Scotland’s 2020 vision for event hosting
Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland, shares his strategic vision of the next two years
Host City: Scotland has a great programme of major events coming up over the next two years – what are your expectations of these events?
Paul Bush OBE: There are a lot of great events taking place in Scotland in the next couple of years, and it comes off the back of a very successful 10-15 years where we’ve hosted some of the biggest and the finest events in the world, including the 2014 Commonwealth Games, The Ryder Cup, the 2015 World Artistic Gymnastics Champions, and the 2017 World Badminton Championships.
Over the coming years we will continue this trend with the Glasgow 2018 European Championships, The 2019 Solheim Cup, the 2019 European Athletics Indoor Championships, the LEN European Short Course Swimming Championships 2019 and UEFA EURO 2020.
With events playing a significant role in our visitor economy, this supply of events will ensure we continue to sustain and grow the sector while also delivering a positive impact both economically and socially for Scotland.
Host City: What kind of national assets will be used and developed over the next two years?
Paul Bush OBE: Through our national events strategy, Scotland the Perfect Stage, we try to maximise our assets for events, whether it’s our natural environment, our people or our built facilities. The events we have coming up over the next two years will really take advantage of these and ensure they continue to deliver a legacy for Scotland. For instance, the Glasgow 2018 European Championships and the European Athletics Indoor Championships will make use of a facilities built for 2014 Commonwealth Games including Emirates Arena and the SSE Hydro, while at Hampden Park we’ve seen the installation of new LED screens in the East and West Stands as part of the development work being done in preparation for EURO 2020.
We’ll also see the addition of new assets like the Olympic standard BMX track being built at Knightswood Park for the European Championships as well as the opening of the new V&A Dundee this summer. Both of these new facilities will be a fantastic addition to our existing facilities and present great opportunities for future events in Scotland.
Host City: What does the events and festivals sector bring to Scotland’s Year of Young People 2018?
Paul Bush OBE: The Year of Young People 2018 is putting Scotland’s young people in the spotlight, celebrating their talents, contributions and creating new opportunities for them to express themselves through a wide range of activity.
As part of the year, we’ve developed a nation-wide programme which, for the first time, is entirely co-designed by young people and the events and festivals sector. The programme includes both new events and new programme strands for annual events – all of which reinforce Scotland's position as the perfect stage for events.
Collaboration and co-production with young people is at the heart of the year, and the events and festivals sector are playing a crucial role in providing a wealth of opportunities and valuable experiences for young people to express themselves through culture, sport and a range of other activities. From music festivals to science takeovers, film festivals to touring theatre productions, the sector is putting young people in the driving seat – putting the power into their hands and giving them a wonderful opportunity to bring different generations together as well as showing the world what they are made of throughout 2018.
Host City: How does hosting important conferences such as Host City and your own National Events Conference help EventScotland to achieve its objectives?
Paul Bush OBE: Hosting conferences like Host City and our own National Events conference are extremely important to us as it is an opportunity to bring the industry together to share best practice and look at the challenges and opportunities we’re facing, both on a local and global scale. Doing this helps us achieve our aim of developing a strong and dynamic events industry that is producing a portfolio of events and festivals that delivers sustainable impact and international profile for Scotland.
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