Fox File #86: We Did It! Reflections on the Site Selectors Guild
We did it! After three years of planning, Team Utah came together to host an amazing Site Selectors Guild Conference last week. It was an honor to play host to 50 of the globe’s top site location consultants. A huge "thank you" is in order for our co-hosts and all of the sponsors and community partners that made the two-day pre-conference event a smashing success. With your help, we were able to create a truly “Utah unique” experience that showcased our economic, outdoor recreation, food and beverage, and arts and culture assets. But beyond showcasing these tremendous assets, we also wanted to display the essence of #TeamUtah — collaboration.
Our pre-conference theme was “Utah: where it all comes together.” We had a wonderful event at the Grand Hall (former train depot) and drew from the historical setting to share with our guests that Utah is the place where it all comes together. 150 years ago the transcontinental railroad was connected in Utah. A century and a half later, things still come together here. Thanks to the great collaboration amongst #TeamUtah I am confident that great things will continue to happen in our state; now an even broader audience of influential consultants are aware of that great story and our ambitious aspirations.
Having spent several hours with the site selectors, we learned about what’s driving activity. They’re thinking a lot about talent (who isn’t?), globalization, mega-trends, and other macro forces that are impacting business decisions. They are thinking about the changing landscape of incentives. But they are mostly thinking about people. And one of the most prominent consultants and a big name in the industry told me, “Theresa, you know the one thing that always stands out about Utah? It’s that the people are honest and true. Our clients have come to rely on it.” And I thought, that’s so cool to hear that, but how can I measure it? ;) Because it’s so hard to quantify some of those “qualitative” features of the state, hearing this consultant say that was yet another reminder of why it’s important to create opportunities to interface directly with site consultants. It is the on-the-ground experiences they have that lead them to learn those insights and form those opinions. It doesn’t matter how much data we share, they will draw those conclusions from being in the state and doing deals here. And that is priceless to us and something that not event the best spreadsheet could ever convey.
We will continue to interface with this group and ensure they are aware of new developments that keep Utah on the cutting edge. But in the meantime, thank you again to our great co-hosts, sponsors and partners. And a big thank you to Elizabeth Johnson, Mike O’Malley, and Matt Hilburn from our marketing team that did a lot of the behind the scenes work to create a great platform for Utah.