National events strategy review: consultation

Scotland's National events strategy is being reviewed and updated. This will extend its term to the end of 2035. This survey provides everyone with a role in Scotland’s world-class event industry the chance to shape the sector’s updated strategy.

4. Excellent Event Experiene

Optimising the event experience is central to commercial success for the industry. It could have knock on benefits for recruiting and retaining staff, and attracting major and mega events to Scotland. Positive event experiences can contribute to the physical, mental and social health and wellbeing of individuals and communities.

We believe the national events strategy should support partners to deliver an overall portfolio of events that are:

  • Inclusive, accessible and attractive to a wide range of audiences.
  • Diverse and representative with a broad range of hosted and homegrown events spread across regions. These would represent the diverse voices, experience and energy of Scotland, enhance the reputation of cities and communities, and contribute to a sense of civic pride and place.
  • Successful and popular, enhancing the event and tourism sectors as well as the wider economy.
  • Delivered with communities to ensure local people are involved in their design and delivery.
  • Supportive of wider ambitions in other sectors and industries, particularly in key industries and emerging markets for Scotland, and through the development of Scottish companies in the supply chain.
  • Protecting and promoting Scotland's natural capital in their delivery, with partners across the sector committing to drive down emissions and adapt to climate change as part of a just transition to net zero.

4.1 Audience engagement

Scotland's culture sector is seen as inclusive in engaging audiences and community, and as having diverse audiences. Fostering this audience and its reputation could be an asset to Scotland's overall reputation as a place to hold events.

We know that some people face additional barriers to accessing and enjoying events, and that attendance at cultural events varies across different groups. We know that barriers include ticket cost, travel, the event being too far away, health problems and childcare. As part of this survey, we want to understand how the national events strategy could address that.

Question 4: People attend events for a range of different reasons. Can you identify what is important for you in creating an excellent event experience?

Question 5: To what extent do you agree, or disagree that events in Scotland are:

  • Accessible (strongly disagree, disagree, neither agree or disagree, agree, strongly agree, or don't know)
  • Affordable (strongly disagree, disagree, neither agree or disagree, agree, strongly agree, or don't know)
  • Inclusive (strongly disagree, disagree, neither agree or disagree, agree, strongly agree, or don't know)
  • Welcoming (strongly disagree, disagree, neither agree or disagree, agree, strongly agree, or don't know)

Question 6: We are also interested in knowing about why people might not be able to attend events. Can you identify any reasons for not attending the events you would like to?

4.2 Community engagement

Festivals and events play an important role in improving perceptions of place. Themed Groups suggested that there can be a tension between commercial events running for multiple days in order to be viable, and the increased local disruption this can cause. They also suggested that using local knowledge can relieve this tension, and that establishing relationships with local charities and social enterprises can also improve routes to specific communities.

We are keen to understand about community experiences of events in Scotland and whether more can be done to ensure that local communities benefit from events.

Question 7: To what extent do you agree, or not, that event organisers involve communities in planning the events they hold?

  • strongly oppose
  • oppose
  • neutral
  • support
  • strongly support
  • don't know

Question 8: To what extent do you agree, or not, that event organisers communicate about how the events taking place will affect local people?

  • strongly oppose
  • oppose
  • neutral
  • support
  • strongly support
  • don't know

Question 9: How could the benefits of events be increased for local communities?

4.3 Variety

The current strategy takes a portfolio approach to events. This allows for a variety of large and small, sport and culture, fixed, recurring and one-off events to be identified and supported. VisitScotland co-ordinates the national public sector approach, working closely with the relevant local authorities to make best use their different relative strengths and resources. This is in addition to events being secured within the private sector and other organisations.

Over a sustained period, Scotland has developed a calendar of events ranging in size, type and region. The current strategy supports a wide geographical and seasonal diversity of events to spread the benefits across the year and the country, including through VisitScotland's event funding programmes. It also promotes equality and diversity by including events for different demographics including the elderly, young people, families, those with disabilities and disadvantaged groups, as well as respecting individuals' human rights.

A portfolio approach has a range of other potential benefits. These can include:

  • encouraging and nurturing innovation and entrepreneurship
  • encouraging and enabling sustainable tourism by showcasing our natural environment, culture and heritage
  • offering combined experiences across regions and sectors
  • creating communities and enhancing places

When done well, Themed Groups thought that a spread of authentic audience and memorable participant experiences can deliver events that are unique to individual places. They also thought that it can deliver events that foster a sense of civic pride, and celebrate Scottish culture to encourage fresh international collaboration.

Question 10: How important is the diversity of events in Scotland in terms of each of the following? Give a score of one to five for each, where one is not important at all and five is very important, or "don't know":

  • Range of size
  • Spread of location
  • Variety of type

Question 11: What barriers, if any, are there to holding a diversity of events in Scotland?



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