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Conference on place branding brought visitors from all over the world
annika [dot] persson [at] ses [dot] lu [dot] se (Annika Persson)
- published 24 October 2023
The image of Sweden, travel and place communication in times of crisis and uncertainty were some of the topics that guided the content of the international conference on place branding organised by the International Place Branding Association (IPBA).
Service Studies was the co-chair together with the Department of Strategic Communication and the universities of Halmstad and Kristianstad. The conference had 140 participants from over 90 different universities and industry organisations from all corners of the world, and took place over three days at Campus Helsingborg.
The theme of the conference was "Place branding in a time of global crisis and uncertainty". The conference focused on the global societal challenges that have taken and are taking place in our time.
Place branding gives meaning to places, such as cities, regions and countries, to enable them to manage their image. Every place has a brand, whether it is written down or not. A place brand is the sum of the associations that residents and the outside world have about a place.
Josefin Östrup Backe, senior lecturer at the Department of Service Sciences, gave a presentation on her research "Food and storytelling in place branding", on how food can be used to build the brand and attractiveness of a place or destination. The Nordic region, Sweden and the city of Helsingborg are pursuing a strategy to make themselves "an attractive food destination".
- Food is intertwined with our identity. It is a topic that is easy to have an opinion on. Local food is an attraction in itself. Food and drink as a reason to visit the city is one of Helsingborg's tourism strategies and many people come here just to "Tura", she says.
Other participants from Service Studies were Professor Cecilia Fredriksson with her exhibition "Beyond urban sketching", associate professor Jan-Henrik Nilsson who presented "Placemaking in green infrastructure, implications for urban tourism branding", senior lecturers Elisabeth Högdahl and Ola Thufvesson presented "Memory planning methods for inclusive and unique places". Ola Thufvesson was also co-organiser.
Manifesto for responsible place branding
This was the seventh edition of the conference, which has previously been held in London, Swansea, Macao, Volos, Barcelona and Aix-en-Provence. What binds these cities together is a manifesto signed by the host city. The aim is to expand the network of places that are committed to responsible place branding.
– Place branding is about managing the reputation of cities, regions and countries. The Nordic countries in general have always benefited from the admiration of the outside world. But, in the world we live in today, with its many challenges, these certainties are under threat. I am very grateful to Dr Cecilia Cassinger of Lund University and colleagues from the Universities of Halmstad and Kristianstad for joining forces to host the conference and for choosing this theme. "The team has put together a fantastic programme with a highly relevant theme and we are looking forward to Swedish hospitality and signing our manifesto in the Helsingborg City Hall," says Robert Govers, founder and chairman of the International Place Branding Association (IPBA) to the City of Helsingborg.