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Welcome & IntroductionClare Dewhirst
Founder and Director , City Nation Place
A tale of two cities: how a place’s brand underpins its resilience
Two very different cities share insights into how a place's brand can help it to bounce back from political, social, environmental or economic challenges and thrive in the face of adversity.
What does the rise of fake news mean for place branding strategies and what impact should this have on communication strategy? This discussion will explore the intersection between diplomacy, nation/city branding, and fake news, drawing on perspectives from both the private and the public sector.Andreas Sandre
Author of 'Digital Diplomacy: Conversations on Innovation in Foreign Policy,' and Press & Public Affairs Officer, Embassy of Italy in the US
Changing the narrative about your place brand leading up to the anniversary of a natural disaster
Case study: Puerto Rico
- Learning from other place stories to plan your strategy
- Using public relations to change the narrative and celebrate the progress
- Counter-acting sensationalism with authentic truth
Stronger together - How we organise to collaborate together
While it’s increasingly recognised that collaborative place branding and marketing is the best way to optimise resources, this joined-up approach between tourism, economic development, trade, foreign affairs, Prime Minister’s or Mayoral office, is not always easy to deliver. How do you get and keep diverse stakeholders on board? How do you collaborate on communications? Who should lead? How do you measure the ROI for each team’s objectives? Our international panel shares their insights and experiences, including lessons learned and pitfalls to avoid.Mihalis Kavaratzis
Associate Professor of Marketing & Board Member, University of Leicester & International Place Branding Association
Delegates choose sessions to dig deeper into the issues that matter to them
Building your brand whilst driving sector specific engagement
During this session, we explore the key principles which can give power to your FDI sector marketing strategy. Learn from practical examples and the latest thinking from investment promotion branding experts.Jo Simmons
Account Director - Government, LinkedIn
Creating the ideal structure to manage a nation's brand: building a stakeholder engagement programme and defining key performance indicators
- What should be the ideal management structure to manage the nation brand project
- How to deal with different stakeholders and different agendas
- Establishing and creating the right metrics, nation brand indicators and constructing a brand performance dashboard
- How to ensure the brand strategy transcends government changes
The evolving role of the private sector in place brand strategy
Join this session to learn how the power of the private sector can be harnessed, not only to maximise the effectiveness of place brand strategy, but in some cases even to drive it.Raouti Chehih
Delegates choose sessions to dig deeper into the issues that matter to them
Structuring your team for success with digital – now and in the future
What Ottawa Tourism learned about the talents and skills of the future place branding team through the execution of their 150-year celebrations
- Lessons learned when embracing the latest digital marketing techniques
- How the team at Ottawa Tourism has adapted
- Why collaboration across business units is more important than ever
- What next? Keeping your team ahead of the digital curve to ensure continued success
Leveraging the power of Hollywood movies to brand your place
From “Midnight Express” to “Zorba the Greek” – every nation has a movie that they feel uncomfortable with, few have movies to be proud of. In this session, packed with insider tips, learn how to use Hollywood, and film, as a tool to promote your city, nation or place
- Identifying the opportunities and the common pitfalls
- The do’s and don’ts of attaching celebrities to your place brand
- How to create the right connections
- Understanding the budget implications
Over tourism and place identity
- Understanding what we mean by “over-tourism”
- Hear the results of new research benchmarking quality experiences to determine if over-tourism is a supply-side or perception issue
- Learn from the experience of Barcelona: what new approaches is the city taking from both the supply-side [city planning and policy] and the promotion perspective?
- What are the long-term implications of over-tourism for a place brand?
Delegates choose sessions to dig deeper into the issues that matter to them
Data-driven place branding strategies
- How to implement a more analytical approach to drive your place branding strategy, utilizing traditional research techniques, new approaches and emerging tools
- How to use research and data at your fingertips to guide your vision and measure your progress
- Learn from real examples of place branding in action
Winning the talent wars: Five ways communities can attract Millennials and Gen Z
Talent makes or breaks corporate relocation decisions. With record low unemployment and a decrease in migration, communities are at war to attract and retain the talent that their corporate citizens need.
- What factors will seal the deal Millennials and Gen Z considering relocating for a new job opportunity?
- And what are five steps communities can take to help win the war for talent?
