Editor’s Note: “The Economic Development Side” originally appears in the Pine Bluff Regional Chamber of Commerce’s weekly member e-newsletter. It is written by Rhonda Dishner, the Economic Development Alliance’s executive assistant.

Alliance President Lou Ann Nisbett made her final, scheduled Jefferson County marketing trip of 2017 in early December. The event she attended, Area Development’s Consultants Forum 23, was held Dec. 4-6 in St. Petersburg, FL. It was also referred to in registration literature by the title “Best Practices for Economic Developers,” and Nisbett had to register in June to make the confirmed list of attendees.

The sold-out forum brought together economic development professionals from around the country to hear presentations by leading site location consultants representing several of the major firms.

As usual, Nisbett took in as many of the concentrated panel sessions as possible. Each one concluded with the opportunity to meet face-to-face with the consultants, some of whom she had met previously. An added bonus was sessions by some new presenters she was meeting for the first time.

There was also time to network with economic developers from other states. This type of information sharing is a valuable method of gaining useful new ideas for our 2018 community efforts here, according to Nisbett.