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Scotland’s Events Industry Advisory Group is made up of senior event sector representatives. These are drawn from across a range of organisations and businesses.

Members of the group contribute their time, knowledge, and expertise on a voluntary basis. They do so to share knowledge, advocate, and represent the views of the sector.

The group provides a vital forum for consultation and discussion. They directly inform and shape government policy.

They continue to identify and address key industry challenges following the COVID-19 pandemic. This is in order to secure a sustainable recovery for the sector and safeguard Scotland’s global status as the perfect stage for events.

VisitScotland’s Director of Events appoints an independent Chair who leads the group. Non-members may be invited to attend meetings where appropriate. VisitScotland’s Events Directorate provides the coordination and secretariat for the group.

The purpose of the Events Industry Advisory Group

  • Advocate for the event sector

    This is to generate significant positive social, cultural, and economic impacts for Scotland.

  • Represent the industry overall

    This ensures a co-ordinated and balanced input from across all parts of the event sector.

  • Identify and show sector views

    The group identifies and communicates the views of the sector to Government and its agencies. These views are in relation to the key challenges that industry faces.

  • Support net zero

    The group supports the sector’s transition to net zero. It also continues the development of a “responsible events” approach to event development and delivery.

  • Support NSET

    The group helps with the event sector’s engagement and alignment with the National Strategy for Economic Recovery (NSET). It does the same for the wider regional and national policy environment in Scotland.

  • Scotland the Perfect Stage

    The group supports the review and update of Scotland’s National Event Strategy (Scotland the Perfect Stage). The strategy extended its term to the end of 2035. It includes the possible introduction of a Major Events Bill to enhance the delivery of future events.

  • Share useful information

    The group shares information, research, and best practice to help the sector recover and develop.

Events Industry Advisory Group meeting summary notes

VisitScotland’s Events Directorate established the Events Industry Advisory Group in June of 2020. They did so in direct response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

However, since then the EIAG had its term extended and remit refreshed. The group will focus on:

  • identifying and addressing key industry challenges
  • working to help inform and shape policy 
  • safeguarding Scotland’s global status as the Perfect Stage for events
  • oversight of the action plan for this strategy

The revised membership meets twice a year (minimum) from February 2023. The membership comprises of 15 senior industry professionals from across:

  • sport
  • business
  • arts and wider cultural events
  • supply chain businesses
  • venues
  • national / regional agencies

To get in touch please contact

Events Industry Advisory Group members

Core members

Peter Duthie - CEO, SEC (Chair, Events Industry Advisory Group)

Susan Deighan - CEO, Glasgow Life

Geoff Ellis - CEO, DF Concerts

Julia Amour - Director, Festivals Edinburgh

Fran Hegyi - CEO, Edinburgh International Festival 

Alan Laidlaw - CEO, Royal Highland Show

Johnnie Cole Hamilton - Executive Director ‑ Championships, R&A

Mark Laidlaw, Director of Stadium Development and Operations, Scottish Rugby

Marshall Dallas - CEO, EICC

Ben Stimpson - Freelance Technical Production Manager

Tom Clements - President / Director, National Outdoor Events Association / Specialized Security

Geoff Crow - Director, 21cc Group Ltd


Paul Bush - Director of Events, VisitScotland

Brian Lawrie - Chair, Scottish Environmental Health and Trading Standards COVID-19 Expert Officers Group

Murray Starkey, Superintendent, Event Planning, Police Scotland

Denise Hamilton - City Centre Manager, Glasgow City Council

Claire Dow - Principal Events Officer, Dundee City Council

Rachael McKechnie - Deputy Director, Major Events & Themed Years, Scottish Government


Lucy Carmichael - Head of Major Events, Scottish Government

Rebecca Edser – Head of EventScotland, VisitScotland

Neil Brownlee – Head of Business Events, VisitScotland

Marie Christie – Head of Development – Event Industry, VisitScotland


Torquil Macleod, Senior Industry Engagement & Development Manager, VisitScotland

Mark Murray, Event Industry Development Manager, VisitScotland

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