Why We Travel

By: Brandon Noll on February 26th, 2020


Telling Northeast Indiana's Story Across the World

“Where did you go this week,” an inquisitive friend asks, believing I live some jet-setter lifestyle. 

“Oh, you know, California two weeks ago and New York this past week, just touring the country telling anyone who will listen it is time to come to Northeast Indiana,” I say in reply. 

From conferences and tradeshows to site selector visits and company meetings, our business development team zig-zags around the globe because our team believes in the power of building relationships through engaged face-to-face dialog.

Conferences and Tradeshows

Before the calendar turns over to a new year, our business development team researches a myriad of conferences and tradeshows which align with our target industries. We attempt to cover all of our target industries in our travel for each calendar year.

Our purpose behind these strategies of travel can be boiled down to three objectives:

  • Sales Meetings: We set up sales meetings prior to arriving at the conference with companies who might be looking to expand, relocate or learn more about our region.
  • Lead Generation: Attending these events offer our team an opportunity to add to our sales funnel through lead generation. Daily, we are walking the conference floor talking to businesses about their future growth needs.
  • Education: The education element is crucial for our team. These conferences and tradeshows open our eyes to new techniques, new equipment or processes and the future of our target industries. 

Site Selection Consultant Activities

Paired with conferences and tradeshows, our team attends events catered to site selection consultants. A site selection consultant is an individual who is hired by a company to find the ideal location for their business to thrive. The Site Selectors Guild defines it as, “Site selection consultants partner with client teams to design and execute optimal location strategies for business operations.”

These events allow our team to establish and maintain deep, mutually beneficial relationships with individuals who normally serve multiple companies. We want the site selection consultants to know we are a resource for them when their company is looking to expand or relocate. Currently, our goal is to continue to increase Northeast Indiana's brand awareness with site consultants because we want them to have Northeast Indiana top of mind when corporate projects come across their desks.

Furthermore, these events allow our team to learn about the hurdles and motivators companies are navigating when attempting to move into a new area. We can then share insights around quality of place, talent, infrastructure, incentives and other factors that are driving investment into other regions.


We also target companies when we travel. These could be companies we have met with previously, referrals, or those interested in learning more about Northeast Indiana. This year, our goal is to schedule 10 targeted sales trips around the globe.   

The process is simple:

  • Target a city
  • Book meetings over a three-day period

Yes, this year our business development team will take nearly 60 trips, both domestic and international. Why? We must spread the word! We are focused on building, marketing, and selling Northeast Indiana to increase business investment. We believe the best way to do this is with a personal relationship, a handshake and a face-to-face conversation.

To learn more about our business development efforts, please contact Senior Vice President of Economic Development and Chief Operating Officer Chad Ruston.