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SECC becomes world’s first ‘healthy venue’

The Glasgow venue, which includes the SSE Hydro Arena, has "worked tirelessly to meet the strict criteria of the accreditation" by the World Obesity Federation

By IQ on 15 Feb 2016

SSE Hydro, SECC, Glasgow, Keith Edkins

The SSE Hydro Arena at the SECC, Glasgow


image © Keith Edkins

The Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre (SECC) in Glasgow has become the first venue in the world to be accredited under the World Obesity Federation’s Healthy Venue Awards programme.

The Healthy Venues Award is part of the World Obesity Federation’s Action Initiative, which seeks to “stimulate and support practical actions that will help people achieve and maintain a healthy weight and reverse the global obesity crisis”. The award focuses on steps that venues can take to support healthy eating and to encourage more activity.

“We are all so enthusiastic about this initiative, and I am thrilled to see the team’s hard work recognised by becoming the first officially accredited healthy conference venue in the world,” says the SECC’s director of conference sales, Kathleen Warden. “We have very much enjoyed being a key partner to World Obesity in promoting healthy choices for delegates and other people in the meetings and events industry.

“It’s all about looking holistically at the attendee experience, from healthy meals through to encouraging people to use the stairs rather than lifts. As a leading international venue, we believe we have a significant role to play in working with our clients to create healthy legacies which not only benefit conference participants and the local community, but an entire sector and generation.”

Investments made by the SECC include a partnership with Nextbike to provide free bikes to conference delegates and free packages of fresh fruit, juice and water for event organisers

Investments made by the SECC to support a healthier event experience for delegates include the establishment of a ‘healthy venue taskforce’; a partnership with Nextbike to provide free bikes to conference delegates; digital signs encouraging delegates to use the stairs or stand to applause in sessions; access to route maps promoting walking, cycling, running and local health clubs; a staff pedometer challenge; offering low-fat, low-sugar and low-alcohol menu options through on-site caterer Levy Restaurants; and free packages of fresh fruit, juice and water for event organisers.

Chris Trimmer, CEO of the World Obesity Federation, comments: “The Healthy Venues Award was conceived to help combat the unhealthiness of meetings and conferences and the impact these can have on people’s lives. It is broken down into three components – workplace health, healthy catering and promoting activity – and is awarded at three levels, bronze, silver and gold.

“For anything like this to succeed it needs someone to take the first step, and we are extremely pleased SECC took that challenge. They have worked tirelessly to meet the strict criteria of the accreditation and we congratulate them for achieving silver status. […] Having SECC as an ambassador for Healthy Venues will show other exhibition and conference providers that the healthy choice is the right choice.”

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