Lesley Williams

Lesley Williams

Lesley’s career in the hospitality sector began with business development roles for international hotel chains and prestigious caterers. Her passion for business events started when she joined the Edinburgh International Conference Centre (EICC) in 2000 as Director of Sales, with a remit to take the EICC into operational profit in 2003 through the development of key international and national association and corporate business.

Following eight years at the EICC, Lesley joined Marketing Edinburgh as Head of Business Tourism, where her key focus was sourcing and bidding for international and national conferences and events for the city.

In January 2020, she was appointed Managing Director for the BestCities Global Alliance, which is managed by GainingEdge, following three years as Director, Market Development.

Lesley participates fully in the wider tourism arena, is a past Chair of ICCA UK and Ireland Chapter and a huge advocate for impact and the beyond tourism benefits generated by business events. When not advocating for impact through business events, Lesley supports and mentors young people looking to develop their careers in the business events industry.

Based in Scotland, Lesley continues to support the local industry to raise the profile of Scotland as a world leading conference destination. She has delivered on a number of local and national projects including a series of workshops for VisitBritain’s Business Events Programme (2018-2020). She also sits as a Director and Trustee of the Royal Yacht Britannia.

In her spare time, Lesley likes to get away to enjoy the tranquillity of the Scottish countryside –fresh air, long walks, good food and of course, fine wine!