Behind the scenes at the University of Strathclyde’s Technology and Innovation Centre (TIC)

Head of Conferencing and Events at the University of Strathclyde, Gordon Hodge, shares an update on the TIC ahead of the inaugural Academic Venues Awards

It’s an exciting week to share an update on the Technology and Innovation Centre as we eagerly await the results of the inaugural Academic Venues Awards which take place tomorrow evening (22nd November).

We’re the only Scottish contender and have been shortlisted in no less than 4 categories - Best Conference Venue, Best Catering Service and Best Customer Service as well as Non-Residential Venue of the Year, rubbing shoulders with big hitters from across the UK, including IMAGO, Conference Aston and Meet in Leeds. 

It’s been an amazing twelve months for us.  In the year to 31 July, we hosted more than 600 events and welcomed more than 41,000 delegates.  We made the shortlist for Best Scottish Venue at EventIt’s E Awards, and for Customer Service Champion at Glasgow’s Inspiring City Awards. 

It may only be our third year of operation, but our performance and peer recognition demonstrate how TIC is changing the industry’s perception of an academic venue.  We work closely with the Convention Bureau to support Strathclyde’s academics in winning conferences, and the events we host strengthen the University’s partnerships with industry and the public sector. 

Right now, we’re in the thick of the autumn conferencing season.  In terms of Associations, we already have conferences for the Royal Statistical Society, the International Society for Dermatopathology and the British Interplanetary Society under our belt. 

Closer to home, we’ve welcomed Cycling Scotland - working alongside Speakeasy Productions - and Scotland’s Community Heritage Conference.  

We play our part in keeping Glasgow front and centre on the global stage, too: we hosted Glasgow 2018’s World Broadcaster Briefing in September, while November brings the European Commission’s Atlantic Stakeholder Platform Conference; Scotland’s National Event Conference; and Host City – a high-profile meeting of hosts and organisers of sporting, cultural and business events – back with us for a third consecutive year. 

Indeed, when you stop to take a breath, it’s hard not to be struck by the sheer variety of events we host. 

On a single day in September, for example, our Main Auditorium was filled with delegates from the British & Irish Hypertension Society, on which we were delighted to work in partnership with InConference.  In the Level 1 Auditorium, meanwhile, academics from our department of Chemical & Process Engineering hosted the Annual General Meeting of CCP5.  Up on Level 9, their colleagues from Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering host the 1st International Aerospace Symposium on Acoustic Fatigue in the airy surroundings of our Executive Suite. 

Days like that help you to realise that business events really do make a difference.  Of course, they bring economic benefit in terms of bed nights and delegate spend, but more than that, they support research, knowledge exchange and collaboration across a wide range of sectors, which can have a transformative effect on our day-to-day lives. 

It’s a great feeling for us to know that our work plays a small but important part.

Guest blog post by Gordon Hodge, Head of Conferencing and Events at the University of Strathclyde

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