North Hop Launches New Festival for Scottish Spirits

Organisers of the popular North Hop festivals and events have launched an exciting new festival for its fans celebrating Spirits from across Scotland.

The inaugural ‘Spirit of North Hop’ launches in Aberdeen on Saturday 28th October at Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre, where the previous two North Hop Aberdeen festivals have been held.

The one-day festival will host two sessions featuring special ‘Spiritual Sessions’ offering the chance to meet the distillers and learn more about how the products are made and the stories behind them. The distilleries attending will be showcasing the latest trends in gin, whisky, vodka, rum, tequila and liqueurs, letting revellers discover some brand new distilleries and re-visit favourite ones whilst soaking up a festival atmosphere. Each distillery will be serving up samples, perfect serves and cocktails. There will also be street food vendors, a prosecco bar and a North Hop Bar with craft beer, cider, soft drinks and guest spirits, along with local DJ’s on across the sessions setting the vibe.

North Hop, was created by marketing professional Michelle Russell through a love of craft beer and gin and the realisation that awareness needed to be raised for the growing craft drinks industry. North Hop has since put Scotland firmly on the craft drinks map through a series of festivals and events across Scotland including Aberdeen, Inverness, Aviemore, Glasgow and Edinburgh welcoming more than 10,000 fellow craft drink fans.

North Hop founder Michelle Russell, said, “I have seen a massive growth in the Scottish spirits industry over the last few years and although gin went through a big popularity phase vodka, rum and liqueurs are all now making a big impact. Whisky is also giving gin a run for its money with new-make spirits and an increase in popular whisky based cocktails. And with the recent launch of Scotland’s first Tequila brand now seemed the perfect time to celebrate Scottish spirits, the North Hop way!”

Senior Sales Manager at AECC, Anna Mackenzie said, “We’ve watched North Hop grow in popularity and noticed how they’ve really made their mark in the city so the launch of Spirit of North Hop is another great addition to the festival calendar for the city. It will offer fans of Scottish food and drink a different dynamic whilst allowing them to find a new love within the array of Scottish spirits that the region has to offer. Aberdonians are rightly proud of the fantastic food and drink that is produced locally and we are sure they will turn out in their numbers to make the first ever Spirit of North Hop a huge success.”

Tickets are on sale now from ticketmaster.

More event info here

Picture Caption (L-R): Spirit of North Hop and North Hop Founder Michelle Russell with AECC Director of Sales and Marketing Louise Stewart.


Royal Approval for Scottish Home Show

The Scottish Home Show team is delighted to announce award-winning home-builder Dandara will once again be headline sponsor for the upcoming event at Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre.
This will be the fifth year that Dandara has supported the event, with the premium developer also taking a stand in the heart of the exhibition.

Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband has also been announced as a show partner for 2017. The team will be at the show to advise the public if they can get fibre broadband in their area and how to sign up with a service provider.

This year’s show will bring you an all new zone, and the first of its kind in Scotland, The Royal Warrant Zone. The zone will include some well known and iconic British brands who have received a Royal Warrant of Appointment.

This is a mark of recognition of those who have supplied goods or services to the Households of HM The Queen, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh or HRH The Prince of Wales for at least five years. Royal Warrant exhibitors currently include: Balgownie Limited, Bell Decorating Group, Glencraft, Howdens Joinery, Roy Cowie Landscaping, Stagecoach and Walkers Shortbread Ltd.

Other highlights at this year’s show will include The Scottish Home Show’s own version of ‘Saturday Kitchen’ hosted by Kevin Shand and supported by Aberdeen’s own “Kilted Chef” Craig Wilson along with our new ‘Food Street’ a redesigned Food & Drink area of the show.

The Scottish Home Show was acquired by SHS Exhibitions Ltd in November 2016. New managing director, Allison Walker said: “I am delighted that Dandara have come on board as our headline sponsor. To again have the support of such a successful national property developer demonstrates the value of the show to the local community. We have a lot planned for this year’s show and some fantastic ticket offers throughout September.”

Peter Best, sales manager for Dandara in Aberdeen, says: “Whether you’re thinking about making a move or looking to update your current home, the Scottish Home Show has everything to inspire and educate you under the one roof.

