AECC Work with RGU to Promote a Future in Business Tourism

Hannah Mitchell – Placement student from RGU at AECC

Two leading North-east establishments have been working together to broaden the knowledge of passionate students looking to pursue a career in tourism.

The partnership between Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre (AECC) and Robert Gordon University (RGU) has grown vastly over the past year to ensure students can gain knowledge of the business tourism industry in Aberdeen as well as experience first-hand the workings of a busy events venue.

Working with RGU’s School of Creative and Cultural Business AECC welcomed Hannah Mitchell, a third year International Tourism Management student, on a one-year placement at the venue in the role of Sales Researcher. Hannah has been focusing on the national and international associations market to help successfully identify potential conferences to bring to the city. Working in this industry has given her the opportunity to take part in international meetings including the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) annual meeting in Norway.

AECC and RGU have recently developed ‘day placements’ which allow third year students to gain industry knowledge by shadowing members of AECC staff for the day and getting hands on experience. Scott Glennie was the first student to join the team at AECC on Monday 27th March working alongside AECC’s Associations Sales Manager, Steven Daun, to gain valuable insight into the business tourism industry in the North-east and the management required to bring conferences and events to the region.

For a number of years, AECC have been working closely with RGU Hospitality, Tourism and Events Subject Leader, Craig Leith to maximise the opportunities for students which has seen numerous student visits from RGU to AECC. On these visits, members of AECC staff from the Sales, Events, Exhibitions and Marketing departments share their professional experience with the Event Management and Tourism students, answering any questions they may have about the industry.

As well as working to improve knowledge and understanding of business tourism in Aberdeen, AECC and RGU also work together on topic suggestions for student-led research projects. This allows students to hear, first hand, what research is needed in the industry and give the students opportunities to explore this for their final research projects, whilst giving AECC an insight into their findings.

AECC and RGU continue to work together on many aspects of the business tourism industry which includes working with academics and professors from RGU to explore the opportunity for them to bring a national or international association conference to the city. Through this partnership, they can continue to showcase the leading research which is taking place in the city.

Craig Leith commented, “The genuine interest that AECC have shown in our students over the last few years has been greatly appreciated by myself and my colleagues. It provides invaluable industry insight to our students across the hospitality, tourism and events courses in The School of Creative and Cultural Business. We currently have a group of passionate, knowledgeable and award winning students, so this developing relationship has clear benefits for RGU, our students and AECC. I am excited to see how our relationship develops further in the months and years ahead as the AECC  and the recently launched new School of Creative and Cultural Business both grow and prosper.”

Associations Sales Manager at AECC, Steven Daun said, “It’s fantastic to have the opportunity to work so closely with RGU. It’s important to us to share industry knowledge with the students and highlight the business tourism industry in the region as an option for them to explore on completion of their studies. Our continued partnership with RGU allows us to maintain a platform to showcase all of the leading research which is taking place in the region whilst ensuring the industry will continue to boom in years to come.”

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