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LVEDC to Network with World’s Top Site Selection Consultants at Event

By Colin McEvoy on September 5, 2018

LVEDC's Don Cunningham and Matthew Tuerk attended the 2018 Site Selectors Guild Annual Conference in Cincinnati.

A photo from the 2018 Site Selectors Guild Annual Conference in Cincinnati.

The Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC) is making sure the region is well represented at an upcoming event hosted by the world’s foremost association for professional site selection consultants.

LVEDC President & CEO Don Cunningham will be attending the Site Selectors Guild Fall Forum this weekend in Greenville, South Carolina, giving him the opportunity to network directly with many of the world’s top location consultants and economic development professionals.

“It’s really an effort to get them to know us and our market,” Cunningham said. “We want these people to be as aware of the Lehigh Valley as they are of any market in the Lehigh Valley, so when they are advising a company on a location, the Lehigh Valley is at the top of their mind.”

The Site Selectors Guild is the national professional association of site selectors, location consultants, and national industrial commercial brokers, who are key advisors involved with virtually every major company relocation and corporate real estate decisions.

“The Fall Forum is about bringing Guild members and economic developers together to make connections, share ideas, and learn from one another,” said Site Selectors Guild board chair Didi Caldwell, Principal with Global Location Strategies.

LVEDC regularly attends events hosted by the Guild, and LVEDC officials spend a lot of time establishing relationships with Guild members and ensuring they are familiar with Lehigh Valley’s economic assets.

“If these site selectors don’t know our region exists, they can’t recommend that a company comes here,” Cunningham said. “It’s important that they know us personally and are familiar with the Lehigh Valley’s economic assets.”

The Fall Forum is a condensed, intimate conference with even more limited attendance at approximately half the size of the Guild’s Annual Conference, which was held in Cincinnati in March. Cunningham also attended that event, along with Matthew Tuerk, LVEDC Vice President of Economic Development and Marketing.

The smaller, more close-knit conference allows for greater one-on-one access to site selectors This allows not only networking and relationship building, but also a unique opportunity to hear first-hand accounts by corporate officials on how their companies make location decisions, Cunningham said.

“Guild members provide location strategy to corporations throughout the world in every industry, sector, and function,” he said. “This conference provides us information about what companies are looking for in various sectors and gives us top-level insight into why companies make location decisions.”

The Fall Forum includes discussion panels, breakout sessions, and speed networking sessions called “Table Talk.” This involves conference attendees seated at tables and Guild members taking 15 minutes at each table to meet, answer questions, and build relationships

The Site Selectors Guild includes representatives from such major consulting firms as JLL, CBRE, Cushman & Wakefield, Biggins Lacy Shapiro, Deloitte, Newmark Grubb Knight Frank, and more.

Jay Garner, an officer with the Site Selectors Guild, was previously hired by LVEDC to conduct an analysis of the Lehigh Valley market, which helped inform our strategic plan three years ago. He was re-engaged when LVEDC updated its strategic plan, which was released in December.

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