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2012May 2012 . . 32 No.1 for conference bagsNew Sublimation Printing - Print full colour panels on your Conference +44(0)1694 751777 look forward to seeing you at AECC, call Steven Daun on 01224 330413LOOKING FOR A GREAT VENUE FOR YOUR NEXT EVENT? WHATEVER YOU NEED ABERDEEN IS OPEN FOR YOU!

SCOTLAND34 . . May 2012May from all fi ve airports, but the growth plans for the airport have the potential to open up even more routes and additional options for business tourism delegates."The highly-anticipated £750m, fi ve-star Trump International Golf Links is expected to be a major draw for visitors when the fi rst of two championship links golf courses opens this summer. Plans for the wider resort include a second 18-hole links golf course, an 450-bedroom fi ve-star hotel set amid luxury holiday homes, and a conference centre. Other developments for the city's conference and meetings industry include The City Garden Project, a £140m major development scheme for the existing Union Terrace Gardens. The plans include 10 different garden areas, a 5,000-seater outdoor amphitheatre, 500-seat theatre space, exhibition hall, cafes and double the amount of green space for visitors to enjoy. The project recently won the support of the public following a referendum in Aberdeen City and will now move towards the planning process.Aberdeen's position as a global energy hub and the Energy Capital of Europe helps it to secure huge business in this sector. Oil and gas events are traditionally held at the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre (AECC) and include the bi-annual Offshore Europe, which attracts 34,000 visitors over the three-day event; All Energy, a key renewables show, as well the forthcoming 9thDEVEX, World Heavy Oil Congress and the 2nd Aberdeen Unconventional Gas Conference.Autumn 2012 is shaping up well with the Energy Ball (the premier oil and gas social event of the year for over 1,500 people) and the Society of Core Analysts conference taking place in August, followed by The Scottish Home Show, World Heavy Oil Congress, European Optical Society Annual Meeting (EOS) in September; and the Northern Star Business Awards in October. Aberdeen was chosen over Paris for the EOS event, which will attract 600 delegates and bring in around £814,000 for the economy, while the World Heavy Oil Congress has previously been held in Beijing, China and Margarita Island, Venezuela, with the 2011 congress held in Edmonton, Canada. The World Heavy Oil Congress is the world's leading unconventional heavy oil conference and exhibition. With around 1,000 delegates, it is expected to boost the Aberdeen economy by £1.75m.Also confi rmed for October is Digital Engagement, a conference which will attract around 250-300 Professors and large international names such as Apple and Microsoft to this three-day event. "The majority of conferences we work on are associations, which involve academics leading bids, and around 60 per cent of Aberdeen's association meetings business is directly attributable to our Ambassador Programme," added du Plessis.Edinburgh Edinburgh, Scotland's festival city, is living up to its reputation as a centre for history and the arts with the opening of the newly redeveloped Scottish National Portrait Gallery and the National Museum of Scotland. Both venues are able to host dinners and receptions, while the latter can accommodate up to 850 guests in its vaulted atrium. Marketing Edinburgh convention bureau's fi gures over the last month refl ect the strength of the meetings industry for the city with 23 new conferences confi rmed, which will take place between now and 2013 with a combined value of £4.8m. The bureau has in the fi nancial year to date confi rmed 160 conferences, which will attract 42,500 delegates to the city between 2012 and 2017 with an economic benefi t of £61.2m. "As we draw towards the end of our financial year, we are optimistic about reaching not only our economic benefit target of £87.5m, but also our income generation targets including that set for our Conference Accommodation Booking Service, which is on track to exceed target by placing in excess of £1.5m of bookings with our accommodation providers in the city," said a spokesman for the bureau."Interest in Edinburgh as a conference destination remains positive. The association conference market has proved to be resilient during 2010-11 and despite increasingly competitive market conditions, Edinburgh has the potential to win 90 per cent of the international association meetings market."Edinburgh's growing centres of excellence particularly in the fi elds of science, medicine and technology will help to attract an even greater number of specialist conferences to the city. Edinburgh's growing centres of excellence will help attract specialist conferences to the city