Meet the Experts

Looking for the right consultant or agency to help you develop and implement your place brand and/or marketing strategy? We're delighted to make some introductions...


Alphabet® is a 24-person tourism branding and marketing agency based in Ottawa, Canada operating since 2000.  Alphabet® has a history of partnering with clients and other consultancy teams, pushing the boundaries of how brand positioning and marketing strategy contribute to a destination’s economic vitality. We have established our reputation by being focused on results through creative thinking combined with research, analytics and consumer insight.  Our brand development approach is built for today’s digital and social media environments – understanding how brands today are consumed and shared, creating concepts that include design and messaging platforms to create a timeless brand strategy.

Advertising / Design / Marketing / Research / Strategy
Cathy Kirkpatrick, Tourism Marketing

Bellweather Agency

Bellweather Agency is a women- and minority-owned creative agency with offices across the East Coast, US that builds pioneering work for travel, tourism, and civic partners. Our brands, campaigns, and websites are built for transformation and sustainable growth in a digital world. 

We help our partners transform by building strategy from our extensive research and collaborative process. From award-winning websites (GoBreck, Brooklyn Bridge Park, Visit Napa Valley) to bold, collaborative rebrands (Visit Baltimore, Provincetown) to audience-driven campaigns (WorldPride, NYC #SeeYourCity), we thrive shifting across multiple digital channels with creative tailor-made to your audience.

Advertising / Design / Digital / Marketing / Research / Social Media / Storytelling / Strategy
Hunter Vargas, Business Development Manager

Bloom Consulting

Bloom Consulting is a company 100% specialized in Nation and Place Branding headquartered in Madrid, with offices in London, Lisbon and Sao Paulo.  The specialisation in Country Branding makes Bloom Consulting one of the most advanced and globally renowned companies in the sector with more than 70 projects implemented across 5 continents.

Bloom Consulting publishes its own Country Brand Ranking, with the aim of analyzing the Brand performance of 180 Countries and the Digital Country Index and Digital City Index which measure the digital identity of Nations and Places

Nation Brand Builders, Bloom Consulting Latest book, available on Amazon

Marketing / Reputation Management / Research / Strategy
Jose Filipe Torres, CEO

Brand Finance

Brand Finance is the world’s leading independent brand valuation and strategy consultancy. Headquartered in the Brand Exchange, a refurbished listed building in the City of London, we are present in over 20 locations worldwide. Brand Finance was set up in 1996 with the aim of ‘bridging the gap between marketing and finance’. For more than 20 years, we have helped companies and organisations of all types and sizes to connect their brands to the bottom line. Our sister company Brand Dialogue is a public relations and strategic communications agency with a specific focus on geographic branding, including supporting nation brands and brands with a geographical indication. 

Data management / Design / Reputation Management / Research / Strategy
Konrad Jagodzinski, Communications Director


Brash is a strategic led brand consultancy, specialising in real estate, placemaking and destinations. With presence in the UK, Middle East and central Europe, the consultancy brings global expertise and unique industry insights, delivered in a personal and bespoke manner. 

Brash is brave and disruptive, always on a mission to identify the bigger opportunity, unlock the brand’s full potential, create positive impact, and deliver tangible business value. With vision and true insights, we develop compelling brand propositions. Through world class design, content, and technology we bring brands to life.

Design / Marketing / Research / Storytelling / Strategy
Guillaume Froome Cocken

Civic Brand

CivicBrand is an agency with over a decade of experience in research, branding, consulting, design, and marketing. We’re a team of strategists, creatives and storytellers with a passion for helping communities tell their story.  We work directly with cities, economic development, and DMOs including convention & visitors bureaus (CVBs), chambers of commerce and business associations to develop and implement branding, engagement and destination marketing strategies. We focus on public engagement at the core of place branding and implementing strategies that cut across residents, visitors and business.

Design / Marketing / Strategy / Citizen Engagement
Ryan Short, CEO


Creos offers expert consulting and project management services for designing, planning and developing technology and art in public spaces, with the goal of transforming these areas into lively, attractive spaces that combine creativity and efficiency.