The presentation will showcase the findings from DCI’s seminal research report, “Talent Wars: What People Look for in Jobs and Locations” alongside the real world experience of the Minneapolis-St. Paul region’s “Make It MSP” Campaign.Peter Frosch
SVP & Chief of Staff, Greater MSP [Economic Development group representing Minneapolis/St. Paul]
Awesome opportunities for destination content in Google maps
- See how DMOs around the world are using Google products including street view, maps to maximise their exposure and drive visitation.
- Case study examples for DMOs using maps Street View and other Google products in exciting and innovative ways.
- Expand and measure the footprint of your destination in Google’s products
Program Manager, Street View Special Collections, GoogleC.A. Clarke
VP Digital Marketing, The Miles Partnership
Managing the economics of the impact of tourism: Ireland's place branding story
- How tourism has fitted into Ireland’s economic agenda as a driver of growth
- Insights into the marketing approaches which have delivered tourism success
- How Ireland is dealing with the challenges and responsibilities that accompany growth in tourism
If launching a place brand is a skill, maintaining momentum is an art. Two very different places share their experience and explain how they have created a platform that is constantly refreshing but still maintains consistency, keeps delivering results and keeps meeting different objectives.
City Nation Place Awards Presentations
The winners are announced in all categories of the City Nation Place Awards 2018
Annabelle is Senior Vice President of Brand partnerships for National Geographic & FOX Networks Group, Europe & Africa. Joining the organisation in 2004, Annabelle has held a number of roles internally across the wider FOX Networks Group channels including commercial partnerships for both FOX & FOX Sports, as well as international sales representation for SKY. She began her National Geographic career managing international partnerships across the NG Channel portfolio, before expanding into her current role across all NG Media platforms and assets, with a specific focus on growing National Geographic Travel partnerships.
National Geographic Partners is an expanded joint venture combining National Geographic’s world-class media, content and experiences with 21st Century Fox scale and expertise in building global media brands. The commercial assets under the National Geographic brand include Television channels, magazines, digital and social media platforms, books, children’s media, travel and licensing & merchandising. Almost one third of proceeds made are reinvested back into the National Geographic Society, to expand the Society’s mission activities in conservation, exploration and education. National Geographic draws on a rich heritage of exploration to offer travel content, experiences, and trips that are authentic, engaging and transformative, while reinforcing the Society’s mission to inspire people to care about the planet.
Adriana is Chief Resilience Officer for the City of Salvador, which is part of the 100 Resilient Cities initiative pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation, and Director of Resilience for The Municipal Government of Salvador. Previously she was Salvador’s Municipal Deputy Secretary for Economic Development and Employment. She is particularly interested in the uses of marketing and branding for economic development and urban regeneration. In 2017, she contributed to the “Handbook on Place Branding and Marketing” by Edward Elgar Publishing.
As Chief Executive, Laura is responsible for the leadership, strategy, performance and accountability of the organisation, working closely with the Board and Executive Team.
Prior to joining London & Partners, Laura was Managing Director of the Government & Public Sector Practice at WPP, the world’s largest marketing and communication services business. In that role she advised governments on destination marketing, behaviour change, digital government and citizen engagement. She led a global network of regional teams in Beirut, Brussels, Delhi, Nairobi, Singapore and Sydney.
Laura is author of ‘me.gov: The Next Generation of Digital Public Services.' She taught communications for behaviour change at the Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford and the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore.
Laura has spent her career at the intersection of public policy and communication. She spent several years as a UK public servant in London and Brussels, and has worked as a journalist in Russia and for an NGO in Germany.
Laura is a Londoner and speaks French and Russian. She is a Governor of an inner-city London primary school. Laura has an undergraduate degree from the University of Oxford and a postgraduate degree from University College London.
Andreas Sandre is a press and public affairs officer at the Embassy of Italy in Washington, D.C., where he runs the digital diplomacy shop. He was previously at the United Nations, doing communications for the Italian delegation to the U.N. Security Council. Andreas is the author of “Digital Diplomacy: Conversations on Innovation in Foreign Policy” (Rowman & Littlefield, 2015) and “Twitter for Diplomats” (DiploFoundation, 2013). He's also the editor of a digital diplomacy publication on Medium, and a contributor to HuffPost, the Global Policy Journal of the London School of Economics, and Hacker Noon. You can find Andreas on Twitter/Instagram @andreas212nyc or on Facebook @asandreDC.
