Focus on Event City: Glasgow
Introduction to Event City Glasgow
With a population of around 600,000, Glasgow is not the capital, yet it is the largest city in Scotland in terms of population and physical size. It is generally agreed that the modern city was founded in the 12th century when it was granted a burgh license and, later, a fair license. From there, it seems to have grown until the 15th century when it was granted both a bishopric and a university. The 18th century saw more rapid economic growth as it became one of the main ports for trade with the Americas and as the main outlet for mining material coming out of Lanarkshire going to all parts of the empire.
Today, Glasgow is still an important commercial and industrial city. It’s economic growth is second only to London, and though it has lost most of its industry, it’s economy is based on finance and other tertiary services. As an event city, Glasgow should be one of your top choices, particularly for business.
Getting Around Glasgow
Glasgow has three airports – though most arrivals by air are most likely to arrive into Glasgow International, which carries 7.7m passengers annually. Plans to expand have in the past been proposed, accepted and then shelved but due to expected rise in passenger numbers over the coming years, renovations will go ahead to cope with an expanded number of routes. Some of these improvements have already been completed. A second airport is for general aviation and the third handles seaplanes heading into Scotland.
Most overland arrivals to Glasgow enter via rail with two major railway stations – Glasgow Central and Queen Street Station. Glasgow Central is the terminus of the West Coast Mainline and most arrivals into Glasgow who are heading deeper into Scotland, particularly west and northward, will change at Glasgow Central. Because of its size and density, Glasgow has an extensive light rail network, making it easy to get about the city. However, due to the River Clyde, there is no link between the two sides of the city but funding is planned to make this happen.
Buses are by far the most popular way by which people get around Glasgow and deregulation means that most areas are accessible. If you are in town for an event, chances are you will be following the main transport network routes anyway. A rapid transit bus system is not yet in place but is expected to be part of the civic planning of the next few years.
Hotels & Venues of Event City Glasgow
As a popular business destination, Glasgow is not short of high-end hotels. It has 4 options of 5-star hotels and 19 choices of 4-star hotels, many of which cater to the business user, functions, corporate events and so on. For the best of luxury, the Blythswood Square Hotel in the centre of Glasgow is ideal for weddings and corporate events. With its own spa, historic architecture, free wifi and a selection of standard and unusual rooms, and many flexible conference rooms and halls, it is great for weddings and for corporate events where the delegates might appreciate just a little more luxury. Plus, it is not far from most of the city’s amenities and transport links.
Not only do the many hotels of Glasgow have conference and exhibition options, but is also not spoilt for choice for dedicated exhibition centres and conference halls either. It is home to the SECC (Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre) – describing itself as Scotland’s premier centre for conferences, exhibitions, expos, concerts and meetings. Offering a wide pool of choices for your event, the centre prides itself on its green credentials – having been awarded a Green Business Tourism Gold Star.
For the football fans amongst you, Celtic Park is one of the city’s largest and best-known stadiums and now offers business packages using its corporate facilities and catering. Tours of the stadium can be an added bonus to your event.
As an event city, Glasgow will have something to suit your budget and requirements – being geared up to tourists and business visitors alike.
Things to Do in Glasgow
Glasgow may be the industrial and commercial heart of Scotland and prime as an events city, but that doesn’t mean it lacks history, culture or tourist attractions. On the contrary, there is plenty to do in Glasgow.
- The Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum is the jewel in the crown of this historic city. It is free entry and has 8000 items of art and archaeology across 22 galleries. No visit to Glasgow is complete without it
- For something a little more unusual, you might wish to try the city centre for Sharmanka Kinetic Gallery & Theatre – a theatre composed entirely of mechanical sculptures and performers. It is nearly always open as a static display, but you must book to see the quirky performances
- The Clyde Valley is home to some amazing nature reserves, and parks and gardens. If you want to get out of the hustle and the bustle of the big city, you could do a lot worse than visiting Glasgow Botanic Gardens or any of the nature reserves just outside of the city. The Botanic Gardens are free entry and has a glasshouse and arboretum
- If it’s food you’d like to explore, then Glasgow has an amazing array of choices. It’s maritime trade is reflected in the choice of seafood, amongst which many travel sites recommend Gamba Seafood Restaurant as one of the best options