New national events strategy


A new ten year collaborative strategy to grow Scotland’s £3.5 billion events industry was unveiled today.

‘Scotland – The Perfect Stage’ sets out how Scotland can enhance its reputation nationally and internationally as the perfect stage for events.

Today’s strategy updates the previous version, which culminated in the unprecedented success of 2014 when Scotland hosted the 20th Commonwealth Games, 2014 Cultural Programme, The Ryder Cup and more than 1,000 events in the Homecoming Scotland 2014 programme.

Produced with over 100 contributions from the public, private and third sectors, the strategy covers everyone involved in planning, securing, supporting and delivering events in Scotland. This includes major events of international significance and smaller events supporting local communities.

At the centre of the strategy is equal responsibility for delivery on the Scottish Government, the Events and Festivals sector and individual event organisers. This represents a more collaborative approach to ensure that Scotland continues to develop, improve and invest in the events industry.

According to the Scottish Events and Festivals Association (SEFA), the industry is currently worth an estimated £3.5 billion a year to the Scottish economy.


Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs, said:


“The events and festivals sector is a major contributor to the Scottish economy locally and internationally, creating jobs and making a significant contribution to our standing on the world stage.

“This strategy draws on Scotland’s credentials as the perfect stage for events and the learnings from what was an unprecedented year for us in 2014. It sets out how we will build on our existing experience, expertise and reputation for hosting successful events by working together with a wide range of public, private and third sector organisations to develop an even stronger, more dynamic events industry for Scotland.

“This will ensure Scotland continues to develop, improve and invest in events over the next ten years, with clear economic, social and reputational benefits for Scotland.” 


VisitScotland Chairman, Dr Mike Cantlay OBE, said: 

Events are an increasingly crucial part of Scotland’s tourism offering. In 2014, the eyes of the world were on Scotland as we celebrated the Year of Homecoming, The Ryder Cup and XX Commonwealth Games. We continue to build on that momentous year and show that Scotland’s facilities, infrastructure and, most importantly, warm and welcoming people make it the perfect stage to deliver major events to the highest standards.

“The national strategy unveiled today will be a valuable tool in helping to galvanise the event industry, building confidence, harnessing skills and cementing our reputation as a leading destination for international events. This year Scotland has already played host to the IPC Swimming World Championships and FEI European Eventing Championships, while The Turner Prize and World Gymnastics Championships are all due here before the end of 2015. With our new strategy I look forward to welcoming even more world-class events to our shores in the future.”

Brigadier David Allfrey MBE, Chief Executive of the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo and Events and Festivals Champion for the Scottish Tourism Alliance explained, however,thatit is also crucial for the strategy to nurture local events, which deliver very real benefits for communities nationwide. He said:

“The Perfect Stage is not only a description of Scotland’s offer to events and festivals organisers but it is also an aspiration of what we have to work towards. The strategy sets out clearly how we can all play our part in delivering growth. It is crucial we nurture all our events, not just those that make headlines but those with local character and reach - those that contribute so much to communities. 

“Most importantly, the strategy provides a framework for thinking and a guide for further graft. It invites us to work together to upskill our staff, to develop the local, national and international offers, to be innovative in staging existing events and growing new ones, all the while looking to the needs of potential customers and audiences who are looking to be inspired.”