Edinburgh International Conference Centre (EICC) has partnered with Edinburgh Lockdown Economy to give delegates an immersive city experience online ahead of Scotland’s leading conference venue returning to full operational mode. Delegates joining events run by the EICC can access city highlights including virtual tours of the Forth Bridges and St Giles’ Cathedral, taking part in a daily pub quiz at Summerhall, watching live comedy streamed from The Stand Comedy Club or experiencing a dining and wine tasting evening with Swirl Sip Socialise.
Last month, the EICC launched a new hybrid events model, Make it Edinburgh Live, which was created to enable the venue team to run conferences and events entirely online or via a combination of online and in situ. Edinburgh Lockdown Economy was set up by the team behind suggestion app Vocal to help local independent businesses via a free listings site which now numbers over 600 businesses and more than 90,000 visitors to the site.
One of the social enterprises featured on the EICC site and within the Edinburgh Lockdown Economy network is Invisible Cities, an organisation who train people who have experienced homelessness to become walking tour guides. Invisible Cities Founder and CEO Zakia Moulaoui said: “In common with so many others, the current health crisis has been challenging for our team who would have been approaching their busiest time of the year. Until our people can get back on the streets with tourists, we’ve been heartened by the interest in our virtual tours and we’re grateful for the roles Edinburgh Lockdown Economy and the EICC have played in getting the word out on the web.”
EICC CEO Marshall Dallas said: “Helping delegates to have the best possible experience of being in Edinburgh when they attend events here has always been part of our offering. While we run client events within Make it Edinburgh Live, we want to give delegates joining events online a rich experience, and partnering with the Edinburgh Lockdown Economy has helped us to realise that. They are doing amazing work and they share our ethos for supporting the local business community, social enterprises and other city partners in and around the city.”
Tom Harries, Founder of Vocal and Edinburgh Lockdown Economy, said: “Edinburgh Lockdown Economy’s success to date is down to the city’s incredible range of independent businesses, together with a public who have been supportive of us and these businesses since day one. Our team has helped to raise the profile of local players and the partnership with the EICC takes this to another level in terms of bringing these businesses to the attention of people outside Scotland.”
Into 2020, the year of its 25th anniversary, the EICC had a record book of conferences and events taking place and building on 2019 when it contributed local economic impact of over £50 million. In March, the EICC led an announcement on the go-ahead for a pioneering hotel and hotel school development in Edinburgh. M&G Real Estate is funding the £350 million Haymarket Edinburgh development which will be developed by QMile Group. The completed hotel will be operated by the EICC under a franchise agreement with Hyatt Hotels Corporation.