BENDIGO could turn a negative into a positive and create a tourism event in the dead of winter, a leading marketer says.
Locals might complain about cold weather but they could be losing the opportunity to cash in on extra visitors to town - and to get off the couch for more fun events - property brand expert Andrew Hoyne says.
He is one of five experts who will come together to share observations and ideas about shaping resilient communities on Thursday night.
"Bendigo is one of those great cities that truly gets four seasons," he said.
"That might seem meaningless to people living in town, but the idea of having a hot, hot summer and a cold, cold winter is something that can really be leveraged for big events.
"Having four very distinct seasons is actually less common than people would realise. In fact ... for the bulk of Australia, winters are only mildly less warm.
"So I'd say Bendigo should bring to life a 'welcoming of winter' event, perhaps have something one the winter solstice with ice drinks. Then in summer, do the opposite."
White Night 2018 was held in Bendigo on a chilly September night and attracted an estimated 60,000 people, but will not return until 2020 under a rotating regional format announced earlier this year.
Mr Hoyne plans to use Thursday's event to discuss Bendigo as a "place brand" and get people thinking about their town's assets in different ways.
"There are a lot of places that we think of as destinations but we find them hard to differentiate, to know what their personality is," he said.
"But I think Bendigo has a lot of great attributes, probably more than other regional hubs. It would be a nice reminder to talk to people about what they need to do to leverage those assets."
Bendigo already has events and an art gallery exhibiting work people could see nowhere else in Australia, Mr Hoyne said.
Yet, a competitive tourism market, Bendigonians can not stand back and say "we are doing alright, let's leave it at that", Mr Hoyne said.
Any plan would need residents to think differently about the things they take for granted, he said.
"There's a lot of optimism in Bendigo but the reality is that no matter who we are or where we live, it's easy to forget what we've got," Mr Hoyne said.
The inaugural Seddon Lecture: Shaping Resilient Regions takes place from 6pm to 7.30pm on Thursday night at the La Trobe Art Institute in View Street, Bendigo.
To book a seat, click here.
Have you signed up to the Bendigo Advertiser's daily newsletter and breaking news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in central Victoria.