Site Selectors and Sundance Film Festival
Experience shows that consultants who visit Utah are more likely to bring us opportunities to compete on corporate expansion projects. Knowing this, we have—for decades—made familiarization tours a key part of our attraction strategy.
Each year during the Sundance Film Festival, EDCUtah hosts a select number of site selectors to better familiarize them with what Utah has to offer to companies looking for a new place to call home. The Festival is world famous and serves as a compelling draw to a group of people who are continually receiving invitations to visit communities all over the country. The cachet of the Festival puts our invitations on the top of the list.
This year was truly a Team Utah effort. On Friday, our guests first met with EDCUtah and GOED staff for a Utah overview. They then met with David Lang, managing director of Goldman Sachs’ operations in Utah, to hear why the company is in Utah and how the firm has built a successful operation in the beehive state.
Next, the site selectors engaged with representatives of a number of Utah communities in roundtables held in Orem and Farmington. In these sessions, our community partners were able to ask the site selectors their most burning questions regarding the site selection process. To and from the roundtables, the consultants saw some of the expansion happening in Utah’s tech, aerospace, manufacturing, and life sciences sectors. We would like to thank the site selectors for their willingness to share industry insights with Utah communities.
Rounding out Friday’s schedule, our site selector guests sat down with the state’s “Chief Bragging Officer” – as Governor Herbert often describes himself. Members of Utah’s business community also joined us for informal receptions in Salt Lake City.
It wasn’t all business; our guests were treated to the full Sundance experience, seeing movies on both Friday and Saturday, touring Park City’s Main Street, and experiencing Utah’s burgeoning food scene at Hearth & Hill and Square Kitchen.
The weekend concluded with a brief focus group. Our site selector guests articulated the changes in perceptions that tours like this can make happen. One remarked: “In Utah, it’s the fiscal conservatism, but it’s also the beauty and the outdoors, and people are out being active and communicating one with another and being together in a community. I just don’t think you get that other places."
All in all, this past weekend was a major success. Our team was able to make valuable connections with four of the top site selectors in the nation. We were able to engage our community partners in conjunction with our Development Ready Communities program, and we saw some thought-provoking films. Thank you to all our partners – especially our friends at the Utah Film Commission – who helped to make this event possible.