Destination - We're all off to...Glasgow

Steeped in Scottish tradition but with a modern, edgy vibe, the city is favoured by major brands who make sure to include it on their activation schedules.

Glasgow is home to countless museums and galleries
Glasgow is home to countless museums and galleries

What's it known for?

Glasgow is renowned for its vibrant cultural and arts scene, a status that was firmly cemented by being named European Capital of Culture in 1990. And in 2008 it was hailed as a Unesco City of Music, a title that only nine other cities in the world can attest to.

Glasgow is home to countless museums and galleries, as well as five of the country's six internationally renowned performing arts companies, including Scottish Ballet and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra.

Last year, Scotland's largest city was recognised as an international events capital when it hosted the Commonwealth Games and MTV Europe Music Awards.

Famous sights

The Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum has 22 themed galleries and houses more than 8,000 works of art and historical objects.

The Riverside Museum, meanwhile, pays homage to the city's transport heritage.

The work of internationally renowned Glaswegian architect, designer and artist Charles Rennie Mackintosh can be viewed at various locations across the city, including Glasgow School of Art, The Willow Tea Rooms and The Mackintosh House.

The Duke of Wellington Statue is famous for regularly having a traffic cone placed on its head, which to many represents the humour of the local population.

A hotspot for brands

Glasgow was among the cities on Pret A Manger's radar when the brand toured its Hot Van around the UK in February; Red Bull took its Music Academy Tour, which featured the likes of Adollars AP Rocky, Seth Troxler and Danny Brown, to Glasgow in March; and Nestle's cereal caterpillar activation stopped off at the city in April.

Jack Daniel's has selected local venue King Tut's to host regular live music shows throughout the year as part of its Jack Rocks experiential campaign, and Glasgow was one of the first cities in the world to host One Live, an immersive workout experience from Reebok in partnership with fitness company Les Mills in March. So far this year the likes of Sony, Jeep and Ikea have also activated in the city.


Brand experience agency Kommando Marketing has offices in both Glasgow and London, as does We Are Good, a graphic design, advertising and branding agency. Commenting on experiential in the city, Kommando Marketing's managing director Mark Evans says: "People here are always up for great brand experiences, they really participate and share these moments.

There are great outdoor spaces that tap directly into high footfall. We have activated campaigns in many cities across Europe, but Glasgow is always a hit."

Global agency Lightblue opened an office in Glasgow in 2012, which, according to business director Oliver Adams, was a natural choice. "We had recently won some major business with a Scottish-based client, and one of our founders, David Balfour, hails from Glasgow," he says.

"But more than that, Glasgow seems to emit an exciting aura. It's great that a city with so much history and heritage can be so vibrant, edgy and real. We knew Glasgow was right for us, and alongside this, we knew the city produces some of the best young talent in the country."

Glasgow is also home to South Block, a building dedicated to housing creative businesses. These include design agency Good Creative, and MadeBrave, which offers design, branding and photography services.

Where to host an event

The recently opened Technology and Innovation Centre at Glasgow's University of Strathclyde offers a series of event spaces, including two auditoriums and eight function rooms over three of its nine floors.

A public courtyard, complete with a balcony area and two gallery spaces, is available for hire at The Briggait in Glasgow's city centre. The listed building in the medieval quarter was the city's fish market for more than 100 years. Key features include a glass roof, interior ironwork and bespoke lighting.

Spanning more than 1,850sqm, The Glue Factory, which hosted Red Bull's recent Music Academy UK tour, is a blank canvas space that can be easily transformed for any event.

The Whisky Bond is situated on the Glasgow Canal and offers sights of the city's skyline, making it a great spot for an event with a view. SSE Hydro is suitable for large-scale affairs, and can host up to 13,000 people.

And another thing ...

Cider brand Magners is bringing its Summer Nights event back to Glasgow's Kelvingrove Park Bandstand over the summer, following a successful launch in the city last year. The event will take place over six nights, from 6-8 and 13-15 August. Visitors to the event can expect live music, street food and Magners' full range of ciders.

Top Tip:

According to Mark Evans, managing director of Kommando Marketing, the city's retail scene is a bustling area of activity, showcasing brands such as Forever 21, H&M and Apple. "Glasgow is home to the second-busiest shopping street outside London - 'The Style Mile' - which is packed with fashion, great art and live music," he says.

More We're all off to... Manchester

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