- Published: Tuesday, 06 September 2016 16:20
- Written by Sharon Aitken
We are delighted to introduce you to Anna our new Business Development Manager for Edinburgh Cultural Venues. Anna's role will see her lead on driving conference and events to the Assembly Rooms and our sister venues, Usher Hall, Ross Bandstand and Church Hill Theatre.
We sat down with our new college and asked her about what attracted her to the role and what makes a great conference and event and get to know about her passion for history!
What made you want to join the Edinburgh Cultural Venues team?
I absolutely love living in Edinburgh, and the idea of working in such unique and diverse venues, which have such a special place in Edinburgh’s heart really attracted me to the role. The Assembly Rooms host such a wide range of exciting events, and the grandeur of the Ballroom never fails to take my breath away.
What for you makes a great conference and/or event?
For me, it’s so important to take time to build a real relationship with event planners, to find out their goals & vision, which we can then make come to life with our production and operation team. It’s also about mastering all elements, from a warm welcome at reception, to outstanding production that sets us apart in the city.
You mention a warm reception and outstanding production, how will you be working with the wider Assembly Rooms team and how important is the team in the success of your role?
I will be working really closely with the front of house team and the production team, to draw on their vast experience of the venue to make sure we are giving the very best of service to our clients. That will in turn aid our reputation of a high level service conference venue to continue to grow. I always say I could never sell anything I didn’t believe in, and I have been blown away at the attention to detail and passion the whole AR team has.
So how much importance does the venue have in the success of a conference or is it more about the content?
Content will always be important and reason for the conferences, however, for the organiser, delivery of this is key. And so, choosing the right venue is of utmost importance. As the Assembly Rooms was built for the people of Edinburgh, it’s an incredibly ‘user friendly’ space that delegates feel an instant connection with. Content is then delivered with inspirational speakers, fabulous food and slick production. This, paired with our location in the heart of the city centre, means that event planners have an amazing facility to pull off fantastic events.
Location is important as you mention, what are your thoughts on Edinburgh as a conference and events city?
Edinburgh is such a unique destination for conferences and events, and a desirable location to international and local clients alike. With a huge range of conference and banqueting facilities all within walking distance of each other, wide range of accommodation and fantastic transport links from the airport and further afield. Edinburgh is well used to welcoming visitors, and that’s what we do best. Being able to live in a city where you can see a Castle on your daily commute, witness historical events, see once in a lifetime shows at the festivals, makes Edinburgh such an exciting, diverse and intriguing city to host events.
We know you are a bit of a history buff, what do you think of the Assembly Rooms history?
It was the icing on the cake! My interest has always been in Social and Economic history, and the Assembly Rooms is steeped in it. Standing in reception, you really can imagine what it must have felt like to be royalty, sweeping up the staircase, to dance the night away under the glittering chandeliers. What I also find so fascinating that we continue to make history by hosting such amazing events, from Chris Hoy accepting the keys to the city, to our political leaders battling it out about independence on ‘Scotland Debates’.