Sean Evins is the lead for Politics and Government Outreach for Europe, the Middle East and Africa for Facebook. This team is tasked with working with government and political officials on education about the Facebook platform, driving creative best practices and top content and working to protect election integrity.
Prior to starting with Facebook in August 2016, Sean worked for four years on the Government & Elections team at Twitter and also previously worked in the U.S. House of Representatives. Sean received a bachelors degree in Political Science and Political History from Rhodes College in Memphis, TN, and he earned his Master’s Degree in Government from the Johns Hopkins University in 2010.
He is based in London.
Triinu has worked in communication and diplomacy since 1996. She was the Director General of the Department of Public Diplomacy of the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs from 2007 to 2011 and has served in Estonian representations in Sydney, St. Petersburg and London. She has also worked as Head of Public Relations of the Estonian Reform Party.
Jenny Ljung is head of the Global Communications Unit at the Swedish Institute and answers for Sweden’s official social media in four world languages; English, Arabic, Chinese and Russian. Jenny has a long experience of working with digital communications and digital transformation within public policy in Sweden. She has been managing communication organisations at several Swedish national agencies, and specializes in digital communications, leadership and management.
Brad Dean, originally from Illinois, holds a Bachelors Degree in Accounting from the University of Illinois and a Masters Degree from Moody Bible Institute. Brad began his career in Puerto Rico, where he worked for General Electric. Brad also worked for Hard Rock Café as a Unit Controller and General Manager. In 1998, he joined the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce, a regional DMO, where he first served as CFO, then as CEO. Brad has 20+ years of experience in the travel & tourism industry.
Mihalis Kavaratzis is Associate Professor of Marketing at the University of Leicester School of Business. His research focuses on place branding and tourism destination marketing. Mihalis is Founding Board Member of the International Place Branding Association and a Senior Fellow of the Institute of Place Management. He has published extensively in various academic journals and he is co-editor of ‘Inclusive Place Branding’ (with M. Giovanardi and M. Lichrou, 2017), ‘Rethinking Place Branding’ (with G. Warnaby and G.J. Ashworth, 2015) and ‘Towards Effective Place Brand Management’ (with G.J. Ashworth, 2010).
Kristina Plavšak Krajnc (1971) graduated in journalism from the Faculty of Social Sciences of the University of Ljubljana in 1994. In 1995, she obtained a Master's degree in international relations at the Central European University, Department for European studies in Prague, Czech Republic. In 1996, she obtained a Master's degree in international relations at the School of Public and International Affairs at Columbia University in New York in the USA.
From 1996 to 2000, she was public relations adviser to the Prime Minister of the Republic of Slovenia. She was active in the preparation and implementation of the communication campaign for the inclusion of Slovenia in the European Union.
From 2000 to 2004, she was Assistant Professor and Researcher at the Faculty of Social Sciences (field of international communication and public diplomacy) and Deputy Editor of the Journal of International Relations and Development (2001-2005).
Between 2004 to 2011 she worked as an External Expert in various UNDP and EU financed projects to strengthen the non-governmental sector, establish civil society networks and strengthen them through communication and educational activities.
From January 2006 to December 2007, she was adviser to the President of the Republic of Slovenia for cooperation with non-governmental organisations. She had the role of coordinator of humanitarian action »World for Darfur« and project for promoting intergenerational cooperation between young people and voluntary work for the elderly »Fruits of Society«.
As Director of the Information Office of the Council of Europe in Slovenia (2008 to 2010), she managed campaigns and communication activities of the Council of Europe and actively participated in the preparation and implementation of the programme of the Slovenian Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe.
From January 2010 to June 2011, she was the Coordinator of the EU financed project to promote children's rights and improve educational practices on this topic.
From 2011 to 2015, she was employed at the Ministry of Culture where she had specific tasks in the field of human rights and was responsible for multilateral and bilateral cooperation in the field of culture.
In 2013 she was invited by the Office of Council of Europe Commissioner for Human rights to assist the communication team for a 6-month period.
Since 1st September 2015 she is Director of the Government Communication Office of the Republic of Slovenia.
Tim Harris is the CEO of Wesgro, the Tourism, Trade and Investment Promotion Agency for Cape Town and the Western Cape. Tim previously served as Member of Parliament and Shadow Minister of Finance for the Democratic Alliance (DA). He holds a BA in English Literature and a Masters in Economics from the University of Cape Town. Tim currently sits on the board of the Cape Town International Convention Centre, the Cape Town Film Studios and BPESA.
