A chance to honour the best of business | Glasgow Chamber of Commerce
Richard Muir, Glasgow Chamber of Commerce
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A chance to honour the best of business

By Richard Muir, Deputy Chief Executive of Glasgow Chamber of Commerce

Tomorrow night marks Glasgow Chamber of Commerce’s 24th annual Glasgow Business Awards. Each year more than 600 guests from leading organisations across the city come together to celebrate business and leadership success from the last 12 months – an important event in Glasgow’s business calendar. 

This time last year, we were hopeful in the wake of the COVID 19 pandemic but, since then, we have continued to combat such challenges and have since been faced with a cost of doing business crisis. The constant throughout the past 12 months is that Scottish businesses have continued to adapt and innovate to emerge from one of the most challenging periods in our lifetime. 

As such, we rightly look forward to saying thanks and celebrating all the finalists of our Glasgow Business Awards across multiple categories. 

This year's ceremony will highlight the resilience and determination of Glasgow businesses in the face of ever-challenging circumstances and in celebration of this, the first ever Glasgow Business Award for Business Resilience will be awarded. It’s great to see the proactive approach many businesses took to safeguarding their operations through resilience planning, ensuring that they could continue to operate when major disruption occurs. 

Sustainability will also be a core focus of the event with three sustainability themed awards. Through these, we continue to acknowledge the work and commitment that our business community makes to the circular economy and efforts around carbon neutrality, much of which was showcased in Glasgow during COP26 to a global audience. 

Often, we overlook the significance and value that international and domestic business events can play in the Scottish economy and at this year’s Glasgow Business Awards, we’ll be reflecting on the role that our business community has played as a host and the impact that this has in turn had on our city. 

COP26 highlighted the appeal Glasgow has as a location for major events and we prepare to host many more including the UCI Cycling World Championships in 2023, while Glasgow remains a frontrunner in the bid to host next year’s Eurovision Song Contest.  

In Glasgow we have the most successful Convention Bureau in the UK, managed by the team within Glasgow Life and in the Scottish Events Campus and other world class venues too. This, alongside some of the finest industry experts and specialists, ensures that we attract events such as the BRAIN and PET BRAIN Conference 2022 which has won an ICCA Incredible Impacts Award. 

As well as the economic benefit of hosting conferences there are also positive societal impacts for Glasgow when we bring the world’s best minds to gather in our city. As of September 2022, over 200 conferences are confirmed to the city up to 2027, several of which are aligned with our academic community. Collectively these events are worth more than £255m to the local economy from delegate spend. This is incredibly reassuring, evidencing the resilience of our tourism and events business sector and providing a further boost to local hotels, restaurants, conference venues and transport providers alike.    

The work of Glasgow Convention Bureau is consistently recognised by the industry and the team recently won Best UK Convention Bureau at the M&IT (Meetings and Incentive Travel) Awards 2022 for the 16th consecutive year. Meanwhile the team at Scottish Events Campus (SEC) also won Gold at the same awards for Best UK Convention Centre. That’s a massive vote of confidence for Glasgow as a successful conference location and a recent bid win for the World Science Fiction Convention to return to Glasgow in August 2024 is further proof of the successful approach of our city. 

So tomorrow night, while we take time to recognise the fantastic efforts so many Glasgow businesses have made in navigating and overcoming recent challenges, we will also celebrate the value that business events and conferences more widely play in the recovery and future success of the city.

This article was first published in The Herald on Wednesday 5 October 2022

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