“Dandara is pleased to continue its support for this fantastic event and our sales team are looking forward to welcoming visitors to our stand where they can find out more about the ‘Dandara difference’ and our stunning new homes in developments throughout Aberdeen.”

The sixth annual Scottish Home Show will take place at the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre from Friday, September 29, to Sunday, October 1, 2017. The show will be opened by Lord Provost, Councillor Barney Crockett, at 12pm on Friday, September 29.

Tickets can be bought from Ticketmaster

Picture Caption (L-R): Allison Walker of Scottish Home Show, Peter Best of Dandara and Louise Stewart of AECC,
Picture by Michal Wachucik/Abermedia

AECC Partner with RGU to Showcase Emerging Artists

The work of two locally based photographers has been unveiled today at Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre (AECC).  This comes as part of a collaborative project between the venue and the city’s Robert Gordon University (RGU).

Earlier this year AECC’s Director of Operations and Safety, Fiona Mann, challenged Commercial Photography students at RGU’s Gray’s School of Art with a brief to revamp artwork in the venue with images portraying the unique architecture and stunning scenery found in Aberdeen and its surrounding areas.  This project formed part of the students’ final year submission project.

After initially looking for the work of one artist, the high calibre of work and understanding shown in the submissions meant that two winners were chosen to display their work within the concourse area at the venue.

“The AECC were looking to inject a ‘feel’ for Aberdeen into their venue and this provided a perfect opportunity for us at the BA Commercial Photography course at Gray’s School of Art to get involved. The students on the course all tackled the project to produce images that summed up Aberdeen for them and a number were selected by the team at AECC to provide images for production. The collaboration with AECC has been a very positive experience and the students have benefitted from a live project which has inspired and developed their professional skills in client liaison,” said Mick Eason, Course Leader, BA Commercial Photography, Gray’s School of Art.

Fiona Mann, Director of Operations and Safety at AECC commented: “This was a fantastic project to be involved with; giving local students the opportunity to have their work displayed in a venue which is about to welcome 50,000 visitors next week at Offshore Europe. It also gives our visitors a sense of Aberdeen and its surrounding areas, inspiring them to make more of their visit to the city.

“We greatly value the partnership work we do with the universities in the area. The work submitted was of a high quality and we had a difficult time selecting the winner.  We felt the work of Elaine and Evelina really stood out – in fulfilling the brief, incorporating AECC branding elements into their shots and managing to evoke a strong sense of place.  We can’t wait to see our visitors’ reaction to the display.”



Image: Mick Eason, Course Leader, BA Commercial Photography, Gray’s School of Art and Lainey Macleod, Gray’s School of Art Graduate (2017), view Facebook Page 





OE Travel Info

Below is a full list of all temporary traffic management measures surrounding the AECC site; which will be in place from 08:00 on 2nd September until 22:00 on 9th September

  • One-way system on Claymore Drive; travelling clockwise
  • One-way system on Exploration Drive, between the eastern junction with Claymore Drive and Technology Park Roundabout; travelling westbound
  • Conference Way closed to vehicles with the exception of taxis and authorised vehicles
  • Bus lanes suspended on Parkway East from Exhibition Avenue to Ellon Road, and on the A90 Ellon Road, approaching Parkway East
  • No loading or unloading at any time on Exhibition Avenue, Parkway East and the east side of Ellon Road, between its junctions with Parkway East and King Robert’s Way.
  • No waiting at any time on King Robert’s Way, King Robert’s Place and Morrison Croft
  • No waiting on the grass verge between Intown Road and Ellon Road, or on the grass verge between Intown Road and The Parkway.
  • No right turn from Ellon Road into Links Road
  • No right turn from Ellon Road into Hutcheon Gardens,
  • No right turn from Hutcheon Gardens into Ellon Road
  • No waiting at any time on the south and west sides of the Beach Esplanade, between Ellon Road and Accommodation Road, and at bus stops on the north and east side of the Esplanade
  • The Esplanade’s width restriction will be suspended

Free shuttle buses will be running to and from the event from key locations all over Aberdeen including key hotels, oil companies, Aberdeen International Airport, Aberdeen City Centre and Park and Ride stops. Information and full timetable can be found here 

The Park and Ride X40 service from First Bus will operate as normal, with reduced parking on-site (on a first-come-first-served basis) for customers travel from AECC into the city centre.

