Scotland means business, that it does. I have recently witnessed the proof of this, having just wrapped up our aptly named Scotland Means Business (SMB) event for 2012. The BTU team is now busy in the office recovering from the successful event, looking through the numerous photos and reading all of the feedback which has been landing in our inboxes. As the Edinburgh-based SMB 2012 was my first experience of the event (as a BTU newbie), I was unsure of what to expect. With so much planning involved across the team, SMB was a main topic of conversation in the weeks and months prior to it so seeing it all come together was rather exciting!

We kicked off on Wednesday 7th November in the impressively refurbished Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa where it was all systems go. The BTU team had arranged for 40 buyers from various key business tourism markets to attend SMB and meet with our 48 Scottish industry partners, all enthusiastic about showcasing their products and services to an international audience. Watching everyone get down to business, there was a real buzz of energy in the room with buyers obviously eager to hear all about what our Scottish suppliers have to offer. The day of appointments flew by (over 500 took place!) with a well deserved stop for lunch in between.

Scotland Means Business 2012

Scotland talks business

After a couple of hours recuperation time and a trip to the historic Edinburgh Castle for buyers, it was off to the spectacular A-listed Edinburgh Assembly Rooms. With everyone looking fabulous for the occasion, and a few kilts being donned, we did our best to showcase traditional Scottish hospitality throughout the dinner with a mini ceilidh (a personal favourite), haggis addressing and Scottish singing and dancing. The dancing went down a storm with lots of our international buyers learning a few new moves!

Scotland Means Business 2012 Gala Dinner

I enjoyed getting into the swing of things at our gala dinner ceilidh

Thursday was our activity day providing everyone with the chance to network in a laid back environment. Attendees were all grouped into clans and undertook a new take on teambuilding, Impulse Interactive, where the clans were required to embark on a journey around the Old Town of Scotland’s capital,undertaking numerous challenges. The groups encountered some historical characters too (in the form of characters from Mercat Tours) on their mission around the city, helping bring the challenges to life. Everyone finished up at The Hub for a much needed lunch marking the end of the event for another year and where Clan MacDougall were crowned winners of the morning’s challenge.

Scotland Means Business Challenges

Clans participate in some SMB challenges around the capital

Scotland Means Business was a great project to work on in my first few months in the BTU and having not known what to expect in the lead up to the event, I was pleasantly surprised by the vibe and enthusiasm from all involved. Now it’s on to SMB 2013, I’ve a feeling April will be upon us in no time!