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Making life easier for event organisers key at Glasgow venue

Feb 23, 2011 | Blog

The London 2012 Olympics are one of the key topics of focus at the moment, with stories about the event regularly appearing in newspapers and on TV. Thanks to the event, new venues have been built across the capital, while event organisers and businesses are planning how they can incorporate the historic sporting occasion into their own activities. But, the Olympics aren't the only big sporting event a UK city is set to host over the coming years. Glasgow will play host to the 2014 Commonwealth Games, with the city's Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre (SECC) set to play a key role.

Ben Goedegebuure, director of sales at the Glasgow venue, is very proud of the SECC's links with the historic event.

"We're actually the principal host venue for the Commonwealth Games, so we have seven sports here at the venue."

The international broadcast centre and the media centre will also be located at the venue during the event, which will take place from July 23rd to August 3rd 2013.

While the 2014 Commonwealth Games are no doubt one of the most exciting events taking place at the SECC over the coming years, the venue is not short of other events.

"We have the whole spectrum of events here," he said, "We host over 300 events a year – we have 1.3 million people that come through our door."

The SECC celebrated its 25th anniversary last year, which was a big occasion for the venue. "We used the year to recognise 25 of our 'champions' and I think that was a super thing to do," he said.

Among the champions – companies, industries and people who had supported the venue over the years – was music legend Rod Stewart. The singer, who has performed at the venue ten times over the last decade, was named as a champion after readers of Glasgow's Evening Times were asked to nominate their most memorable concert at the SECC.

Mr Goedegebuure said: "We have recognised clients in all sectors that we work in, from the concerts to conferences to exhibitions.

"We have recognised partners of ours, like the [Glasgow] City Marketing Bureau and the Police – we've really done our best to recognise everybody who has made our business great and I think that's been the real highlight of the year."

The Glasgow venue recently announced that a number of new association conferences are set to take place at the SECC, including the conferences hosted by the British Society of Interventional Radiology the British Oncology Pharmacy Association.

Along with the Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, the venue has been placing huge focus on attracting conferences and other events to the city.

"We try to create incentives or other things to do something special for our clients," he said.

"As an example, when we work internationally, we can guarantee the exchange rate that the client gets coming into our venue, so they won't have to deal with a fluctuating currency [exchange rate]. We will deal with that for them," he said.

Through listening to client feedback and working with the city's tourism board, the SECC also takes part in a risk-sharing programme called the Glasgow Model.

Event organisers had been worried about attracting enough audience members, and the venue now shares part of that risk when it comes payment.

Mr Goedegebuure added that for association conferences, Glasgow City Marketing puts money together to help market the event, which works in favour of the city, the SECC and event organisers.

"Everybody is working for the same goal, which is to persuade the client to come to Glasgow and offer them the best that we can," he said.ADNFCR-1752-ID-800423446-ADNFCR

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