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March 7, 2016
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PCMA: Why the Convention Bureau and the Economic Development Agency Must Be Friends




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Barbara Palmer, senior editor of PCMA's Convene Magazine, wrote the most enlightened article of the year in December 2015 titled "Globalizing Knowledge," which articulated the need for all destination marketing organisations (DMOs) to collaborate on activities in order to deliver on the growth of a knowledge and creative economy whilst securing relevance at the policymaking table of government.

At PCMA's flagship event, Convening Leaders, James Latham caught up with Palmer, Michelle Russell (editor-in-chief) and Chris Durso (executive editor) to understand the increasingly important connection between DMOs representing cities and states alike.

As well as organisations responsible for attracting talent through education, two key DMOs remain the Economic Development Agency (EDA) and the Convention Bureau. However, both organisational types have traditionally operated as silos and only recently does it appear that an awareness of the substantial benefits that can be derived by integrating their marketing activities has become apparent. Latham unearths examples of cities which have led the change in approach and the benefits to tier 2 and 3 cities who have traditionally been overshadowed by the global cities whose infrastructure and marketing capacity dwarfs their own.

A new paradigm has emerged as knowledge becomes the currency of growth in an innovation economy, and Palmer has to be credited for her role in upselling the perceived value that convention bureaus bring to City Hall following her equally powerful article, "In the Know" (link to  and Latham`s follow-up titled "Brains Not Beaches" in 2013.

As London & Partners, the official convention bureau for London, has demonstrated through its alignment and integration with Inward Investment and Education, the organisation is now at the core of the Economic Development Plan for London. Many cities are set to echo the model articulated by L&P chief executive Gordon Innes to IMR at IMEX 2014

James Latham reports.

 


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About the Author: James Latham

James Latham


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