If your job is to write a marketing strategy for a City you need something shiny. Something to attract eyeballs. With the new Convention Centre, Ottawa has a brand new shiny object to take to market.
These are the top 5 reasons why it’s a game changer for Ottawa.
- Architectural beauty. It’s a stunning new addition to some of Ottawa’s other jewels that include Parliament Buildings, Château Laurier Hotel, National Art Gallery, upgraded Museum of Nature and (just across the river) the Museum of Civilization.
- Location, location, location. It’s downtown, where convention goers want to be, when it could so easily have been built in a field. It’s nestled by the Rideau Canal – a World Heritage site, close to the ByWard Market and overlooks the Parliament buildings.
- New business. Conventions are big money (the North American convention market is worth about $263bn/annum) and convention organizers are attracted to new facilities that offer their clients easy access to restaurants, shops, transport and hotels. The Convention centre has all of these things as it targets the second tier of conferences and will bring many new visitors to Ottawa.
- New development. It will trigger other new development downtown (including new hotels), encourage new architecture and a new attitude to what’s possible.
- New Life. Cities need life breathed in to them to be sustainable and compete on a national and international stage. They need a blend of vision and respect for heritage. The Centre is a perfect addition to the capital of a G8 nation.
The Marketing thought
Marketing a city is not much different to marketing a product though it’s harder because more people are involved. Just as products need an occasional refresh, so too a city needs new facilities and projects to keep its target audiences engaged. Ottawa has an award-winning airport but it still has work to do to improve its city transportation and some of its architecture, but the new Ottawa Convention Centre is a breath of fresh air and a catalyst for real change.
Just a thought.
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