In the 23 years since it was built, the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre (SECC) has emerged as the hub of Scotland's exhibition industry, and ongoing developments at the SECC site beside the River Clyde ought to keep the complex at the heart of things for some time to come.
Bringing in an estimated 1.29 million visitors, 30,000 exhibitors and 5,000 stand contractors (2006-7 figures), the SECC is a demonstrable success. Shows that have taken place there in recent months include Whisky Live, the BBC Good Food Show and Scotland's Trade Fair, Spring. In February alone, Glasgow received the Scottish Caravan & Outdoor Leisure Show and the Scottish Wedding Show, while the Fishing 2008 trade show will visit in April.
In March 2007 the SECC published a KPMG report, which revealed that the annual economic impact on Glasgow of the centre's activities as an exhibition, conference and concert venue is £336.3m. According to the same report, the number of jobs directly and indirectly created by the SECC in Glasgow alone stands at 6,582.
At least some of those jobs relate to construction, and specifically the build of the SECC Arena. The new building, designed by Foster and Partners and due to be completed in 2010, will dramatically increase the number of shows the SECC can book for Hall 4, its largest room, which currently doubles as a concert venue and consequently spends a significant part of its time morphing between its two primary functions.
Among the stalwart suppliers based in Glasgow is event production and audio-visual specialist Sound and Vision, which also has an office in Edinburgh. Its events last year included Miss Scotland 2007 in the city's Prince's Square, and the Scottish Conservatives Annual Conference.
Melville Exhibition and Event Services has a base in the city, close to the SECC, and supplies a full range of services. These include lighting, furniture hire, floor coverings, shell schemes, logistics, graphics and venue services.
There are a number of local suppliers of stands and graphics, including A & C Display Services; 4C Exhibition + Interior Solutions; multi-disciplinary printing and graphics outfit Nairnbrook; and Scotpanel Display in Cumbernauld, whose clients include Sotheby's and Country Gardens.
Niche event companies in the area include Catwalk Productions, a fashion show event management specialist, and Milne Management Security, which offers security, cleaning and stewarding.
4C Exhibition + Interior Solutions
A & C Display Services
(0141) 944 4040
(0141) 616 0808
and Event Services
(0141) 332 9012
(0141) 550 3366
(0141) 339 9111
(0141) 248 3000
Sound and Vision
0845 582 0141.