As Barcelona City Branding Coordinator, Consol is responsible for the definition of the strategy, planning, implementation and follow-up of the City Branding project within the City Promotion Department of the Barcelona City Council, working closely with all local and metropolitan, public and private stakeholders.
Prior to joining Barcelona City Council, Consol was the Communication and Marketing Director of the Teatre Nacional de Catalunya (Catalonia National Theatre), the public theatre of the Government of Catalonia for 14 years. In that role, she was in charge of a multidisciplinary team of 21 people, responsible for communication, marketing, public relations, rental of spaces, ticket sales and relationship with the public.
Consol has developed her career in the field of public, non-governmental, marketing and communication institutions. He was the founding creator and director for 5 years of the Enriqueta Villavecchia Foundation for children with cancer and was also responsible for advertising and sponsorship of the Turisme de Barcelona Consortium for 3 years.
Consol Vancells is a professional with more than 20 years’ experience in executive and strategic management in the field of branding, corporate communication, and digital marketing.
Expert project manager in online and offline communication projects and in designing client-acquisition and customer-loyalty strategies focused on improving the brand's positioning and its engagement.
Consol was Born in Barcelona and speaks Catalan, Spanish, English and French. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Communication Sciences from the Autonomous University of Barcelona, a graduate degree in Administration and Management from Harvard University and a master’s degree in Social Media, Branding and Strategies from Ramon Llull University – La Salle.
Jessica has been a key part of M&C Saatchi for over 12 years. She combines a specialist FDI communications skillset with deep governmental, B2B and international expertise. Some highlights include: over 10 years of partnership with the Bahrain Economic Development Board; working with the Government of South Australia and Invest Georgia; developing the Tourism proposition for the Kingdom of Bahrain; Airbus Defence & Space; Telstra Global and Siemens. Jessica has also held senior marketing positions at key UK Government organisations where she was responsible for developing business engagement strategies for over 4 years.
Mary Harris, Managing Director, M&C Saatchi Export
Mary has worked on award-winning pieces of business at major agencies including Partners BDDH, Euro RSCG London, Ogilvy & Mather and Cheil Worldwide before joining M&C Saatchi. She has a wealth of global, governmental and B2B experience -including both Tourism and FDI business. Mary’s background is highly integrated and she specialises in delivering agile ideas which flex across channels working on brands including Samsung, Unilever, the Bahrain EDB and the NHS . She was proud to be a 2016 and 2017 judge of the Entrepreneur of the Year Category of the prestigious National Business Awards and is looking forward to judging the Fujitsu A.I Pioneers Category this year.
Claus Lønborg has been managing director for Copenhagen Capacity since 2011. Copenhagen Capacity is the official inward investment agency for the “Greater Copenhagen” metropolitan region. They advise foreign companies and investors on establishing, expanding and retaining their activities in the region. Further to this consultancy role, Copenhagen Capacity is also active in developing the regional attractiveness for foreign investors through a number of projects and activities ranging from cluster development to talent attraction.
Prior to his job with Copenhagen Capacity, Claus spent 4½ years in Shanghai, setting up and leading an innovation center to advice Danish companies on research and high tech collaboration with Chinese companies, organisations and universities and to provide general establishment services for knowledge based Danish enterprises.
Most of Claus’ career is however from the private sector, where he had held international sales and marketing positions Rockwool, Arla Foods, Maersk and IBM. Through these jobs, Claus has built his international experience from activities and responsibility areas spanning across America, Europa and Asia.
Claus holds a masters degree in International marketing and has supplemented his education with training programs from IMD, INSEAD. He is married and has 4 children.
Jose Filipe Torres
Bloom Consulting - CEO
Expert in Nation Branding
For the last 13 years, Mr. Torres has been advising countries in the field of strategy and branding, working directly with heads of state, directors of National Tourism Organizations and Investment Promotion Agencies, spread across five continents.
Moreover,Mr. Torres collaborates with the OECD and the World Economic Forum in matters concerning nation branding.
In 2011, his company initiated Bloom Consulting Country Brand Ranking.
Most recently, Bloom Consulting together with Digital Demand – D2© an analytical Software released the Digital Country Index.
The Index measures the appeal of 245 countries in the digital world.
