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EICC marks 25th anniversary and looks back on ‘best ever year’, 2019

The Edinburgh International Conference Centre (EICC) has marked its 25th anniversary this week while reporting record annual results for 2019.

The venue had its ‘best ever year’ in 2019 and produced an economic impact of over £720m since opening its doors in September 1995.

To date, almost 3,500 events have been held at the EICC with total delegate numbers standing at 1.5m. Revenue in the year to 31 December 2019 was £12.6m (2018: £11.8m), with profits at £1.5m (2018: £1.4m).

The EICC has been running online events since the start of lockdown, ahead of a planned return to business events and conferences in 2021. The venue is also set to announce a series of conference wins later this year.

EICC CEO Marshall Dallas said: “2019 was our best ever year, and we came into 2020 with a record number of events on our books before the Covid-19 pandemic forced us to close the venue in March. We continue to take bookings for 2021 and have recently secured a number of major conferences for next year which we will be announcing in the near future. We, of course, remain circumspect about business activity in light of prevailing conditions, however we have focused our efforts on implementing extensive health and wellbeing measures in readiness for safely welcoming delegates back to our venue.”

In May, the EICC launched a new online events platform, Make it Edinburgh Live, which was created to enable the venue team to run conferences and events both online and hybrid events.

Dallas said: “We have developed a market-leading online events platform that has enabled us to stage conferences which have a greater global reach for audiences around the world. When we combine this in a hybrid scenario once delegates return to the venue, we believe we’ll have one of the best offerings of any conference centre worldwide.

“In so many ways, our 25th anniversary will not be the occasion we envisaged it to be pre the Covid-19 pandemic. However, it’s a significant milestone and an important occasion to appreciate the many achievements to date, as well as our position as one of the world’s leading conference centres. Looking ahead, we know that conferences and business events will be different going forward, characterised by smaller-scale events in the first phase of the recovery.

“We also know that the business events sector, which is valued at around £35bn across the UK, will be an important driver in helping to reboot the Scottish economy.”