Global Direct Investment Solutions

Corporate Development for a Networked World

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2004 Roundtable in the Rockies, Vail CO

Contact :   TEL   847-304-4655

Bruce Donnelly    (Biography)

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We hope that all Roundtable participants will respond to our free GUIDE Area Survey (PDF), as explained below, which is similar to the 15 minute consultant interviews in Vail.  Attendees may choose to also have their Survey responses published (for a small fee to cover the work involved) so that such information can be openly shared with the executives and business advisors we reach.  There are also other ways to work together more proactively to support investment promotion interests.  We are in contact with many companies about their project plans each month, and this website has been attracting 300,000+ visitors in 2005, up from 200,000+ in 2004.

You can download an Adobe PDF copy (0.5 MB) of our April 2, 2004 presentation at the Roundtable in the Rockies event through the link below :

See Display if the full width of pages does not appear in your browser.  This website was designed for use with high resolution settings rather than old standards.

Thank you once again to Expansion Management magazine for organizing the very useful Roundtable in the Rockies event.  It is rare to encounter nearly unanimous praise for an event by attendees, and we have heard similar praise for their Roundtable in the High Desert in Tucson AZ.

Anyone in the economic development profession who would like to get to know top location consultants and peers should consider this event each spring, or the similar fall event in Tucson, usually in October.  This was the second time that we participated in the Roundtable, and we will plan to do so again.  It is one of the best networking events which we have attended.

By the nature of the Roundtable, the presentations and discussions were not intended to be a sales pitch for our services.  On the contrary, it was an opportunity for area representatives to highlight their own capabilities and marketing objectives to top location consultants and professionals like ourselves who can refer projects.

This page highlights some ways in which areas can take advantage of our marketing services.


We specialize in personal, independent introductions to relevant professional service providers such as business location strategy consultants and our many economic development contacts according to the project interests of the executives we serve.

Our Professional Site Selection Tour and "Meeting Point" services also introduce site selection professionals who can assist communities through special research trips ("inward visits" or familiarization tours), pre-scheduled meetings at major events, and services designed to support their competitive benchmarking analysis, investment promotion strategies, and marketing programs.

We can also privately coordinate executive visits to one or more business locations when planning an investment project or seeking local business alliances.  Please contact us to discuss such services or introductory referrals.


The International Business Introduction Service

for Technology-Led Business Cluster Development


Background Information about this unique B2B service

which collaborates globally with local economic development programs

such as business retention, expansion, trade, and cluster initiatives

to introduce executives to potentially relevant business contacts

according to their specified interests and preferences

without necessarily waiting to meet at networking events.

Did you attend the CoreNet Global Summit in Chicago in May?

As in 2003, we were the exclusive sponsor of the CoreNet Global 2004 Economic Development Leadership and Accomplishment Awards.  We presented the awards before a general session of all attendees at the CoreNet Global Summit in Chicago, May 15-19, 2004.  Winners were featured in the May issue of Corporate Real Estate Leader magazine and partial Area Profiles on this website.

If you would like to meet while visiting Chicago, contact us.

Do you advertise?  Exhibit at trade shows?  Host events?

You may find the following GUIDE services to be of special interest.

Project announcements, property listings, taxes and incentives

Please keep us informed about major project announcements in your area.  We can also highlight major projects in more detail through our Project Profile service.

Please also help us to update our list of major companies in your area.  (Free)

Our real estate section can highlight major properties as well as listing services for your area, whether the details are found on your website or elsewhere.

There is also a new service to highlight where executives and their advisors can find tax and incentives information, as some initial state examples demonstrate.

Help us to help you

Your website should already be listed in our regional directory of contacts (free).  Please verify that the information and website link are correct. 

We also welcome reciprocal links, and offer a small discount on our services to reward them.

If you find good project leads in your marketing work which are not relevant to your own area, please keep in mind our innovative service for "recycling" such leads in a professional manner so that together we can help the executives to find what they want.  If we profit from such referrals, we can discount our services to reward you.

Introduction to our services :

The introductory "Summary of Services" and 1 page Order Form (Adobe PDF) reflect our 2004 marketing plan.  The Referral Report Template (Adobe PDF) illustrates how we approach the main task of referring executives to the people who can help them, when we can share such details and need to do so.  In many cases, a simple phone call or email is sufficient to arrange a suitable introduction.

This website is just one of many tools in our marketing toolkit to find and refer well-qualified prospects.  We receive an increasing flow of enquiries from investors who have discovered our website through our marketing initiatives or search engines.