Daniel Valverde Bagnarello has built his career in marketing over 20 years. He holds both a Master in Digital Marketing and a Master in Management from IE Business School, a seat in the British School of Costa Rica's Advisor Committee and most recently, appointed Secretary of the Latin American Country Brands Counsel.
Although he started in advertising, Daniel's career path has led him over the years from a copywriter’s desk at a BBDO network agency, to the commercial director's seat in one of the most successful company holdings in the Central American region devoted to global trade. Along the way he has skilled in the management of multinational marketing teams praising that success in his field lays on two major pillars: The first, embracing data as the main source to spark creative initiatives. And the second, committing to talent development as a KPI.
Currently, Daniel is the Country Brand Director behind "essential COSTA RICA", the country brand that showed the greatest annual growth in America according to the Bloom Consulting Country Brand Ranking 2017/2018. He also leads the country brand's Technical Unit that comprises representatives from Procomer (Costa Rica's TPA), CINDE (IPA), ICT (Tourism Bureau), COMEX (International Trade Bureau) and Costa Rica's Chancellery (Foreign Affairs Bureau).”
Malcolm has been a practicing place and destination brand strategy consultant since 2003. Prior to that he worked in the fields of town planning and economic development in the UK, in central and local government, as a consultant, and as a CEO of major economic development and training companies. Malcolm merged his Placematters consultancy with Bloom Consulting, where he is now President. Malcolm worked with Bloom through 2016 and 2017 on the brand strategy for Paraguay, on a 2017 project assessing the impact of the country brand of Costa Rica in the US, the UK and Europe, and on a nation branding project for Australia.
Wouter Schuitemaker is VP Global Development at Conway Inc, the world’s largest full-service cross-border investment advisory firm. A Foreign Direct Investment Professional with over 20 years’ experience in business-critical roles for leading global public and private sector agencies, Wouter has worked with Government agencies and Fortune & FTSE 500 multi-sector client brands across EMEA, North America and Asia Pacific.
The early part of Wouter’s career was spent in Asia Pacific where he held management roles at Japan’s largest market research company as well as the Japan offices of global brand consultancies Interbrand and Enterprise IG (now Superunion). Clients included P&G, Gillette, Nissan, Sony, Hitachi and Four Seasons Resorts and Hotels.
Upon his return to the United Kingdom, Wouter headed Asia Pacific operations at Think London (now London & Partners), the UK capital’s foreign direct investment agency. Wouter managed overseas offices in Japan, China, India, Korea and Australia and delivered over 100 FDI projects per annum equating to 20% of all FDI into the UK.
In 2010 Wouter was appointed Executive Director and member of the board at Marketing Birmingham (now West Midlands Growth Company), where he established and led Business Birmingham, the highly regarded inward investment programme for Greater Birmingham. A number of high profile and significant FDI wins included the relocation of HSBC’s retail banking head office to Birmingham.
More recently, as Managing Director, EMEA for Hickey and Associates, LLC, a global site selection, public incentive advisory and workforce solutions company, Wouter led the firm’s expansion throughout the EMEA region, providing location selection strategies, government incentive negotiations, and workforce solutions for a broad range of large multinationals and small high growth companies investing in new markets.
Chris is a graduate of the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow and having worked in a number of Hotels as a General Manager he changed course to work in destination management in 1999 – Initially he worked for five years at The Mersey Partnership as Director of Tourism, Director of Operations and interim Chief Executive before taking the role of Chief Executive at Marketing Cheshire, formerly Visit Chester and Cheshire, in 2004.
He returned back to Liverpool in 2013 to establish Marketing Liverpool and to promote the city as a first class destination for leisure, business and students. Chris is responsible, with key partners, for promoting the Liverpool brand nationally and internationally.
Chris also works to deliver the Liverpool Plan, a series of transformational events designed to bring key organisations of the city together helping to raise its profile at an international level.
He is a keen follower of all things Scotland and continues a long held ambition to finally see the country win something.
Mr. Greg Garcia is a marketing and communications professional with a strong exposure in banking and real estate development.
Today, he is a leading marketing and political consultant.
Mr. Garcia has a well-earned marketing and branding reputation and was chairman and chief creative officer of Leo Burnett Advertising, a key position he held for 20 years. Leo Burnett Philippines is one of the biggest advertising agencies in the country. It has handled Procter and Gamble, McDonald’s, Phillip Morris, Kimberly Clark, Unilab, among others.
