Governments talk ‘place branding’ strategies

Organisers of a new conference exploring how cities and regions are telling their story to attract business and visitors have opened a call for papers.

The inaugural Place Branding Australia conference, hosted by Government News, will bring together government leaders and industry practitioners to discuss and develop our understanding and practice of place branding.

“With a rapidly changing global economy, populations with ever shifting demographics, and continued pressure on our natural resources, Australia’s cities, regions and towns are presented with an unprecedented opportunity to shape and define their future,” says Mark Kuban, publisher of Government News.

“This backdrop brings to the fore the importance of how places tell their story to the world – the compelling narrative that attracts the businesses, residents and visitors that make a place flourish and grow. This conference will explore place branding and its effects on the economic and social well-being of a community,” Mr Kuban said.

Conference curator Stu Speirs, who is director of Silver Lining Strategy, a tourism and major events strategy and evaluation specialist firm, said that governments need to discuss the balance between delivering today for ratepayers versus investing in a town or region’s future.

“The pressure on primary industries including agriculture and mining mean that regional Australian towns in particular need to push their thinking about what the future of their towns looks like,” Mr Speirs said.

As taking a town in a renewed direction requires time and commitment, it’s important to learn from public bodies that have successfully created and implemented a plan, he said.

Mr Speirs added:

“Many of our speakers will be taking us through the journey they’ve been on and what they have learnt along the way.”

The conference will incorporate case studies that demonstrate actionable learnings in place branding and related fields including urban planning, destination marketing and town and city branding.

To be held in Sydney on 4 June 2019, the conference organisers Interpoint Events invite abstracts from industry practitioners, civic leaders and academics for inclusion in the conference program.

Any place branding-related submissions are welcome but the organisers are particularly interested in contributions that address:

  • Urban design and planning – ensuring the experience matches the marketing
  • Immigrant communities and their influence on a community’s brand and identity
  • “Rust belt to renegade” – the opportunity presented by the decline of primary industry
  • “Beautiful or bogus” – the impact of gentrification on historic precincts
  • Grounding a place branding strategy in data
  • Neighbouring towns and regions – partner or competitor?
  • Cultural institutions and precincts, and their impact upon a city’s brand
  • The role of major events in shaping a town’s image
  • What’s in a label? The value of being crowned a “liveable” town

The deadline for submissions has been extended and is now 5pm, Thursday 13 December.

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