May 21, 2015

Offline business events vs. online support of site selection

Economic developers and business park marketers trust typically in offline business networking events when it's about investment project acquisition. Now let's see what are the main advantages of online location marketing compared to old school business event marketing?

I don't say business events cannot deliver new opportunities for your location. In my experiences, sponzored prezentations on industry events work quite good. But in general, we can identify the following problems with offline investment promotion events:

Site selectors are probably not there
Corporate site selection teams are typically organized on ad-hoc way: when the company grows, and need a new location to operate, company leaders create a team from some HR/engineering/financial/sales etc. managers and trust them to select some potential sites. We can agree: the probability of these managers were present on your investment promotion event in the past is zero. Simply because it was not the part of their job in the past.
As an online supporter of site selection, you can reach these managers at the right time, when they are involved in the team and actively seek for new locations.

As an event organizer, you talk about your location only
You probably organized "Invest in ...." type events to promote your location for potential investors. The biggest problem is not that investors aren't there but they don't want to listen on promotions. People don't like ads, and your investment promotion event is full with location hyping.
If you provide on your blog useful and interesting information about potential locations, involving real estate and labor markets, regulations, incentive programmes etc., site selectors won't feel you want to sell something them but you would like to help them. And based on this trust, you can highlight your location's strengths.

Here I embedded one of my presentations, it summarizes well what I think about the online support of site selection:

I hope you find this blog post useful - please share it with your partners and colleauges, maybe they find it useful too