The West Midlands is leading the way in developing creative industries with more than one in 10 now employed in the sector.
But more needs to be done to promote the region to a wider world, an Institute of Directors-backed seminar in Birmingham heard.
Clive Bawden, chairman-elect of the Young Directors Forum, said the region had got a strong base for future development with a young, multi-cultural population and was well served by its universities.
"Our weakness at present is linking all the elements up and then driving forward the perception of Birmingham and the West Midlands as a strong area in creative and consulting businesses. We need to be more optimistic and less pessimistic about our prospects."
IoD chairman Richard Boot, who chaired the seminar, said: "The West Midlands has a real opportunity to seize the initiative and make the region pre-eminent within the creative world using the demo-graphic and social advantages we have at our disposal."
Speakers included Ian Taylor of Marketing Birmingham, Jon Derry, chairman of advertising agency KLM, Peter McHugh from Eversheds and Richard Sanders from Catalyst.
Mr Bawden noted: "Funders need to recognise that not only financial motivations drive creative businesses forward, job satisfaction and artistic freedoms are also important.
"One key lesson picked up by many was the importance of ensuring that the business is run as a business, no matter what creative industry it was within."