International Exhibition as an Instrument of Place Branding and Promotion
The purpose of this research is to investigate international exhibition as an instrument of place branding and promotion. It becomes of economic competitive importance to investigate if cities use regular exhibitions as a tool of place branding and promoting.
Adopting the definition by Zenker and Braun, place branding can be defined as the process employed by public administrations to intend to create place brands, networks of associations in the target groups’ minds “based on the visual, verbal, and behavioral expression of a place, which is embodied through the aims, communication, values, and the general culture of the place’s stakeholders and the overall place design” .
Thus, this work is drawn upon analyzing place branding elements at major exhibitions in three business hubs: Cairo, Dubai and Lagos city. Theoretical research qualitatively investigates major international exhibition websites of the three selected cities, examines city public policy documents, and identifies dimensions of the general culture of the stakeholders. It then explores how city policies, culture and place designs are present on the websites of the exhibitions. This research concludes that superficial practices of culture such as symbols and rituals, key public policies and stakeholders’ culture can be expressed visually, verbally and behaviorally. However, the work suggests that the cities’ international exhibitions should be more intentional in expressing elements of place branding irrespective of the exhibition theme.
1. Zenker, S., & Braun, E. (2010). “Branding a city–a conceptual approach for place branding and place brand management”, paper presented at the 39th European Marketing Academy Conference, 1st–4th June.