LiveXchange Event Marks 20 Years

In March 2024, the annual site selection conference arrived in Richmond, VA. Next, LiveXchange Fall Forum travels to Hollywood, Fl.

By Anne Cosgrove
From the May / June 2024 Issue

 

This past March, site selectors and economic developers from around the U.S. and Canada convened in Richmond, VA for the 20th Annual Business Facilities LiveXchange. The event’s signature one-on-one meetings brought together economic development organizations and site selection professionals March 17-19, 2024 to discuss active and future corporate relocation and expansion projects. These 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.

LiveXchange Event
The 20th Annual Business Facilities LiveXchange in Richmond, VA kicked off with a welcome reception on March 17, 2024. (Photo: Business Facilities)

 

Following an evening welcome reception, 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. Introduced by Jennifer Wakefield, Greater Richmond Partnership President & CEO, Reilly discussed the current “paradigm shift in technology” that includes Web 3.0 and its relation to the burgeoning artificial intelligence landscape. A key takeaway: There is opportunity to save time, distill data, and be more productive by “Becoming AI First.”

“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 conversations throughout the event.”

For two decades, Business Facilities LiveXchange has connected site selection professionals with economic developers to explore relocation and expansion opportunities, over the course of a few days. With 30 economic development organizations at the event in Richmond, attendees had the opportunity to gather a wealth of information over the two meeting days.

“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.”

LiveXchange Event
Attendees met in one-on-one meeting with economic developers throughout the event. (Photo: Business Facilities)

 

David Gaines, Managing Director of Goldstone Consulting Group, a site selection firm based in Moberly, MO, commented, “The opportunity to meet with representatives from communities, tribal organizations, and utilities from across the United States and Canada was very beneficial to our clients. Our goal was to better understand the assets communities offer that can be of value to our clients. We exceeded that goal.”

Conference Sessions Expand Conversation

The Opening Keynote on Monday, March 18 presented a conversation on the potential of AI for site selection and economic development. The exchange of ideas continued with “Connecting The Dots,” a panel discussion about workforce trends and challenges—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 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 firm’s insights as companies navigate talent searches, ESG issues, the energy landscape, and more.

Jason Hickey, President of Hickey & Associates
Jason Hickey, President of Hickey & Associates, presented on Trends In Site Selection. (Photo: Business Facilities)

 

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.

Mike Grella, Chief Infrastructure Officer for Active Infrastructure, a data center site selection firm, moderated the Energy & Sustainability roundtable. His takeaway from that popular topic at LiveXchange: “There is consensus that power is a top issue and challenge in site selection, and there is uncertainty about meeting future demand and building out both generation capacity and transmission infrastructure in light of the proliferation of data center, EV vehicle and battery, chip manufacturing, and other power intensive projects.”

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

LiveXchange Fall Forum: November 2024

Plans are underway for the next meeting in Hollywood, FL, at the Hollywood Marriott from November 13-15, 2024.

Robert Hess, Vice Chairman, Global Strategy for Newmark, is slated to deliver the LiveXchange Fall Forum opening keynote on November 14. With the U.S. Presidential election just before this conference, a look at Site Selection for 2025 will be one focus of the presentation.

Attendees will also hear about Partnerships in Site Selection from leadership from J.M. Mullis, Inc. During their presentation, Mike Mullis, the firm’s President & CEO and Denise Mullis, Senior Vice President, will share their experiences and latest insights on strategies and actions for successful site searches.

Additional conference sessions will focus on Energy and other timely site selection and economic development topics.

Visit www.bflivexchange.com to learn more about the LiveXchange Fall Forum, November 13-15, 2024. The Annual 2025 LiveXchange is scheduled for April 9-11, 2025 in New Orleans, LA.

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