The business events conversation panel session

Journey: The business events conversation

Article Published 25/04/2023

International Delegate's Day (25 April) marks the anniversary of the first day of the San Francisco Conference, also known as the United Nations Conference on International Organization. On this date in 1945, delegates from 50 countries gathered in San Francisco for the first time following the devastation of the Second World War. Their aim was to set up an organisation that would restore world peace and impose rules on the post-war world order.

From this meeting came the creation of the United Nations, a reminder that meetings can in fact facilitate transformational change and bring people together to build a fairer, more equitable future.

Meetings and conferences remain an important part of many industries, bringing together the greatest minds from different sectors where they help to develop and implement innovative solutions to common and uncommon issues. Delegates are so important in bringing about change and people still feel the need connect on a face-to-face level, as it is a more personable way of sharing knowledge, staying informed and being able to build better work relationships.

Scotland is a nation of innovators and has a range of conference and meeting venues across the country that serve as the perfect place for transformational change to begin. Our key industries are constantly moving and paving the way for a more sustainable future for all. The country's rich culture and landscapes makes it an ideal location for delegates to extend their trips when attending conferences.

There are many benefits for delegates to attend conferences in person and here are just some of the reasons why they're so important.

Networking: Studies have shown that people choose to meet in person for many varied reasons, but especially for the opportunities provided for networking. For example, Great Business Schools revealed that 84 per cent of professionals prefer to meet face-to-face and believe it helps to build better relationships and rapport with like-minded people.

Career Development: Another great reason to attend a business event in person is to expand your knowledge, gain insights and take back what you have learnt, implementing these findings in your chosen field.

In the 2018/2019 Scottish Association Survey, conducted by VisitScotland Business Events, found that to 130,000 delegates came to Scotland, with 55,000 originating from the UK and 75,000 delegates travelling from Europe and beyond. Combined, an incredible 425,000 delegate days were spent in Scotland.

Having delegates attend events in Scotland from all over the world provides attendees with different perspectives on common goals and issues within their industry or specialist field. Being a hub for international audiences helps to connect people within their field and build upon the industries within Scotland.

Inspiration: Attending conferences can be just the tonic to rouse creative ideas. Being exposed to new projects, technology, and people can really help to inspire your work and generate creative ideas within each field. Being exposed to new ways of thinking can bring about transformational change, paving the way for more innovative solutions to be utilised within industries.

Collaboration: Sharing ideas can prove to be a catalyst for collaboration on projects or research, this could be between research centres, academic institutions, or companies within a specific sector. In the long term this can have wider social and economic benefits.

Give back to the community: In recent years, VisitScotland Business Events has seen an increase in business events organisers focusing on community-based participation with event-led engagement projects that will benefit the local community, an effective approach to ensuring sustainable development.

Experience Scotland in a unique way, working with associations or corporations to take part in incentive activities that immerse delegates within the culture but also help to give back to the community, whether it be a walking tour, a charitable activity or volunteer your time to help the environment.

Extend your stay: The research from the Scottish Association Survey revealed that roughly 4 in 10 delegates will extend their stay for an average of 3 days in Scotland. Extending a business trip offers delegates a chance to tick Scotland off their bucket list and experience the beautiful landscapes, historic castles and hospitable culture of Scotland.

A conference provides the opportunity for people to present their research and ideas to their peers and wider community, as well as being an important platform for brainstorming, networking and making vital connections that can lead to new initiatives, research and policy change.

To learn more about International Delegates Day visit -