Property specialists from the public and private sector were at a Question Time-style event co-hosted by law firm Hammonds and property consultants Donaldsons and chaired by Sir Digby Jones, the outgoing director-general of the CBI.
About 70 professionals attended the event at the ICC in Birmingham.
Key topics debated were the environment and planning and regeneration issues plus the ways in which Birmingham can improve its image to the outside world.
Anne O'Meara, partner and member of Hammonds' property team, said: "The debate highlighted just how many strengths Birmingham has.
"But we all need to start singing from the same hymn sheet and shout more loudly about the city's achievements in order to start changing people's perceptions.
"If people come and see Birmingham they will see the massive changes that have been made over the last ten years.
"Over the next ten years Birmingham needs to establish itself firmly as a centre for modern, high-tech industries, in some cases linked to our great universities, and take actions to seek major inward investment to the city."
Turning to regeneration, Liz Dickinson, partner at Donaldsons in Birmingham and a specialist in public/private sector development, said: "The key issue involved with regeneration is managing change, and this can be extremely challenging on many levels, particularly when employment issues are at stake.
"What is essential is to take a holistic approach to sustainable, mixed-use developments which capture the hearts and minds of the local community, whilst making sound long-term financial sense."
Panelists were: Adam Chester, chief treasury economist, HBOS; Liz Dickinson, partner at Donaldsons; John Edwards, chief executive of Advantage West Midlands; Nick French, the Donaldsons' Fellow at the University of Reading Business School; Richard Froggatt, executive director of St Modwen Properties; Paul Groobey, head of real estate at Hammonds, and Lawrence Higgins, deputy editor of Estates Gazette.