Earlier in his career he worked for Ace Compton as Creative Head and moved on to work for Mr. Tomas Aguirre, founder of Banco Filipino where he held the position of Vice President.
He was founding director of the Advertising Board of the Philippines, founding chairman of the Creative Guild of the Philippines, founding director of the Bank Marketing Association of the Philippines.
He is a recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Creative Guild and the Maverick Award of the Association of Philippine Advertising Agencies.
Daniela Montiel is a Strategy and Partnerships Coordinator at Marca Chile, a public-private foundation that manages Chile’s country brand. She proposes strategy and establishes partnerships which aim to position Chile’s nation brand internationally and provide support for international efforts carried out by members of the public and private sectors. Prior to this she spent six years developing communication strategy for economic development projects at the United Nation’s Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean. She holds a master’s degree in public diplomacy from the University of Southern California and a bachelor’s degree in literature from Loyola Marymount University. Originally from California, she is currently based in Santiago de Chile.
Glenn Duncan joined the Ottawa Tourism team in early 2011 bringing with him, to Canada’s Capital, extensive industry knowledge and experience. Previously employed by Edmonton Economic Development Corporation / Edmonton Tourism, Glenn has dedicated over 30 years to the tourism, hospitality and customer service industries in various management and sales capacities. Mr. Duncan’s current role as Senior VP & CMO sees him leading a team of dedicated professionals within the Meetings & Conventions, Sport & Cultural Event and Travel Trade sectors while overseeing & contributing to all marketing initiatives for the organization.
Throughout his career, Mr. Duncan has been active on many boards and committees and a contributing member of several industry related associations and societies. Glenn’s passion for sports and major event marketing has also seen him lend his energy and expertise to many sport organizations and events, including being involved in the inception of EEI (Edmonton Events International), implementing Ottawa’s Major Event strategy, as well as previously sitting on the board of the Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance (CSTA).
Mr. Duncan continues to be a champion of and passionate spokesperson for Canadian tourism, perpetually building knowledge of product as well as global tourism industry trends and conditions.
Beverley Carkner is the Director of Marketing at Ottawa Tourism, the destination marketing organisation for the capital city of Canada and joined the organization in 2009.
Beverley earned her Bachelor of Commerce degree with a specialisation in marketing from the University of Guelph. She was a program advisory chair for the Digital Marketing Program at the Algonquin College Centre for Continuing and Online Learning in 2017 and 2018, and she served for 3 years as an Executive Board Member for Attractions Ontario from 2010 through 2012.
In 2015, Beverley was a panel speaker on “Leading Change” at Social Media Tourism (SoMeT) and “A look back and into the future at what has shaped digital marketing for tourism – and what to expect next!” at Online Revealed.
Beverley is excited to be working on the Place DNA of Ottawa in conjunction with the City of Ottawa and Destination Think! and aspires to achieve citywide implementation in 2019.
EmrahYucel is a world-renown branding expert and designer based in Los Angeles, USA. Through his two highly-decorated companies, Iconisus and I Mean It Creative; he offers motion picture advertising and destination branding services, respectively.
Holding a Master's degree in Art, Design, and Architecture, Yucel was selected the “Graphic Designer of the Year" at the age of 21. His eye-catching designs for famous Broadway plays led him to become one of the most sought-after creatives in Hollywood. The list of his campaigns for famous Hollywood projects includes, but not limited to: Kill Bill, Frida, Avatar, American Horror Story, Fifty Shades of Gray among others.
In 2001, EmrahYucel co-founded Iconisus, an agency providing visual design, advertising, and branding services to major Hollywood studios and TV networks.
In 2008, he founded I Mean It Creative, an independent consultancy, specializing in advertising, strategic brand consulting, and destination branding. Believing that “Great brands are exceptional storytellers, and great branding is exceptional storytelling,” Yucel’s story-based approach to destination branding became a quick hit. He created the ‘Turkey: Home’ campaign for the Turkish Ministry of Tourism, which has been running since 2013. He also created the destination brand campaigns for the City of Gaziantep and the City of Izmir. Emrah and his team also delivered destination branding projects all around the world such as Big Island in Hawaii, Leiki Free Trade Zone in Nigeria, Kenya Free Trade Zone.
Among the many prestigious awards Yucel received are; Key-Art Awards, PromaxBDA Awards, Webby Award, Sunset Billboard Award. In 2009, he and his team were awarded the "Designer of the Year" by International Design Awards.
