Theresa Ring presenting at an event.
ARTICLE PUBLISHED 16/10/2020
Next week we are attending the virtual edition of The Meetings Show with 9 of our Scottish partners.
To understand why it is important that Scotland continues to have a presence at tradeshows, we caught up with our UK Market Managers, Theresa Ring and Katherine Nelles, and discussed the value of online events.
About our Business Events UK Market Managers
Theresa Ring, Corporate & Incentive Market Manager - UK (North) & Ireland: Theresa’s role within the team is to manage the North of the UK (North of England and The Midlands) and Ireland market which means being the first point of contact for inhouse corporate event planners and intermediaries based in these areas. As well as assisting with new enquiries for Scotland, Theresa regularly connects clients and Scottish partners together to focus on what makes Scotland unique to other destinations, ultimately helping clients create the perfect event for their delegates.
Katherine Nelles, Corporate & Incentive Market Manager - UK (South) & Ireland: Katherine’s role within the team is to manage South of the UK (South of England and London). Similar to Theresa, Katherine is the point of call for in-house corporate planners and agencies in the south. She also assists the central business events team with strategic direction and developing educational sessions, which helps to bring together buyers with key Scottish suppliers and showcase the country’s innovative ethos and pioneering spirit.
What encouraged VisitScotland Business Events to invest in attending a virtual edition of a tradeshow?
Katherine: While we cannot meet in person yet, it is incredibly important to maintain connections and to be a resource for any client that has questions. We want to retain a presence in the market and give our partners an opportunity to connect with buyers and agencies. We also want to continue supporting tradeshows such as The Meetings Show as they provide fantastic business opportunities for Scotland.
Why is it important to attend virtual events and tradeshows now we can’t meet face to face?
Katherine: It is important to maintain the relationships that we have with all our clients, partners and other destinations. Even though it can be more difficult to connect virtually – it is still a great way to engage, exchange ideas and create conversations that can shape businesses and the future of our industry.
Are your objectives for this year’s event different? If so, how?
Katherine: Our objectives have changed from last year. At the moment we are supporting our clients, partners and team members to ensure we are all in the best place possible and ready to welcome back business events when the time is right.
Do you think buyers’ key criteria for choosing a destination will have shifted this year and if so, how?
Theresa: I think buyers will be looking for destinations with shorter travel and transfer times. Delegates will still be looking for the same ‘wow’ experiences, but closer to home, at least initially. I see the domestic incentives market rising on the back of this with countryside resorts and exclusive venues being of high interest. There will also be a need to demonstrate why the event needs to take place - this is a great opportunity for companies to demonstrate responsible citizenship by ensuring they integrate, for example, volunteering and community-focused initiatives as part of the event programme.
Do you think virtual business events can replace face to face business events?
Theresa: Virtual business events are allowing us all to stay connected for business purposes during this tough time for our industry, but I don’t think they will ever fully replace face to face. Our industry thrives on connecting with people and exchanging knowledge and ideas, this simply can’t be done to the same level virtually. Getting out and about again, travelling to events and experiencing the host destination is all part of the event itself.
During these tough times for our industry, partners, clients and friends. What do you miss most from your day-to-day job?
Theresa: Our industry is seen as a family and a community. I miss seeing our team Scotland partners regularly, and I also miss seeing my clients in the North of England and Midlands. I love setting up FAM trips for our clients so then can truly experience Scottish hospitality and discover our exciting new developments. We’re here and ready to welcome everyone again soon.
Attending The Meetings Show? Make an appointment to meet with Katherine, Theresa and other members of our team.