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Training Course: Economic Development Marketing and Attraction

Date: November 7 - 8, 2019

Location: Toronto, ON

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This course is held in partnership with Economic Developers Council of Ontario, Inc. (EDCO).

This hands-on course will review the fundamentals of developing and implementing a high-impact marketing and attraction plan. Businesses looking to locate or expand need accurate, up-to-date, and credible information and communities need rock-solid marketing techniques to reach the needs of the business community. Course participants will be able to learn how to craft their community's message by learning about online marketing fundamentals, website design, and current trends in foreign direct investnment. Participants will also explore various mediums of communication, including how to best utilize social media and other technologies as economic development marketing tools. Case studies and will highlight the dos and don'ts of economic development marketing and attraction.


Course Highlights:

• Identifying target audiences using data-driven techniques
• Developing a community marketing plan and brand
• Garnering internal and external support for the marketing campaign
• Engaging social media and website design to target new markets
• Making the most of your foreign direct investment efforts
• Benchmarking, evaluating, and monitoring the marketing plan



November 7

8:00 - 8:45 am


8:45 - 9:00 am

Welcome and Introductions

9:00 - 9:45 am

Overview of Economic Development Marketing
Marketing is a tool that helps promote economic growth and development in a community. This session will highlight the economic developer's role in developing and implementing a marketing plan, and the different targets of economic development marketing.

9:45 - 10:00 am


10:00 - 11:00 am

Positioning Your Community and Finding your Niche
Each community, no matter location or demographics has its strengths and weaknesses. Identifying both and being able to play off the strengths is key to setting yourself apart. In this session, participants will learn how to find those things that make your community unique and how to best communicate your position in today's complex marketplace.

11:00 am - 12:00 pm

Developing the Marketing Plan and Metrics for Success
All communities market themselves whether or not they have developed a marketing plan. A marketing plan helps to ensure that you are making a positive impact and are making effective use of available resources, staff and financial capabilities. It provides a guide for all marketing activities and is an important part of an overall economic development strategy. This interactive session will address how to set realistic goals and objectives, to develop strategies that support your marketing goals, and to how to measure the success of your initiatives.

12:15 - 1:15 pm

Lunch on your own

1:15 - 2:30 pm

A brand is the perception held of your place by your marketing efforts' audience, whether site selectors, corporate buyers, entrepreneurs, or tourists. Like it or not, your town or region already has a brand - positive, negative, or wholly indifferent. Participants will learn about the components of brand, its importance to economic development, and how you can improve or change it.

2:30 - 2:45 pm


2:45 - 3:30 pm

Talent Attraction
Skills, experience, education, and ideas are the leading driver of economic growth today. It's no surprise that leading economies today compete as much for highly educated workers as they do for businesses, a in what is sometimes called the "war for talent." Instructors will explore the means to attract and retain skilled workers, from overseas marketing and hiring missions to "deeper" strategies such as entrepreneurship development and placemaking.

3:30 - 4:15 pm

Foreign Direct Investment
In recent years, international economies have grown rapidly, and foreign businesses have grown in lockstep. Now, these companies often wish to expand into the United States, to take advantage of this country's huge, wealthy market, as well as American specialties such as our universities, venture capital, and protections for intellectual property. Attendees will first learn about key drivers of foreign direct investment in the United States, and then shift focus to FDI attraction techniques including advertising, using international business networks, and undertaking trade missions, including the resources and tools available to successfully carry out these techniques. The session concludes with a discussion of solutions to FDI pitfalls such as language, culture, and regulation.


November 8

9:00 - 9:45 am

A website is often the first contact someone has with a community, organization or company and is arguably the most important marketing tool in today’s world. In this session, participants will learn about the key components of a highly effective website and how to best ensure your message and brand are being communicated online.

9:45 - 10:45 am

Online Marketing and Lead Generation
Online marketing goes beyond a website. This session will explore the vast opportunities to be had when an organization takes on a marketing strategy that includes the targeted, measurable, and interactive promotion of a community, state or region. Participants will also learn how to use digital technologies to reach and convert leads into customers and retain them is key in today's competitive atmosphere.

10:45 - 11:00 am


11:00 am - 12:00 pm

Social Media
Communication and marketing isn't what it used to be. Today you have many channels to reach your audience. This session will focus on communications using social media. Topics will include changes in how communication is happening, who is now doing the communicating, where conversations about your communities are happening, and how you can successfully use social media to engage your targets. Topics will include major social platforms.

12:00 - 1:00 pm

Lunch on your own

1:00 - 2:00 pm

Case Studies
This session will lead participants through a series of case studies that recap and illustrate the concepts discussed throughout the course. Case studies will include:

• Rural/Small Community Marketing for Success
• Regional Marketing for Success
• Branding
• Online marketing and lead generation

2:00 - 4:00 pm

Group Interactive Session: Creation of a Marketing Plan
You've learned the pieces; now put that knowledge to work. In this session, participants will work in groups to create a marketing plan for a community and share the results.

