Experts with experience in cultural branding, such as Erik Kessels, MUZE, Kai Amberla and Miguel Rivas, along with a number of Croatian keynote speakers, will gather in one place and discuss branding trends and challenges at the “Branding of Culture” international conference, which will be organised as part of the Rijeka 2020 – European Capital of Culture project and the Classroom programme from 28 February to 2 March 2019 in Rijeka.

The conference programme comprises lectures, examples of good practice, workshops and panel discussions, where the attendees will receive orientation guidelines for contemplating the topic of cultural branding, which includes the branding of all expressions and forms of cultural activities with the aim of creating cultural products and not just brand cultural institutions. Furthermore, the conference will provide positive examples from Croatia and abroad that pertain to cultural tourism in order to motivate the participants to apply similar ideas in the organisations and communities in which they operate.

Due to the desire for the independent funding of culture and the new character of the audience that seeks a more interactive experience, cultural workers need to profoundly rethink their identity, means of communication, the experience they provide visitors, and the recognisability of their cultural product. This will create opportunities for strengthening cooperation between the cultural sector and marketing, design, visual art, creative industry, tourist board, local and regional authority representatives.

A brand is more than just a logo, it is a symbol of perception, expectations, memories and the overall emotional experience of a product or service. It provides answers to questions of the supply, value, mission, vision and goals, thus embodying the overall experience through the creation of a story and visual content that are relevant to the consumers and audience, as well as current and potential visitors.
Notable keynote speakers at the Branding of Culture conference programme:

Erik Kessels, designer, photographer, artist, publisher and co-owner of the KesselsKramer agency, which has been involved in the branding of a number of museums and cultural events (Frans Hals Museum, NEMO Science Museum, Kids Book Week, Dutch Film Festival, Trienalle di Milano), as well as cities (I Amsterdam) and provinces (Friesland, Netherlands),
Miguel Rivas, a partner in the TASO Group, an organisation that specialises in city branding,
Kai Amberla, director of Finland Festivals, an umbrella organisation that brings together notable music, theatre, dance, literature, visual and children’s cultural programmes and connects them with the tourism sector, while representing their interests,
Boris Ljubičić, whose most important project was the design of Croatia’s visual identity in various areas in an extremely minimalistic manner, which has created a recognisable national identity that is immediately associated with Croatia across the globe, and who for decades has been winning the most prestigious awards for graphic design from Tokyo to New York
MUZE, a Croatian organisation that helps cities and areas understand their heritage and identity and create attractive tourist destinations, attractions and experiences

Another interesting feature of the conference is the accompanying exhibition of posters with logos of recognisable Croatian cultural products (museums, festivals, events and institutions), which will be displayed at the RiHub in Rijeka.