Edinburgh International Conference Centre

A large plenary session in the Pentland Auditorium, Edinburgh International Conference Centre.

The world-class Edinburgh International Conference Centre needs bigger and better facilities to satisfy the demanding 21st-century market.

Major conference/exhibition/convention centres are seldom commercially viable in their own right: their economic justification comes from the people and organisations they attract to their cities.

The shareholder, Edinburgh City Council, faced the choice of making a large investment in the city's future status as a favoured location for inter­national conferences, or losing out to newer or better-equipped competitors.

In 2009 the Council commissioned Locum Consulting to validate the business case for the proposed enlargement of the EICC. This was near the beginning of the "Great Recession" and market and financial forecasting over 30 years was therefore particularly challenging.

In response to this I reverse-engineered the financial projections in the business case and created a new computer model which allowed for comparison of multiple market and price scenarios for emergence from recession and the longer term. Price indexes for different cost lines (e.g. energy and employment costs) were separated out, as were the prices for hosting different kinds of event.

Detailed examination of these scenarios with the client increased confidence in the business case's financial projections. Meanwhile, a "destination audit" of the EICC and detailed discussions with its management gave confidence that the organisation would respond well to changing conditions and new market opportunities.

Construction of the EICC Expansion Space began in 2010 and it is scheduled to open in Spring 2013.