Generating New Leads for Business
16 Dec 2015
A Phelps County presence at a worldwide metal fabricating and welding conference in Chicago may help generate future business and jobs locally.
PCDC Executive Director Monica Boyken attended the FABTECH show in Chicago in November to promote Phelps County to businesses or manufacturers looking to expand and relocate.
FABTECH is North America’s largest collaboration of technology, equipment and knowledge in the metal forming, fabricating, welding and finishing industries. More than 1,700 companies reserved exhibit space, and 43,836 people from more than 90 countries attended.
Phelps County was one of five Nebraska areas represented at the conference at a booth organized by economic development partner Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD). Lincoln, Norfolk, York and Gage County/Beatrice also attended the event.
Boyken said it was important to attend, not only to generate business leads, but also to build relationships. One PCDC board member believes in the power of making partner relationships, especially with NPPD.
“We want to show how committed we are to recruiting efforts,” Boyken said. “NPPD’s economic development group has more longevity than any of our individual communities can muster. That means that they have long-term relationships with companies who are in the long-term process of siting a new location in Nebraska.”
Another benefit of attending the conference is learning the metal manufacturing industry “from the inside out.”
“If we are to target an industry, we better understand what they need,” Boyken said. “A ‘sale’ can’t be made if we’re not providing a solution to a problem.”
The Nebraska collaboration earned leads to 40 potential businesses that are considering an expansion or relocation in the future.
“The prospects have said they have a need and essentially granted us permission to communicate with them,” Boyken said. “It’s hoped that a lead becomes a relationship, one that is strong enough that the company requests a proposal.”
Another PCDC partner, the Site Location Partnership, also attended the trade show and will forward leads to Phelps County helping the county receive “double the leads” from one trade show. The marketing efforts and lead-gaining tactics of the Site Location Partnership were different than NPPD’s, generating a different pool of contacts. The Site Location Partnership attends six trade shows throughout the year and promotes Phelps County at all six.
The next steps will involve keeping in touch with leads generated to see if Phelps County might be a good match for their future business development.