Page Loading

Evaluation of the Edinburgh Ambassador and Conference Support programmes: final report


The Edinburgh Ambassador programme aimed to use the expertise and contacts of local academics and industrialists to attract additional international association conferences and events. The Conference Support programme (CSP) aimed to provide both consultancy support and funding to help attract international associate conferences. The evaluation aimed to assess the value of the outputs of the programmes and how they compare to original projections and objectives, considered against the amount of funding invested.


The methodology consisted of an analysis of programme data and of a selected sample of 20 Ambassadors and conferences.


Finds the programmes have generated a substantial economic impact on Edinburgh’s tourism economy, adding value to Edinburgh’s Conference product. Estimates that the programmes together generate additional expenditure of £30m and supported 64 FTEs. Indicates that SEE&L’s contribution supports £15m in additional expenditure and 32 FTEs (10 year equivalent). Calculates the cost per job to be between £8,100 and £16,000, which, when taken together with other potential benefits, represents a good return. Notes that the focus needs to shift from tourism toward linkages with wider business development activity. Concludes that the programmes represent a good investment but have an opportunity to offer more.


Recommends that the programmes continue to be supported in some form. Considers reassessing the network support resources and expanding the Ambassador programme’s research work. Suggests some provision in future budgets should remain for the CSP and the balance between grant payments and resources should be clearly defined in the agreement. Highlights that both programmes have the potential to offer SEE&L leverage with other agencies, business clients and the universities. Internally, the SEE&L should consider the activities and support that can be provided to make the most of the events. Recommends that ECB should: review their sponsorship strategy. Mentions that the SEE&L logo should be used more prominently.

Author SQW Limited
Published Year 2009
Report Type Evaluation
  • Enterprise
    Sector-level support
  • Internationalisation
    Inward investment