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Evaluation of the Ambassador Programme


The main aim of the Ambassador Programme is to liaise with the business and academic communities, and to encourage and support prominent local individuals, known as ‘ambassadors’, to bring conferences to Aberdeen. It was intended that ambassadors seek to influence those organisations with which they are associated to bring their conferences to Aberdeen. Sectors mainly included the oil and gas industry, renewable energy, food research and environmental sciences. The programme also provides help in accessing conference and related facilities in Aberdeen, promotional materials, regular newsletters and a database of potential ambassadors and their organisations.


The study involved an initial inception meeting, followed by desk based research of relevant documents, such as previous evaluations, contextual documents and monitoring records. Primary research involved a face-to-face interview with an Aberdeen Convention Bureau (ACB) representative and an online survey of ambassadors to gather views on the Programme.


Finds that overall the Programme has been successful in meeting the activity and output targets set for it, for example the Programme has secured 38 conferences in total, has 250 ambassadors profiled, and over 14,700 delegates are expected to attend all conferences. The contribution to the local economy from the Programme over a three year period is estimated to be £13.4 million gross. The net additional impact of the Programme is estimated to be £6.7 million spread over the period 2002 to 2009.


Recommends that the Ambassador Programme should not be supported in its current form until the apparently low levels of additionality are examined more closely and a critical appraisal of the likely net additional value of the Programme for business tourism is conducted. Suggests that the potential to use international conferences more strategically to secure global connections should be examined.

Author SQW Limited
Published Year 2009
Report Type Evaluation
  • Sectors
    Energy, Food and drink
  • Enterprise
    Support to existing/growth businesses