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Exciting panel of industry leaders confirmed for National Events Conference closing plenary session

Press Release   •   Nov 08, 2017 15:39 GMT

Community of Paisley sending of their bid for UK City of Culture 2021

Five of the country’s leading industry professionals will share their thoughts and insights into the challenges and opportunities facing Scotland’s events industry after being confirmed for the closing plenary session of this year’s National Events Conference: Setting the Stage for 2025.

Jean Cameron, Paisley 2021 bid director, Leonie Bell, Scottish Government’s Head of Cultural Engagement and Culture Strategy, Philip Long, Director ofDundee V&A, Malcolm Sutherland, Director ofLoch Ness Marathon & Festival of Running, The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo Chief Executive and Chair of Events and Festivals Industry Group (EFIG), Brigadier David Allfrey MBE, will all take part in the closing plenary session: ‘Scotland’s Assets and The Perfect Stage’.

Chaired by Marie Christie, VisitScotland’s Head of Development – Events Industry, the session will take an in-depth look the assets – our people, cultural identify and heritage, natural environment, built facilities, and signature events – that make Scotland the perfect stage for events, and will highlight some of the future challenges and opportunities from the perspective of each speaker.

Marie said: “We’re delighted to have such an illustrious panel of speakers for our closing plenary session. The events and festivals sector is a fast-paced and ever evolving industry and this final session is designed to share some of the most current ideas and best practice from speakers leading some very exciting projects.

“I’m sure the session will generate lots of lively discussion amongst the panel and audience as well as practical thoughts and actions for us all to take away; providing the perfect conclusion to the day’s informative programme.”

Each panel member has been selected to speak about one of the five assets and will share with delegates their own experiences in this area as well as providing their thoughts on how we can continue to utilise and develop them to ensure Scotland continues to be the perfect stage for events.

Speaking about her part in the plenary session, Jean said: "Scotland is indeed known the world over as a perfect stage for events and I am looking forward to taking part in this discussion about how the industry can evolve and improve.

"I am delighted to have been asked to speak about people - Paisley Buddies have been at the heart of our bid and our friends around Scotland have wrapped around that in a way typical of the warmth of the Scottish welcome which is central to the country's appeal.

"Paisley is fast building a reputation as a key destination on Scotland's events map - and should we win the UK City of Culture title we will bring to Scotland major events and cultural programming with resonance throughout the UK and the world."

Paisley is the only place in Scotland to make the final UK City of Culture 2021 shortlist and will find out in December if they are successful in their bid.

The announcement of the closing plenary panel comes as tickets for the conference are selling fast and with some breakout sessions already full. More than 70% of tickets are already sold and with only three weeks to go, time is quickly running out to secure a spot at this flagship industry conference.

Taking place on Monday 27 November at the Technology & Innovation Centre in Glasgow, other confirmed speakers at the event include Adam Perry (EventTech Live), Gillian Henderson (Ticketmaster), Kevin Sewell (Scottish Borders Council), Tom Clements (NOEA Scotland), Colin Rodger (DF Concerts & Events) and ACC Bernie Higgins (Police Scotland). They will join keynote speaker, David Coletto from Abacus Data, Secretary for Culture, Tourism & External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop MSP and conference host, sports broadcaster Eilidh Barbour.

Organised by EventScotland on behalf of the industry, the National Events Conference provides 300 delegates with a unique opportunity to hear from industry experts, share experiences and network with industry colleagues. As well as the two plenary sessions, there are 11 breakout sessions for delegates to choose from as well as the chance to arrange short one-to-one meetings with key speakers and industry figures.

For the full programme and to buy tickets, visit

Notes to Editors:

List of closing plenary session speakers and the Scottish asset they will be representing:

  • Our People – Jean Cameron, Bid Director, Paisley 2021
  • Our Culture & Identity – Leoni Bell, Head of Cultural Engagement and Culture Strategy, Scottish Government
  • Our Built Facilities – Philip Long, Director, Dundee V&A
  • Our Natural Environment – Malcolm Sutherland, Director, Loch Ness Marathon & Festival of Running
  • Our Signature Events – Brigadier David Allfrey MBE, Chief Executive, The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo and Chair, EFIG.

Speak profiles available here


EventScotland is working to make Scotland the perfect stage for events. By developing an exciting portfolio of sporting and cultural events EventScotland is helping to raise Scotland’s international profile and boost the economy by attracting more visitors. For further information about EventScotland, its funding programmes and latest event news visit Follow EventScotland on Twitter @EventScotNews.

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