Area Development Conference and Forum Series
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Area Development
Consultants Forum Series



The Area Development Conference and Forum Series offers authoritative events that combine networking and educational presentation designed to address the key issues effecting economic development professionals in today's market and offer insight into the future of our industry. The Area Development Conference and Forum Series brings the best presenters in corporate real estate site consulting and other relevant disciplines to one forum where economic development professionals have access to these influential decision makers.

Upcoming Consultants Forum Events
Consultants Forum25
Consultants Forum25
The Conrad
Indianapolis, Indiana
June 4-6, 2018
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Women Consultants Forum Women in Economic Development Forum9
Sofitel Magnificent Mile
Chicago, Illinois

September 30-October 2, 2018
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FDI Forum Canada Canadian FDI Forum3
Brookstreet Hotel
Ottawa, Ontario

October 22-24, 2018
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Consultants Forum25
Consultants Forum26
Eden Roc Hotel
Miami Beach, Florida
December 3-5, 2018
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Attendee Comments

Consultants Forum Indianapolis - June 2018

Again, I walked away smarter than when I arrived. Great speakers in a greater venue with wonderful networking opportunities.
Greater Mankato Growth Inc., Minnesota

Another in a series of great conferences. Your organization always delivers with great speakers and pertinent information.
Illinois Municipal Electric Agency

Awesome stuff! Certainly, one of the best organized events I've attended. The speakers, dinner, networking, accommodations, etc. were fantastic.
River Ridge Commerce Center, Indiana

Best consultant event I've attended. The group dynamics were terrific, the consultants were friendly and engaging, the venue was terrific.
Henrico County Economic Development Authority, Virginia

Best Consultant Forum I've been to in a long time. Looking forward to your next one in December.
Marshall Area Economic Development Alliance, Michigan

Fantastic conference with important topics and engaging presenters.
Duke Energy Indiana

Fantastic experience as always. Great consultants and great presentations. Always enjoy the turnout of consultants at the dinner and networking reception…something you don’t get at other conferences.
Winston-Salem Business Inc., North Carolina

Overall, it was a very good event. As always, hotel selection was excellent - great accommodations, food, customer service, agenda and speakers were excellent.
East Central Indiana Regional Partnership

Really great meeting and I appreciate all the hard work. Well facilitated. Liked the pace and felt like I learned a lot and had a lot of time to network.
Greater Louisville Inc., Kentucky

Since this was the first forum I had the pleasure to attend, I was pleasantly pleased with the access and the information that was presented. My time was well spent.
MetroHartford Alliance, Connecticut

The two speakers on workforce were a great addition to the Forum. I liked having both roundtables on Tuesday as it allows all participants to make both.
Prince William County Economic Development, Virginia

This is one of the best conferences I've been to! The content was great, location was great, and the length of time for the whole thing was perfect. Also loved the steakhouse. No complaints.
Arkansas Economic Development Commission

This was my first time attending and I found it very productive. The agenda was well organized and speakers quite informative. I will attend again.

Laredo Economic Development Corporation, Texas

RFP Workshop - Atlanta, April 2018

I would put this RFP Academy Workshop at the top of the list when it comes to consultant conferences. Well done! This was a very beneficial Workshop. Getting to sit down and actually have a discussion on live topics and issues was a much better experience vs. the typical consultant get together.
Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development

Very good! Liked that it was a small group of attendees so that we could have dedicated time with each consultant. At first, I was a little hesitant about the RFI, but the work prior to the class gave our conversations subjects for criticism and best practices.
Alabama Department of Commerce

This RFP Workshop completely changes my approach to preparing a response. It was very beneficial for me to hear what the consultants require, how they were interpreting the data and what they are looking for.
West Virginia Development Office

Overall the whole experience was awesome, and I plan on utilizing all the information for future RFPs. Being new to the ED world, the Workshop helped me further understand the process of evaluating an RFP and the construction of my response. I received a lot of good advice during my one on one. The Workshop was also great for networking.
I really enjoyed this RFP Workshop.
South Carolina Department of Commerce

This RFP Academy Workshop is the event every economic development professional should sign up for, regardless of how well you think you know the process! It is well-worth the investment of time and resources! This was undoubtedly one of the best practical learning experiences I've ever attended!
Delaware Division of Small Business, Development, and Tourism

Overall, a great experience! All the speakers and topics presented relevant information that I found helpful and will be able to apply when completing RFPs/RFIs. The small group setting made for a better learning experience as well.
Aiken-Edgefield-Saluda Economic Development Partnership, South Carolina

Probably the most impactful and applicable economic development Workshop I have been to. This was highly important procedural information that can be implemented immediately as provided by performing site selectors that we have either worked with or will have the opportunity to work with in the future. The consultants were engaging, genuine and very forthright with information. Presentations were so thorough I really didn't have any questions after and the roundtable sessions were the perfect wrap-up.
Flagler Department of Economic Opportunity, Florida

This was one of the better events that I have attended as an economic development professional. I was able to learn about key aspects I should focus on to improve my RFI/RFP. The small size also allowed for wonderful networking time with the consultants. I attended a large Site Selectors event right before this and can say that I got more out of this Workshop than that event. Nice work!
Seguin Economic Development Corporation

Excellent! Probably the best conference/workshop I've attended within this profession. The small class size plus the consultants who attended made this a great experience. I learned a lot and have many takeaways from the program that I hope to utilize in my profession. If offered again, I will make plans to attend and will NOT tell my peers as this is too good to share with those that didn't come!
Development Authority for the City of Milledgeville & Baldwin County, Georgia