Most of our work to generate project referrals, however, involves proactive contact with companies as discussed in our presentation in Vail.  We don't just publish information on this website and then wait for somebody to find and respond to it.

To illustrate the value of the website to executives and their advisors, start from the home page (or any other) and try these buttons

You can quickly reach the regional lists of economic development organizations or other resources anywhere in the world.

Try the home page links to the GUIDE Area Profiles and Service Profiles as examples of more detailed presentations about participating areas

You (or executives and their professional advisors) should be able to find relevant economic development contacts and leading professional service providers or other sources of information in any region of the world in 2 to 4 clicks, usually in less than one minute, from any page.  At the bottom of most pages there is a table of direct links to these regional lists of EDO contacts and service providers as a shortcut.

It may take you a little longer at first because thousands of resources are listed, but it should be pretty fast and easy.  We know of no comparable resource anywhere for investors and their advisors.  As you explore the many other features, we think you will be surprised at how much knowledge is openly shared through this website.

The real focus and value of our services, however, is to personally reach and develop independent working relationships among the executives who are responsible for major investment projects, and the refer them to the people who can help them.


GUIDE Network Survey

We have temporarily listed all attendees in Vail to demonstrate how the new Survey response list works.  If you do not wish to be listed, or don't want your email listed for the convenience of users, just inform us and we will remove it promptly.

During all of the 15 minute interviews in Vail, which unfortunately could not include everyone, our focus was on a few key points about each participating area. 

  •  Target industries or types of projects

  •  Relevant existing investors as success stories to help arouse interest by investors

  •  Recent investment activity

  •  Major competition

  •  Key benefits of the area from the perspective of potential investors

  •  What really differentiates the area when trying to attract visits and projects?

  •  Major marketing challenges or misperceptions of the area in location selection work

  •  Scope of services offered

  •  Who to contact with project referrals

As you will see through the page for Survey responses, the interviews parallel our "GUIDE Network Survey" process.  The Survey was established to organize basic local knowledge about many areas for quick reference in our contacts database.

The Survey consists of a few basic questions such as those above, which should be easy to answer by email without much time or effort.  Since that just supports our own work with investors and advisors, participation in the survey is of course free. 

If you would like us to also share such knowledge through this website, like the Prescott Valley, AZ example, there is a small fee for the work involved.  This is expected to narrow the regional lists of thousands of economic development websites down to the ones which want to work with us to share basic knowledge about their areas as a useful service to the executives and advisors we reach.

Despite brief notes from all conversations in Vail, it would be very helpful to respond to the Survey so that anything important is not overlooked by us, whether or not you choose to have your response published.

You may find the list of location consultants to be of special interest, and please note that I maintain informal relationships with many of these for project referral purposes who are not officially clients at this time.  As I ramp up the independent marketing and project referral work now in 2004 and the years ahead, those relationships will become closer as I bring them business. Areas which might never voluntarily go to market together for greater efficiency can, like the professional service providers we serve who may compete directly with each other, benefit from a more efficient marketplace.  We can reach more investors as an independent service, and refer them to relevant contacts according to their needs.

Summary : How to participate in our services


Contact us for a proposal according to your investment promotion objectives.

Based on more than a decade of experience in this profession, and our preparatory work during 2003, we expect to contact top executives at hundreds of companies per month about their specific investment interests, and provide very well-qualified referrals to the participants who can potentially help them with their plans.

The services have been designed for flexibility to meet the diverse investment promotion strategies of many areas while functioning as a globally consistent shared service rather than customized consulting work undertaken exclusively for each area.

Services costing from $200 - $2500 (with most under $1000) can be combined in flexible ways to meet specific promotional needs, while the Area Profile working relationship to maintain and share more timely knowledge about an area for more effective response to investor enquiries costs $2000 initially plus $500 per month.

Active participation in the larger marketing work to find and refer more well-qualified project leads typically costs from $800 - $6000 per month, with some areas less and some more.  Refer to the current Order FormThe cost of these services reflects the economic size of an area and the expected flow of project referrals.

If you would like to participate in any of our various services, but can't move quickly because of budget constraints, approval processes, or other reasons, please talk to us and we can probably find a suitable way forward together within such constraints.

In any case, please reply to the free GUIDE Network Survey about your area, which can also be published on request (for a small fee to cover the limited work involved).  That includes highlighting your area in the regional directory of contacts, like the example for Prescott Valley, AZ in the Mountain region contact list .

