The Greater Ann Arbor Region hosted a familiarization tour for site selectors on September 15–17, 2016. These site selectors produce 30 percent of the leads for companies interested in relocation or expansion into the region.

The three-day event included a series of conferences, stakeholder meetings, and community tours. Site selectors came from across the United States, from states including Texas, Georgia, South Carolina, Ohio, as well as Metro Detroit. Over 60 different organizations that represented the region participated, including universities, utility companies, business leaders, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, the Ann Arbor Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, and economic development organizations from each of prosperity region’s six counties.

The goals of the tour were to:

  • Deepen the relationships between the region’s major employers and economic developers to promote the region
  • Strengthen the relationships between the region’s economic development and higher education organizations as they relate to mobility and data sciences
  • Put the Greater Ann Arbor Region on the radar of the national site selector community
  • Increase the odds that communities in the region will be considered during site searches
  • Give site selectors firsthand experience to pitch communities in the region to companies that look for new areas to open and expand operations

Highlights of the event included a tour of Google AdWords headquarters, Mcity test facility, and an overview of the American Center for Mobility. As a result, lively discussions ensued regarding the future of connected and autonomous vehicles. Site selectors connected with business leaders to share best practices and challenges related to locating a business in Michigan. The success of the event will be measured by the increased interaction between site selectors and economic development partners as well as the number of new projects that site selectors bring to the Greater Ann Arbor Region in the form of jobs and investment.