The phenomenon “brand” is a big social and economic issue in society and economy – both in theory and practice. Brands have become an indispensable part of social life. It can be observed that brands have changed extremely and have occupied new fields. Space is becoming more and more important in this context. While brands could primarily be experienced in two dimensions in the past, they are now pushing into three-dimensionality. Even in the emerging virtual spaces brands have become indispensable.
Brands must be considered with space in mind. Here, both sciences and practice are just in their early stages. This is mainly because branded spaces can be shaped very differently, be it as brand lands (e.g. company museums, permanent exhibitions or theme parks), place brands (e.g. tourist destinations, cities or regions), store brands (e.g. flagship stores, concept stores or outlets) or themed and specialised branded spaces (e.g. virtual and temporary branded spaces or 3-D branding).
In this context, vital questions arise:
How are brands staged in space?
How are different forms of branded spaces designed?
How do real space and virtual space influence brand perception of stakeholders?
How are branded spaces managed?
What are the risks and opportunities for brands in space?
Accordingly, the individual lectures were assigned to the following five tracks at the conference:
>> Architecture & Design
>> Place & Destination
>> Management & Process
>> Culture & Society
>> Virtuality & Beyond
The speakers at the conference were mainly scientists, but also practitioners from over ten different countries.
The main objective of the conference (Pre-Conference Day, two-day Conference with Open Space, an innovative method for the moderation of large groups) was to illuminate the explorative and applied status quo of brand and space, to discuss the latest findings of research and practice and to provide the participants from home and abroad with a platform for interdisciplinary exchange. Especially the Open Space workshop was intended to interactively and cooperatively develop new ideas concerning the view on brands and brand management in space. The Open Space was accompanied by moderators with relevant experience and their respective teams, who also ensured the infrastructural prerequisites, in particular the documentation.