The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organistions (SCVO) organises between 60 and 100 conferences and events each year, but ‘The Gathering’ is the one everyone talks about, according to SCVO Events and Training Manager, Alex Thomson.

The two-day event, which has been a regular fixture at the SECC since 2004 and is holding dates until 2018, has its origins in 2003 when 300 delegates and 50 exhibitors gathered in Edinburgh for an SCVO AGM. Twelve years later and following a short run in Edinburgh, the event has grown to become the largest third sector event in Britain.

Alex speaks with understandable pride of the 3,413 delegates who attended the 2016 conference together with 110 exhibitors.

He says, “The SECC has worked brilliantly for us. We use the Loch Suite for plenaries, workshops and break-out sessions and our exhibition is right across the concourse in Hall 5, so there’s a natural flow from one to the other which our exhibitors love.”

“The SECC has everything we need”

Alex adds that his counterparts in England, Ireland and Wales marvel at the event’s success, which has never been replicated elsewhere in the UK.

He continues, "We get feedback from delegates that they just love the SECC’s location, as it’s both easy to get to from anywhere in Scotland and provides easy access to Glasgow’s attractions. And the mobility service, which transfers delegates with limited mobility from the car park to the venue, is also a big hit.

“There’s a great spirit of cooperation at the event – between the venue and ourselves and between the city and our delegates – and returning to Glasgow feels like meeting old friends.”

Alex is also impressed with the range of excellent accommodation available on site, or just across the river at Pacific Quay. He says simply, “The SECC has everything we need.”

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