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Place Management and Branding Conference - The Business of Place: Critical, practical and pragmatic perspectives

Place branding, place management, place marketing, strategic spatial development, public-private place partnerships, all synonyms describing one thing - the application of business principles to place.  The language and conventions of business have spread across the world, to places of all scales, from district centre management through to nation branding.  This widespread extension of market principles to places (districts, towns, cities, regions, countries and even continents) is not without critics, with many economists explaining that it is firms that compete not places. Nevertheless, those charged with place leadership chant the mantra of place competition, hence the expanding business of place.

The aim of this conference is to accept these alternative realities and provide a 'green zone' for contributors to bring their perspective on the business of place for the explicit purposes of theoretical and practical development.  Based in Manchester, the original modern city, delegates will play a pivotal role in making sense of the state of the knowledge for academics, practitioners and policy makers.

Contributions have been accepted that explore the various perspectives of place branding, management or any other type of 'orchestrated action' that investigate or apply business principles in or to places.  The conference includes over 50 presentations from 18 different countries.

Themes include:

  • Critical perspectives on place management and branding
  • Place competition, co-operation and co-opetition
  • Digital place marketing
  • Place leadership and governance
  • Community involvement and ‘grassroot’ movements
  • Social media and place
  • Place identity, attachment and emotion
  • Place management and legislation
  • Town centre management
  • Public space and activation

The Conference is organised by The Institute of Place Management at Manchester Metropolitan University and by INPOLIS Berlin, Conference delegates that are members of the Institute of Place Management are entitled to discounted delegate fees.  Conference delegates that are not members of the Institute of Place Management are entitled to 6 months free membership.

The conference will be fully accredited as Continuing Professional Development by the Institute of Place Management.

In addition to the conference, there are a number of other key events. Please see the menu on the left for more details.

The conference will take place in MMUBS’ brand new £75m teaching and research headquarters in Manchester.  In addition, to Manchester’s famous industrial heritage, it also has a long history of dissenting academics, who pioneered the development of the applied sciences, including the study of commerce.



Conference Dates


Research Colloquium
13th February 2013

Study Tours
16th February 2013

Place Management Masterclass
13th February 2013

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Conference Organisers

The conference is co-chaired by
Professor Cathy Parker (
and Dr Ares Kalandides (

Manchester Metropolitan University

Institute of Place Management

IPM is the international professional body that supports people committed to developing, managing and making places better.

It aims to support and develop the profession of place management.


Integrated services for urban development, local economy, place management and branding