The Survey is a very basic tool to help us maintain timely knowledge about many areas for reference so that we can be more responsive to investors whenever they seek our assistance and referrals.

Collaboration for efficient investment promotion

This reflects more than two years of preparatory work and investment in research and relationship development, including many discussions with IEDC members and leading professional service providers about their common marketing needs.

We are developing a cost-effective and efficient process to address the common "needle in a haystack" marketing challenge which areas of all sizes share to :

  •  proactively reach the responsible decision-makers and professional advisors for major investment projects at an early stage of planning and location selection
  •  attract the attention and interest of top executives in "target" companies
  •  reduce the risk of simply being overlooked as a potential business location
  •  differentiate their "value proposition" relative to competing business locations
  •  highlight their service capabilities, business clusters, recent achievements, and development plans to investors and their advisors for fast and easy reference
  •  avoid misperceptions of an area, and address common concerns or objections
  •  share timely local market knowledge with investors and their professional advisors to support fast and effective project planning and implementation

Since many areas and professional service providers share the same "lead generation" challenge, we are creating this shared service to efficiently address that need despite the obvious competition among area representatives and professional services.

As a simple analogy, competing products can more efficiently reach buyers through a common marketplace or sales channel, as in the case of the financial markets or retail channels, to the benefit of the "suppliers", customers, and the service which brings them all together.  This contrasts to selling one product "door to door", no matter how good that product may be, or how well the choice of "target" doors may be selected.

Relationship development work

Aside from the general research and marketing or networking activities which we need to do to support our work, the main focus is on relationship development among :

  •  top corporate executives who are responsible for major project decisions
  •  their professional advisors
  •  participating economic development professionals.

We will maintain good relationships among professional service providers, including location consultants in particular, because they help to fund our work by rewarding referrals which bring new clients to them.  This enables us to drive down the cost and expand the reach of our marketing work for the benefit of area representatives.  Our work can also support their own services by making it faster and easier for them to consider unfamiliar locations carefully for their clients, as this website demonstrates.

Our relationship development work among participating area representatives also enables us to share timely market knowledge with executives and their advisors.  We don't have to become experts on all areas.  We need to know enough about the benefits which differentiate an area so that we can suggest relevant introductions.

Greater market reach with less duplication of effort and spending

Traditionally, the above challenges are addressed through various "lead generation" services such as exclusive marketing projects on behalf of each client area, which :

  •  duplicates considerable effort and expense, given overlaps in "targets"
  •  reaches only a very small part of the market, given limited resources
  •  promotes only one area (no client value in any leads found for other areas)
  •  offers no service to the executives beyond what that one client area can do
  •  "opens the door" through limited contact work at one time, not relationships
  •  leaves the follow-up work or relationship development challenge to the client
  •  won't reach many decision-makers at the right time in their planning process

Alternatively, similar "lead generation" work may be performed by in-house staff, whether through direct contact work in target sectors, networking efforts reinforced by local business retention and expansion programs, or more general marketing activities such as promotional events, PR work, advertising, and online services.


Reinforce your own marketing initiatives

The various GUIDE services already make it easy for executives and their advisors to do far more than just find your website through our regional lists of contacts :

A faster and better process for business location selection

Executives and their advisors often need to find solutions to their needs quickly, but major capital investment decisions pose many risks.  By creating a better process to reach the executives who are willing to accept help, and then independently guiding them to professionals and business locations with capabilities to meet their needs well, the project decision process can develop faster and lead to better outcomes for both the companies and communities involved.

The process will continually improve through project research work and feedback from investors and advisors about their experiences and needs, and we will openly share knowledge of general interest when possible, within confidentiality constraints, to help area representatives as well as the executives who plan projects.  For example :

Referring projects as an independent professional service

The proactive marketing side of this business, known as "SICR", involves the hard work to find potential investors, develop working relationships, and refer them to the organizations with the capabilities to meet their needs.

Instead of "pushing" one area at high cost as an exclusive service to target a group of companies at one point in time, SICR shares the cost and challenge of developing very well-qualified project referrals consistently over time as a shared service to both professional service providers and economic development organizations.

In short, participants can focus limited resources on winning well-qualified prospects for their areas, rather than competing at the task of finding the "needle in a haystack" before somebody else.

We do not limit our referrals exclusively to participants in our services, because as a matter of independence and professional integrity this would not be truly responsive to the interests of the investors.  When appropriate, we will do limited research to help executives find what they are seeking in areas or specialties for which we may not yet have good solutions in hand already among our active participants.  This enables us to expand our own capabilities, and help similar investors in the future.

