The International Economic Development Council (IEDC) is the professional association for practitioners to learn best practices on how to grow their local economy. The organization provides educational opportunities for its members throughout the year, from webinars to multi-day conferences.
IEDC Annual Conference
The highpoint of the year is the Annual Conference, where 1,200 economic development professionals converge to hear about the latest trends in strategic planning, check out the newest software tools for research, learn best practices on business attraction, domestic and foreign, hear stories of successful projects and how they were accomplished, and network with peers.
This year, the Annual Conference was hosted by our neighbors to the north in Toronto. This is the first year the conference has been hosted outside the United States. I attended the conference to represent Buffalo Niagara, along with our President and CEO Tom Kucharski.
The hot topic on everyone’s mind was the biggest story in economic development history –Amazon’s HQ2 and which communities have the best chance of winning. The highlight of the conference was keynote speaker Dr. Richard Florida, the most influential thought leader in the economic development world and a star in the community. Both topics showed both the importance and success of economic development. They were examples of how when our industry gets the public-facing spotlight, it can shine.
Buffalo’s Future Forum
Hosting a conference is a great way to showcase the advantages and success stories of your community. That is why we are excited for Buffalo to be hosting a regional conference in June. The 2018 Economic Future Forum will be in our community on June 24-26, and we are excited to show our peers in economic development the renaissance of our region and share with them the story of our turnaround. From Canalside to Niagara Falls and Solar City to the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, we have a lot of activity to show that Buffalo is breaking out of its rust belt image.
To share that message of Buffalo’s rebirth, check out Pitch Buffalo Niagara, a common-use creative messaging toolkit for local bloggers and websites to use to be Buffalo ambassadors.