Sioux Falls Development Foundation Leading the Way
In addition to a successful Minnesota radio marketing strategy and the national public relations effort that keeps Sioux Falls prominent in national forums like the Bloomberg Report and CNBC, the Development Foundation has utilized innovative contacts with national decision-makers to enhance their knowledge of our business advantages.
One direct link with expanding and relocating companies that the Development Foundation cultivates is the “familiarization” or FAM tour, which brings site selection consultants to our community. Site selection consultants work with a number of major American and international companies, providing background information on potential expansion sites. Ensuring that these consultants have accurate and positive information about the Sioux Falls area gives our community an early edge in a competitive economic development environment.
One recent FAM tour coincided with the announcement of Foundation Park. The visiting site selection consultants got inside information about the state’s first megasite and became local media stars, as they were asked about their impressions of Sioux Falls, South Dakota and the new development park.
“Sioux Falls residents were able to hear the unique outside perspective of our visiting consultants,” said Slater Barr, president of the Development Foundation. “The news stories illustrated the importance of Foundation Park and our strategy of connecting with national site selection consultants.”
The partnership which led to the creation of Foundation Park also works to market our region to out-of-state executives. South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard recently shared the stage with SFDF president Slater Barr during a Chicago media tour. The Chicago market represents opportunity for South Dakota, and having the Governor available to lend a state perspective to the message of a fast-growing Sioux Falls economy emphasizes our region’s commitment to economic development.
“Governor Daugaard has always shown a willingness to tell our state’s economic story,” Barr said, “and he tells it so well that executives, no matter what size business they represent, are impressed.”
Another way Sioux Falls makes a positive impression on corporate executives is through participation in national C-Suite conferences. C-Suite is a widely used term to collectively refer to a corporation's most important senior executives. The C-Suite Network, led by co-founder and chairman Jeffrey Hayzlett, gathers executives from across the country to network and share ideas at regular conferences. Barr presented at the most recent conference in Chicago in June, which showcased top C-Suite leaders and business school thinkers on the theme Growth in Excellence. Barr has frequently been invited to attend the conferences and has been videotaped by the network.
Sometimes connecting with business leaders is as simple as taking them out to the ballgame—and Sioux Falls does that, too. The Development Foundation hosted a group of Twin Cities prospects at a baseball game between the Twins and the Seattle Mariners on July 30.
“We go where we can talk to decision-makers about Sioux Falls and everything we can do to make their businesses more profitable,” Barr said. “We strive to be creative and reach everyone we can to share this vital information about our community.”