The Edinburgh International Conference Centre (EICC) celebrates its 20th anniversary on Thursday 17th September, with latest figures showing a £500 million contribution to the economy since the venue opened in 1995. Under the stewardship of CEO Marshall Dallas, the business has reported its strongest year of trading on record in 2015 and is forecasting revenue uplift for each of the next 3 years.
Buoyed by a combination of repeat business and new client wins - at national and international level - and an uplift in corporate business, the EICC continues to reap the benefits of the 2013 redevelopment and expansion of the conference centre, including the much heralded Lennox Suite, situated in the heart of Edinburgh and is now rated as the top conference destination outside London in the UK.
Some of the highlights during the 20-years include:
- Official opening by HM the Queen 1996
- Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting 1997
- North Atlantic Assembly (NATO) 1998 & NATO Parliamentary Assembly 2009
- 29th Antarctic Consultative Meeting 2006
- Bill Clinton, Richard Branson and George Clooney (this year) headlining the Scottish Business Awards
- HRH The Royal Princess official opening of the Lennox Suite 2015
Marshall Dallas said: "It's incredible to think that some of the team from 1995 are still at the core of the business in 2015. I think that speaks volumes to the organisation and to all the people who have made the EICC what it is today."
"While we are now widely regarded as one the world's top conference venues, the next 20 years will be about investing in our people and technology to ensure that we remain at the forefront of the industry. All signs point to us heading in the right direction as we enter the next exciting phase of growth."
"We would not be where we are without the collaborative relationships with so many partners across the city, a city which has benefited from infrastructure improvements in recent times, where inward investment is on the up, our universities are increasingly world-renowned and we have a burgeoning tech scene."
Cllr Frank Ross, Convener of the Economy Committee, said: "I am delighted that the Council's investment in the EICC has proven to be such a story of success. The EICC has made an extremely valuable contribution to Scotland's economy since it opened its doors to the first delegates in 1995. In its first 20 years it has added in the region of £500m to Scotland's economy. Since the Lennox Suite expansion opened in 2013, which was also Council funded, the economic impact of the EICC has increased by an average of £24m each year.
"The international conference market is constantly expanding and I am confident that with the new Lennox Suite boasting the very latest industry technology, the EICC will bear even greater fruit for Edinburgh and the wider Scottish economy over the next 20 years."
Leading Scottish businessman Sir Tom Farmer CVO CBE KCSG DL, whose Kwik Fit company held the first conference at the EICC in 1995, said: "From the beginning, the EICC was a world-class organisation with world-class ambition. Not only has it become part of the fabric of Edinburgh and Scotland, but to the conference industry itself and to the many thousands of delegates who have passed through the venue's doors and received the very best in Scottish hospitality and the highest levels of customer service. For one, I wish Marshall Dallas and his hard-working team all the best for the future, a future which looks nothing less than exciting and bright."