Invention is a true Scottish byword. From the television and the telephone to mac- adam (asphalt) and the inflatable tire, Scottish brains have revolutionized the world time and again, including other
breakthroughs that include penicillin and radar.
Great minds are also behind Scotland’s MICE
industry, as evidenced by the continuing success of
the Winning Years campaign.
Part of Scotland’s national “Perfect Stage” strategy for attracting and hosting events up to 2020, the Winning Years is a model
MICE brand-building initiative, which continues to produce bonnie
Starting with the Year of Food and Drink in 2010, which was
initiated following the success of 2009’s inaugural “Homecoming”
celebration, Scotland’s leading events, tourism and governmental bodies have partnered with myriad local suppliers around the
nation to create a running series of themed years highlighting and
promoting Scotland’s rich bevy of assets.
“Showcasing our evolution as a destination for the last seven
years has helped solidify our presence in the North American business tourism market,” says Richard Knight, director of marketing,
the Americas, for VisitScotland’s Business Tourism Unit.
“Going from strength to strength over the past five years, the volume and value of North American business tourism in Scotland is
exceeding the pre-economic crash levels of 2007,” Knight continues.
“The themed years’ platform presents Scotland as a culturally rich
destination that is evolving to meet the needs of today’s meeting
and event planners. It also provides a common message and oppor-
tunity for collaboration across the entire Scottish industry.”
As Scotland concludes its second successful Year of Food and
Drink in 2015, the stage is set for the Year of Innovation, Archi-
tecture and Design in 2016. Ahead of this showcase of the science,
technology and architectural innovations that are making Scotland
a sustainable meeting destination for years to come, here are some
illustrative examples, both past and present, of Scottish skill in
staging meetings of the minds.
Inaugurated in 1866, the National Museum of Scotland in central
Edinburgh is celebrating its 150th anniversary in 2016 by opening
10 galleries showcasing Scotland’s internationally important contributions to decorative art, design, fashion, science and technology. Combining the collections of the former National Museum of
Antiquities of Scotland, and the former Royal Scottish Museum,
this celebrated institution comprises two adjoined buildings, one
modern and one historic, and belongs to the four-member National
All admission-free and all offering stellar spaces for private
events, the quartet also includes the National War Museum within
Edinburgh Castle, National Museum of Flight east of Edinburgh and
National Museum of Rural Life near Glasgow.
Designed by world-renowned architect Zaha Hadid, Glasgow’s
stunning Riverside Museum, opened in 2011, won European Museum of the Year honors in 2013. The iconic building houses more
than 3,000 exhibits in over 150 interactive ‘story displays’ depicting
Scotland’s arts and culture venues build
a strong foundation for hosting groups
BY JEFF HEILMAN
Fort George, Inverness