The only thing that was missing from Business Facilities’ 2020 LiveXchange event were the hotel rooms, but they weren’t needed. This week, BF hosted its first-ever Virtual LiveXchange.
BF’s online event seamlessly delivered the essential elements that make LiveXchange a unique opportunity for corporate site selectors with big-ticket projects to meet representatives from locations they’re evaluating. One-on-one meetings were held using Verizon BlueJeans, while LiveXchange Executive Conference general sessions were presented in four online webinars.
LiveXchange 2020 originally was scheduled to take place in April at the Ballantyne Hotel in Charlotte, NC, but was postponed until September due to the coronavirus pandemic. Group C Media Co-President Ted Coene moved LiveX to a virtual venue when NC delayed its stage-three reopening as COVID-19 cases continued to surge in the Tarheel State during the summer.
“Our first Virtual LiveXchange has delivered the same great ROI that the in-person events provide, but the real key to the success of the 2020 event was our attendees,” Coene said. “I want to thank all of our sponsors and delegates for sticking with us as we put safety first and converted LiveX to a virtual venue.”
The four presentations of the LiveXchange Executive Conference program featured experts in supply chain, labor markets, capital investments, and unmanned aerial systems who provided the latest information on the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on these sectors.
Josh Wright, EVP at Emsi, the labor market analytics experts, delivered an assessment of The Labor Market in a Remote Economy that included some sobering statistics about the sectors hardest hit by job losses during the pandemic. The high-tech and eCommerce sectors have thrived, Wright reported, while the hospitality, tourism, commercial aviation and entertainment sectors continue to experience staggering losses.
If these trends continue, Wright said, the U.S. could experience a “K-shaped” recovery in which renewed growth is not equally distributed across the economy.
Two of the leading experts on the evolving tax regulations governing federally designated Opportunity Zones, Allea Newbold of Ryan LLC and Christopher Steele of Chamberlain Hrdlicka, told LiveX attendees that Qualified Opportunity Zones (QOZ) are poised to become a safe harbor for reinvesting capital gains from the sale of assets during the pandemic.
Newbold predicted that the IRS will continue to extend the deadline for QOZ investments as Opportunity Zones increasingly become an essential driver for the recovery.
After a virtual tour of Charlotte, NC was presented by the Charlotte Regional Business Alliance, Coene announced that LiveXchange 2022 will take place on April 3-5, 2022 in Charlotte. Business Facilities’ unique deal-making event is scheduled to resume its in-person format when LiveXchange 2021 is held on April 13-15, 2021 at The Westin La Paloma Resort & Spa in Tucson, AZ.
“We all hope the unprecedented calamity of this pandemic is over soon. The success of our virtual event gives us confidence that, for as long as it takes for this crisis to end, the economic development community can adapt to challenging times and keep moving forward,” Coene said. “I congratulate everyone who participated at Virtual LiveXchange.”
ABOUT BUSINESS FACILITIES LIVEXCHANGE
Business Facilities LiveXchange gives corporate executives who are searching for locations in which to relocate or expand their facilities an opportunity to learn about the issues that impact site selection, network with other executives, and meet with economic development organizations from across North America. Created by Business Facilities magazine, the leading publication for site selection professionals, LiveXchange provides an atmosphere that fosters highly productive discussions with economic developers and location consultants.