FAM TOUR SERIES: Site Selectors, who are they?

This fall, Fox Cities Regional Partnership will be teaming up with four economic development organizations located along the I-41 Corridor to host a Familiarization Tour (FAM Tour) for several site selectors. The purpose of this event is to display, first hand, why our region is an ideal business location. Over the next few months, we will be publishing a series of articles about FAM Tours and why they are vital to business attraction efforts.

Who are “site selectors”?

Site Selectors go by many titles: Site Consultant, Location Consultant, Corporate Real Estate Consultant, Corporate Location Specialist…you get the idea. Each of these titles are basically interchangeable for economic development purposes. Many of these professionals work for large firms, such as Deloitte, Cushman & Wakefield, and Ernst & Young, to name a few, while some work for smaller boutique firms, such as Garner Economics, Szatan & Associates, and Hickey & Associates.

Whether these consultants work for large or small, national or international firms, their function is the same: identify the best location possible for their clients based on their needs and wants – which vary depending on the industry. Every site selector will tell you that they are data driven and they rely on hard statistics to influence the advice they give their clients. They will also tell you that their work would more aptly be described as “site elimination” rather than “site selection.”

Bringing a group of site selectors to our region for a FAM Tour allows us the opportunity to influence their perceptions of our community, many of which will never show up on a spreadsheet. These may not be the most important factors during the first round of site eliminations, but may put us over the top when we are one of the two or three finalists for a project.

During this year’s tour we will highlight several areas that make the I-41 Corridor an ideal place for business, including: regional collaboration, responsive local government, safety, education, entertainment and recreation, quality of life, a highly productive workforce, and how interconnected the commute patterns are from Green Bay to Fond Du Lac via I-41. We will also introduce the consultants to many community and business leaders to build relationships and hear perceptions of the area, as well as to display the region’s positive attitude toward business.

Site selectors are very busy people, traveling between clients and site locations constantly. Many have told us that they are invited to 100+ FAM Tours a year but only attend one or two annually. Communities generally try to provide a “hook” to entice consultants to take time away from their hectic schedules and tour a region. This year, in collaboration with the Green Bay Packers, we will be bringing them to a Packers/Bears game with a pre-game tailgate at Lambeau Field.

Join us Thursday, October 20, to hear the site selector’s perception of our area. Location TBA.

Visiting Site Selectors from Fall 2015 FAM Tour

Paige Webster, Webster Global Site Selectors

James Beatty, NCS International

Alison Benton, Aliquantus Consulting, LLC

Bradley Migdal, Transwestern

Visiting Site Selectors from Fall 2014 FAM Tour

John Sisson, Global Location Strategies

Jeff Pappas, E Smith Realty Partners

Peter T Waldinger, The Austin Company

Jay Cross, CrossRoads Consulting

Visiting Site Selectors from Fall 2013 FAM Tour

Bob Hess, Newmark Grubb Knight Frank

Darin Buelow, Deloitte Consulting

Josh Timberlake, Deloitte Consulting (at time of event)

Jeff Rossate, Deloitte Consulting (at time of event)