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Andy Sellers 31.01.2020 3Search Updates, Marketing & Business Development, Marketing Tips

“Placemaking and destination marketing, it’s all about people”

Placemaking is everywhere, literally and figuratively.

But what does it really mean and how important is it, really? Put simply, place-making is a hands-on approach for improving public space, allowing people to reimagine and reinvent public spaces.

In the of our latest 3Search Hosts series, we looked at exploring the ‘trend’ place-making and the impact it is having on today’s economy.

We were lucky enough to be joined by three incredible speakers, who shared some fantastic stories, specialist insights and industry secrets.

Last Wednesday (22nd January), a number of marketing professionals descended on the 3Search office, on Glasshouse Street, to hear the panel of Karen Baines, Head of Group Marketing and Communications at Shaftesbury PLC, Jen Harris, Director of Communications at The Ned, and Nick Thornton, Director at Aver PR.

If you are a general marketer, or someone who is interested in making a switch specifically into a role focussed on placemaking or destination marketing, this event was definitely one for the calendar.

Despite the miserable January weather, and looking out on a rather bleak looking Regent Street, around 40 guests gathered to hear the experts share their views.

Chaired by our Co-Founder, Andy Sellers, we went over a number of really interesting topics, including some fantastic case studies and, most importantly, where the future lies.

Some of the things we covered included:

What’s the difference between placemaking and destination marketing?

We kicked it off with a question that, on the face of it, seems like quite an obvious one, but arguably not.

‘Placemaking’ focuses on the design and management of a space, ensuring the experience for the visit itself is as enjoyable for the consumer as possible – the panel gave some fantastic examples, both contemporary and classic – Karen talked about the regeneration of Carnaby, where you don’t just go to shop, you go for food, drinks, the whole experience.

Destination marketing, however, is the marketing campaign behind attracting the visitors in the first place – Nick talked about how he worked on the Bluewater Shopping Centre campaign when it was up and coming, and Jen mentioned how The Ned’s campaign started way before the first lick of paint went up in the hotel.

It’s about giving the customer a feeling of belonging, and being a part of the journey.

Why are organisations investing in placemaking activities?

Place-making is becoming increasingly important and is a big player in allowing companies to stand out from the crowd.

Obviously, we asked about placemaking from a recruitment point of view. We are seeing more and more specific roles around destination marketing. Our panel informed us this is unlikely to stop any time soon and while, of course, we can expect to see many more digitally focussed campaigns coming, it’ll revert back to a more traditional form – making retail trips an all-encompassing day out.

Thank you to everyone who attended our first 3Search Hosts of 2020 and a massive thank you once again to our panel for sharing their expertise and talking about their opinions on the hot topic that is place-making and the differences between that and destination marketing.

We hope you enjoyed the event as much as we did – keep an eye out for our next event (coming sooner than you think!)




3Search is an award-winning UK recruitment consultancy, specialising in recruiting marketing experts for the digital age.

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