Though most people associate it as the destination for the International Fringe Festival; Scotland’s capital has a whole host of offerings for incentives and events, as this unique arts focused city is also a hub for finance, technology and entrepreneurs. On a recent FAM trip we got to explore Edinburgh and find some hidden gems that make it an exciting place for delegates. Here are our key takeaways from the trip…
Easy travel from London
Edinburgh no longer feels a million miles away from London or inaccessible to the south of England. We reached Scotland’s capital in a mere 4 hours on the LNER train running from Kings Cross to Edinburgh, travelling in a very stylish first-class carriage.
The train as a whole is a really comfortable way of getting into Edinburgh, that feels a little more relaxed than flying and definitely less stressful than driving. That being said if time saving is a priority for you, a nonstop flight from Birmingham or London airports takes around 1 hour 20 – so even more time to explore.
A truly authentic capital
As well as being a UNSECO world heritage site, Edinburgh has a thriving art scene filled with a café culture and young creative feel. The city appreciates small independent businesses and it’s clear how hosting the fringe festival year on year has added to the artistic vibrancy of this capital. This makes it the perfect place for events that want to encourage and creatively drive delegates as you can’t help but feel inspired by the city and its people.
It can also accommodate for large delegate numbers and there are some beautiful spaces available for events. The National Museum of Scotland can hold up to 1500 delegates and has an impressive turnaround time from the museum closing to your event beginning. You could also go to the likes of the EICC (Edinburgh International Conference Centre) which can host up to 2000 people. With 17 breakout rooms that fit to all sorts of event styles , plus top of the line event technology in each – the EICC is a great and versatile option to consider.
Edinburgh also has some fantastic creative ideas for things as simple as moving your audience from one place to another. Silent Adventures lead you in silent disco style song and dance around the beautiful streets and bring out your inner child as you serenade the rest of the city. It’s a fantastic way to get a group from A – B whilst giving them an experience to remember.
We found some hotel spaces that felt as though they were designed for events, these were our favourites…
The Edinburgh Grand.
This ultimate ‘home from home’ aparthotel accommodation is perfect for your crew rooms. There is fantastic space available that can accommodate up to 6 people in one penthouse and the lavish modern interior really makes this place a hidden gem in the heart of the city.
The Sheraton Grand.
With over 250 rooms this luxurious hotel is perfect for delegates. Sporting a brilliant view of Edinburgh castle, you couldn’t be closer to all of the action in this relaxed Scottish-style hotel that features a spa, 14 function rooms and a contemporary on-site brasserie.
The Kimpton Charlotte Square features old worldly décor that makes it feel homely and traditional. It boasts one of the prettiest indoor gardens in the city and having recently undergone a multi-million restoration and refurbishment, the hotel couldn’t be in a better position to take guests.
If you want somewhere that can host a miniature highland games by day whilst eating at a Michelin star restaurant by night – Edinburgh is definitely a place to consider. The combination of modern ideas in an old worldly city makes it an amazing destination for a manner of event and incentives that want to give an audience an experience they won’t forget. We’ve rounded up our experience with these top tips, but if you want us to help you find your perfect space in Edinburgh – get in touch!
- Avoid the busy periods – unless you’re going specifically for the fringe or Christmas markets, try and go out of the busy season
- Explore more than just the castle and make sure you see Edinburgh’s hidden gems like Edinburgh Gin Distillery and Dean Village
- Make an event out of the sunset on top of Calton Hill – it’s one of the best golden hours you’ll ever see over a city landscape
- Book ahead – even out of season Edinburgh’s one of the busiest cities to visit and the rooms get snapped up fast