The Signature Programme will take place over the 17th and 18th March at the iconic EICC in Edinburgh, a fitting platform to celebrate a unique Focus Year, Scotland’s Year of Architecture, Innovation and Design and the perfect host for our two day industry event.

Guest lectures, forums, panel sessions, exhibitions, a business breakfast and of course, the final of the Scottish Thistle Awards will fill a ‘not to be missed’ two days and draw a conclusion to Scottish Tourism Week 2016.


fraser-dohertyDay One - Thursday 17th March

The STA business conference will take place over the course of the afternoon, hosted by broadcaster Stephen Jardine.

Our first Keynote Speaker, Canadian author, entrepreneur and media personality Stuart Knight will take to the stage to deliver ‘The Art of Powerful Conversation’ which we guarantee will leave you feeling more interesting, important and appreciated (if you weren’t feeling that way already!).

Next up is Stephen Leckie, Chair of the Scottish Tourism Alliance who will deliver the all important TS2020 update ‘Staying on Track’ with the Tourism Leadership Group.  

You’ll then have the opportunity to try out your new ‘powerful conversation’ skills over the networking break before returning for the ‘Changing Tastes of Tourism’ panel session.  Moderated by Stephen Jardine, the panel will share insights from various tourism sectors on how we can deliver quality, authentic experiences, retain our status and grow.

We’ll keep you riding high with the our next Keynote Speaker, ‘JamBoy’ and one of the best speakers around, Fraser Doherty, the man behind SuperJam with his entertaining, thoughtful and powerful talk about turning the ordinary into extraordinary!  

The event will then close with the Dinner with a Difference and Parliamentary Reception taking place at the EICC from 18.30 – 21.00.

YoDay Two - Friday 18th March

Day two kicks off with the Ministerial Address from Fergus Ewing MSP, Minister for Business, Energy and Tourism before passing to Dr Mike Cantlay who will offer his final thoughts and reflections on the industry and his time in post as Chair of VisitScotland.

Mid-morning Stephen Leckie, Chair of the STA will introduce our first panel session of the day -  ‘The Future, Competing to Win’ looking at how Scottish tourism can become more competitive at a local and policy level.  Panel members include Bernard Donoghue – CEO of the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions and Chair of the Tourism Alliance, Ufi Ibrahim CEO of The British Hospitality Association and Paul Gallagher, Chair of the Irish Tourist Industry Confederation.  

A networking break will follow before the final morning session ‘Selling Scotland in a Digital World’, introduced by Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland, who will first Demystify Digital. Charlie Smith will chair conversations with expert panellists from Google, The Guardian, ScotRail and GCMB.  

Lunchtime break will give you the opportunity to attend a networking lunch and series of special EventIt workshops before Marc Crothall gives us a ‘Wee Kick Start’ into the afternoon sessions.

Once we’re kick started and ‘up’, we’ll be moving straight into our very first totally interactive session, reflecting the theme of Scottish Tourism Week with an invigorating, inspiring, impressively techy (in a non-scary way), motivating session, 'Microsoft Connecting 2020 Challenge' which we promise will leave you feeling totally ‘connected’ (honestly, we're not going to tie you all up together, even if you wanted us to.... we will reveal all in next week’s Pulse!). 

Keeping the momentum going, we’re then ‘Flying into the Future’ which Sophie Dekkers, UK Director of EasyJet exploring how we can embrace the future through innovation. 

Continuing the theme of innovation (amongst many others..), we move into the final session of the day, ‘YO! An Audience with Simon Woodroffe, which we guarantee will be one of the most thought re-defining Q & A sessions you will ever attend.  We close the event and round Tourism Week 2016 off with the annual Thistle Awards which will take place at the EICC.


View the Signature Programme here