City Nation Place Americas

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  • 09:45

    Registration for tour

  • 10:00

    Optional place-shaping tours

  • 13:15

    Conference registration

  • 13:50
  • 14:00

    Welcome by Billy Nungesser, Lieutenant Governor of Louisiana

  • 14:20

    Why New Orleans is looking to grow and reduce tourism at the same time

    • How economic and tourism development teams in New Orleans are building collaborative approaches to create a more successful, more balanced place economy
    • Leveraging New Orleans assets - learning from collaborative approaches to building the gaming, tech, and music sectors
    • Working together to address challenging social issues and build place attractiveness
    Michael Hecht
    Michael Hecht President & CEO, GNO Inc
  • 14:50

    Listening and learning: Shaping your strategy through community consultation

    How, as a DMO or EDC, can you take on board and respond to the multitude of opinions from your community and key stakeholders? 

    • Hear how Explore Asheville has applied paradoxical thinking to identify common themes and workable dichotomies to build a more sustainable strategy and compelling place narrative
    • Learn how Economic Development Regina followed an inclusive approach to community and stakeholder engagement to develop and implement a unified place brand narrative – developing different tools for different audiences and applying them in concert with the private sector.
    Victoria Isley
    Victoria Isley President & CEO, Explore Asheville CVB
  • 15:25

    Developing a place brand strategy that evolves organically

    • How to ensure that your brand maintains momentum and continues to represent your community’s best interests through regular engagement
    • Using a health check for your brand to shape your advocacy strategy
  • 15:45


  • 16:10

    Round Tables

    Join a table of fellow delegates to discuss and share ideas around a topic of specific interest to you, moderated by our expert partners. 

    What data do you have? What data do you need? What data can you ignore?
    Hosted by Adara

    How do you measure success? Quantifying the economic benefits of place branding to demonstrate the added value of your work to key stakeholders
    Hosted by Brand Finance 

    How to infuse your brand's story into the built environment
    Hosted by CivicBrand

    How to ensure that tourism venues + tourism strategies + tourism brands = economic development
    Hosted by CSL

    How can destination marketing organizations and economic development organizations collaborate better to help attract and retain talent? Who’s doing it well and what lessons can we learn? 
    Hosted by Development Counsellors International

    Rethinking tourism marketing: Strategies for driving loyalty, competitive conquesting, and reaching qualified net new travelers
    Hosted by Epsilon

    The Power of Placemaking
    Hosted by Fourth Economy  

    The alchemy of place: Combining placemaking with economic and tourism development
    Hosted by Hunden Partners

    How to use place rankings and public brand indexes within your place brand and marketing strategy
    Hosted by IPSOS 

    Are you ready for Net Zero? Practical steps to help you envision tourism in 2030 and beyond
    Hosted by Jeremy Sampson, The Travel Foundation

    Stewardship centered strategy and branding
    Hosted by Miles Partnership

    The Rebrand Dilemma: How does your destination evolve its place brand in an inclusive, empowering way that’s big on communication and true to its perception locally and globally?
    Hosted by Resonance

    Key Trends in Talent Attraction & Economic Development
    Hosted by Resonance 

    Community engagement, social license, and resident sentiment: who is doing what?
    Hosted by Simpleview

    Developing Unforgettable Experiences, the Currency of Today’s Savvy Travelers, and Amazing Places
    Hosted by Veneto Collaboratory

    Geolocation Data - What it is and what it isn't. How to best use it for your possibilities of place
    Hosted by Zartico

  • 17:00

    Collaborating to deliver on a bolder, differentiated vision

    Hear how Minneapolis is building a bolder brand …

    • How economic development and tourism can collaborate in practical ways and strategically to create a halo effect and build place attractiveness
    • Promoting the quality of life proposition to attract visitors, talent, and investors
    • Why place brands need to think bigger and respond to macro challenges such as climate change and race in order to attract the talented leaders of the future
  • 17:30


  • Welcome Reception, hosted by New Orleans & Co

    Transportation arranged from the hotel between 5.30pm and 6pm to our reception venue, Marche, located in New Orleans' historic French Market, offering gorgeous views of the French Quarter and Mississippi River.  Refreshments and light bites will be served.  

    Check out this helpful restaurant listing to arrange post Reception dinners. 

  • 07:50

    Optional breakfast briefing

    Please apply to join this session when making your conference registration. If you have already registered and would like to add this session to your programme, please email and we will make the necessary adjustment to your registration. PLEASE NOTE – Places are strictly limited to 40 x attendees and successful applicants will be notified shortly before the event.

    Paradoxes and destination marketing

    Life is full of paradoxes. Those things that are seemingly contradictory, but on closer examination express a deeper meaning or truth. With the growing expectation that destinations represent the values and voices of their community, understanding the power of paradoxical thinking can be key to bringing people together. Vic Isley, President and CEO of Explore Asheville, and Stewart Colovin, EVP of MMGY Global Brand Strategy, will share how destinations can use “both/and” thinking to make more creative, flexible, and impactful decisions and build a platform from which a community can tell all of its stories.

