Back in the 1980s, the word virtual was introduced to many us through video games. I’ll never forget the Christmas I got my first Nintendo Entertainment System. Oh, how far we have come since the days of blowing the dust out of the game cartridge when there was a glitch.

Today, virtual technology and virtual marketing brings sophistication as a medium with unlimited promise for the future and economic development. VisionFirst is here to help you navigate this new reality and stay competitive with our first virtual technology and marketing series, The Jetson’s Have Arrived: Perfecting Virtual Marketing Tools, Technology and Messaging for Economic Development.

‘Virtual’ Isn’t a Buzzword Anymore »

While the world adjusts to the COVID crisis, businesses are being forced to engage in a virtual market and economic development is no different. Virtual and remote technologies and tools have cemented themselves as part of our daily personal and business life like never before. In fact, the global augmented and virtual reality market size recently topped $18 billion and consumer spending is projected to exceed $7 billion in 2020. The pandemic could cause cause a higher adoption rate (RetailDive). Zoom has added more video-conferencing users this year (22.2 million) as compared to all of 2019 (1.99 million) – and it’s all because of COVID (CNBC).

The Economic Development Competition Continues »

Communities both large and small across the country are competing against each other now more than ever. Ironically, most don’t even realize they are in a competition. As a team of economic developers and active site selectors, we are here to tell you, someone, somewhere may considering your community for their business RIGHT NOW and you don’t even know it.

Your economic development organization and community has to stand out among the 3,007 counties, 64 parishes, 19 organized boroughs, 11 census areas and 41 independent cities across the country. In case you weren’t counting, that’s 3,143 counties and county-equivalents. Assuming there are three industrial sites in each location that would be 9,429 sites and/or buildings waiting for the next big project.

We’ve often heard clients say, “If we could just have the company here for a visit, they would love it!” Even before the drastic change in the business environment we’ve seen over the past two months, enticing a company to visit your community or site out of the thousands and thousands of others was no easy task. As the country continues to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, a site selector or decision maker coming to your community is an all but impossible feat.

Greg Word, Senior Consultant