Robert Govers Speaker Profile

Robert Govers helps communities become more admired.

Since 2009 Robert Govers has co-edited and authored four books on the topic of community reputation with Palgrave Macmillan publishersImaginative Communities (published in 2018) is his first book under his own imprint. He also co-authored over fifty journal articles, book chapters and conference papers and has delivered numerous public speeches and business publications. In addition, he is co-editor of the quarterly journal, Place Branding and Public Diplomacy.

Robert Govers is an independent international advisor, scholar, speaker and author on the reputation of cities, regions and countries. He is chairman of the International Place Branding Association and the managing research partner of He has also been an adjunct or visiting scholar at Tsinghua University, Beijing; the University of Leuven, Belgium; Rotterdam School of Management, The Netherlands; Loughborough University London Campus; IULM University Milano, Italy; and several institutes in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. He also teaches Place Branding on the UNESCO World Heritage at Work Master programme in Torino, Italy.

Robert typically advises in areas such as place identity, image, reputation, economic competitiveness, tourism policy and strategy, educational policy, tourism and investment promotion, and major international events. This is approached from a strategic reputation management perspective referred to as competitive identity, which is based on the premise that places build reputation through substance and symbolic actions, as opposed to marketing gimmicks.

Robert has held positions in South Africa, The Netherlands, Belgium and Dubai, United Arab Emirates. He has been involved in many consultancy projects and advisory boards for reputable organisations such as the International Air Transport Association, the European Commission, the Flemish Government and various ministries, tourism promotion boards and regional and city administrations.

Robert has both a doctoral (2005) and master’s degree (1995) from the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University, The Netherlands.

Based in Antwerp, Belgium.

Speaker characteristics:

#strategic #interactive #audiencespecific #visual #imaginative

Speaking topics:

Speaks on topics such as community reputation, image, brand, (social) media, PR, clichés and stereotypes, cities, countries and regions, identity, universal values, events, tourism, investment promotion, talent attraction, export marketing, economic competitiveness and collaboration, globalisation, strategic and action communication, creativity and innovation, research and measurement, accountability, and sustainable development.

Special considerations may be made for non-profit organizations.

“Robert gave a phenomenal presentation at European Cities Marketing conference in Madrid… Robert’s straight-shooting and no-marketing-mumbo-jumbo approach … is both refreshing and very educational. Robert’s message was very well received and top-rated by the delegates.”

“Robert was our keynote speaker at the 2017 Tel Aviv Cities Summit, and delivered a wonderful presentation… Robert is able to communicate his ideas in a way that keeps everyone in the audience engaged.”

“Robert proved himself to be a knowledgeable and entertaining presenter and made valuable and relevant additions to the programs. He was highly flexible in terms of adapting his content to audiences with specific interests, based on their own responsibilities and expectations. We were very pleased with his contributions and would not hesitate to recommend him for similar assignments in this and related topic areas.”

“While organizing the speakers list of the annual Latvian Tourism Forum in 12 December 2017, LIAA developed a fruitful communication with Mr. Robert Govers who we also invited to present at the event. We value highly the performance and knowledge of Mr. Robert Govers and are satisfied with its quality and professionalism. We have also received positive comments from the industry players who visited the forum.”

Interested in booking Robert Govers as speaker? Please get in touch here. Read our interview with him here.