They’re our industry’s biggest VIPs, and our clients’ trusted advisors. Site selectors are often the people who decide whether your region makes the short-list or is redlined. Because they can play such an important role in your region’s economic development future, it’s important to make good use of the time you have with them.
Are you preparing to host a site selector? Here are four tips to make sure he or she sees your region’s true character.
- Build your bench.
You need to have the right people involved in the visit. Often, these are executives from your region’s largest companies and government leaders. Consider extending an invitation to your statewide economic development partner as well. We found site selectors appreciate seeing a regional organization work closely with both local and state economic developers. What’s the best way to show those stakeholders support your mission? Engage them during the visit.
- Research is key.
Before a site selector arrives, put together a profile. Does this person have a specific industry focus? Has he or she brought you a project or a lead in the past five years? When was the last time this person visited your region? The more you know about the person coming to visit you, the more personalized of an experience you can create.
- Check your details – twice.
Careful planning is important. These consultants may visit your region once – if you’re lucky, you can have them back twice. Their time is valuable, and you need to make the most of each trip. Schedule a car service to pick your guests up from the airport. Drive the route you plan to take them on. Draft talking points on interesting landmarks you see along the way. Getting the small details right will go a long way to creating a lasting, positive impression.
- Remember to have fun.
Schedule in a few fun activities as well. Recently, we took a group of site selectors on a Pedal Wagon tour of Downtown Cincinnati and Over-the-Rhine. We asked a few friends to ride with us for a trivia-filled trip from Fountain Square to Washington Park. We could have put everyone in a van and driven the same route, but this option offered the opportunity to make authentic connections – and have a little fun at the same time.