POWERED BY CULTURE
FIRST, A PROPOSITION FOR YOU: Perhaps it is time we, as destinations, stop referring to certain groups of tourists as the cultural tourists as opposed to other groups of tourists. Maybe it is time to stop talking of culture as the fun side-event, as the offering outside meeting rooms or even as something that should be experienced in museums or art exhibitions.
As destinations, we should know better; culture is bigger than tourism. We know that tourists, whether for business or leisure, are not attracted by a simple offering of hotel room availability. What really matters is the luring promise of a distinct experience, of something that differs from the familiar and everyday. It is the mosaic of cultural narratives, ideas, promises, performances, arts and politics that empower our destinations with cultural attraction.
Culture is what tips the choice between one destination or another. It’s what shapes cities and destinations, forms urban identity and enforces reputative quality. Culture is our competitive advantage and the basis of a city’s global position of influence and power. From countries as the focus of Joseph Nye’s original concept of soft power, describing a country’s ability to influence others through persuasion, ideas and cultural attraction, to cities in focus as the core urban hubs of soft power through concentration of culture. A concentration, which in turn shapes distinct urban identity and stages the urban experience.
Culture in all its aspects is what gives your city a hard punch! Airports, cruise terminals, high rises and amusement parks may be the hardware to frame it, but culture fills it with experiential matter and meaning. Intangible by nature, the culture of a city can be manifested by empowering the city’s cultural scene, the arts, the innovative and creative communities.
So, this is your personal invitation to ECM Summer Conference in Poznan 2020, where we will unfold the soft power of cities as a hard core competitive factor in creating unique visitor experiences, in generating value beyond the city’s hardware, in creating legacy and building global influence, in sustaining community and collective identity.
We will take on the potential and challenge of the mutual relation between culture and tourism. We will seek inspiration and ideas when speakers of leading museums, global brands and experience economy experts share their take on why culture is more than an optional and time-limited amusement. Be prepared as we discuss how conventions are powerful levers of cultural influence and how cultural heritage will – or will not – make your business.
Join us for serious business and serious fun, as we meet in Poznan, a mix of historical and modern culture, where academia meets technology, industry, art and education. Poznan is the historical capital of the Greater Poland region, a welcoming city waiting to leave its cultural soft power mark on YOU as a very special guest.