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Visit Scotland | Alba
Article published 07/03/2024

It is just under three weeks to go until Scotland’s National Events Conference at the Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh on Tuesday 26 March. We are delighted to confirm an extensive line-up of excellent speakers set to take to the stage.

Speakers will represent a diverse range of disciplines and offer attendees unique perspectives and insights across a number of areas.

The conference will welcome more than 40 speakers drawn from organisations based in Scotland, the UK, and overseas.

Keynote speakers

Keynote speakers on the day will include the Minister for Culture Europe and International Development, Kaukab Stewart.

She will reflect on the importance of Scotland’s world-leading events status and reinforce the role of the National Events Strategy in building on the many achievements of the events sector to date. She will also discuss future challenges and emerging priorities.

Susan Sawbridge, Managing Partner at New Zealand based company Daylight LTD, will bring an international perspective to the conference as part of her keynote presentation.

She is set to highlight how other countries and regions are working with events to drive change and achieve economic, social, and cultural benefit.

Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland Director of Events, will draw on the impact of a consistent and sustained focus on developing Scotland’s events sector over the last twenty years. He will also discuss the need to maintain our ambition and retain our global events status in a constantly evolving world.

Artificial Intelligence

Steph Wright, Head of the Scottish AI Alliance, and Gordon Johnstone, Communications and Events Manager at the Scottish AI Alliance, will help navigate the wide-ranging and complex debate on artificial intelligence (AI) and will discuss what AI could mean for the events sector.

Steph was recently recognised as one of the 100 Brilliant Women in AI Ethics. She was also named one of the Top 10 Women in Tech in Scotland in 2023.

Panel discussions

A panel discussion will take place with representatives of Scotland’s Event Industry Advisory Group (EIAG). This panel will consider the challenges and opportunities for the sector during the period ahead.

It will draw on the views of EIAG representatives including:

  • Peter Duthie, Chair of EIAG / Chief Executive Officer of the Scottish Event Campus
  • Susan Deighan, Chief Executive, Glasgow Life 
  • Alan Laidlaw, Chief Executive Officer, Royal Highland Agricultural Society of Scotland
  • Claire Dow, Culture Strategy Lead Officer, Dundee City Council
  • Julia Amour, Director, Festivals Edinburgh
  • Geoff Ellis, CEO, DF Concerts

Delegates at a conference

Delegates at Scotland's National Events Conference (credit: Chris Watt)

Breakout sessions

Attendees on the day will also have the opportunity to register for a series of breakout sessions across the afternoon. These sessions will spotlight key focus areas for the sector and will provide:

  • insight
  • knowledge sharing
  • practical examples
  • opportunities for interactive Q&As

Registration for these sessions will open week commencing 11 March.

List of breakout sessions

Returning for the first time in over four years, Scotland's National Events Conference is produced for all those working to create, deliver, and support Scotland’s cultural, sporting, and business events.

Tickets for the conference are £80+VAT per person. This includes arrival snacks and refreshments, lunch, and a post-conference networking reception.

The speaker line-up is subject to change.

Book tickets and get more information on

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