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International Council of Shopping Centers

Historical Overview

Founded in 1957, the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) is one of the largest trade associations in the world. With over 70,000 members in more than 100 countries, its mission is to ensure the retail real estate industry is broadly recognized for the integral role it plays in the social and economic vibrancy of communities across the globe. The association hosts hundreds of industry and educational programs each year, provides certification courses that are industry best practice and through their office of Global Public Policy advocates for legislative, regulatory and political outcomes that benefit its members.

About every 5 – 6 years, the ICSC hosts the industry’s penultimate event, “the Retail Real Estate World Summit”. This twice a decade gathering takes place in different cities around the globe and is comprised of the world’s most accomplished and distinguished leaders dedicated to defining the retail real estate industry roadmap for long-term innovation, growth, fiscal and social responsibility. The most recent World Summit was held in September of 2012, in Shanghai, China.

M Group Strategic Communications (MGSC) was engaged by the ICSC roughly one year prior to the event, to handle all global communications and MarCom initiatives for the World Summit with a focus on key financial centers in North and South America as well as select European and Asian countries.


MGSC’s strategy for brand building to the global C-level was to not only publicize the event itself, but of equal importance, if not more was to hone in on the key issues that would be discussed during sessions. Our strategy was to determine which issues would be locally relevant per region, position World Summit members as experts on each, and use those 3rd parties to generate issue-awareness as well as drive attendance to the event.

Additionally, MGSC integrated MarCom initiatives and influencer relations in each of the target geographical locations. The strategy combined developing partnerships with key organizations conducting sector research as well as publishing outlets, and brand ambassadors advocating on behalf of critical issues as well as the World Summit being the global event in the industry.

Lastly, we looked to invite top-tier members of the global press corps to engage coverage of the event itself an position the next to come, roughly half a decade later.

Our primary target markets were:

  • North America: USA, Canada
  • South America: Brazil, Uruguay, Columbia, Argentina
  • Europe: UK, Spain, France, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden
  • Asia Pac: Singapore, Hong Kong, Indonesia, China, Australia


MGSC established an integrated, global news bureau for ICSC’s Retail Real Estate World Summit. Through this operation we generated consistent and momentum building media attention for the event, as well as those most topical issues to be discussed at the event, in top-tier business/financial press as well as industry trade publications.

We established thought leaders on every continent and in each target financial center and generated targeted media attention that built brand equity and drove attendance. Additionally, MGSC established multiple co-marketing agreements, commissioned research reports, and built a network of 3rd party advocates / brand ambassadors. We also generated significant media attendance, on-site at the World Summit from each continent and provided all event media management.

The event was a resounding success!