They gathered together, the great and the good from a cross-section of Scottish society.
The occasion - the official opening of BBC Scotland's gleaming new headquarters, built at a cost of £188m, on the banks of the River Clyde in Glasgow.
Staff lined the passageways on all five floors to listen to the speakers, Sir Michael Lyons, chairman of the BBC Trust; director general Mark Thompson and the guest of honour, Prime Minister Gordon Brown.
Pacific Quay represents a model of what the BBC wants to become... a "test-bed" was how Mark Thompson described it.
New digital production systems turning out more, engaging programmes for radio and television and multimedia content online. New working practices, with teams of journalists and other production staff collaborating more closely, stirring the creative spirit, sparking new ideas.
Openness is a theme of this building (you can see pictures of it here). Even the controller, Ken McQuarrie, sits in the open. In fact, one of the few places where staff can close and lock a door behind them is the unisex toilets (which remain a topic of fairly heated discussion).
Scotland can be an uncomfortable place for London-based BBC executives. The director-general referred to the first time eight years ago when he set foot on the then undeveloped wasteland that was Pacific Quay.
Then, he said, there was a "very lively" debate about broadcasting in Scotland. Today is no different and the themes remain broadly similar, with critics labelling the BBC the "EBC", or "English Broadcasting Corporation".
Devolution - and more significantly, the outcome of May's Scottish Parliament elections - has moved the goalposts. The SNP-led Scottish Government (itself a contentious title) has launched a commission to look into the state of Scottish broadcasting.
At the heart of the debate is the 3% the BBC currently spends in Scotland on producing television programmes which are seen across the entire UK network. First Minister Alex Salmond wants that figure to rise to 9%, which represents the proportion of the UK population in Scotland.
Today, Mark Thompson played the ball back into the politician's court. He told the audience that network deliveries from BBC Scotland "can and must grow to at least its proportion of the UK population".
He referred to this as a "floor, rather than a ceiling", echoing Mr Salmond's own words delivered last month when he announced the commission.
And so the debate goes on.
Whilst today was about looking forward, history was given its due place in the proceedings.
Mark Thompson remarked that the gathering was standing on Prince's Dock, the former name of Pacific Quay. George Reith, grandfather of the BBC's imposing founder John Reith, had been instrumental in the excavation of the dock.
John Reith's daughter Marista was in the audience. In a book about her father, she talked about his "tall ghost" still stalking the corridors of Broadcasting House in London.
Reith's original office table from Savoy Hill has been restored and placed in the controller's area on the third floor of Pacific Quay, prompting the caution that Kenny McQuarrie shouldn't be surprised if he felt a "stooped and vigilant figure looking over his shoulder".
There were nostalgic words too from Gordon Brown. It was only a few yards away, beside the shipyards of Govan, where his father began his Church of Scotland ministry in 1937.
To be present 70 years later at the opening of Pacific Quay was to send out a message of faith in the regeneration of Glasgow, once the "workshop of the world".
So, warm words and high hopes. After the dignitaries have left and Pacific Quay finds its natural rhythm, BBC Scotland's new home will be judged by the output it produces.
It feels a wee bit like we're in a goldfish bowl with the rest of the BBC and licence-fee payers looking in. Now it's down to us to get the best out of our investment.