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LVEDC Spreading the Word About the Lehigh Valley at National Conferences, Trade Shows

By Colin McEvoy on April 21, 2015

Those of us who live and work in the Lehigh Valley already know the success stories and tremendous economic advantages our region has to offer. The Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corp. (LVEDC) is working to make sure the rest of the country knows as well.

LVEDC representatives are attending three different conferences or trade shows this month alone to help spread the word about the region’s story and execute on our organization’s mission to market the economic assets of the Lehigh Valley.

“Conferences like these are an excellent opportunity to market the Lehigh Valley directly to the decision makers like corporate executives and site selectors,” said Don Cunningham, LVEDC president and CEO. “We’ve been spending less of our marketing budget inside the Lehigh Valley market and more on national conferences and trade shows so we can effectively use our resources to reach companies looking to come here and grow here.”

Jarrett Witt, LVEDC’s director of business development, is currently attending the Data Center World Global Conference in Las Vegas. It is the data center industry’s largest and most comprehensive trade show.

Lea Glembot, LVEDC vice president of economic development and marketing, with Dan Restrepo, special counsel with Jones Walker Consulting, who spoke at the FDI Forum.

Lea Glembot, LVEDC vice president of economic development and marketing, with Dan Restrepo, special counsel with Jones Walker Consulting, who spoke at the FDI Forum.

Lea Glembot, LVEDC’s vice president of economic development and marketing, last week attended the FDI Forum in Atlanta, which focuses on foreign direct investment. Next week she will attend the Industrial Asset Management Council (IAMC) Professional Forum, which will be held in Palm Desert, Calif.

These conferences will allow LVEDC to market the Lehigh Valley to international site selection consultants and business representatives from around the nation that may be considering expanding or relocating their companies. They also give LVEDC representatives the opportunity to gain knowledge and experience about topics that could have a positive impact on the Lehigh Valley’s economy.

The Data Center World Global Conference is managed by AFCOM, a professional organization that has been at the forefront of data center innovation for the last 35 years. The conference will include more than 20 user-led sessions.

“More than half of the Fortune 500 companies are AFCOM members, and many of them will have representatives at this conference,” Witt said. “No matter what your industry is, data centers, secure data and technology are an important part of virtually all businesses, and are certainly an important component of companies we’re trying to attract.”

The IAMC Professional Forum will address topics relevant to supply chain and corporate real estate, including innovation and technology, site selection, and real estate optimization. More than 100 corporate end users have registered to attend, and will present lessons from Silicon Valley and other leading tech centers.

The FDI Forum offered attendees the chance to network with site selectors and worldwide corporate real estate representatives, while learning about how to attract foreign investors and the latest deciding factors driving the FDI corporate site selection process.

Learning such strategies and networking with such representatives are more important now than ever due to an increase in international companies showing an interest in the Lehigh Valley. About one third of LVEDC’s current prospects come from outside the United States.

“To me, the most important part of attending this forum was making connections with the site selectors and speakers,” Glembot said. “There are a lot of chances to network, and roundtable discussions allow a great deal of one-on-one interaction. So we get great access to these site selectors and are able to maintain contact with them well after the conference is over.

In February, Cunningham attended the national Site Selectors Guild’s 2015 annual conference, a highly sought after, invitation-only event that included a group of real estate professionals who advise companies on where to locate their plants and headquarters.

For 2015, LVEDC budgeted an additional $100,000 in revenue from expected private sector contributions. That increased revenue allows LVEDC to support increased marketing efforts outside of the Lehigh Valley, including increased participation at national conferences and trade shows.

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