FAM TOUR SERIES: What do Site Selectors Look For?

FAM TOUR SERIES: What do Site Selectors Look For?

This fall, Fox Cities Regional Partnership will be teaming up with four economic development organizations located along the I-41 Corridor to host a Familiarization Tour (FAM Tour) for several site selectors. The purpose of this event is to display, first hand, why our region is an ideal business location. Over the next few months, we will be publishing a series of articles about FAM Tours and why they are vital to business attraction efforts.

What do site selectors look for?

Last month, we discussed who site selectors are. This month, we will take a look at the factors they consider when analyzing the best location for their clients.      

The process of site selection is more accurately described as a process of elimination. Each client company provides a different checklist of decision-drivers to location consultants. Communities that are able to meet those needs and wants make it further along the selection process, while those who are not are eliminated. Frequently, we do not even find out when our region is being vetted, as the level of data available to consultants is often sufficient to determine a community’s overall qualifications.

Numerous surveys are conducted annually to rank the factors that drive site selection decisions. Included below are the results of Area Development’s 2015 survey. While different industries, companies, and corporate functions typically have unique and highly variable specifications and drivers, the factors listed below are common to most projects, regardless of industry.

Notice how the weight of several factors included below has changed dramatically over the thirty years that Area Development has been conducting this survey. For example, as the importance of skilled labor has increased over the years, the concern about labor costs has decreased in importance. And as the need for qualified workers has increased, so has the importance of quality of life – a key component in attracting that labor. Regardless of the type of client or project focus, understanding which factors are decision-drivers, their priority, and the potential impact they have on the project will provide the foundation for the location analysis.

Feel free to check out all of the survey results here.


Join us Thursday, October 20 from 1-2pm, to hear the site selector’s perception of our area.
Location: ATW Platinum Flight Center N259 Ares Drive, Appleton,WI 54914