Scotland is bucking the trend with the number of major association events held in 2018 up 5% from 2017, despite the UK dropping two places in the latest ICCA Country and City Statistics report for total number of international association meetings.

The report, released early this week, revealed that the number of major association meetings that took place in the UK dropped by 3% in 2018. However, Scotland celebrated an increase in the number of meetings during the same period.

In 2018, the country hosted 137 events, up from 114 in 2017, and contributed 24% towards the UK’s total for the year. Scottish cities moved up the rankings in 2018 with Edinburgh taking position 27 and Glasgow taking position 47 in the world rankings, with only London coming above them in the entire UK.

Last June, the Edinburgh International Conference Centre hosted the European Orthodontics Society Congress, which welcomed more than 2,500 delegates from across mainland Europe. The congress, the society’s largest annual gathering, also utilised the entire Surgeons Quarter campus for its President’s Reception.

Amanda Ferguson, Head of Business Tourism, Convention Edinburgh said: “I’m delighted to see Edinburgh position in the top 30 of the ICCA World Rankings again. The ability to continuously attract international association meetings in a very competitive marketplace is underpinned by our vibrant knowledge economy and sectoral strengths.”

Climbing 25 positions in the ICCA rankings, Glasgow was the host city for a number of major association congresses in 2018 including the World Haemophilia Congress and the European Society of Sports Traumatology, Knee Surgery and Arthroscopy (ESSKA) Congress.

Both held at the SEC, The World Haemophilia Congress attracted more than 5,000 delegates from 137 countries to its four day event and the ESSKA Congress welcomed more than 4,000 delegates across its three day programme.

Last year, VisitScotland Business Events won the ICCA Best Marketing Award for its first-ever digital campaign “Scotland. Where ideas become legend”. The campaign, which launched in November 2017, highlights the reasons why event organisers should view Scotland as the perfect partner for international conferences – its globally renowned academic credentials, historic pioneering spirit and world changing innovation.

Rory Archibald, Association & Sectors, VisitScotland said: “We’re thrilled that Glasgow and Edinburgh have made huge leaps in the 2018 ICCA rankings. Over the past two years we have been showcasing Scotland to the world through our award-winning Legends campaign, INNOVATETHENATION ambassador network and most recently our inaugural Association Reception Series in Brussels. Business Events are a crucial tool for economic and social change in Scotland, so we will continue to work tirelessly with our partners, our knowledge centres and the Scottish Government to attract more ground-breaking events across the country”.