Big Cities Event pulls big VIPs


More than two-thirds of European citizens live in urban areas – that’s the reality. But does EU policy-making reflect that? In collaboration with DG REGIO, our Events, Media & Stakeholder Engagement Department leapt into action, organising in February in Brussels a high-level forum attended by EU Commissioner Hahn, UN Undersecretary General Joan Clos and other prominent participants including mayors from more than 16 EU capitals. Over two days, Member States and the Institutions debated the ‘EU Urban Agenda’ – how to ensure cities’ needs could be better reflected in policy thinking.

What we did

‘Cities of tomorrow: Investing in Europe’… The forum was packed with different activities and discussion groups. Content was taken care of by the DG – engagement of participants was managed by ICF Mostra. Stakeholder mapping enabled us to expand and further refine an initial list of potential attendees provided by our client. Invitations were designed and sent without delay, alongside the creation of an exclusive registration website and event support tools – booklet, signage, décor and so on. Managing participants on-site was the natural follow on...

Attracting media interest

We weren’t just responsible for making sure stakeholders of all kinds were catered for. We were also in charge of media coverage, identifying inviting and organising travel and accommodation for expert journalists from different EU countries. Our job was to provide as many opportunities as possible for them – and specialists from the Brussels press corps – to cover the topic. These included ensuring access to a press conference with the EU Commissioner and UN Undersecretary General, setting up and coordinating a schedule of on-site interviews with the Commissioner and other VIPs according to journalist requests, and helping ensure media access to a photocall with EC President Barroso (and high-level participants), as well as to two Brussels-based Urban Development Project visits.


The EC really did want to make a splash for participants and throw the spotlight on the issue. We came up with an attention-grabbing creative concept, decorating the Berlaymont piazza with an urban city theme, and designing a social event complete with Flashmob, DJ and Beatboxer. Who says the European Commission is just about the serious stuff?

What we achieved

It’s barely a week after an event that brought together more than 850 participants and media. Coverage is still being monitored, but output has been immediate, with detailed reports featured in Bulgaria, Portugal and Italy, to name just a few.

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