• Transform magazine
  • February 27, 2020


Place, diplomacy and perception at upcoming City Nation Place conference


Perception has always benefited – or plagued – certain countries in their dealings with other nations and their leaders, in economic growth and in terms of tourism appeal. Country brand is so important to some nations as to effect the hosting of Olympics and World Cups and the development of tourism campaigns. But, for some, the impact a country brand has on diplomacy will be acutely felt, despite the attempts at enhancing the brand through soft power.

This and other topics will be discussed at the 2018 City Nation Place conference on 7-8 November in London. One session at the event will focus on diplomacy, fake news and nation and city branding. Speakers from the US embassy in Italy, Facebook, the ministry of foreign affairs in Estonia and the Swedish Institute will join in the discussion. Sweden, for its part, was named the most reputable country in the world in 2018 by the Reputation Institute’s Country RepTrak rankings.

Clare Dewhirst, founder of City Nation Place, says it will be a “groundbreaking session on the intersection between the rise in fake news, diplomacy and place brand strategies. However, the fake news epidemic is but one aspect of our packed agenda: don’t miss Brad Dean’s incisive case study on rebranding Puerto Rico following the anniversary of Hurricane Irma or Nial Gibbons’s exploration into how cinema was used to revitalise Ireland’s image.”

The conference programme is packed with interesting speakers, from the public, private and third sectors, and opportunities to share best practice with fellow place branding specialists. The event is unique in that it focuses solely on place and nation branding, offering delegates an unparalleled opportunity to apply new thinking to their management of a place brand. “The fourth City Nation Place Global conference brings together over 40 of the most talented and accomplished speakers from across the world to explore the key issues facing place branding, tourism development and investment promotion,” says Dewhirst.

The conference will also feature actionable advice on how to improve a country, place or region brand as well as better harnessing the private sector in a place brand’s strategy. Two interesting breakout sessions offer unusual points of view on the management of a place brand. The first examines the benefit Hollywood films can have on the promotion of a place brand to an international audience. The second looks at the problems derived from ‘over-tourism’ such as Venice has been experiencing for a number of years, and the impact that has on local sentiments and on global perceptions.

The event will conclude with the presentation of the City Nation Place Awards, which recognises the most effective and impactful place brand strategies. To book, click here.

To read more about soft power, diplomacy and place branding, click here.