Visitors from all over the world attended conference on place branding
All places have a brand, whether it’s written down or not. It is what residents and the outside world think and feel about a city, region or country that constitutes the brand of a place. Today’s global societal challenges with war and climate threats can change the image of a place in a short time. This was the theme of a three-day conference arranged by Halmstad University, Kristianstad University and Lund University – Campus Helsingborg last week. 150 researchers and professionals from all over the world attended the conference.
“Place branding is a long-term strategic work with a place, residents, businesses and with visitors, to develop and strengthen the place’s image and improve the residents’ quality of life and satisfaction with the place where they live and work”
Olga Rauhut Kompaniets, Senior Lecturer in Marketing
“Working with place brands is about managing the reputation of cities, regions and countries. The Nordic countries have previously been surrounded by a positive image in the eyes of the public. However, in the world we live in today, with its many challenges, that image is changing. I am very grateful that Lund University, Kristianstad University and Halmstad University joined forces to host the conference and that they chose this theme”, says Robert Govers, founder and chairman of the International Place Branding Association (IPBA), which organises the conference every year.
Latest research from the field was presented
During the conference, researchers and experts from all over the world participated in the solid programme. Themes raised were public diplomacy in times of crisis, branding in times of war, and the question of place in the Anthropocene, which is defined as the time during which humans have been affecting the Earth’s climate and ecosystems globally.
Olga Rauhut Kompaniets, Senior Lecturer in Marketing at Halmstad University and co-organiser of the conference, researches place branding and place marketing and presented two of her research projects. One is about place experience and generative AI, and she runs it together with Viriya Taecharungroj, Associate Professor of Marketing at Mahidol University in Thailand. The second, which she runs together with Roberto Bruni, Associate Professor of Management at the University of Cassino in Italy, is about measurement models for place branding strategies. Representatives from Halmstad University also participated in a panel discussion on Edward Elgar publisher’s new encyclopedia project “Encyclopedia of City and Place Branding”.
Manifesto for responsible place branding
In connection with the conference, representatives of the Greater Copenhagen region, which includes Halmstad and Halland County, signed a manifesto – “The IPBA Barcelona – Greater Copenhagen place branding manifesto” – on site at Helsingborg City Hall. The aim is to expand the network of places that support responsible place branding and inspire people to work more long-term and quality-oriented with the branding of cities and regions. Representatives of Destination Halmstad and Invest in Halland signed the manifesto.
“It is a great honour to be involved in organising such a well-reputed and world-renowned conference. Place branding is not just about logos and slogans – place branding is a long-term strategic work with a place, residents, businesses and with visitors, to develop and strengthen the place’s image and improve the residents’ quality of life and satisfaction with the place where they live and work”, says Olga Rauhut Kompaniets, and continues:
“It is also important from a city centre perspective to make the city centre vibrant, and to help local actors to grow and develop together. Therefore, I am happy that Halmstad University was a co-organiser of such an important event. The University’s strategy includes the development of collaboration and cooperation with local actors and the business community in order to jointly strengthen the city’s and the region’s attractiveness, identity and image.”
Text: Julia Luttrup
Photo: Destination Halmstad and Kennet Ruona