4:00 - 4:30 pm

Q & A, Wrap Up and Certificates


* Agenda subject to change

**PLEASE NOTE: In order to receive full IEDC certification credit for this course and a certificate indicating course completion, participants must attend the entire course and stay through the final session on the last day. Please make travel plans accordingly.**



Dariel Y. Curren
Executive Vice President
Development Counsellors International
New York, NY

Dariel Curren has worked with Development Counsellors International since 1995 and was named Executive Vice President in 2018. Known as the “Leader in Marketing Places,” DCI specializes in economic development and tourism marketing and has helped more than 500 cities, regions, states, provinces and countries attract business investment, talent and visitors since the firm was founded in New York City in 1960. Dariel’s economic development clients have spanned the world, including destinations from Montreal to Miami and New York to New Zealand. She has created award-winning marketing programs that integrate high-profile media exposure with websites, direct marketing and digital strategies. She is also considered the firm’s place branding expert.

Dariel has been a featured speaker for the International Economic Development Council, Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives, Texas Economic Development Corporation, Georgia Economic Developers Association, Virginia Economic Developers Association and numerous other economic development organizations. She has also been published in the IEDC Journal and regularly teaches IEDC’s Marketing and Attraction Course.

Raised on a dairy farm in upstate New York, Dariel is a graduate of Brown University, where she played basketball for four years.

Patience Fairbrother
Account Director
Development Counsellors International
New York, NY

Patience Fairbrother is an Account Director at Development Counsellors International (DCI), the leader in marketing places. She has worked on a broad range of economic development marketing programs from Texas to the Netherlands and has been pivotal in developing marketing strategies, brands and websites for states, cities and regions across the country, including those in Vermont, Illinois, Texas, Georgia, Arkansas and the Carolinas.

In her role as Talent Attraction Specialist, Patience advances DCI’s talent attraction research and marketing portfolio. Patience’s talent attraction marketing work for Cleveland County, North Carolina, Upstate South Carolina and Northern Colorado has garnered multiple awards from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC). Patience has presented DCI’s talent attraction research at leading economic development conference, ECONOMIX, and as the keynote speaker for Birmingham Business Alliance’s annual Chairman's Meeting. She also serves as the co-host of DCI’s podcast, “The Project: Inside Corporate Location Decisions,” which features interviews with top corporate executives, site selection consultants and economic development professionals about hot topics and recent announcements in site selection.

Eric McSweeney, CEcD, EcD(F)
McSweeney & Associates
Ottawa, ON

Eric’s team, McSweeney & Associates, is Canada’s Leading Economic Development Training, Education and Consulting firm. An experienced facilitator, community and capacity builder with a gift for bringing divergent interest groups together, Eric’s work has resulted in superior and lasting outcomes for municipalities across Canada, and in Eastern Europe.

The McSweeney team, formed in 2001, is fueled by a passion to build the capacity of each client to accelerate their community’s economic growth and quality of life. The firm inspires their clients to create communities that are economically sustainable and sensitive to cultural, environmental and social needs. Its work therefore, is providing advice, guidance, and tools for communities to achieve sustainability and to de-mystify what it takes to be successful in economic development.

Eric has a broad and intricate understanding of municipal economic development, strategic investment targeting, and investment readiness which has led to the preparation of hundreds of economic strategies and numerous FDI strategies (in partnership with JWP Strategy) for communities in Alberta, BC, and Ontario.



  CEcD logo

This course meets the professional development requirements for the Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) exam. CEcDs earn recertification credits for participation.


Accommodations/Training Location

Pantages Hotel
200 Victoria St.
Toronto, ON M5B 1V8, Canada

Room Rate: $209
Cutoff Date: October 6, 2019




By September 27

Sep 28 - Oct 25

*After October 25

IEDC Member

$490 USD/CAD

$630 USD/CAD

$650 USD/CAD


$640 USD/CAD

$780 USD/CAD

$800 USD/CAD

Full Time Student**

$105 USD/CAD

$125 USD/CAD

$145 USD/CAD

*Walk-in registrations will be accepted. Full payment must be made on-site in order to attend the course.

** Copy of current transcript required.

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Individual paying by credit card: Click this button if you are registering as an individual IEDC member or nonmember and paying by credit card.


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Refunds less a $60 cancellation fee will be issued for all cancellations received in writing to fax: (202) 223-4745 or email: prodev@iedconline.org at least 10 business days prior to the course - please allow 3-4 weeks. All registrations regardless of payment status are subject to the $60 cancellation fee. No refunds or credit transfers to a future course will be issued for cancellations received within 10 business days of the course. Telephone cancellations are not accepted. Attendee substitutions for a course may be made at any time prior to the course.