STUDY TOUR FEATURING THREE GLASGOW TUCO MEMBER - BEHIND THE SCENES WITH LUCY ALLINSON
Lucy Allinson, Sales and Events Co-ordinator at Fitz Events was one of 13 delegates from seven universities across the UK given the opportunity to go “behind the scenes” and explore three of Glasgow’s main institutions: University of Glasgow, the University of Strathclyde and City of Glasgow College. The three-day, two-night Study Tour encompassed all aspects of conferencing and events management, with each establishment giving an introductory presentation, followed by a tour of their facilities and hosting either a lunch or dinner. Like so many from the group, Lucy found the Study Tour very interesting and illuminating and was keen to share her experience with her colleagues.
It was great to see how other universities operate, especially on such a large scale. It was a pleasure to be shown around the University of Glasgow as it is so beautiful, and they have some great spaces to work with for conferences and events. In particular, the Hunterian Museum, Scotland’s oldest public museum, provides an ideal setting for a drinks reception. The conference team at the university were very hospitable and it was interesting to hear the ways in which they create additional revenue. Filming is a good source of income, and areas such as The Cloisters are used for many TV series, including Outlander.
However, there is quite a stark contrast between the “Potter-esque” and quaint buildings of the University of Glasgow and the ultra-modern Technology and Innovation Centre (TIC) at the University of Strathclyde.
The team at Strathclyde shared ideas on how they run their conferencing team, providing insight into its team structure. The emphasis was very much on its in-house catering brand Nourish. It opts to provide a high quality and variety of fresh produce, changing menus every few months rather than the usual seasonal menus, as well as keeping some of the more popular dishes on the menu.
The tour of their conference centre included the main Auditorium with its clever and innovative system of movable walls and electronic partitions, which can divide the tiered section into three entirely separate locations, each having its own access and foyer.
Being part of this tour with colleagues from other institutions gave us a great opportunity to network and to get an insight into similar challenges that face us, specifically where a fine balance is required to manage both internal University events with those external commercial events. It was an extremely interesting tour and I went away with lots of ideas and enthusiasm.