Speaking Engagements and Workshops

Customized Workshops for Your Team

Sometimes the most important thing you can do for your organization is to get everyone on the same page and moving in the same direction. Ady Advantage leaders deliver workshops and presentations that educate, align and inspire teams to achieve success. Each workshop and presentation is customized for your EDO’s specific needs.

The experts at Ady Advantage are engaging speakers and sought-after presenters on a range of economic development topics.

Ady Advantage presents original content for dozens of EDOs, associations, and utilities each year, reaching thousands of economic developers, utility professionals, and stakeholders. We are flexible with in-person, online, or hybrid approaches ranging from one hour in length to multiple days. In addition, we frequently combine customized assessments and benchmarks into our programs to make the content more engaging for participants and to allow us to offer individualized recommendations for improvement. 

Topics will be determined jointly with each client, but the lists below provide an overview of some of the core components we can build from to create your customized training.

Testimonials can be found here.

Board and Stakeholder Training

  • ED 101 Training is indisputably the most common workshop and presentation that we provide to communities across the country. Economic development is complicated even for those of us who practice it daily. As the tent of economic development continues to get bigger there are new individuals introduced to it daily with little background in the discipline. ED 101 Training provides an opportunity to establish for your elected officials and other key stakeholders a common understanding of what economic development is and why it is important in their community. This training is customized to address the specific issues your community and its leadership are facing.

EDO Training for emerging ED leaders and experienced practitioners

  • Marketing and Business Attraction: We developed this curriculum for IEDC “basic” course, and regularly teach it to rising ED professionals in 10 Midwestern states.
  • The New “Three Legs of the Stool” of Economic Development:  Understand why and how talent development and placemaking, along with business development, are now the core elements of Economic Development.
  • An Insider’s Perspective of the Site Selection Process and MegatrendsOnce you understand the process, you’ll know how to adapt your marketing, research, and product development to better position your community.
  • How to Market to Site Selectors: Drone videos?  Familiarization tours?  Advertising?  Learn the most effective ways of reaching these important decisionmakers based on your goals.  
  • Best Practices in RFI Responses: The economic development world is as competitive as it’s ever been. Your RFI response is one of the key ways to differentiate your community, so learn from an insider how to set your response apart from the rest.
  • Best Practices in Site Visits, including Virtual Site Visits: Congratulations – you’ve made it to the site visit phase.  Learn how to avoid the most common missteps at this critical step.  
  • The Importance of Sites and Buildings: If you don’t have any available property, you don’t have any “product” and therefore, you have no need for a marketing program. Understand best practices in marketing your sites and buildings, how to leverage the leading GIS databases, how to build your “property pipeline,” our take on certified sites programs, and more.
  • Reverse Site Selection and Industrial Re-Use:  If you have an industrial site or park that you’d like to develop and market, we’ll walk you through the process and share examples of how to gain industrial tenants. 
  • Tips and Tricks for Building a Great Business Retention & Expansion (BRE) Program: Most jobs and investment come from existing businesses, not business recruitment. There is a science to how to “do” BRE right, and how to leverage what you learn to keep your companies competitive and committed to your region.
  • Impact of COVID-19 on Economic Development: What are the impacts of the pandemic, both short-term and longer-term, on your economic growth and diversification?  Hear our take on the impacts ranging from real estate and broadband to industry sectors and reshoring.
  • Rural Economic Development: Most of our projects are in rural America, and let’s face it, rural ED is different.  This talk stems from our original publication, The Rural Economic Development Toolbox, published in 2012.  We’ll share a bakers’ dozen trends and how rural communities can best leverage them for their advantage.  
  • Talent Strategies: A Framework for Talent Retention, Development and Attraction: Many talent programs were just created by shooting from the hip or copying a program from a nearby community.  To put some rigor behind the process, we’ve catalogued and analyzed over 300 talent strategies from around the country which provides a framework for thinking about categories of talent programs that should be considered and best practices.  
  • Best Practices in Talent Recruitment:  The first question is, does your community have the four key elements in place that any relocating individuals require today?  And if so, which segments of people would be most likely to move to your area and be most in demand for local employment?  Learn how to develop and implement a talent recruitment program.
  • Capacity Readiness Scorecard: Benchmark your EDO to hundreds of other EDOs nationwide on nine dimensions of readiness.  This program is great for groups of EDOs and/or as part of a strategic planning or Community Competitiveness Assessment program as it provides individualized report cards for each participating EDO or Utility.  
  • How to Uncover Your Area’s Competitive Positioning: Learn how to identify which industries or companies would place the greatest value on your area’s unique mix of assets.
  • Best Practices in ED Websites: Your website is still your #1 marketing tool.  Ady Advantage has conducted formal audits of over 200 ED websites and builds award-winning ED websites.  Learn best practices in ED websites, whether your focus is on business development, talent development, or both. 
Janet Ady Presenting

As important as the topics and the learning outcomes is the presentation style.  After each presentation, we ask participants to rate our speakers and engagement style, and we consistently receive scores in the 95th percentile or above.  Check out what actual participants have said about recent presentations.



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