Site Selectors are Comin’ to Town

by Tom Clark

Site selectors are consultants to companies looking to expand or relocate facilities on behalf of their clients, often Fortune 100 companies. This week, September 16–20 is the Metro Denver EDC’s annual Site Selection Conference. Each year, the Metro Denver EDC invites 8-9 nationally known consultants to spend several days in Metro Denver, looking at expansion opportunities for their clients. 

The site consultants meet with Governor Hickenlooper and other prominent officials, business and industry leaders, and our 70+ partners from around the region. We’ll tour them in helicopters so that they can see the layout of the region from above, including major infrastructure developments and employment centers. They’ll meet with higher education leaders, business innovation entrepreneurs, and spend a good bit of time with the region’s key economic development professionals.

These events are helpful for the consultants to better understand our market. The consultants, in turn, share their expertise and insights into changing strategies being employed by growing, global firms. Both sides benefit. 

At the end of the event, the consultants have an opportunity to share their experiences with 500 elected officials and business leaders at our "Making the Cut: Factors Driving Today's Site Selection Decisions" breakfast. Over the years, their comments have helped all of us understanding how companies view Metro Denver and what they expect from us when they are looking for new location. This feedback has contributed immensely to our ability to work with state and local governments when incentive and business climate opportunities arise.

We have also found that these types of conferences are the most successful marketing strategy we can employ. One question we get: are they expensive? Compared to national print advertising, television ads, and other traditional media outreach, these events create one thing that none of the other options can provide – friends. Yes, friends. At the end of this event we will have found new relationships that will last for years to come. Our first Site Selection Conference took place in 1986. The friends we made in that event continue to be our friends today. And who could ask for anything more than doing business with friends.

Tom Clark

Former CEO of Metro Denver Economic Development Council

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