Place branders share their expertise ahead of CNP Americas 2023

In just three weeks’ time, we’ll be welcoming 200 place leaders from across the USA and Canada to New Orleans for the seventh annual City Nation Place Americas conference. This year, we’re focusing on how you can join the dots between tourism, economic development, and residential quality of life to ensure a prosperous future for your place. Here's just a sneak preview of the discussions you’ll be able to join in order to get you excited ahead of the conference on June 7-8th!

Listening and learning: shaping your strategy through community consultation

No discussion about placemaking in Regina can happen without acknowledging that Regina is situated on Treaty 4 Territory – the ancestral lands of the Cree, Saulteaux, Dakota, Lakota, Nakoda and homeland of the Métis.  Place shaping isn’t just an opportunity for Economic Development organizations to help tell stories about what makes communities special – sometimes place shaping is the story.

  • Chris Lane, President & CEO, Economic Development Regina

Collaborating to deliver on a bolder, differentiated vision

The best way to connect the dots between these vital elements of economic development is to ensure ongoing robust dialog between the sectors. That dialog, for our community, comes in the form of regular joint meetings with key entities on specific issues. Meet Minneapolis will also be updating its tourism master plan later this year. This will involve an even broader cross-section of civic, business, and political leaders who will shape our destination into the future. It stands to reason that the quality of life of a destination is vital for residents and employers who want to provide a vibrant environment for workers. Subsequently visitors seek authenticity in a destination so that they can experience it in the same ways locals do. The best outcome is when local residents, workers and visitors can co-exist and collectively sustain vibrancy.

  • Melvin Tennant, President & CEO, Meet Minneapolis

Paradoxes and destination marketing

Here in Asheville, we believe that the experience of place transcends attractions. Thoughtful places shape our sense of self and how we perceive the world. They leave a lasting impression on the hearts of guests and embody community pride for residents... Many of our residents first experienced Asheville as visitors themselves and were inspired to return. Responsible destination management can lead resource stewardship and contribute to sustainable economic growth in Buncombe County, with visitors supporting the level and quality of experiences beyond what our small mountain community could sustain alone.

  • Vic Isley, President & CEO, Explore Asheville

Rebalancing tourism and the authentic voice of Nashville

Without a traditional demand generator like beaches, mountains, gaming or theme parks, music and Nashville’s creative culture are at the heart of shaping Music City as a top global destination. The creative culture has extended into a nationally recognized culinary scene, momentum in fashion and retail, and new upscale experiences at four-star hotels. The success of the Music City brand supports corporate relocations, professional sports and major global eventsThere’s a direct connection between the music brand to Nashville recently being named the second hottest job market in the country, one of the best sports business cities in the U.S. and among cities with the strongest economic growth nationally… Nashville’s music brand gives the city an edge as a destination, a place where young people move for jobs, and a place to start or move a business.

  • Deana Ivey, President, Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp

Evolving objectives for destination marketing and economic development organisations            

Visit Lake Charles has received an EDA grant that will allow them to build a new Mardi Gras Museum in the Nellie Lutcher Economic Development District which will help to revitalize an older part of the community and return a once proud area back into commercialization. This process has bought VLC to the forefront of partnerships between the local municipality government, the parish government, and local economic development agencies… Creating a true destination marketing and management organization, DMMO, has been part of the Visit Lake Charles strategic plan for the past three years and continues to be a driving force in our budgeting and decision-making processes. It is critical to our community to have all agencies at the table to discuss and strategize on how to best create new economic opportunities for our destination.

  • Kyle Edmiston, President & CEO, Visit Lake Charles

Sustainable product development: achieving balance and contributing to the quality of life proposition of your place

The broader goals of the tourism industry have been expanding beyond solely driving visitation and economic benefits, to also include residential quality of life and of the natural and built environment… The Colorado Tourism Office has been analyzing destinations through the lens of their position within the destination life cycle (emerging, intermediate, established) and are collaborating on investments with our partners that help move destinations up the life cycle or protect their position within the life cycle.

  • Andrew Grossmann, Director of Destination Development, Colorado Tourism Office

How comparative economic data is driving advocacy for investment in sustainable tourism development in Alberta

Data-informed decision-making pushes tourism leaders to seek out the best solutions for their destination and partners based on the available facts, not biases from the past that can impair opportunities for risk-taking and value creation, today. By summoning timely data insights from the various sectors of the visitor economy, partners can better apply their time, energy and capital toward opportunities that build employment opportunities, drive visitation, and build stronger, more resilient, and sustainable destinations.

  • Darren Reeder, President & CEO, Tourism Industry Association of Alberta

Improving collaboration with your private sector

We work with the private sector daily as part of our DNA since we are a membership-based organisation. Almost 2,000 local businesses across hotels, Broadway, performing arts, restaurants, attractions and retail comprise our membership, and we are dedicated to driving their businesses through tourism. Regarding the new branding rollout, we’ve shared a tool kit with our members and partners across all five boroughs on best practices for adapting the new brand, and have encouraged them to get involved in our social campaign as well. We will continue to support and partner with our members through our various marketing programs and company initiatives which all include the new branding.

Leveraging data to support your broader place economy

We have been working with a number of partners in our region – municipal governments, our universities and colleges.

For example, we built a synthetic model of our region with a company that is based here Run With It Synthetics. Within this synthetic model, we looked at a number of sectors that were being impacted by reduced direct international flight routes and were able to quantify them in terms such as impact on international student enrolment in our universities and colleges, foreign direct investment in companies, long-term migration patterns, etc. and were able to see what could happen if these flights didn’t resume as well as differing levels of resumed or new service. This empowered us to build a $15 mill fund to proactively target airlines to resume. We had the data on economic impact to make a really strong case. We couldn’t have done that without good data.

  • Chris McLeod, Vice President, Global Marketing & Communications, Edmonton Global

Finding your authentic voice

We are a small country, and we are not going to be able to compete on ad spend or campaign size, etc, in a very competitive market. We have to create a different kind of competitive advantage. All our strategic reasoning is done with this in mind. When you are playing a basketball game with only short players, you need to change up the game, rely on speed rather than size, for instance. We always go into a creative round with this mindset. This pushes us in a direction where we have to embrace bold ideas and take chances on things that may not always look very safe, in terms of marketing, that is.

Missed the event in person? Don't worry...

The Place Brand Portfolio is City Nation Place's searchable portfolio of Awards case studies from the past five years.