A taxi rank is located outside the Holiday Inn, adjacent to AECC – this is the only location permitted for drop-off and pick-up. Taxis can be pre-booked from the taxi desk located inside the main AECC building.

A limited amount of parking is available on site in car park 1, 7 and 10 on a “first-come” basis. Visitors are advised to share vehicles or use the free shuttle bus wherever possible. All car parks close at 7pm each evening throughout the duration of the show and parking is only permitted in designated parking spaces. Penalties will apply for parking in unauthorised locations including on the road or verges surrounding the site. Please click here for more information on travelling to AECC by car.

Disabled parking is available for blue badge holders only in gates 3, 4 and 6 – adjacent to the Exhibition entrance. Please display your blue badge on approach to the site to be guided to the correct parking area.


Click here to download venue map as a printable pdf


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Life Science and Biotechnology Communities Head for Aberdeen

Next month the International Conference on Natural Product Biotechnology (ICNPB) will be held at Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre (AECC) in collaboration with the major International Conference on the Mechanism of Action of Nutraceuticals (ICMAN) and the International Union of Basic and Clinical Pharmacology (IUPHAR) Natural Products Section joint conference.

ICNPB takes place on 25th and 26th September, before ICMAN-IUPHAR on 27th – 29th, these conferences will bring together the life science and biotechnology communities to discuss natural resources, sustainable ingredients and ways of using them to produce nutraceuticals and  pharmaceutical ingredients.

Conference director, Jim Brown said: “We are looking forward to a fantastic week at the AECC, learning about the great science that’s going on is this field. It’s an area where Scotland has great strengths, with some really innovative businesses drawing on our marine and agri-food resources, coupled with the real depth of expertise and knowledge embedded in our research networks.

“ICNPB is a home-grown conference – it started off as Natural Products Scotland – but our remit now covers the whole chain of identifying valuable compounds in nature, and the sustainability of the processes to convert them into useful products. The circular economy is increasingly important too, as is maximising the potential value from waste streams, and I think that’ll emerge as a key theme this year.

The varied programme includes sessions from Dr Charlie Bavington, Founder of Glycomar, a specialist in marine natural products; Ross Campbell, founder of Cybercolloids, who has been involved with the research, product and business development of polymers; Prof Ian Graham, Leader of the High Value Products from Plants Network; and Prof Colin Campbell, Chief Executive of the James Hutton Institute, who specialises in soil microbiology, soil science and sustainable development.

Professor Campbell said: “The SEFARI collective, of which the James Hutton Institute is part, is delighted to support this conference. The work of Scotland’s research institutes drives innovation across the agri-food and other sectors in the Scottish economy, and I look forward to sharing success stories at the conference”.

The conference benefitted from subvention funding from VisitAberdeenshire, which helped secure the conference for the city.  Jenni Fraser, Business Development Director of VisitAberdeenshire said: “For Aberdeen to have attracted three globally renowned conferences shows real confidence in the region. Hosting association congress like this generates significant income to the area, and the Natural Products Biotechnology conference alone will generate over £200,000 for the local economy through hotel bed nights, restaurants and other visitor attractions. We are looking forward to welcoming the conference and delegates to Aberdeen.” 

Steven Daun, Associations Sales Manager at AECC commented: “We are delighted to be hosting this event in Aberdeen; showcasing the world class research that takes place in the city and the wealth of life science knowledge that we have here in Scotland. With ICNPB being held in conjunction with ICMAN-IUPHAR, delegates can benefit from attending both events with one visit.



Further information:

Find out more about the programme and how to register at – for information about exhibiting or sponsoring, or for general queries, you can contact the conference team at


Notes to Editors:

SEFARI (Scottish Environment, Food and Agriculture Research Institutes) is the collective of Moredun Research Institute, Scotland’s Rural College, The Rowett institute, Biomathematics and Statistics Scotland, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh and The James Hutton Institute.

To register for the event, or for more information, visit