20th Annual Business Facilities LiveXchange A Success!

Site selection professionals and economic developers came together in Richmond, VA this week to explore opportunities for corporate relocation and expansion projects through one-on-one meetings, conference sessions, and networking events.


Business Facilities LiveXchange welcome reception in Richmond, VA on March 17, 2024.
(Photo: Business Facilities LiveXchange)

This week, the 20th Annual Business Facilities LiveXchange brought together site selectors and economic developers from around the U.S. and Canada in Richmond, Virginia. The signature LiveXchange one-on-one meetings between economic development organizations and site selection professionals with active corporate relocation and expansion projects were central to the events that took place March 17-19, 2024. Pre-scheduled meetings provide a valuable opportunity for site selectors to explore multiple locations in one setting over several days.



Conference sessions, on-site meals, and networking events complemented the agenda in Richmond. Host sponsor Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) invited site selectors for pre-event weekend activities, and the Greater Richmond Partnership welcomed attendees to the city.

Following an evening welcome reception (including a touch of green for St. Patrick’s Day), conference attendees got down to business on March 18 for the opening keynote, ““Six Ways To Incorporate AI Into Your Organization,” with Justin Reilly, CEO of Wavelo and former Head of Product, Verizon.

Greater Richmond Partnership President & CEO, Jennifer Wakefield, introduced Reilly who then discussed the current “paradigm shift in technology” that includes Web 3.0 and its relation to the burgeoning artificial intelligence landscape. For organizations of all types seeking to introduce and drive growth through AI tools, Reilly shared his experience in the telecom industry. A key takeaway: There is opportunity to save time, distill data, and be more productive by “Becoming AI First.”

In an informative and relatable keynote, Justin Reilly, CEO, Wavelo, shared insights on how organizations can begin utilizing AI in their work today. (Photo: Business Facilities LiveXchange)

“The conference program set the tone for high-level discussions between some of the top site selectors in the industry and economic development organizations from across North America,” said Ted Coene, Business Facilities LiveXchange President and Co-Owner of Group C Media, Inc. “From the opening keynote on AI to site selection trends and group discussions on workforce, energy, logistics, and incentives, the sessions spurred additional conversations throughout the event.”

Site Selectors, Economic Developers Meet One-on-One

Site selection attendees have spent valuable time meeting with the 30 EDOs in attendance at LiveXchange this week. (Photo: Business Facilities LiveXchange)

For two decades, Business Facilities LiveXchange has successfully connected site selection professionals with economic developers to explore relocation and expansion opportunities across a number of locations, over the course of a few days. With 30 economic development organizations at the event in Richmond this week, attendees had the opportunity to gather a wealth of information over the two meeting days. New connections were made, existing relationships were strengthened, and opportunities were discovered.

“The 20th annual LiveXchange raised the bar once again,” said Coene. The event’s unique matchmaking formula delivers the gold standard of opportunities for corporate relocation and expansion decision-making.”

(Photo: Business Facilities LiveXchange)

Conference Sessions Expand The Conversation

The Opening Keynote on Monday, March 18 presented a conversation on the potential of AI for site selection and economic development, and the trading of ideas continued that day with “Connecting The Dots,” a panel discussion about workforce trends and challenges.

From strategies to identify promising labor markets to maximizing the benefits of workforce development and training programs, the panelists shared their experiences in the current landscape. Business Facilities Editorial Director Anne Cosgrove served as moderator with panelists Linda Burns of WDG Consultants, Matthew Conrad of Virginia Commonwealth University, Jack Ellenberg of Maxis Advisors, and Bob Westover of Colliers International.

The conference program concluded on Monday with Roundtable Discussions during which site selectors and economic developers gathered to trade observations and ideas, expanding upon talks they’d had during the one-on-one meetings. Each breakout session was moderated by a site selection attendee and focused on one of the following topics: Energy & Sustainability; Incentives; Infrastructure & Logistics; and Workforce.

Dinner and a game night networking event brought together attendees to close out the first full day of LiveXchange.

Jason Hickey Presents On Site Selection Trends

The program on Tuesday, March 19 kicked off with the General Session, “Trends In Site Selection,” presented by Jason Hickey, President of Hickey & Associates.  An industry veteran whose firm works on site selection projects throughout the world, Hickey shared his latest observations and insights related to companies searching for talent, ESG issues, the energy landscape, and more.

The “Trends In Site Selection” general session was presented by Jason Hickey, President of Hickey & Associates. (Photo: Business Facilities LiveXchange)

The morning continued with the last round of one-on-one meetings between site selectors and economic developers. Conversations outside of the meetings were also prevalent, a testament to the connections many had made during their time at LiveXchange in Richmond.

Two off-site networking events rounded out LiveXchange this week. First, a group of attendees traveled to nearby Babylon Micro-Farms in Richmond for a company tour. This hydroponic farming company designs, manufactures, and maintains growing units for lettuces, herbs, and flowers. This small ag-tech business serves corporations, K-12, senior living facilities, and more. With a visit from Vice President Kamala Harris in May 2023, the company is highly focused on the future. The group then was able to explore the adjacent Scott’s Addition neighborhood through a walking food tour led by Discover Richmond Tours. Stops along the way included The Veil Brewing, Smohk, Eazzy Burger, Vasen Brewing, and Gelati Celesti.

Networking tour of Babylon Micro-Farms facility in Richmond, VA. (Photo: Business Facilities LiveXchange)

20th Annual Business Facilities LiveXchange Sponsors

Click here for information about these organizations.

  • Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) (Platinum)
  • Greater Richmond Partnership (Platinum)
  • GO Topeka (Silver)
  • Amarillo Economic Development Corporation
  • Ameren
  • Choctaw Nation Business and Economic Development
  • Connect Tucson
  • Consumers Energy
  • Council for South Texas Economic Progress
  • Dominion Energy
  • Empire State Development
  • Gadsden-Etowah Industrial Development Authority
  • Hernando County Office of Economic Development
  • Invest Alberta
  • JobsOhio
  • Liberty County Development Authority
  • Louisiana Economic Development
  • Maricopa Economic Development Alliance
  • Metro Hartford Alliance
  • Minnesota Dept. of Employment and Economic Development
  • Niagara Economic Development
  • North Eastern Strategic Alliance
  • Pima County Economic Development
  • Prince William County Dept. of Economic Development
  • Regional Growth Partnership of NW Ohio
  • Roanoke Regional Partnership
  • Santee Cooper
  • TexAmericas Center
  • University of Arizona Tech Parks
  • Waynesboro Economic Development

The Business Facilities LiveXchange Fall Forum takes place November 13-15, 2024 in Hollywood, FL. The Spring 2025 Business Facilities LiveXchange is scheduled for April 9-11, 2025 in New Orleans, LA. Click here to learn more.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here