Conference Report: 2nd Conference of the International Place Branding Association

by Dr Heather Skinner*

Conference Report

2nd Conference of the International Place Branding Association

5-9th December 2017

Marriott Hotel, Swansea, UK

Hosted by Swansea University, the 2nd Conference of the International Place Branding Association (IPBA) attracted place branding academics and practitioners from around the globe.

For me it was not only a great opportunity to return to my home country, Wales, but also a great opportunity to catch up with colleagues Renaud Vuignier, Viriya Taecharungroj, Laura Reynolds and Eli Avraham who have previously attended the Corfu Symposium on Managing & Marketing Places.

Following the Doctoral Colloquium that was held on the first day, the main two-day conference event opened with a keynote presentation by Mari Stevens, Director of Marketing, Tourism and Business, Welsh Government, discussing the challenges of developing Wales Brand Cymru. Other keynotes presented the marketing of Amsterdam by Geerte Udo, and the ubiquitous nature of the sharing economy, by Manolis Psarros, Managing Director at TOPOSOPHY.

A number of IPM members were in attendance presenting their research in the more traditional conference presentation format, including my own presentation of the paper “Who really creates the place brand? Considering the role of tourist created content in creating and communicating a place identity” that focused on providing contemporary insights into tourists’ contributions to the creation of a place identity, more usually perceived as being in the domain of those responsible for the place brand process.

However, at this 2nd IPBA conference there was also an innovative ‘art gallery’, curated by Dr Massimo Giovanardi, where sessions were performed and presented through artistic interpretations.

The final keynote of the conference was delivered by Don Dioko, Professor and Director, International Tourism Research Centre of Macau at Institute for Tourism Studies, Macau, where the 3rd IPBA conference will be held 5-7 December 2018.

The International Place Branding Association (est. 2015) – is a non-profit independent association of academics and professionals involved or interested in the principles and practices of brand development and brand management for places (cities, regions, nations and destinations). More information about the IPBA can be found on their website.

*Dr Heather Skinner, Chair: IPM Visiting Places Special Interest Group