Hi all,

As part of my role as Marketing Manager for North America and Emerging markets, I’m responsible for championing Scotland’s Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Events (MICE) offering to buyers around the world. Most recently I journeyed to a very chilly Russia to participate in Destination Britain Russia, an annual event organised by VisitBritain.

With the MICE market in Russia really taking off in recent years, it’s both an exciting and valuable country to take Scotland to, providing you remember your gloves for the sub-zero temperatures at this time of year!

Accompanied by two colleagues from VisitScotland’s International Marketing team, a selection of Scottish partners and over 50 UK suppliers, we traveled first to Moscow then on to St Petersburg with a jam packed schedule. In each city we undertook appointments with top quality buyers from across Russia, on each occasion the discussions were both interesting and informative, with the opportunity to talk about many of the new and exciting developments in Scotland which certainly kept the audience interested.

At the end of each day of appointments there were further opportunities to network and inspire our Russian buyers. VisitScotland sponsored these networking events, providing me with the chance to further showcase our destination as I took to the mic to deliver a speech. Always up for a challenge, I decided to tackle the opening section of my speech in Russian, no mean feat but I managed to pull it off… phew!

Destination Britain Russia 2013

Networking with a difference in Russia

We also provided some fun entertainment. Armed with Year of Natural Scotland themed pop up stands, some interesting props including wigs and kilts and of course some Scottish whisky, we invited guests to pose for a fun photo shoot. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed this informal opportunity to network and were all offered a dram of whisky afterwards and given copies of their photo as a little memento of Scotland.

Russia may have been extremely chilly in February (when the average temperature is -10 degrees), but Scotland received a warm reception and we returned with a few strong enquiries and most importantly many new friends.

I’ll be sure to keep you posted on my markets throughout the year and please do get in touch with any questions.

Many thanks,

Richard