    Hosted by MMGY

    Victoria Isley
    Victoria Isley President & CEO, Explore Asheville CVB
  • 08:45

    Welcome to day two

  • 08:50

    Building the Music City brand and protecting the city’s creative and authentic spirit at the heart of tourism

    Nashville’s rise as a global destination is built on its Music City brand. The success of the brand has resulted in global events, record-breaking tourism and a city on a 12-year roll as a top destination in the world. During the tourism boom, protecting the city’s creative and authentic spirit is more important than ever. Hear how Nashville’s hospitality industry is partnering with city and business leaders to get ahead of challenges posed by rapid growth and development.

    Deana Ivey
    Deana Ivey President, Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp
  • 09:10

    Managing change: Evolving objectives for destination marketing and economic development organizations

    • How are DMOs and EDCs evolving their contribution to the place economy and quality of life proposition of their city, state or region?
    • What changes are they implementing to meet new challenges and opportunities in terms of structure, collaborations, and KPIs?
    • How are DMOs and EDCs advocating more effectively for what they do with politicians and with their communities?

  • 09:50

    Inspiration station: Practical approaches for destination stewardship, sustainability, and action against climate change

  • 10:30


  • 11:00

    Building on partnerships to drive organizational evolution

    • Hear how Burlington’s economic development team is evolving organizational purpose, influenced by new ways of thinking about the quality of life proposition.
    • How are leading stakeholder organizations in Burlington, including the city government, economic development and tourism working together at a leadership level to build the organizational structures for a successful unified brand strategy?
  • alt_route

    Expert-led sessions

    Your opportunity to hear from the leading experts in place branding and marketing as they address key challenges and opportunities, also bringing client perspectives to the session [scheduling of each of these sessions may change as content is confirmed]

    • 11:20

      Branding to Win

      The competition between cities for talent, tourism and investment has never been greater. In the past, the perception of a destination as a desirable place to live, visit or do business was shaped by very different factors and destinations created different brands for each of their audiences. But today, these factors are increasingly aligned and leading destinations are creating more unified positioning strategies and shared brands to engage residents, visitors and businesses to set their destination apart. In this session, Resonance will share new research and case studies from Brussels, Houston and Christchurch to show:

      • How the factors driving destination performance in start-up formation, visitor expenditure and talent attraction have changed.
      • How to create shared brands that support both tourism and economic development and how to truly measure its performance
      • How your brand can be a true North Star that will set the course for growth for the years to come 
    • 11:20

      Destination competition is economic development progress

      Utilizing data insights to benchmark your destination’s performance against your comp-set and industry standards. 

      • Learn from the volume of data gathered by Zartico for over 250 cities across the US and Canada of what good looks like when considering the impact of events, conventions and tourism on the place economy, and community quality of life
      • Understand how places are using daily insights to prove the value of your destination development and marketing strategy
      • How to create a Smart Destination. Measuring what visitors and residents actually do Vs. what they say they’re going to do. 
    • 11:20

      The natural intelligence of placemaking

      • Learn how communities are approaching the opportunity to improve and grow their quality of place assets instead of creating artificial spaces 
      • Hear about the five core strategies that communities across the country are embracing as they lean into placemaking as an economic development strategy
    • 12:00

      How creating quality of place translates into economic development and tourism

      • Learn how places across Indiana are attracting corporate HQs, thousands of new residents, and an explosion of tourism through an effort to develop great places and quality of life
      • Discover how to transform your place with density, walkability, mixed-use projects, and key indoor and outdoor cultural and entertainment venues
      Brenda Myers
      Brenda Myers President & CEO, Hamilton County Tourism, Inc.
      Jeff Worrell
      Jeff Worrell Councillor-at-large, Carmel City Council
    • 12:00

      How mid-tier cities are making their mark across the USA: Learnings from the new Anholt Ipsos American Mid-Tier Cities Ranking

      Join this session to hear new research into perceptions of the USA’s mid-tier cities 

      • What are the factors that create the strongest recognition of, and likelihood to visit or live in, these destinations?
      • How should city brand and marketing strategies respond?
      • How can cities use public perception studies and rankings to develop more effective strategies? 
    • 12:00

      Destination placemaking: Engineering experiences through collaboration with multicultural communities

      Today’s experience junkie travelers are searching for the richness, flavors and textures of destinations which many times are embodied in the communities and cultures of a place.

      • Discover how to transform the essence, assets, and attributes of a place into unique, authentic offerings. 
      • Learn how the stories, people and accomplishments of a place provide the ingredients to design and develop unforgettable experiences. 
      • Uncover how Louisville Tourism developed the Unfiltered Truth Collection, a group Experiences that showcase the history, heritage, and contributions of the city’s African American Community.
      • Learn how Tourism Richmond in British Columbia created Pacific Authentic Experiences, unique offerings that connect to the Pacific Asian Communities in the city. 
  • 12:35


  • 13:30

    Improving collaboration with your private sector

    • Engaging your private sector partners in your vision for tourism and economic development
    • Making joint projects work better
    • Creating ambassadors for your place in your private sector
  • alt_route

