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IEDC Economic Future Forum
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6/24/2018 to 6/26/2018
When: Sunday, June 24, 2018
Where: Buffalo, NY
United States

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Tomorrow is Today!

Wow, Connie Long! Summer is nearly here, and Buffalo Niagara is a place you will want to spend a part of it.

Attending the 2018 Economic Future Forum is the key to uncovering information about how future industries will impact the work that we as economic developers do. Technology has sped up our lives in unprecedented ways. Thankfully, we are able to foresee and predict the future with a lot more accuracy than our predecessors, which has given us an advantage. The next step is to position today’s resources for future growth, and this event will bring many of those elements to light.

The conference theme is Planning for Prosperity: Leveraging Tomorrow’s Brightest Industries, and the speakers will illuminate core concepts and opportunities that we can capitalize on in real time. You will leave with clearer direction on which industries will mostly impact your community. I encourage you to sign up today and add the other special events to your registration.

Get ahead by planning to tackle issues such as racial and socioeconomic divides, various types of tourism, transit-oriented development, brownfields, manufacturing, energy, construction and more. You will also get to sit in on a session about social media entrepreneurs in your community and how to find and help them scale their businesses. This is one of the most evolving industries of our time which has catapulted new business models that we all must master. And finally, the program includes a session on succession planning and how to help business owners pass the baton without disruption, keeping those companies open during transitions in their leadership. And go a step farther by attending the pre-Forum course on entrepreneurial and small business strategies, which will help examine other barriers they face and how to build highly-integrated networks for entrepreneurs to thrive both locally and globally.

This conference is focused on the future. It is about thinking ahead. It is about being proactive and not reactive. And, it is about planning strategically. I look forward to seeing you in Buffalo Niagara! June 24 will be here before we know it.


Craig Richard, CEcD FM
President & CEO
Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation
2018 IEDC Board Chair

Reminder: The Early Bird Deadline is Friday, April 20.

Take a look at the e-brochure for Economic Future Forum, the session topics we will explore and speakers who will present.



Speaker Highlights:

Amy Blair
Senior Consultant
The Aspen Institute
Washington, DC


Bryan Bossuyt
Vice President of Marketing
Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau
Stroudsburg, PA

Crystal Stiles
Director of Economic Development
Florida Power & Light
Juno Beach, FL

Dean Whittaker, CEcD
Whittaker Associates, Inc.
Holland, MI

See full bios for all speakers.

Reducing the Achievement Gap Across Racial and Socioeconomic Divides
Sunday, June 24
Time:3:45 p.m. - 5:25 p.m.

As unemployment declines in the U.S., it is time to make sure there’s opportunity for all and that we are maximizing opportunities for all people of employable age. In looking at the cause and possible remedies of this educational attainment gap, it has been recognized that community colleges, employers and other educational partners can make a difference at the local level. This session will dive into some of the causes of the educational attainment gap and how economic developers can play a role in growing this underutilized segment of the potential workforce in your community.

Learn all about:
• The economic cost of the education attainment gap and why every economic developer needs to be concerned
• Barriers that prevent some students from completing high school or college
• What’s working: community colleges and other educational partners that are building success with minority students
Read the full description


Brownfields: So Much Potential, So Much To Do
Monday, June 25
Time:1:45 p.m. - 3:15 p.m.

Brownfields are found in every city - be it a shuttered factory, a dead strip mall or a local business that used dangerous chemicals. No matter their history, there is potential for new life and business opportunity at each site through redevelopment efforts. This session will look at how you can put brownfield spaces to work in your economy. We will look at the common impediments to brownfield redevelopment, such as location factors, dedicated leadership, and resources that will ensure the project is seen through until completion. We will also explore the traditional and creative uses for rehabilitating vacant buildings and old industrial sites.

Whatwill be covered:
• Assessing the current desirability for brownfield development based on the real estate market and available resources
• Helping private sector see the potential in brownfield sites to create a market and momentum for redeveloped sites
• Best practices from brownfield sites in a variety of different communities
Read the full description

Getting Ideas out of the Lab and Commercializing for Success
Tuesday, June 26
Time: 10:15 a.m. - 11:55 a.m.

Institutes of higher education are hotbeds for inventions with their highly educated staff, resources and entrepreneurial support systems. However, new technologies serve no one and certainly do not promote economic development if they simply remain in the lab. This session will look at best practices in moving useful inventions from the university to commercial success and the role for economic developers.

What you will learn:
• How economic developers can connect their business community with commercialization offices to bring inventions into a profitable position
• Examples of prolific university-economic development ecosystems that are capitalizing on local research and development
• Utilizing resources at the university to help businesses protect their intellectual property
Read the full description

Return home with new ways tohelp entrepreneurs and small
business owners in your community.

This course is designed to help you learn more about the types of programs and services you can offer small business owners and entrepreneurs in your community. Focus on the core aspects of entrepreneurial and small business development including value-add partnerships, technical assistance programs, financing, business incubation and more. And there's plenty more you will cover.

A few of the many course highlights you'll walk away knowing more about:

• Identifying and addressing the needs of entrepreneurs
• Defining urban v. rural-focused entrepreneurial and small business strategies
• Managing technical assistance (e.g., economic gardening) programs
• Development and management of business incubators

Economic Future Forum events location and hotel headquarters:

Buffalo Marriott HARBORCENTER
95 Main Street
Buffalo, NY 14203

IEDC Room Rate: $189 single/double
Group Rate Cutoff: May 15, 2018

Did you know? IEDC's Economic Future Forum is the only annual event which focuses on future trends and industries that will impact the work you're doing in economic development.The topics we will cover and the innovation you will witness in Buffalo Niagara will inspire you to think far ahead in order to prepare for tomorrow’s opportunities. Walk away with concrete examples of how to establishthe right business climate in order for future industries to flourish. We'll cover many case studies, best practices, and much, much more.

It all happens in June! See more on the event's website and sign up today.










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