GLASGOW MEETINGS GUIDE

George Square

FACTS AND FIGURES

According to the 2011 Census, there were 593,245 people living in the city of Glasgow; making it the most populated city, and the densest area in Scotland, with 3,395 people per square kilometre. Whilst Glasgows population steadily declined from 1950; in the past 10 years, the number of people living in the city has increased. The two largest age groups in Glasgow are the 30-49 group at 30%; and the 16-29 sector at 23%. Glasgows population is, like the rest of Scotland, an ageing population; and it is predicted that by 2035 only 62% of the population will be under 50%, compared to the current figure of 70%.

Only 60% of Glasgows population is employed, a much lower figure than the Scottish average of 71%. Hundreds of years ago, Glasgow was known for industry sectors such as engineering and marine activities; but now financial services are increasingly popular with the so-called "Wall Street Upon Clyde" financial district. Possibly due to the two well-known Universities in Glasgow, many major companies including Royal Dutch Shell and HSBC have decided to set up a base in the city; helping to contribute almost £58 billion every year.


TRANSPORT LINKS

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Due to nearby airports, Glasgow can easily be reached by air wherever you are. Glasgow airport is a mere 15 minute drive away, and offers daily flights to European cities; and a couple of destinations in the USA. The larger airport of Edinburgh is only 45 minutes away, and serves 25,000 passengers per day on an average of 311 flights to destinations in many different continents.

Glasgow is also easily reachable by rail, served by two stations: Queen Street and Central (the main one).  With 26 million passengers every year, it is the 10th biggest station in the UK, and the largest one in Scotland. It offers direct routes to small Scottish towns and larger English cities such as Newcastle in 2hrs30, Birmingham in 4 hours and London in 4hrs30. Other cities such as Manchester and Liverpool will find they will have to change trains at Preston, but both journeys are still a comfortable 3hrs30. Glasgow Queen Street is a much smaller station offering regular routes to the capital Edinburgh, taking just 50 minutes.

Once in the centre, if you dont feel like walking, you can relax on Glasgows reliable public transport. The subway runs every four minutes at peak times, and costs as little as £1.40, to ensure you get to your chosen destination easily and cheaply. Glasgow is served by First buses; the largest operation in Scotland offering a 24 hour service to 118 different routes around the city and its suburbs.

Armadillo Conference Centre

GLASGOW VENUES

Glasgow has enjoyed popularity for corporate events not just from Scottish companies, but from all over the world. Glasgow City Marketing Bureau have found that since 2005, they have managed to secure over £1billion in business tourism; and more than 800,000 delegates have spent 3.3 million nights in hotels; 1 in 5 hotel beds in Glasgow have been hired for delegates. With 180 venues in total, it is no wonder Glasgow is such a popular choice; and with 18 venues able to hold over 500 delegates, and 8 with a maximum capacity of more than 1,000; larger parties will find themselves well catered for. The SECC can hold an impressive 10,000 delegates, and offers five exhibition halls, the largest one at 10,065 metres square and six auditoriums. Nevertheless, smaller parties will equally find themselves spoilt for choice, with 67 venues exclusively available for parties of 30 and under.

This vast amount of choice extends to the hotel industry too, with 161 in the city offering more than 18,000 bedrooms.  Although known as the "grittier" city in Scotland; luxury is something it does well, with 5 five star and 59 four star hotels.  Luxury on a budget is still available though, for companies with less to spend, with 77 three star and 11 two star hotels on offer.

Exchange Square

LEISURE AND TOURISM

Often referred to as Edinburghs younger, "edgier" sister, Glasgow can get a bit of a reputation for being rough; but delegates who are able to explore the city will see that this is not true at all. This 2011 European City of the Year may surprise you with how cultural it is, offering over 20 museums and art galleries; including the Scotland Street School and iconic Riverside Museum.

Shopaholics will enjoy immersing themselves in some retail therapy in the "Style Mile" offering everything from flagship stores to second hand shops and the two large shopping centres Buchanan Galleries and St Enoch Centre, offering a wide choice of well known high street brands and restaurants.

Glasgows nightlife is something worth experiencing too; classy it isnt, but if cheap booze and student clubs sounds like your kind of thing, then you will definitely be in the right place! Nevertheless, there are plenty of pubs where you can sit back, relax and enjoy some whisky; and there are many chained restaurants in the city centre if delegates want something to eat.

Images courtesy of Visit Scotland


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