The Regional Growth Partnership recently hosted a delegation of prominent site consultants to promote the Toledo/Northwest Ohio region as a top location for business investment.
Eight site consultants from across the country made their way to the Toledo region for a three-day event to learn more about the area’s assets. This event, described in the industry as a “FAM (familiarization) Tour,” marked the fifth time the RGP played host to a large number of consultants. Three of the consultants were return-attendees, dubbed “alumni,” having visited for at least one of the past RGP FAM Tours.
“Site consultants are key targets because they are often engaged by companies looking to expand operations,” said Dean Monske, president and CEO of the RGP. “It is critical that the RGP identify and build relationships with these decision makers.”
The RGP branded and marketed the event as an opportunity to gather the critical information consultants deem important, and have it presented by the people they want to hear from – the private sector.
The consultants came to the region from all across the country, representing such cities as Boston, Dallas, Phoenix, Atlanta and Greenville, S.C. During the visit, they heard from executives at some of the region’s largest companies explain why they chose to invest and do business in Northwest Ohio. Presentations were made by ProMedica, First Solar, Clean Energy Future, SSOE, JobsOhio, CSX, North Star BlueScope Steel, Norfolk Southern, the Toledo Regional Chamber of Commerce, BP and American Electric Power. There was also a special panel discussion on workforce presented by five university and community college presidents.
As has become tradition, a special highlight for some of the consultants was a helicopter tour over select Northwest Ohio sites. The event ended with some rest and relaxation at various islands off Port Clinton.
“This was a great opportunity for Northwest Ohio to make a strong, face-to-face sales pitch to key decision makers who took the time to visit our backyard,” said Gary Thompson, vice president of the RGP. “The idea that this region was able to attract some of the top national site consultants for several days is pretty impressive.”
Besides the FAM Tour, the RGP employs other strategies in reaching these key consultants, most notably, direct, face-to-face meetings in targeted cities across the country and direct electronic communication to announce community development successes and project announcements.