Fox files ‘The guild is coming to town’

Odds are, if we have a conversation in the next year, you’ll hear from me in person about how excited I am to host the next Site Selectors Guild Conference.

You heard right, EDCUtah, GOED, Salt Lake City, and our other partners are hosting the prestigious Site Selectors Guild Conference in 2019!

The Site Selectors Guild is comprised of the nation’s top 45 Site Selectors. There are stringent qualifications to become a part of the Guild and its members are responsible for advising the world’s top corporations on the largest projects in economic development every year. Hosting the Guild Conference is an amazing way for us to have this elite audience captive in our market for a few days.

I had the pleasure of being in Cincinnati this week to enjoy a great #ssgcincy 2018 conference hosted by REDI Cincinnati. Part of my job was to join forces with Lara Fritts of Salt Lake City’s Economic Development shop to welcome the Guild to Utah in March of 2019 on behalf of #teamUtah.

First, I have to say Cincinnati’s host committee did an amazing job of making all the attendees feel welcome and to create meaningful networking opportunities between the Guild members and the attendees. Being there got me so excited to play host next year to the Guild. We’re also excited to welcome the hundreds of representatives from domestic and international Investment Promotion Agencies to show Utah off!

Second, it was great for #teamUtah to make and strengthen our connections with Guild members with whom we have worked or with whom we would like to work in the future. I had the chance to meet with almost every Guild member with whom we have a current project or with whom we have worked over the past few years. To be able to catch all those people in the span of two days is really remarkable.

And finally, in my book conferences are all about content and connections. The connections were great but I also soaked up a ton of terrific content. Something that really got me thinking was a session on Site Prep. I attended this breakout because of our Mega Sites Program. I wanted to make sure we were on the right path and to get some new ideas. The breakout had 5 of the country’s top industrial Site Selectors and it was great validation of the need to have a Mega Sites Program in Utah and to constantly add to and curate that inventory. But one of the key takeaways for me was the importance of being environmentally contentious in our industrial site planning. Facing customer, shareholder, and employee pressure, many consumer brands are requiring much more sustainability thoughtfulness in their industrial sites. Site selection criteria for those brands increasingly includes renewable energy programs, energy efficiency and sustainability programs, no-landfill input and output programs, shared detention ponds, and innovations around water consumption and re-use. I appreciated gaining that knowledge and we will work to incorporate it into our Mega Sites program.

So, that’s a quick wrap up on my time at the Site Selectors Guild Conference this year. Stay tuned for additional details about how you can get involved in the host committee.

While I was busy conferencing, our team was working on the 9 new projects that have come into our shop over the last 2 weeks, including the 3 that were a result of our Montreal Global Strategy & Outreach (GS&O) visit. That was our third such international GS&O visit and we are seeing Canada as a great potential pipeline for us in certain industries. More on GS&O and the fruit of that program next week….