The innovative DigiCon was hosted on Friday 17th March on the BizEastLothian Facebook page, which engages with local businesses and promotes the business support available from the council. The ‘Beyond 2020’ theme links into the Scottish National Tourism Strategy which looks at growing tourism in Scotland by £1billion by 2020.
Businesses with an interest in tourism joined in with East Lothian’s first ever online conference. DigiCon featured interviews, discussions and a live Q&A session with industry representatives – as part of Scottish Tourism Week.
Figures obtained after the conference show that it had a reach of 27,339 and the videos attracted 7,621 views. Engagement on the site increased by 525% on the previous weekly update. In addition, the conference was shared by facebook.com/visiteastlothian further expanding the audience base.
Angela Leitch, Chief Executive of East Lothian Council opened the conference and was followed by Grant McKenzie, Regional Managing Director, Macdonald Marine Hotel & Spa; James Barbour, Operations Director, Foxlake Adventures; Tom Brock, CEO, The Scottish Seabird Centre; Rosie Ellison, Film Manager, Film Edinburgh and Marc Crothall, Chief Executive, Scottish Tourism Alliance. The event finished with a live Q&A panel broadcast from the MacDonald Marine Hotel & Spa with Grant McKenzie, James Barbour, Marc Crothall and Susan Smith, Team Manager, Economic Development, East Lothian Council.
Douglas Proudfoot, Head of Service (Development) at East Lothian Council, said: “We had a great lineup of speakers for this first ever DigiCon and the ambitious target of £1 billion more in tourism spend in Scotland before 2020 is something the East Lothian tourism industry is obviously keen to be benefiting from. We’ll be running another DigiCon next year as the positive feedback has been great and it’s much more convenient for busy business people to be able to access the online footage at their own convenience rather than having to take a day out to attend a ‘traditional’ conference.”
Macdonald Marine Hotel & Spa Regional Managing Director Grant McKenzie said: “We are proud to have hosted such a successful Digicon event and to be able to share our knowledge and expertise. Tourism is big business in East Lothian and we were excited to hear the plans of key industry players on what everyone is working on to make our region even more attractive to visitors.”
The filming, broadcasting and some of the interviews were carried out by Ella Inglis and Jeremy Kunz, two first year students from Queen Margaret University.
Anyone wishing to view the videos and to find out more about what’s ahead for the tourism industry can find the broadcasts at facebook.com/BizEastLothian