European Capitals of Culture Seminar for candidate cities

Candidate cities in various stages of bidding for the coveted European Capital of Culture title, took part in a meeting with the authors of the European Capitals of Culture (ECOC) reports in Barcelona on Friday 12 December 2014. The meeting featured the participation of several bidding ECOC cities in order to explore challenges as well as collaboration possibilities, facilitated by leading experts on the European Capitals of Culture Programme: Robert Palmer, Greg Richards and Diane Dodd.

At the December seminar (which is becoming a yearly event) IGCAT offers the bidding ECOC cities the opportunity to meet with other bidding cities to forge important links. The sessions are organized both as formal and informal sessions so that the cities have the opportunity to share expertise and experience with one another, and tease out areas of concern and difficulty.

Areas discussed included important elements in the bidding process; changes in the guidelines; devolving the effects of the ECOC across the region; involving regional partners; ensuring political support for the bid; managing political stakeholders; opportunities available through EU programmes; glavanising private support; crowdfunding methods; involving local citizens in the bidding process; reaching new audience segments; developing the European Dimension; using the ECOC to develop tourism; effective evaluation strategies; using evaluation in the bidding process; developing creative  sector growth; using the ECOC as a platform for innovation; social media in the bidding process; creating legacies; branding impacts; putting the city on the  map; critical success factors and ensuring a successful ECOC.

All the cities participating agreed that the meeting was incredibly useful and Brendan McGrath from Galway Ireland admitted following the morning session that the seminar was the most useful meeting he had attended in years!

IGCAT also offers tailored training courses for political representatives, programme coordinators and wider stakeholders, on future European Capitals of Culture both in Barcelona and/or as a structured visit to the bidding the city –see more information on IGCAT’s website