By Anne Cosgrove, BF Editorial Director
Corporate site selectors gathered in Charlotte, NC last week for the 18th annual Business Facilities LiveXchange event. Having returned to an in-person format in Fall 2021, the Spring event brought together site selectors and consultants planning relocation and expansion projects and economic development representatives. Exploring the opportunities for their companies in face-to-face meetings with location representatives is the standout benefit for delegates at BF’s LiveXchange event.
Centrally located in the city of Charlotte, the Kimpton Tryon Park Hotel was the site for this year’s event (held April 3-5) where LiveXchange saw the largest number of attendees in its history. Three dozen corporate site selectors and site consultants engaged in 341 one-on-one meetings with representatives from economic development representatives from across the U.S. and Canada to discuss their site selection projects.
Welcoming attendees, Ted Coene, BF’s Chief Business Officer, said, “My sincere thanks to our sponsors, delegates, and speakers who have joined us at this year’s event. I’d also like to offer a thank you to our host, the Charlotte Regional Business Alliance, for welcoming us to this beautiful city.”
In its signature style, 2022 LiveXchange combined one-on-one business meetings with timely Executive Conference presentations and fun networking events. Delivering measurable ROI and customized itineraries for confidential project discussions, the event also allows attendees to reconnect with old friends, while forging new relationships and opportunities. Each day began with a rooftop breakfast, and over the three-day event networking included a night of bowling; a personalized tour of the NASCAR Hall of Fame where attendees drove stock car simulators, tested their pit crew skills, and strolled through a comprehensive history of the sport; and a behind-the-scenes tour of Bank of America Stadium, home to the NFL’s Carolina Panthers.
Gathering Information, Building Relationships
Site selector delegates in Charlotte represented a range of industries, including but not limited to warehousing and cryptocurrency. The Executive Conference session topics delved into economic development issues and trends facing the professionals in attendance.
In her Keynote on the 2022 Economic Outlook, Dr. Lindsey Piegza, Ph.D., Chief Economist, Stifel Financial, spoke about the impact of the pandemic and international events, and what it means for overall growth, interest rates, and monetary policy. Attendees were highly engaged during Piegza’s presentation, with a flurry of questions and conversation between attendees as well.
Mark Williams, President, Strategic Development Group in South Carolina, honed in on Current Site Selection Trends in the General Session that same day. Speaking on traditional and emerging markets (electric vehicles, for one), the 30-year site selection veteran remarked that in terms of site selection he’s not seen business as good as it is currently.
Bringing several industry voices together was an Ask The Consultants Panel Discussion, moderated by Angelos Angelou, Founder & Principal Executive Officer, AngelouEconomics in Austin, TX. Held after attendees wrapped up their daytime meetings, the session focused on topics site selectors are thinking about right now—and offered delegates the chance to pose questions to expert consultants. Participating on the panel were: Barry Albrecht, CEO, Strategic Location Services; John Boyd, Jr., Principal, The Boyd Company; Chris Steele, Principal, Economic Development, EPB-US; and Bob Westover, Senior Vice President, Colliers.
Recognizing that the pandemic has permanently changed the way workers across the U.S. evaluate who they will work for and where they will live, the LiveXchange Executive Conference included a General Session focused on The Impact of Work from Home on Incentives. Presented by Allea Newbold, Principal, Ryan, this session examined the shift to work-from-home and remote workforce. With a comprehensive look at current and developing incentives, Newbold shared insights into how corporate site selectors can examine the offerings in evaluating their upcoming relocations and expansions.
As the site selection landscape continues to evolve, Business Facilities LiveXchange is a valuable and reliable source for corporate site selectors and site consultants. In a professional, yet relaxed setting, these delegates with active projects connect with economic development agency representatives who can provide the answers to their questions.
Business Facilities 2023 LiveXchange will take place April 24-26 at Marina Inn at Grande Dunes in Myrtle Beach, SC.