Yucel is a highly sought-after speaker, who recently gave a keynote speech at United Nations WIPO in Geneva Switzerland in the Intellectual Property Day.
Yucel currently resides in Los Angeles.
A futurist, strategist and frequent keynote speaker, Chris leads a team that has completed more than 100 visioning, strategy, planning, policy and branding projects for destinations and cities around the world. Chris holds a Masters degree in Studies of the Future, is an adjunct instructor in placemaking for New York University and is a member of the Project for Public Space’s Leadership Council, the Urban Land Institute and Destination Marketing Association International. In 2013, Chris was recognized as the place branding “Thought Leader of the Year” at the World Sense of Place Summit for his development of place branding methodologies.
Joan Torrella has a Degree in Psychology from the Autonomous University of Barcelona
and a Master’s Degree in Managerial Function in Public Administration from ESADE.
He has worked in the public administration since 1983 taking on various management
posts in the fields of social services and territorial management, human resource
management, and the cultural area. Since the year 2000, he has focused his work on
the field of economic promotion of the city where he has worked in the departments of
strategic sectors, territorial economic promotion, and tourism and events.
In 2007, he was designated Director of Coordination and Strategic Programs for
Economic Promotion. From where he represented the municipal representation to
several of the public-private sector platforms (Barcelona Design Center, BioCat, Baie)
and, in a special way at the Consorci Turisme de Barcelona, from which he has been a
member of the General Council and the Executive Committee until September 2018.
In 2010, the City Council created the Tourism Management and he was named director.
In addition, the Taula Turisme i Ciutat, of interdepartmental coordination within the City
Council, started up and he coordinated it from the beginning.
He has been until August 2018 the Director of Tourism in the City Council of Barcelona
from where he promoted and coordinated policies for managing tourism in the city
through the different municipal areas.
From the Tourism department, he participated as a member of the work team of the
“Tourism Strategic Plan of the City of Barcelona 2010-2015” and the “Tourism Strategic
Plan of the City of Barcelona 2017- 2020”, which contributed to the positioning of
Barcelona as a leading tourist sustainable destination.
Currently, he is the Managing Director of Turisme de Barcelona.
Jason is a research, communications and reputation strategist with 15 years' global experience providing strategic council to public, private and non-profit clients regarding their reputation strategies, competitive positioning, stakeholder engagement, marketing and communications. Jason consults with clients on their reputation measurement and evaluation programs, and how they can optimise their marketing and communications programming for the greatest reputational impact.
Rhett Skelton, Executive Vice President of Skylight Intelligence, is an evaluation and marketing analytics specialist with more than 16 years of experience in conducting evaluations for leading organisations. He has conducted international primary research, as well as developed brand performance and risk-tracking mechanisms for tourism entities and other multinational organisations. He specialises in integrating open-source data with visitor exit surveys and other client-provided data to analyse tourism results.
A travel and tourism destination development strategist with 25+ years experience with blue chip organisations, including Destination Canada, AT&T and TELUS, Greg is an expert in the development and execution of brand and marketing strategies leveraging new technologies. At Twenty31 he advises on competitive destination marketing strategies, brand positioning and investment opportunities. His clients include Destination British Columbia; Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil; Jordan Tourism Board; Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority; and The Pew Charitable Trusts Ocean Legacy Project. He is a renowned thought leader on disruption in destination marketing and the links between travel and tourism, sustainability and economic development. Greg led the enhancement of Canada’s Future Brand ranking from 12th to 1st position, according to Reputation Institute. Greg also created a comprehensive strategy to promote the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics, developed a unique segmentation model to understand the underlying needs of global travellers through the Explorer Quotient and spearheaded the Canadian Signature Experiences product development program, helping position Canada as a truly experiential destination. For his efforts Greg was recognised as one of Canada’s top marketers by Strategy Magazine.
Sisa Ntshona has been at the helm of South African Tourism from October 2016. Since joining the organisation, he has been instrumental in driving the organisation’s overarching 5-in-5 strategy which aims to have 14 million tourists visiting South Africa annually by 2021.
Sisa has also recently overseen South African Tourism’s organisational restructure in line with global best practice.
With over 20 years’ experience he has held several strategic leadership positions across different jurisdictions in Africa & Middle East in blue chip corporations and multinationals. Having initially joined Barclays Africa as an Investment Banker, he later moved to become the Head of its SME Banking Division, a role he held until joining SA Tourism.