As a practical matter, however, we will be in a much better position to introduce active participants in our services simply because we will be more familiar with and more confident of their capabilities to meet the indicated needs of an investor.  We will also be in a much better position, through knowledge of active participants, to both recognize good opportunities for their services and be able to persuasively present the value of such services to investors.

Example : Invest Korea and the list of contacts for Korea

We recently started SICR work with Invest Korea, and are in the process of completing the initial GUIDE content for Korea while already starting to seek projects which are relevant to their targeting strategy.

The preparatory work required research and the review of existing promotional materials and the identification of other resources for investment in Korea.  For example, in addition to reviewing the extensive promotional materials provided by Invest Korea, we met with executives experienced in doing business in Korea, as well as US Government representatives responsible for trade promotion in Korea, to improve our market knowledge and prepare for our contact with potential investors.

Although they apply some traditional activity metrics for the work (outward visits, inward visits), the focus is on referrals for projects which they can actually win.  Obviously, with China as a neighbor and an economy which is still recovering, that's a tough marketing challenge these days, so we also had to improve our knowledge of the competitive position of Korea relative to China and other Asian markets.

The point, however, is that we will be looking for projects going anywhere in Asia, and then introducing Invest Korea whenever it is relevant, rather than searching exclusive for leads for Korea.  This enables us to leverage our marketing work, because we can find leads for other places at the same time.

Indeed, as a matter of marketing strategy, we want to cover the Asian market as well as other major markets of high interest to investors and their advisors, because this will help us to open more doors by being responsive to investor interests in any region.  Then, as we develop those investor and advisor relationships as a truly global service, we can already be in the door with the right contacts for relevant opportunities to introduce the participants who support our services.

Regional tables of area representatives and related contacts.
US : Northeast US : Great Lakes Canada Mexico
US : Mid Atlantic US : North Central US : Mountain South America
US : Southeast US : South Central US : West Coast Central America, Caribbean
Europe South Asia Australia, New Zealand Middle East, and Africa
China, Taiwan Southeast Asia Korea Japan
Major project announcements and GUIDE Project Profiles by area - see also by Industry or refer to testimonials or published lists of "best plants"

These are selective lists of project announcements from the past few years, which we use to highlight openly published details and contacts for easy reference.

We list major project announcements here for the convenience of investors and their advisors to recognize developments of potential interest in a region or industry.

There are professional research services which track and analyze trends in project announcements for their clients more comprehensively.  That is not our business.

Published articles about investment activity can also be found through our selective summary of editorial calendars by region or by topic, and our list of publishers.

US : Northeast US : Great Lakes East and Midwest Canada Mexico
US : Mid Atlantic US : North Central US : Mountain South America
US : Southeast US : South Central US : West Coast Central America, Caribbean
Europe South Asia Australia, New Zealand Middle East, and Africa
China, Taiwan Southeast Asia Korea Japan
The following table links to selective lists of major companies by location, including links for their websites.  Our intent is to expand and cross-reference the listings to Area Profiles and other details for the local area representatives, including links to project announcements or Project Profiles.  This enables executives and advisors to look up major companies in a region, and then link directly to the local, regional, or state development contacts for that area.  No other source we know does this.

We do not intend to publish corporate details (contact names, addresses, phone, description, etc) in such lists as directory publishers do.  Instead, we just want to work with participating area representatives to update this list for their own areas so that it more accurately reflects the major firms in their areas, and how to find their websites. 

This should also help to highlight industry clusters in a very credible and easy way, including the ability to show what is in the surrounding area rather than just the service area of a particular organization.  For example, many people in one county may work at businesses in a neighboring county, while the county or city website might omit reference to such nearby businesses even though they would be relevant from the perspective of executives and their advisors who care less about the county boundaries.

These lists remain under development, so suggestions for additions and corrections are welcome.  They are not intended to be comprehensive lists of all major companies.

US : Northeast    NY   CT   MA US : Great Lakes    OH  MI  IL  WI  MN Canada Mexico
US : Mid Atlantic   PA  NJ  MD  VA  NC US : North Central US : Mountain South America
US : Southeast   FL  GA US : South Central  Texas

US : West Coast

Northern CA , Southern CA

Central America, Caribbean
Europe   UK  Germany  Benelux  France  Scandinavia Switzerland South Asia Australia, New Zealand Middle East, and Africa
China, Taiwan Southeast Asia & Pacific Korea Japan

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Copyright 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009  Global Direct Investment Solutions, Inc.      Last modified: 01/27/09