Very much worth the money! The Workshop was very informative and specifically tailored to the needs of the audience. Having the attendees submit a mock RFP response revealed the areas where we specifically needed help. This made everything presented, very relevant. I also appreciated having a generous amount of small group and one-on-one time with consultants to ask questions. Overall, this was a very valuable experience.
Charleston County Economic Development, South Carolina

E-Commerce Workshop - Nashville, March 2018

This was one of the best workshops I've attended. I came back with very workable data, and that is worth everything!
Carolinas Gateway Partnership, North Carolina

This was my first time attending the Consultants Forum Workshop. I felt the networking sessions and presentations were top notch. I was able to make great connections and glean information that will be very beneficial in making short and long-term decisions for the City of Highland. I look forward to the possibility of attending the Consultants Forum Workshop in the future!
City of Highland, Illinois

This forum provided some great insight on the E-Commerce industry and provided a chance to speak with consultants working these types of projects every day.

City of Valparaiso, Indiana

The event was great. This was my first Consultants Forum I have attended and was blown away by the professionalism, organization and the speakers by the event. I have already recommended that our office attend more of the events in the future.
Fresno County Economic Development Corporation, California

You all put together a great program at a great venue in a convenient-to-travel-to city. Some great take-aways and some great professional acquaintances made. Excellent job Area Development!
JAXUSA Partnership, Florida

I enjoy these workshops because there is a lot of information in a relatively brief period. I appreciate "intense" learning!
One Southern Indiana

Consultants Forum St. Petersburg - December 2017

Very well organized, great presentations that provided excellent information on current trends for ED. Really like info on e-commerce, place making, expedited permitting and workforce.
Manatee County Government, Florida

As someone new to the profession of Economic Development, I found the conference highly beneficial. The Area Development team have perfected the mix of classroom style learning and adequate networking time. I wouldn't hesitate (recommending) to attend an Area Development conference regardless of your role within your Economic Development organization.
Oakland County Economic Development & Community Affairs, Michigan


Enlightening and educational. Great opportunities to mix and mingle and gain perspectives from Economic Development colleagues from elsewhere in the country.
Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation, Florida

Overall, these have been tremendous over the years and very helpful in helping us brand our region and build some solid relationships.
Central South Carolina Alliance

I was pleased with the quality of the content and speakers. I especially enjoyed the fast-paced "TED Talk " style format. The non-traditional topics, such as the opening keynote, were a great way to round out the program and provide some personal inspiration.
Muncie-Delaware County Economic Development Alliance, Indiana

Very impressed with the entire Forum. This was my first time attending and I felt there was a great deal of valuable information, and it was an excellent format.
Staunton Department of Economic Development, Virginia

It was great for me. Good consultants along with solid attendees. It was worth my time and money.
Greensboro Economic Development Alliance, North Carolina

It was my first attendance and as a sponsor. I thought the Forum was great from an educational standpoint and helped introduce the city to consultants.
City of St. Petersburg, Florida

Canadian FDI Forum - Québec City, October 2017


I thoroughly enjoyed the conference and would recommend it to other colleagues who are progressive in their efforts to grow their portfolios.
Portage Regional Economic Development, Manitoba

Venue was exceptional, networking opportunities were good and a positive outcome. The roundtables are a good opportunity for Economic Development colleagues to discuss more specific issues and those relevant to smaller or not Ontario based regions. I would attend again.
City of Morden, Manitoba

Great location. Good content and perfect number of participants.
Global NY – Empire State Development

Loved this forum! I thought it provided very good value, the sessions were overall quite informative, and the networking opportunities were good. Overall though, I really enjoyed it.

Sturgeon County Economic Development, Alberta

Overall, I found the forum to be both informative and an excellent opportunity for networking. With the smaller number of delegates, the ability to interact was positive.
Ontario East Economic Development Commission

It was a very interesting forum. It was great to have had the opportunity to exchange with other economic developers outside of my province. We don't often have this opportunity.
IDE Saint-Eustache, Québec

Women in Economic Development Forum - Chicago, September 2017

Really enjoyed the conference - I've attended others in the past, but not the Women in Economic Development Forum. The depth of the topics was great, the speakers were dynamic. I love that each session is 40 minutes - enough time to get good information, but short enough to keep your attention.
Commerce Lexington, Kentucky

First time attendee. One of the best ED forums I've been to and the only all women conference. Appreciate the thought that went into the speaker topics.
Washington County Economic Development Council, Tennessee

I really enjoyed the forum. As someone who's relatively new to the field, I found that this was one of the more informational programs that I've attended.
Louisville Forward, Kentucky

This was the best conference I have ever been to. Thank you. Perfect topics, speakers, networking, and location.
GREATER MSP, Minnesota

I found the forum extremely valuable from a networking and content perspective. I enjoyed the quick format of many short segments. I was also in attendance last year and found this year's forum to be more engaging and on a better mix of topics. I love the chance to network with a group of female leaders.
JobsOhio

This is one of my favorite conferences and this year did not disappoint. My favorite session was on women in manufacturing, but I found them all to be beneficial.
Harvey County Economic Development Council, Inc., Kansas

As a first-time attendee, I thought it was great and I plan to attend every year! The speakers were very engaging and there was ample time to speak with the speakers one on one. Overall, I would give it a 10!
Central Florida Development Council

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