We love traveling to cities all across the nation to deliver one-of-a-kind, influential presentations that really impact economic developers and the work they do. It's our every day job and agency mission to help economic developers solve challenges for the communities where they live and work, and we take our responsibilities seriously.
Atlas CEO Guillermo Mazier recently traveled to Atlanta to speak at ECONOMIX (download the slides here), which was a vibrant and inspirational conference that attracted people from coast to coast. We thought it was especially interesting why Consultant Connect - the conference organizers - chose Atlanta as a destination for the gathering. In their words:
"ECONOMIX has selected Atlanta, Georgia to mix it up. Why? We’re not sure if it’s the heat or its location, but Atlanta is certainly a combustible place where many other greats have gone to create a stir with great ideas and determination. Think Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the civil rights movement. Remember how the Magnificent Seven U.S. Women’s Gymnastics Team took the 1996 Olympics by storm? And, companies like the Coca-Cola Company, Chick-fil-A, and Newell-Rubbermaid create new products there every day."
We couldn't agree more. Atlanta is a nucleus for economic activity, especially in the South, and it's a city that's alive - the 9th largest metro region in the country, the world's busiest passenger airport, and one of the lowest costs of doing business among major U.S. metro areas.
The day we spent in Atlanta was fulfilling, especially after hearing such powerful and potent messages delivered by such a diverse group of speakers.
We walked away with three main impressions, or outcomes.
- Economic development is not about short term wins. It's about setting a vision, and showing progress. We've realized that many economic developers are simply making noise instead of impact, and it's our job to help reverse that trend. As purveyors of best practices in economic development marketing, we can really help economic developers put their best foot forward, attract the right type of audiences, and put forth information and materials that are creative, persuasive, and powerful. Better economic development IS possible!
- Because no one outside of economic development knows what it is, it's easy to hide behind a veil of doubt, uncertainty, change, or unpredictability. But when economic developers hide, disintermediation can happen. Transparency, accountability, action, and quantification stand to clear the muddied and misunderstood air.
- The best economic developers are leveraging private sector principals to help solve public sector problems. These relationships, and the process of mutually solving problems, allow EDOs to find the answers they need while simultaneously providing private sector individuals transparency into the initiatives driving a city, region, or state forward - sometimes the very initiatives these folks are funding. A true win-win.
We want to hear from you. What made ECONOMIX special for you?
And if you missed our presentation, it's up on our website. (The Road to Economic Development Marketing Reinvention)