Profit rises

Team togetherness propels EICC to record year

EICC enjoyed record profit and revenue

Keeping its sales team together during the Covid pandemic helped Edinburgh International Conference Centre (EICC) hit the ground running when restrictions were lifted, according to its chief executive.

Marshall Dallas said the decision proved to be key to the EICC’s performance as it reported record-breaking results.

His comments came as the facility reported a profit of £2.6 million for the year to the end of December, up from £699,000 in 2022, on revenue of £12.8m from £11.8m.

Mr Dallas said: “We kept our sales team intact throughout the pandemic, which in retrospect was integral to our revenue performance last year because we were able to hit the ground running post-pandemic.”  

The economic impact figure, which relates to the direct benefit of conferences and events taking place at the EICC to Edinburgh and the surrounding region, totalled £58m [2022: £51.9m].  Total economic impact since the EICC opened its doors in 1995 is now at approximately £850m. 

The venue hosted over 132,000 delegates and visitors during the year [2022: 72,000], with 18 international associations holding major conferences at the EICC.  

Global Equity Organisation’s 24th annual conference in April, the 15th World Congress on Endometriosis in May, and HYDRO 2023 in October were among the international association conferences.

Mr Dallas added: “Holding large international association conferences is a significant part of our raison d’être, and in the current year we already have 21 international conferences confirmed to take place, so that’s a really encouraging number for us and for business tourism in general in Edinburgh and Scotland.”

Two of the major international association conferences taking place this year are the World Congress on Controversies in Breast Cancer in September, and the 36th International Papillomavirus Conference in November.

Having been Edinburgh’s main vaccination centre throughout 2021, in partnership with NHS Lothian, the EICC recently hosted the three-week Scottish COVID-19 Inquiry, which Marshall Dallas says is a sign of how the venue has come full circle since the onset of the pandemic: 

“After closing our doors in March 2020, we pivoted to become the city’s main vaccination centre the following year, and it felt fitting to have the recent Covid inquiry here in the same building. In addition to being a commercial enterprise, hosting events of this nature fulfils our triple bottom line objectives of having a strong economic value, leading the way in sustainability, and positively impacting societal matters.”

In December, the EICC announced a string of major conference wins over the next three years that will equate to its strongest ever pipeline of events business.  The 40 conferences and events will bring around 20,000 delegates to Edinburgh and the EICC and translate to around £32 million of economic impact.

The EICC opened its doors to the Edinburgh Festival for the 20th time in 2023. 

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