Sisa also has worked in the aviation industry for South African Airways, Financial Services Money Transfer, Western Union and Manufacturing, Parmalat Food Industries.
An accountant by training, he holds a string of commerce qualifications including a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from GIBS and an International Executive Programme (IEP) from INSEAD Business School in France. He has also served on a number of boards including as non-Exec Board Member for the Enterprise Development Council of South Africa and Livity Africa, a youth development NPO.
As the son of Ted Levine, founder of Development Counsellors International, Andy was introduced to the world of economic development and travel marketing at birth. Since joining the firm in 1991, Andy has helped launch the company into a new era, advancing the quality of client work performed, growing the number of staff and adding to the range of client services offered.
He developed and continues to direct DCI's "Winning Strategies in Economic Development Marketing." First conducted in 1996, this ongoing survey of corporate executives with site selection responsibilities has emerged as a valuable tool for economic developers seeking to understand the "customer's perspective" on what works in economic development marketing.
Andy authors a monthly “Marketing Places” column for Forbes.com that has drawn over 100,000 readers. He also hosts “The Project: Inside Corporate Location Decisions,” a podcast that provides a behind-the-scenes look at company location and expansion announcements.
Niall Gibbons was appointed Chief Executive of Tourism Ireland, the organisation responsible for marketing the island of Ireland overseas, in June 2009.
Since his appointment, Niall has overseen the marketing of Ireland as a tourism destination across the world, leading a team of 150 staff in 23 markets. 2017 was the best year ever for tourism to the island of Ireland, surpassing previous records, with 10.6 million visitors. The World Economic Forum has ranked Ireland 3rd in the world (out of 136 countries) for tourism marketing and branding effectiveness.
He is a business graduate of Trinity College, Dublin and a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland. He is also Deputy Vice President of the of the Dublin Chamber of Commerce, sits on the Export Trade Council for the Irish Government, a member of Culture Ireland’s Expert Advisory Committee and an Honorary Fellow of the Institute of Hospitality in Ireland.
James Wright is Producer and Presenter of CNBC International popular feature show Marketing|Media|Money, a series that navigates the global advertising industry through the eyes of the senior marketers who are driving its evolution.
In this role, James has spoken to senior marketers and thought leaders from brands such as Lanson, Accenture, Spotify, Formula One and Mars Inc. James fronts CNBC’s coverage of the annual Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity live from the shores of the South of France.
Prior to managing the production of Marketing|Media|Money, James fronted CNBC’s award winning environmental business show, Sustainable Energy. The series saw James speak to the key people shaping the energy landscape, examining sectors such as transport, agriculture and construction.
James is also an experienced weather presenter, having first joined ITV Weather in 2002.
James holds a BSc in Business from Cardiff University and has extensive media training experience.
Follow James on Twitter @JamesWrightTV.
Patricia’s 25 year management career has encompassed international roles in languages, tourism, and telecommunications. She studied in Ireland, trained in Germany and has worked in several Caribbean markets. Patricia completed an MBA in Finance with Alliance Manchester Business School and co-founded a technology start-up based in New Orleans that created a platform to connect explorers with locals for real, authentic experiences. Patricia now leads the Grenada Tourism Authority, the primary tourism marketing agency responsible for promoting the destination nationally and internationally, and for enhancing the tourism product and delivering sustainable growth.
Conrad is Director of the GREAT Britain campaign, based in the Department for International Trade and formerly at 10 Downing Street. While at No10 Conrad’s role was extended to include responsibility for delivering major cross-government campaigns, as well as ensuring Government spending on communications was efficient and cost-effective.
Previously Conrad worked at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office as Head of Public Diplomacy and Strategic Campaigns. He was responsible for a wide range of policies and campaigns, including soft power, the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics, and campaigns in the Middle East, Libya, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Conrad joined the Government in 2002, initially working with the Central Office of Information on issues that included teenage drugs, consumer rights and international export. He moved to the Cabinet Office to work with the first Permanent Secretary of Government Communication as Director of Strategic Communications. Here he launched ‘Engage’, a new approach to Government Communication, and was responsible for campaigns to counter terrorism and animal rights extremism.
Before joining the Civil Service Conrad spent 18 years in advertising, working with a number of agencies on national and international business. During this time he also set up an awardwinning communication consultancy which he successfully ran for eight years.