EDCUtah investors and friends attending the economic development organization’s annual meetingOct. 11 can expect a top-to-bottom change in the yearly event.
“After careful reviews of investor survey results and input from our marketing committee, we took a critical look at our annual meeting and decided it should have a strong educational component with valuable, relevant content and incorporate a wider umbrella so that every investor can participate,” says Chief Marketing Officer Michael Flynn.
Correspondingly, the meeting will feature a panel discussion moderated by Salt Lake Tribune Editor Jennifer Napier-Pearce. Panelists currently committed to participate include Jonathan Swanson, CEO of Thumbtack, and Caroline Quick, vice president at T3 Advisors. “We’re working to confirm a third panelist with a corporate real estate background,” says Flynn. “The panel discussion’s objective is to focus on how different entities handle corporate relocation and what plays into their decision-making process. We want our investors to experience first-hand the thought process that goes into an expansion or relocation decision and how Utah fares in that decision-making process.”
In addition to the new format, other event changes include a new location, reduced registration cost and earlier start time. EDCUtah Director of Membership Development Kevin Bischoff explains that the annual meeting will take place at the Salt Palace Convention Center rather than the Grand America Hotel and attendance will only cost $35 per person for investors or $300 per table sponsorship. Non-investors will pay $50 per head or $500 per table. What’s more, the event will be a breakfast meeting running from 8:30 to 10 a.m. rather than a lunch meeting.
“We’ve reduced the attendance cost significantly to make our annual meeting affordable for all of our investors and we are hoping for a huge turnout,” he adds. “Previously, the meeting cost $1,700 for a table of 10.”
Bischoff notes that the reduced cost is only possible thanks to a dedicated group of investors that have agreed to underwrite the event. Price Real Estate has accepted the invitation to serve as Platinum Sponsor, while Rocky Mountain Power, Fidelity Investments, CBRE and Questar have come aboard as Gold-level sponsors. Two other Gold-level sponsors are being sought. Investors interested in helping to underwrite the event or sponsor a table should call Bischoff, 801-323-4255.
“Essentially, our Platinum and Gold sponsors will underwrite the entire meeting so that our investors have only to pay for the price of the meal to attend,” adds Flynn. “We’ve restructured the sponsorships so that our biggest private sector sponsors are covering the entire venue and production costs. This new approach would not be possible without their dedicated support.”
In essence, he continues, the support of the seven sponsors will make it possible for EDCUtah to put on an A+ meeting that every investor can attend.
“This won’t be just an entertainment event,” adds Bischoff. “This year’s event will have a valuable educational component and stand as a celebration of last year’s economic development successes.”
EDCUtah President and CEO Jeff Edwards says he hopes to see everyone in EDCUtah’s investor community represented. “The attendance cost in past annual meetings has precluded some of EDCUtah’s city and county investors from attending. We’ve lowered the cost and designed the meeting to be affordable for everyone,” he adds.
Edwards notes that Gov. Gary Herbert is scheduled to be in attendance, along with a variety of state and local government leaders, civic leaders and educators. EDCUtah is also working with the Utah Transit Authority to make free transit passes available to attendees that want to use mass transit rather than deal with parking issues.