Happy Economic Development Week!
Although it's only one piece of what economic developers do, many assume that recruitment is the bulk of our work. Here are some of the initiatives that we use to share the message that we are Where Tennessee Begins Its Business Day.
Red Carpet Tour – As we discussed on Tuesday, the Northeast Tennessee Red Carpet Tour is a 2 ½ day fam tour where we roll out the red carpet for site location consultants. Site location consultants connect companies with communities, and it is imperative to stay on their radar. Agero is one of many examples of a project landing in our community because of the Red Carpet Tour.
Tradeshows – Our team attends a few tradeshows each year among our targeted industry sectors, in partnership with Tri-Cities Airport and Aerospace Park. Tradeshows not only provide an opportunity to increase brand awareness, but are used to collect new leads, follow up on existing leads, visit with existing industry (and their corporate headquarters' staffs), and meet with consultants focused on the aerospace industry. More information about our tradeshow activity, specifically at MRO Americas, will be highlighted in the May issue of The Business Journal of Tri-Cities Tennessee/Virginia.
TEP – We have been members of the Tennessee Economic Partnership (TEP) since 2014. Through strategically planned networking events, TEP generates leads and business relationships with key prospects and consultants to attract jobs and investment to Tennessee. Our CEO, Clay Walker, was Chairman of the organization in 2017 and remains heavily involved.
Print & Online Advertisements – While we continue to scale back the amount of print advertising we invest in, we strategically place ads in publications such as Site Selection Magazine and Livability Tennessee, which is sponsored by TNECD. We often receive a spotlight or have team members quoted in various trade publications and advertise in those, as well.
With 43% of US adults receiving news online or on social media, we realize the importance of online ad placements. Each year, we place a higher emphasis on online advertisements in the same publications we work with for print advertising.
Videos – We’ve produced two videos and plan to release more this year. Our first video, the now-viral NETWORKS Community Video, highlighted our community’s pro-business culture, robust education system, transportation infrastructure, available industrial properties, and quality of life. The video is updated each year. It received an award from SEDC.
The Tri-Cities Quality of Life video was released a little under a year ago and was intended to be a gift to the region. This video focuses strictly on the quality of life assets primarily located in the Tri-Cities with famous landmarks from surrounding Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia communities sprinkled in. This video is our gift to the region, and the logo bookends are interchangeable with the logo of any interested company or organization. So far, this video has received an Addy Award from AAF Northeast Tennessee.
Both of these videos are used by numerous organizations to sell our community. We couldn’t be prouder of the impact they’ve made and the community pride they’ve inspired.
Conferences - We typically attend conferences with site selectors in attendance (the application-required Site Selectors Guild, for example). The world of economic development is ever-changing, and being able to learn not only trends but what consultants like to see on websites and RFPs, is invaluable. Conferences also provide an incredible opportunity to network with consultants.
Success Files – Later this month, a spotlight on the aerospace cluster in Sullivan County will air on Success Hosted by Rob Lowe. The segment will air on national television, including stations like Fox Business News, reaching 100 different markets and over 45% of US homes. This opportunity came to fruition after a competitive application process.