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Addressing the impact of generational change on Scotland’s events industry

Press Release   •   Sep 07, 2017 10:32 BST

Technology & Innovation Centre in Glasgow
  • 2017 National Events Conference: Setting the Scene for 2025 to focus on the future of Scotland’s position as the perfect stage for event
  • David Coletto, CEO of leading Canadian public opinion and marketing research consultancy, Abacus Data, will share insight into millennial generation during keynote speech
  • 2017 National Events Conference will take place on Monday 27 November at the Technology & Innovation Centre, Glasgow
  • A limited number of early bird tickets are now on sale

David Coletto, CEO of leading Canadian public opinion and marketing research consultancy, Abacus Data, will deliver the keynote speech at the 2017 National Events Conference: Setting the Scene for 2025.

With almost a decade of experience working in the marketing research industry and as Abacus Data’s lead on Canadian Millennial Research Practice, David will provide invaluable insight for the Scottish events industry into the millennial generation as he shares his expertise on the consumer trends associated with this generation, which will be of particular interest ahead of Scotland’s Year of Young People 2018.

Taking place at the Technology & Innovation Centre in Glasgow on Monday 27 November and hosted by Eilidh Barbour, one of the country’s rapidly rising stars in sports broadcasting, this flagship industry conference for Scottish event organisers provides delegates with a unique opportunity to consider the future for events in Scotland, hear from industry experts and explore some of the challenges the industry may be facing.

David Coletto, said: “Generational change is disrupting so many markets including the events and festivals sector. Understanding that change and harnessing it to your advantage is vital if you are to succeed in attracting and retaining a millennial audience.

“Over the last six years I have travelled all over North America sharing my research and insight into the millennial generation. By focusing on the generational differences and similarities that matter, I have been working to bridge the generational gap and ensure organisations can succeed in a millennial powered world.

“I am looking forward to coming to Scotland to share my insights from what my research has uncovered about new audiences while also take advantage of the opportunity to learn more about the events industry in Scotland. I look forward to seeing you in Glasgow on 27 November.”

Joining David at the conference will be the Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop, who will provide the opening remarks that will set the scene for the day’s discussions.

Tourism Secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “Boosted by the National Events Strategy, Scotland’s events industry is going from strength to strength.

“As we progress towards the unique opportunities presented by events like the Glasgow 2018 European Championships, The 2019 Solheim Cup and UEFA EURO 2020 there is no better time for the industry to come together to forge new partnerships and to make future plans to help ensure that Scotland continues to be the perfect stage for the world’s major events.”

This will be followed by the day’s first plenary session where David will give his keynote speech. He will then join a panel chaired by VisitScotland’s Director of Events, Paul Bush OBE, and with experts from VisitScotland’s Insight team - who will share their research findings associated with other emerging markets relevant to the Scottish events sector – to discuss how the event industry can best respond to changing events audience.

Delegates will then be able to choose from a wide range of breakout sessions led by industry experts on topics such as social media, volunteering strategies, security & policing, technology for events and much more.

Following lunch and the final breakout session, the closing plenary session will look at the assets that make Scotland the perfect stage for events - our people, our cultural identity and heritage, our natural environment, our built facilities and our signature events – and consider some of the key future challenges and opportunities that we face.

Lord Thurso, Chairman of VisitScotland, will then provide the day’s closing remarks before delegates and speakers, are invited to an informal drinks reception where they can continue to network and discuss the day’s topics.

The day will also include lots of opportunity for networking, plus the additional option of bookable one-to-one appointments with a range of speakers and industry figures.

Paul Bush OBE, said: “We have an exciting programme for this year’s conference that really takes stock of where we currently are with the national events strategy and the challenges and opportunities facing the industry going forward to 2025.

“I’m delighted we will be joined by David, who will provide valuable insight into the millennial generation. This is a highly influential and key audience for the events industry to tap into and understand if we are to continue to provide impact for Scotland.

“We have also listened to the feedback from our conference in 2015 and introduced more networking opportunities so delegates can spend more time meeting and building relationships with key contacts. Also in Glasgow that week is Host City 2017, the world leading event hosting conference. Taking place at the Technology & Innovation Centre the day after the National Events Conference, Host City 2017 provides even more opportunities to engage and learn with industry experts.”

A limited number of Early bird tickets will be available and can be purchased here. For more information about the 2017 National Events Conference programme, 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 seven overarching strategies:
    1. Marketing: we will market Scotland and its outstanding assets to visitors from all parts of the world, including the promotion of Scotland to people living in Scotland to visit different parts of the country
    2. Events: we will support the national events strategy and its delivery, and sustain, develop and promote Scotland’s international profile as one of the world’s foremost events destinations
    3. Internationalisation and International Engagement: we will utilise all our platforms to enable Scottish-based tourism businesses to better understand international opportunities and market to a global audience and we will work within One Scotland Partnerships to optimise the potential of Scotland’s Diaspora and our strategic partners at regional, European and global levels
    4. Customer Experience: we will provide information and inspiration to visitors both locally and globally via their preferred medium of choice
    5. Quality and Sustainability: we will provide support and advice to businesses, with the goal of improving the quality and sustainability of the tourism sector in Scotland. We will provide quality assurance to visitors through our Quality Schemes
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    7. Working in Partnership: we will listen to and work with the industry, partners and communities to shape our offering and support
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  • 2017 Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology
  • 2017 is the year to delve into the past and discover Scotland’s fascinating stories through a wide-ranging variety of new and existing activity to drive the nation’s tourism and events sector, boosting tourism across Scotland.
  • The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology begins on 1 January 2017 and will end on 31 December 2017. It will build on the momentum generated by previous themed years in Scotland including the 2015 Year of Food and Drink, Homecoming Scotland 2014, the Year of Creative and the Year of Natural.
  • The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology is a Scottish Government initiative being led by VisitScotland, and supported by a variety of partners including Creative Scotland, Scottish Tourism Alliance, Scottish Enterprise, The National Trust for Scotland, Historic Environment Scotland, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Built Environment Forum Scotland, Heritage Lottery Fund, Museums Galleries Scotland and Traditional Arts and Culture Scotland.
  • The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology is supported by £570,000 of Scottish Government funding.
  • The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology events fund is managed by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate.
  • For more information visit or join the conversation at #HHA2017