7. Partnership and Collaboration
Since 2003, Scotland has had VisitScotland, including EventScotland, to help support and co-ordinate events activity across the sector, and a cohesive strategic approach between Government, public agencies and industry. This has supported building relationships and sharing practice, approaches to collaborating with communities in event design and delivery, and understanding of the industry across the public sector.
At its best, Themed Groups felt that collaboration across the sector can deliver great events, through strong and accessible links to industry networks, inclusive events delivery, sharing of best practice, and working with the supply chain to reduce environmental impact.
Themed Groups also suggested that there are areas where we could improve partnership and collaboration. These are set out below.
7.1 Technology and infrastructure
Themed Groups highlighted that collaboration between industry and academia could help events plan for and adapt to the opportunities of current and new technologies. It could also help regions to access the benefits that come with events.
Already, there are examples of environmental sustainability being built into industry-relevant college and university courses. There are also examples of conference venues working closely with local authorities to deliver on Net Zero ambitions, and Glasgow rates highly in the Global Destination Sustainability Index.
Themed Groups identified indirect emissions, also known as 'Scope 2' and 'Scope 3' emissions, as an area where the industry needs to plan and collaborate with others. These include energy and transporting workforce and audiences sustainably to events. Integrating the customer journey could both reduce environmental impact and lead to safer travel for attendees and employees, especially after dark. Short and long term planning of events with local and national government could help reduce Scope 3 emissions. This could involve linking into Mission Zero for transport, route map to 20 per-cent car kilometres reduction by 2030, and free bus travel for under 22s, for example.
7.2 Local Authority experience
Local Governments are elected to make decisions based on the priorities and needs of local people. As such, Local Authorities each have their own local circumstances and priorities, including around events for the communities they serve. They may therefore take different approaches. Some have their own event strategies. Local Authorities each have varying experience with different types and sizes of events.
Themed Groups suggested that variation in messaging, joined up support, licensing and risk appetite can make it more difficult to plan for and organise events. They felt that Local Authorities that are able to take a planned approach to events were more likely to gain opportunities to generate employment, value and promote established events, and to sustain communities through events. There are examples of working across Local Authorities, such as among event officers or Environmental Health Officers during the Covid-19 pandemic, to develop shared understanding and promote good practice. Themed Groups felt that building on these networks could deliver a range of benefits.
7.3 Policy alignment
Themed Groups suggested that good dialogue across both local and national government could improve awareness of the benefits delivered by different types and sizes of event. In turn, this could strengthen events' role in delivering shared outcomes and associated funding, such as those around culture, sport, education and health. It could also help identify a wider range of policies that might affect the event sector, and promote early engagement to minimise commercial market disruption.
Themed Groups suggested some things that grant funders could consider that would help deliver on local or national outcomes. These included how easy the application and reporting processes are, incentivised funding structures, investment to leave lasting benefit, and criteria that promote collaboration.
Themed Groups also felt that it was important for UK Government, Scottish Government, other devolved governments and Local Authorities to work together to have consistent approaches in some areas, for example around policing and terrorism threat.
Question 24: To what extent do you agree or disagree that event organisers make connections between events and their ability to deliver broader positive impacts for society?
- strongly agree
- neither agree nor disagree
- strongly disagree
- don't know
Question 25: We would welcome evidence on how event organisers are working together with local and/or national bodies to deliver outcomes. This could include, but is not limited to:
- Delivering events that have a positive impact on wellbeing
- Meeting the needs of local people
- Being more environmentally sustainable
- Supporting local business
- Attracting people to work in events
- Developing the event workforce
Please go to the next question (question 26) if this is not relevant to you.
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