A world-leading agency for touring interactive installations, Creos transforms public spaces into must-see destinations worldwide that enrich the lives of citizens and tourists alike. Creos offers a diverse portfolio of interactive installations tailored to venues, offering visitors a unique and memorable sensory and interactive experience.

Design / Strategy / Place Making
Alexandre Lemieux


CrowdRiff is a visual marketing platform purpose-built for the travel and tourism industry. The platform combines content discovery, digital asset management and content delivery tools that enable marketers to source and share top performing visuals with their respective audiences, at scale. CrowdRiff currently works with over 800 leading travel and tourism brands globally, including Destination BC and the Netherland Board of Tourism and Conventions.

Design / Marketing
Jaffree Brown

Destination Analysts

Destination Analysts is a full-service market research company specializing in yielding actionable marketing intelligence for DMOs. We provide the travel industry with a breadth of insights, from the comprehensive understanding of target audiences to ROI analysis and economic forecasts. Since March 2020, Destination Analysts has been conducting an ongoing traveler sentiment study to track how Americans think, feel and behave when it comes to travel. Destination Analysts’ also conducts The State of the International Traveler—the industry’s premier study for tracking traveler sentiment and global destination brand performance and The CVB and the Future of the Meetings Industry, the go-to biannual study for anticipated meeting and event industry trends. 

Data management / Research / Storytelling / Strategy
Erin Francis-Cummings


Eutopia  is a specialist in place marketing. Our teamhas broad international expertise supporting places to enhance their overallplace attractiveness as well as extensive expertise in investment promotion. Our consultants come froman economic development  background andwe bring a data driven and targeted approach to ensure place marketing  efforts can be as impactful as possible.  

Our services include placeassessment and diagnostic (Vista), place branding, place brand evaluation,strategy development and place marketing services. 

The founder and Director ofeutopia, Judith O’Doherty will attend this year’s event. Judith’s career ineconomic development in both the private and public sector has providedexcellent insights as to how regions, cities and towns can optimise their economicpotential.

Judith has an MSc in PlaceManagement and Leadership, is a Fellow of the Institute of Place Management anda Member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing. She is also am appointedExpert on theHigh Streets Task Force in England. 

Data management / Design / Marketing / Research / Social Media / Storytelling / Strategy
Judith O’Doherty

Four Communications Limited

Four Communications is an award-winning global consultancy with offices in the UK and the MENA region and clients as diverse as governments, tourism boards, investors, retailers, developers, sports events and bids, cultural institutions and associations.  

Four’s Place + service brings together Four’s sector experts and harnesses innovative data-driven insights to deliver research, strategic consultancy, branding, marketing and communications strategy and implementation, evaluation, public affairs, sustainable expertise and bespoke training which all improve the value of places.

Four’s work was shortlisted in the 2020 City Nation Place Awards.

Four Communications Limited’s liabilities shall becapped at £1 million per claim. Four shall not be held liable for indirect orconsequential losses’

Advertising / Design / Digital / Marketing / Media / PR / Reputation Management / Research / Social Media / Storytelling / Strategy
Debbie Hindle

Go To Places

Go To Places is the only provider in the UK delivering destination management services and thematic tourism campaigns across multiple counties. We provide expert advice, robust research and funding know-how to make places thrive. We understand local authorities want to play a leading role in growing their local visitor economy but there are increasing pressures on resources. We provide a viable outsourcing alternative and off-the-shelf products and services and our unique model works because we can offer economies of scale. And whilst we are a ‘not-for-profit’ we have a team with extensive commercial experience that understand the realities of the sector in these challenging times.

Data management / Design / Digital / Marketing / Media / PR / Research / Social Media / Storytelling / Strategy
Deirdre Wells OBE

Hunden Strategic Partners

Mr. Hunden and his Chicago-based firm offer extensive experience in the economics of placemaking, primarily via transformative real estate projects. He has provided economic development, market and financial feasibility, impact, developer selection and planning expertise for more than 800 projects and studies over the past 25+ years, totaling more than $6 billion in developed real estate. The firm completes approximately 60 assignments per year with its 12-person professional staff. Hunden’s background in economic, real estate and tourism development combine to make him a unique resource for communities looking to develop their destinations and projects in a viable, transformative and sustainable way. Some compelling projects include the Chicago Riverwalk and Navy Pier, Distrito T-Mobile in San Juan, a mega mixed-use destination in the Middle East (in pre-development), and Lansdowne Park in Ottawa, ON.

