‘Tis the season for economic development fall conferences!
The IEDC Annual Conference was in Dallas, Texas this year from September 17th to the 20th. This was my first big economic development conference to attend as a Certified Economic Developer, which was exciting.
At the conference, I moderated a panel where we talked about how to adjust and pivot when government leadership changes. We had speakers from Nashville, Maryland and Mexico. The panel was well-received and people appreciated that this conversation was happening.
It was also great to gather together for dinner with some of the Maryland economic developers who were all in Dallas for the conference!
Then, the VEDA Fall Conference was in Portsmouth, Virginia from September 20th to the 22nd. The theme was “Maximize Potential. Accelerate Results!”
Going to conferences is a great way to build in-person connections while learning from the various speakers and attending workshops (like the Artificial Intelligence workshop I attended at the IEDC Conference).
After a conference, how do you measure the ROI? If you go to events and make new connections what do you do with them? Rather than just adding business cards to a pile in a drawer, it’s important to build the connections and continue to foster them. Here are a few ways to do that:
- Connect with new contacts on LinkedIn
- Send one-on-one emails inviting them to subscribe to your email list
- Share a valuable free resource (lead magnet) with them
And then, make sure to keep the connection going! If they join your email list, you could set up some marketing automation sequences so that in a few weeks or a month, they get another email from you that helps you stay top of mind with them and build that relationship. (If you need help with marketing automation, hit reply to learn more!)
Whatever you do, make sure to follow up in a timely manner and not let the opportunity for a new connection to pass you by.
Next week is Economic Development Week in Maryland – what is your organization doing to recognize small businesses and the work your organization does? Message us to share!
Reimagining Places With You,
Sandy and the PPR Strategies Team