Conference venue: The new Business School of the Manchester Metropolitan University.

Manchester Metropolitan University 13th-16th February 2013

The Business of Place: Critical, practical and pragmatic perspectives

Conference Chairs: Professor Cathy Parker and Dr. Ares Kalandides

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 are welcome 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.  If you wish to discuss a paper or a proposal for a special session, then please email the Conference Chairs Cathy Parker (c.parker@mmu.ac.uk) or Ares Kalandides (kalandides@inpolis.de).

The Conference is sponsored by INPOLIS Berlin, The Institute of Place Management and Development and Manchester Metropolitan University. 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.


In addition to the conference, there are a number of other key events.

Master Class : Principles of Place Management (leading to the International Certificate in Place Management)

A one-day Masterclass (12th February) which explores place management, marketing and branding from an inter-disciplinary perspective.  Delegates will examine the global drivers of change in relation to the governance of place and learn the principles of place management, marketing and branding.  The Masterclass will also provide delegates with a range of theoretical frameworks in order to be able to critically reflect upon the conference content and get more from the conference presentations and workshops. Delegates that wish to be awarded the Institute of Place Management’s International Certificate in Place Management can choose to submit an assignment, applying the learning from the Masterclass to a place of their choice.  The International Certificate in Place Management is an access route to Manchester Metropolitan University’s MSc in Place Management.

Place Management and Branding Research Colloquium (13th February)

A one-day workshop, suitable for students of place management and branding and early career researchers in the area to develop their research proposals, presentations skills and learn how to get published.  In addition, those attending the colloquium, who have a paper accepted in the conference, have an opportunity to compete for one of the ‘best new researcher’ slots in the full conference programme.

Study Tours (16th and 17th February)

A choice of walking tours of Manchester, exploring its industrial past and heritage from a place management and branding perspective (including best and worst practice!).  The study tours will be supported by material that can be used by delegates wishing to use Manchester as a case-study in their classes or presentations.


Additional information will be provided soon.

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  1. Excited about Manchester Conference. Looking forward to seeing all of you there!

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