Research / Strategy
Rob Hunden, CEO

HVS Convention, Sports & Entertainment

HVS can help you meet the challenges of planning, operating, and financing convention center, sports, and entertainment facilities with trusted, impartial advice resulting from our years of studying and the guiding planning of these venues. Our wide range of real estate expertise allows us to analyze mixed-use developments that are indeed place makers. We perform market and feasibility studies, operational assessments, surveys, financing recommendations, and economic and fiscal impact analyses. Our goal is to serve our clients throughout the lifecycle of their developments.

Research / Storytelling / Strategy / Citizen Engagement / Place Making
Tom Hazinski


iCrossing is a global digital marketing agency that is driven by data, powered by Hearst and obsessed with helping our clients grow. We pride ourselves on our people, expertise and technology. In a time of near constant change, we are a trusted partner who will help you navigate the continuously evolving digital landscape. We do change as usual.

Design / Digital / Marketing / Media / Research / Social Media / Storytelling / Strategy
Tim Lawrence, Head of Planning & Strategy


Ipsos is an independent market research company delivering insightful expertise that helps clients better understand their market, develop more effective product, marketing, and communications strategies, and understand the world around them. Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos has grown into a worldwide research group with a strong presence in over 90 markets, and conducting research in over 120. Annually, Ipsos releases the Anholt-Ipsos Nation Brands Index, the only comprehensive global nation brand survey. The Anholt Ipsos Nation Brands Index (NBI) helps governments, organizations and businesses understand, measure and ultimately build a strong national image and reputation.

Data management / Digital / Reputation Management / Research / Strategy
Jason McGrath


Ketchum ranks among the largest and most geographically diverse public relations agencies in the world, with a network of more than 2,500 employees operating in 70 countries. Our performance is powered by our consultancy model that leverages our deep expertise in 14 industry sectors. Our Travel & Economic Development sector goes above and beyond—we’re a smart, scrappy and agile team with award-winning earned media, influencer marketing and content strategy at our core. And, at the click of your fingers, you get the best issues & crisis, digital & social, public affairs, experiential, analytics and other suite of specialities to counsel, support and guide your communications strategy and organizational priorities. We bring the best of both worlds: the scrappiness of a boutique and the breadth of a global communications consultancy for what matters most to you.

Digital / PR / Reputation Management / Research / Social Media / Storytelling / Strategy
Bettina Garibaldi, Senior Vice President

Landor & Fitch

Our ambition is to deliver extraordinary brand transformation for our clients, by design.

With Landor’s brand consulting and strategic design capability, FITCH’s experience design and retail consultancy, and ManvsMachine’s leading edge motion design, we are the largest specialist brand and design group in the world. We are proud to work with iconic travel and destination brands that include Amaala, Azerbaijan, British Airways, Dubai Airports, Etihad, City of Madrid, City of Melbourne, Joali, Pacific Place and Sri Lanka to deliver brand-led growth. We are a company of over 1200+ curious minds, with 43 teams across 19 countries, working as one, to create extraordinary brand experiences.

Landor & Fitch is part of WPP, a creative transformation company.

Design / Marketing / Research / Strategy
Danni McCormack, Business Development Director

Linked In

LinkedIn connects the world's professionals to make them more productive and successful. With more than 756 million members worldwide, including executives from every Fortune 500 company, LinkedIn is the world's largest professional network. Headquartered in Silicon Valley, LinkedIn has offices across the globe.

Advertising / Digital / Marketing / Media / Social Media / Storytelling / Strategy
Whitney Lee

MMGY Global

MMGY Global is the world’s leading integrated global  marketing firm specializing in the travel, hospitality and entertainment  industries. With eight operating brands across the world, the award-winning  organization maintains a global communications practice in all marketing  channels, serving many of the world’s premier travel and tourism brands. As a  company dedicated to the global travel industry, MMGY Global strives to create  a connected, inclusive and peaceful world by promoting travel as a cultural bridge  of understanding.

