Event Summary - Sundance Site Selection & Cinema Event
For the last 10 years, EDCUtah has held an annual site selector familiarization tour in conjunction with the opening weekend of the Sundance Film Festival. Sundance provides Utah with an attractive “hook” to get this key group of stakeholders to commit their weekends to visiting the state and learning more about our unique economic development value proposition. EDCUtah targets top tier site selectors for attendance and looks for professionals that:
Are actively engaged in corporate recruiting project work.
Have little, to no, familiarity with the state.
Have a specific industry or geographic focus for which Utah is a good location candidate.
The goal is to create an event that is 50% business and 50% pleasure and that leaves a lasting impression of Utah. When creating this event EDCUtah plans around what they call the “4 E’s.” They are:
Exposure: From past research, EDCUtah knows that simply exposing a consultant to Utah increases the odds that they will recommend the state to a client. Getting them here is one of the primary goals of the event.
Education: A better understanding of Utah’s unique value proposition is critical to future project generation. The event provides opportunities to deliver relevant data and memorable success stories.
Engagement: Site selectors are more likely to work in Utah if they have a network in the state. We don’t want them to simply know EDCUtah or EDCUtah staff. It’s important for them to know our elected officials, local economic developers, and private industry leaders. Multiple connections lead to multiple projects.
Entertainment: Making sure that the visitors have a good time is important. They should not only see Utah from a business standpoint but also as a great place to come back and visit.
EDCUtah began planning this year’s Sundance event about four months ago. Invites were extended to these top tier people accordingly, all with an option to bring a guest. Once the attendees were confirmed, Stacey Phillips, manager of Marketing & Events at EDCUtah began building an agenda. EDCUtah always strives to incorporate its partners to ensure the event’s success. Michael O’Malley with GOED is one of many partners that help to make Sundance a high-quality event.
Despite the inclement weather, the Sundance event was a success. Virginia Pierce with the Utah Film Commission helped to find tickets in the Salt Lake area for Saturday, after the canyon to Park City was closed and the event there was canceled. Lt. Governor Spencer Cox exhibited his deep commitment to Utah by spending two hours in the car trying to get to Park City for the event, then driving back down to Salt Lake City to meet the consultants once the meeting location changed. In total, EDCUtah had sixteen elected officials and private sector members brave the weather to support the event and welcome our clients. We thank them profusely for their commitment.
Davis County Commissioner Bret Millburn
Draper City Mayor Troy Walker
Eagle Mountain Mayor Chris Pengra
Layton City Mayor Bob Stevenson
Lehi Mayor Bert Wilson
Nibley Mayor Shaun Dustin
Ogden Mayor Mike Caldwell
Park City Mayor Jack Thomas
Pleasant Grove Mayor Mike Daniels
Provo Mayor John Curtis
Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams
South Jordan Mayor Dave Alvord
Tremonton Mayor Roger Fridal
Utah County Commissioner Bill Lee
Utah Lt. Governor Spencer Cox
Key Bank President Terry Grant
Additionally, there was an excellent group of sponsors who helped make this event a success.
Goldman Sachs, Workday, OOCL and City Creek provided exceptional tours of their facilities.
USTAR and the University of Utah allowed us to tour the facility and host a dinner with an illuminating presentation by John Langell about the Bench to Bedside program at the University.
Rocky Mountain Power, Questar, CBRE, Fidelity, Price Real Estate and Key Bank helped underwrite the cost of the dinners and brunches and helped make the weekend possible.
EDCUtah looks forward to hosting the Sundance Event again next year. We have created a great model and will continue to make improvements. On the last day of the event, EDCUtah conducted a focus group on the consultant's perceptions of Utah, and how the state compares nationally. The results will be compiled in a few weeks and EDCUtah looks forward to sharing that information with everyone that made the event possible. EDCUtah extends its thanks to the many people who assisted in the Sundance Site Selection and Cinema Event, despite the challenges, it was a great success for Utah.
Below are some additional photos from this great event.