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The all new delegate experience around the SEC Glasgow

Guest blog post by Karla Cunningham

I joined the team at the Glasgow Convention Bureau 5 years ago and it’s been fantastic to see the developments at the Scottish Event Campus and nearby Finnieston since I joined!

In my role as Client Services Manager, I support conference organisers, linking them with venues and suppliers in the city, providing tools to help them promote their conference and a range of city information to allow both organisers and delegates to make the most of their time in the city.

It’s great to see delegates returning to the city able to enjoy new hotels, bars and restaurants, attractions and activities creating new memories from old.

Here are my top five favourites!

SSE Hydro

Since the SSE Hydro opened in 2013, it has had a massive impact on the surrounding area.

With the venue attracting an audience of more than a million visitors each year, the ‘Hydro effect’ has seen locals and visitors alike flocking to the area for a great Glasgow night out!

Glasgow is a UNESCO City of Music, with over 130 music events per week, from cosy gigs in pubs to large festivals and concerts. The popularity of the SSE Hydro builds on Glasgow’s reputation as a city for live music.


Following the opening of the SSE Hydro, nearby Finnieston has seen a flurry of new unique bars, cafés and restaurants. This is now a key neighbourhood for spending your evening in Glasgow and it’s just a short walk from the SEC!

Some of the favourites amongst delegates include the quirky Kelvingrove Café, The Gannet - an award-winning restaurant famous for its fine local produce, the Ben Nevis pub for sampling whiskies and listening to live Scottish traditional music and a veggie-friendly favourite of mine, The 78.

New hotels

Visitors and delegates looking for a place to stay on campus now have a range of new options to choose from including the new Radisson Red (with its RED Sky Bar offering superb views across the city and resident hotel dog!), the Village Hotel with its leisure facilities and casual pub restaurant and the Premier Inn Pacific Quay offering a great value stay. 

Delegate bike hire scheme / walking

When travelling for business, it can be hard to stick to your fitness plan while spending a lot of time indoors!

Delegates seeking fresh air and exercise have a number of options. The SEC now offer a free delegate bike hire scheme, allowing delegates to pick up a bike right outside the Armadillo and explore the traffic-free route along the River Clyde. There is always the option to visit some of our attractions, with bike hire stations at around 40 locations throughout the city.

If, like me, you prefer a walk, the riverside path is a great way to wander into the city centre or to explore the Clydeside Distillery, Riverside Museum and Tall Ship.

Many conferences are now building in an early morning fun run into their programme to energise delegates for the day ahead and this 5k route from the SEC taking in the major sites along the River Clyde is a great way to start the delegates day!

Clydeside Distillery

The newest attraction in the area is the Clydeside Distillery. Making use of the historic pumphouse building from the Queens Dock, visitors can enjoy a tour highlighting the fascinating history of the area, followed by a whisky tasting and a browse of the shop to pick up some traditional Scottish souvenirs.

These offerings are a great addition to some of the existing favourites in the area, such as the Glasgow Science Centre, with its interactive exhibits and sweeping views of the River Clyde. 

Another iconic building is the red brick Rotunda Complex, which originally housed the entrance to a pedestrian and vehicle tunnel under the river and is now home to a selection of restaurants and a comedy club.

With all of these fantastic developments in the last five years, I look forward to seeing what’s coming next!

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