Advertising / Data management / Design / Digital / Marketing / Media / PR / Reputation Management / Research / Social Media / Storytelling / Strategy / Citizen Engagement / Place Making
Justin Farmer

Resonance Consultancy

As leading advisors in economic development, tourism and real estate for more than a decade, Resonance combines business strategy and marketing creativity to help shape the future of countries, cities and regions around the world.

Our team has advised destinations, communities and governments in 20 states and more than 70 countries. We provide leading public and private sector organizations with consumer research, strategic planning, marketing strategy, place branding and economic development strategy to help places realize their full potential.

Marketing / Research / Strategy
Jeremie Fleinblatt


Simpleview is the worldwide leading provider of CRM, CMS, website design, digital marketing, revenue generation, and mobile technologies for destination marketing organisations (DMOs). The company employs 325+ staff and works with 900+ travel, tourism and convention marketing customers on six continents, from towns of less than 30,000 to world capitals, including Los Angeles, New York and 14 more of the top 20 U.S. meetings destinations, Dubai, East Sweden, Guadalajara, Melbourne, Prague, Reykjavik, South Africa and the countries of Malaysia, Norway and Scotland. 

Data management / Design / Digital / Marketing / Research / Social Media / Storytelling / Strategy
Kevin Bate, Senior Director of Business Development

The New York Times

Now a global brand with an audience of over 150 million the mission of The New York Times is to seek the truth and help people understand the world.  This mission is rooted in our belief that great journalism has the power to make each reader’s life richer and more fulfilling, and all of society stronger and more just. We give our expert journalists the support and resources they need to create important, impactful and independent journalism that makes a difference in the world. 

Craig Webb

The Travel Foundation

The Travel Foundation is a global charity with technical expertise in understanding and managing the impacts of tourism in destinations, for the benefit of communities and the environment. The charity works across the public and private sector, encouraging collaboration in placemaking to manage the burdens of tourism on communities (see and future risks to the visitor economy, and to maximise opportunities for sustainable product innovation and local SME supply chain development. Their headquarters are based in the UK and are active across the globe.

Data management / Research / Strategy / Citizen Engagement / Place Making


Trajectory integrates the best of brand strategy, stakeholder engagement, design systems, marketing and communications. From neighbourhoods to regions, we work with economic development and tourism agencies, BIDs/BIAs as well as key attractions and events (DC’s National Cherry Blossom Festival, Pan Am Games and Toronto’s CN Tower to name a few). Based in Toronto, our experience spans the USA (Washington DC; Crystal City, VA; Raleigh, NC; Butler County, OH; Detroit, MI); Bermuda (Bermuda Cultural Map) and Canada (Mississauga; Niagara region; Hastings County; National Capitol Commission; Parks Canada/World Heritage). Fuel your success with compelling positioning, identity, storytelling and powerful community-building tools.

Advertising / Design / Digital / Marketing / Research / Storytelling / Strategy
Jeannette Hana


Trove is a digital strategy and marketing agency for tourism boards, tourism authorities and tour operators. Our focus is on tourism development through the development of "troves" which are treasures or gems in a destination that have major potential for rapid visitor growth. We bring innovation to tourism organisations - from sentiment analysis, to data-driven market segmentation, to branding & influencer strategy, to smart social media campaigns and predictive data analytics. Our goal is to help destinations create better digital branding, marketing, and analytics programs and “stand out.”

Data management / Digital / Marketing / Media / Research / Social Media / Storytelling / Strategy
Danny Cohanpour


Zartico’s mission is to provide the clearest perspective of the visitor economy. As the world’s first Destination Operating System, Zartico combines science, technology and domain expertise to positively impact the tourism and visitor economy. By harnessing the power of proprietary data streams, Zartico answers the “why”. With over fifty years of destination and travel experience, Zartico is uniquely positioned to lead the transformation from global destination marketing to global destination leadership.

Data management / Storytelling
Ted Sullivan