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Site selectors talk trends at their annual conference
Eli Dile   on Thursday, April 5, 2018 at 12:00:00 am

Corporate location consultants converged on Cincinnati, Ohio, last month for the Site Selectors Guild Annual Conference. The Project – a podcast from Development Counsellors International – was on the scene to interview site selectors about emerging trends in business location decisions. The issues of technology, talent, and quality of life were common threads among many of their responses.

Here’s what they had to say.

On technology: “One of the new practices we’re using is called a virtual site tour. We use web conference techniques to do…about 80 percent of what we would do on a [traditional] site visit without having to travel, which keeps the cost down and also makes it go a lot faster. Technology has not really transformed economic development and site selection the way it has transformed other industries, so I think they’re ripe for disruption.” – Didi Caldwell, Global Location Strategies

On talent: “The conversations we have around what labor [companies] will need in the future is becoming more difficult because they recognize the world is changing very quickly, technology is changing very quickly, and it’s harder and harder for them to foresee the type of talent they will need. So they’re beginning to look more at skill sets and general competencies than specific titles.” – Tracey Hyatt Bosman, Biggins Lacy Shapiro

On quality of life: “We have seen economic developers taking a broader role, or I should say a broader definition of economic development. So beyond the recruitment and retention piece, looking at their communities and saying, ‘Hey, what are we doing in terms of livability? What are we doing in community development? What are we doing in housing?’ ...a whole other set of issues that economic developers hadn’t necessarily been involved in that they now have to start paying attention to.” - Jeannette Goldsmith, Strategic Development Group


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