special in our industry, compared to other countries or even other sectors, is that all industry professionals and ambassadors actively support the idea of improving the industry by possessing a stronger collective voice - and it’s working. The more we get together, the stronger our voice becomes and the more impactful our messaging.
Earlier this year, for example, VisitScotland supported the Business Events Leaders' Summit: the first meeting of its kind in Scotland, uniting both senior leaders in business events and key figures from relevant economic sectors looking at how to create a positive, sustainable and lasting economic and social impact from events. These kind of initiatives and collaborative efforts are the ones that take our business events industry to the next level.
The first six months of the Legends campaign saw engaging stories from Scotland’s technology, education and creative industries come to life on social media under the hashtag #IDEASBECOMELEGEND, achieving an astonishing 40m impressions to date with no paid promotions. This is how collaboration can positively impact the industry and inspire events.
The campaign has already generated £3.5m worth of event enquiries. Along with industry partners, Legends has supported Technology Scotland in bringing the 16th European Photonics Industry Consortium AGM (annual general meeting) and the 24th International Optoelectronics Association to Glasgow in 2019. This will bring 200+ photonics experts to Scotland from the USA, Canada, China, Singapore, Taiwan, India and Korea, as well as the elite of European photonics. VisitScotland has connected with Technology Scotland through Legends for the first time.
Legends by sector
With the support of Technology Scotland, the campaign’s first phase showcased Scotland as a melting pot of technological innovation and entrepreneurship. University of Edinburgh came forward to introduce pureLiFi, the science and technology that makes light-based communications possible. ScotlandIS highlighted disruptive technologies and why now is an ideal time to establish a tech business in Scotland. CorporateHealth International ApS unveiled the new diagnostics centre within the Life Sciences building right on Inverness Campus.
In the second phase, Education Scotland highlighted how Scotland is laying the foundations for future excellence through a sustained effort to close attainment gaps and improve education for all children. Viarama explained the benefits of adopting VR technology in classrooms and five international students shared their experiences of studying and conducting cutting-edge research at the University of the Highlands and Islands.
With Scotland as the home of two of the world’s top selling computer games of all times (Grand Theft Auto and Minecraft), the largest arts festival in the world (Edinburgh Festival Fringe) and the world’s oldest continually running film festival (Edinburgh International Film Festival), it was a no-brainer to have a Legends Creative phase. It was great to see Stewart Christie & Co gave some of Scotland’s greatest cultural icons of the past 700 years a fashion makeover at an event to celebrate the strength and depth of the country’s creative and textile sector.
We are looking forward to fostering more connections with our partners, the Scottish Government, Scotland’s growth sectors, academics and industry ambassadors, and continue to provide a strong platform for the industry to secure Scotland’s legacy to the future.
Legends has grown to be so much more than a social media campaign. The ideas behind the campaign are now woven into our sales activity in Europe and North America and will be further incorporated into our corporate marketing activity throughout 2018. And it is collaboration and connections that have helped us achieve so much in a short space of time.