    Expert-led sessions

    Your opportunity to hear from the leading experts in place branding and marketing as they address key challenges and opportunities, also bringing client perspectives to the session [scheduling of each of these sessions may change as content is confirmed]

    • 14:05

      How DMOs and EDOs can collaborate to help win the war for talent

      As the Great Realignment continues, the importance of DMOs and EDCs working together to reach potential talent with messaging and opportunity to live and work in their community has never been higher. Join this session to hear the results of DCI’s 2023 national research study, Talent Wars

      • Understand talent’s career and location priorities, behaviors, paths to purchase and more
      • Take a deeper dive into how the importance of first-hand experience, a well-developed tourism infrastructure and collaboration between economic development and tourism stakeholders can offer a competitive advantage when launching and managing a talent attraction campaign

      Talent attraction has not historically been in a DMO’s scope of work or job description but if you are not partnering with your local economic development organization to raise the profile of your destination as a place to live and work when marketing to visitors, your community is missing out on a significant opportunity

      Dariel Y. Curren
      Dariel Y. Curren EVP, Development Counsellors International
    • 14:05

      What drives city brand perceptions in different parts of the world?

      Understanding the perspectives of different target audiences is central to a successful city brand strategy – it enables you to focus on what really matters and get improved results. Launched at this conference, the new Brand Finance City Index offers a wealth of data on perceptions of cities among a variety of audiences, surveying opinions on 100 cities in 20 markets worldwide.

      • Learn from the insights of the Brand Finance City Index what particular attributes drive reputation and consideration among different audiences when it comes to 7 dimensions of city activity – from attracting investment to tourism.
      • Uncover what really matters to your audiences and how that differs – from Gen Z to Boomers, from the United States to China, from investors to visitors – and what it means for your city brand strategy.
    • 14:05

      Destination organizations, stakeholders and residents: Creating a shared vision for a successful future

      As destination organizations globally are increasingly looking inward at stakeholders and residents, they’re addressing what organizational changes are needed to support a shared “social license” for tourism. Marketing must have a local voice, budgets must shift to address a broader, more diverse scope of projects, and a shared vision with multiple community partners must become a priority. Join this session to explore the burning questions about community engagement and resident sentiment:

      • Who is doing what?
      • What works and what doesn't?
      • What surprises have you encountered over the past year?
    • 14:45

      From place brand campaign to true place brand strategy

      So often the focus of a place branding project is on communicating the brand's central idea externally, and the most important part of a place – its built environment – can be forgotten or overshadowed by flashier and easier-to-implement projects. Beyond traditional wayfinding, public art or branded experiences, how can your place tell its story through the built environment and reinforce its central message to those walking, biking and riding in your community? How can you ensure your place brand work is truly affecting the development of your product? Join this session to explore the importance of infusing your brand's story into the built environment, told through the lens of a place branding project in High Point, North Carolina.

      • Understand the nuance between a well-executed campaign and a true place brand strategy
      • Learn ways that strategy can be implemented in the built environment
    • 14:45

      Stewardship centered strategy and branding

      As destinations seek greater balance between the economic benefits of tourism and its potential impacts on the environment, local culture, and resident quality of life, destination branding has similarly re-centered to focus on the unique values of the community and place.  Join this session for an essential road map to ‘future focused’ place branding :

      • Hear about the research and trends that are driving this paradigm shift
      • Learn from a case study of the process in action in a US State - hear about the practical challenges and how to manage the complex range of stakeholders 
      • Focus on developing a destination brand centered in the community’s aspirations, ethos, and character – assets that need to be managed, lest they be lost
      • Understand how to integrate your destination brand within a sustainable tourism strategy or destination master plan
    • 14:45

      What data do you have? What data do you need? What data can you ignore?

      We're in the golden age of tourism and place making data, which has led to more questions than answers for many destinations.

      • What data really helps you prove economic vitality? 
      • What data is outdated that you should move on from? 
      • What data should you not let suck you in? 
      • What's the latest data people are talking about?

      Hear from destination data pros who have it all figured out.

  • 15:20


  • 15:45

    Making events a core pillar of your investment attraction

    • Discover how Edmonton is growing investment in key sectors with events
    • Develop strategies to help you benefit from the billions that sustainability is driving in investment
    • Creating community-specific events to mobilize your residents and businesses in the vision for your place
    Chris McLeod
    Chris McLeod VP Global Marketing & Communications, Edmonton Global
  • 16:05

    Building place brands on the world stage: Preparations for FIFA World Cup 2026

    • What plans are host cities for the 2026 FIFA World Cup putting in place to welcome a diverse, international audience and to ensure the positive impact of hosting delivers equitable benefits for all of their communities?
    • Leveraging the international platform to build reputation, future tourism, and future investment
    • How tourism and economic development teams plan to work together to deliver a longer-lasting legacy for the host place economies
    Michael Heckman
    Michael Heckman President & CEO, Houston First Corporation
  • 16:35

    Finding your authentic voice: An international perspective from Iceland

    • Developing a distinctive voice for your place that cuts through the noise
    • Rooting your communications in empathy and humour
    • Identifying common challenges you can co-create solutions for with your audience
  • 16:55

    Closing summary

  • 17:00

    Closing drinks