Liverpool to host international place branding event

THIS summer, Liverpool will play host to an international event leading the conversation around place branding. On 31st May and 1st June, it will welcome hundreds of experts from cities and municipalities across Europe to hear from speakers including Amsterdam, London and Stockholm.

Titled ‘Place Branding: It’s not about the logo’, the conference is being organised by Swedish cloud-based brand consultancy UP There, Everywhere, which works closely with many key European destinations.

Place branding is an industry which is changing at an exceptional pace, thanks to reasons as varied as growing connectivity, the prevalence of social media and even cities’ own success at marketing themselves. Over two days, attendees will hear from some of the leading voices in place branding and take part in sessions designed to challenge conventional wisdom and determine what the future holds and what destinations need to do.

CEO of UP, Julian Stubbs, said: “Can cities and places be marketed like regular brands? We’ll hear the views on that question and more from some of the leading European cities and practitioners.”

Chris Brown, director of Marketing Liverpool, said: “Place branding has been extremely important here in Liverpool, and has helped us to build a real legacy off the back of a successful 2008. In an increasingly complex environment, destinations can’t rely on just having a nice logo or a catchy slogan; the destinations which understand this are often the ones which lead rankings for desirability amongst visitors and satisfaction of their residents. It’s an industry which tends to provoke strong views and we don’t expect everyone to agree with each other, so we’re looking forward to hosting a punchy, fascinating couple of days.”

It comes as part of Liverpool’s 2018 programme, which has seen major events such as the arrival of the Terracotta Warriors at World Museum, International Business Festival and Liverpool Biennial, the UK’s largest contemporary arts festival.

The place branding event will take place a decade on from Liverpool’s year as European Capital of Culture, which is looked back on as a hugely transformative award. Since 2008, Liverpool has seen a year-on-year increase in visitors and won external acclaim for its innovative place branding work.

The event is expected to attract around 200 attendees from European municipalities, destinations, cities and academic institutions.

For more information or to book your place, visit

One of the sponsors of the event is GVA, the commercial property agency. Stephen Cowperthwaite, regional senior director at GVA in Liverpool, said: “Supporting the International Place Branding event series is an obvious decision for GVA. One of the key themes that we are driving forward as a business is focussed on successful cities, so how they promote and brand themselves, identify their differentiators and compete internationally are paramount to this. 

“Liverpool and GVA have been leading discussions with a number of cities around the importance and impact of waterfront regeneration for a number of years now, so the content of this event feels like a natural progression of this conversation. We are proud to be the corporate sponsor for this event and we look forward to getting more involved in these powerful discussions over the coming months.”

Speaking at the event will be Olle Zetterberg, CEO of Stockholm Business Region. He said: “The marketing and branding of places has never been more important and today cities, municipalities and countries need to be more visible and promote themselves to compete globally. The event in Liverpool will bring together a number of very interesting speakers on the subject of building successful places.“