The main international meeting for place branding practitioners
For those passionated for the practice of place branding, we are now approaching the 2nd edition of the highly-expected City Nation Place 2016 conference. City Nation Place has established itself over the last years as a major think-thank and hub, especially for professionals responsible for building, developing and communicating place brands to attract talent, tourism, trade and investment.
Last year's edition was a great opportunity to share and learn valuable knowledge from high-level delegates (read my feedback) : interactive workshop, high-class organization and speakers, relevant topics discussed, stimulating debates, and mostly a truly international and vibrant community of place branding thinkers and doers (see the attendees for 2016). But, the format of this coming edition sounds even more promising. Above all, It provides much more room for workshop sessions, allowing place brand practitioners to concentrate on their priority challenges : inspirational ideas for using social media, leveraging a place's hidden branding opportunities (hosted by Jeremy Hildreth, the "Indiana Jones" of place branding ! ), best practice location marketing for FDI and economic development, hands-on place brand management for cities and regions, user experience in tourism, engaging the locals, joined up thinking for place making and place branding (Malcom Allan will present the Experience Masterplan approach).
Other interesting plenary sessions include : Amsterdam and New York jointly sharing their insights on their successful marketing strategies, how to deal with place branding in challenging times (think of the impact of recent geopolitical earthquakes), the showcasing of the inspiring Nation brand Luxembourg, setting up the right KPIs to assess and drive place brands, and a panel on the issue of coo-petition among various place brand layers (cities, regions, nations).
The preconference afternoon working session, hosted by Keith Dinnie, key author on place branding, will address some major challenges regularly faced by practitioners such as sound multi-stakeholder management and the process of deciding when the time is right to evolve a place brand.
On top of that, Charles Laundry, an international authority on urban development as well as one of the first having conceptualized the Creative City, will host the closing keynote, on the Digitized City and the Future of Place.
I will be there as a critical observer and contributor to the paramount issues, last trends and practices in the place branding area, that will be debated over these two days.
The CNP 2016 conference takes place in London on the 9th and 10th of November.