Neil Brownlee Business Events Conversation

Head of Business Events, Neil Brownlee at the Jourey: The Business Events Conversation


A very Happy New Year from the team here at VisitScotland Business Events. As we start a fresh year, we have already seen some positive and encouraging activity for the business events sector.

Sustainability will once again be at the top of the agenda for 2023. It's hard to believe that COP26 in Glasgow has come and gone and now we are looking ahead to COP28 which takes place in Dubai this November.

Historically, COP events would come and instantly be forgotten, that is no longer the case. The overwhelming sense that we must protect our planet transcends everything we do and in our wonderful business events industry we arguably have more to do than most sectors.

At VisitScotland Business Events we continue to support and guide our partners and organisers to ensure that their events are not only conducted as sustainably as possible, but they leave a lasting legacy for a better Scotland, using the UN Sustainable Development Goals and our Journey to Change pillars as our guiding principles.

Scotland is a sustainable destination and many of the country's industries are pursuing to help build a more sustainable future through various initiatives and partnerships including the H100 project, CivTech's technology accelerator and EICC's sustainable partnership.

Of course, we must remember that the word sustainability goes far beyond our duty to protect our planet and that fostering sound diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) policies is as much a part of a sustainable future as anything else. 2023 will be another year in which we can make positive strides to celebrate diversity as a standard across all we do, to be open-minded to listen to a range of views and to act as one.

We believe it has never been more important that our industry is inclusive and welcoming for all, regardless of sexuality, gender, race, or religion. Only by being truly inclusive can we harness all the ideas, knowledge and energy available to us as we seek to tackle the even bigger problems that lie ahead. 

We intend to share this message and spread awareness of the work we do as we embark on a new year of exciting opportunities, with PCMA Convening Leaders proving to be a successful first event of 2023, the ICCA UK & Ireland Annual Conference 2023 coming to Glasgow in March, and a variety of events to attend across the world.