Until a few years ago, no one could have imagined that Glasgow, a city of about 588,000 people, located on the Clyde River, could become one of the hottest destinations in Europe. The secret, according to Scott Taylor, Chief Executive of the Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, is a “place based” marketing strategy that is focused on the simple idea that people crave interesting and unique experiences in cities whether they are locals or tourists.

At PPS’ upcoming Conference on Sustainability and Placemaking, Scott Taylor will shed light on a new way of thinking about creating great multi use destinations that attract visitors, businesses, and other investment.

Glasgow's Downtown Draws Visitors from Across Europe. Flickr photo by Ray Devlin

Scott’s talk will focus on how “Place Marketing” creates a visual identity for cities and has transformed Glasgow by using the city’s history, heritage and culture to define destinations that are authentic and attractive to both locals and tourists. For Scott, “Place Marketing” emerges naturally from the shift to the “experience economy” where people no longer value commodities, goods, or services, but experiences. The future of successful places and projects will be defined on the ability to host and market these exchanges.

Scott Taylor

Scott setup the Glasgow City Marketing Bureau (GCMB) four years ago and has been at the helm since the beginning.  A recent interview in Drum Magazine lays out his strategy for taking advantage of the experience economy. The strategy has secured £140m worth of conference business for the city this year, and £4 billion of investment money is being spent in the city at the moment, a figure Taylor describes as unthinkable only a few years ago.

Investments have come under Scott’s guidance, from the branding “Glasgow, Scotland with style.” The city’s style grew out of the architectural movement of 1910 which has helped define the city for over a century. The brand offers opportunities for experiences related to arts, culture, and shopping and has succeeded in creating a sense of place where bookstores, outdoor markets, and coffee houses act as places where locals and tourists can gather around a combination of activities, keeping local retail alive and creating a wonderful experience for visitors.

At PPS’ upcoming Conference on Sustainability and Placemaking in Norway, Scott will join other a remarkable group of international placemakers, including Carol Binder and Eric Reynolds.  Register now for your chance to meet and learn from these and other pioneers in building great places.

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