By the BF Staff
From the November/December 2021 Issue
After more than a year of business conducted online in virtual space due to COVID-19, corporate site selectors with big-ticket projects flocked to Business Facilities’ 2021 LiveXchange event in Tucson, AZ in late October to meet face-to-face with representatives from locations they’re evaluating.
With the spectacular Santa Catalina Mountains as a backdrop, BF’s annual deal-making event came roaring back to life at the Westin La Paloma Resort & Spa. More than two dozen corporate site selectors and site consultants engaged in 267 one-on-one meetings with representatives from state and metro economic development agencies to discuss active projects.
The atmosphere at the 17th annual event was buoyant, as old friends embraced each other and new attendees relished the opportunity to resume business travel and see business partners in person. In his welcoming remarks, Ted Coene, BF’s Chief Business Officer, heralded the end of the separation caused by the pandemic.
“I’m very pleased to welcome you back—in person—to LiveXchange. I couldn’t be happier to see everybody face-to-face once again after the events of this past year and a half. I’d like to offer a special thank you to our host, the City of Tucson, for welcoming us to this beautiful city, and to all of our Sponsors, Speakers and Delegates for attending,” Coene said.
“This is a great event and we are so glad we are able to introduce so many new people to Tucson through this opportunity,” said Barbra Coffee, Economic Initiatives Director for the City of Tucson.
As always, LiveXchange combined intimate business meetings with an informative series of Executive Conference presentations, as well as networking opportunities. A rugged “4-wheeling” jeep adventure in the local mountains was one of this year’s highlights.
Attendees are drawn to the event by its measurable ROI and customized itineraries for confidential project discussions. They also appreciate the opportunity to get to know potential business partners while networking in a resort setting.
“It’s a great opportunity to put faces with names, to discuss current projects and to develop future projects. When I come to LiveX, I always learn about regions I may not be too familiar with, which is very helpful when my clients come to me for location advice,” said Brian Wahl, Director of Incentives & Location Advisors at Bradley Company.
The LiveX 2021 Executive Conference program included a Keynote Presentation, Domestic Threats to Democracy, delivered by former FBI special agent Mike German, who spent years undercover tracking down racist and reactionary extremist groups in the U.S. German also authored a 2020 Brennan Center for Justice report, Hiding in Plain Sight, which details the large number of law enforcement professionals who have joined domestic extremist groups.
The Executive Conference program also included two panel discussions: The Fintech Revolution focused on federal regulation of the burgeoning fintech sector, while Coastal Resilience, Restoration and Adaptation focused on the need to rethink coastal development and disaster recovery as the impact of climate change intensifies.
Dr. Betsy Cantwell, Senior Vice President for Research and Innovation at the University of Arizona, provided an in-depth look at the tech talent pipeline at the university, where 90 percent of graduates emerge from school with job offers.
To learn more about LiveXchange 2022, which will take place April 3-5 at the Kimpton Tryon Park Hotel in Charlotte, NC, visit businessfacilities.com/livexchange.