More than 900 people attended the fourth annual Eyes on the Future 2011 Economic Summit, recently held at St. John Fisher College. The event brought together business leaders, professionals and educators from across the Greater Rochester area at a panel discussion on the region’s economic future and paths to continued success. Eyes on the Future 2011 was hosted by Greater Rochester Enterprise and the Small Business Council.
The Eric Mower and Associates team took on a multi-faceted role in strategic planning and organization of the event. EMA developed the event theme and messaging, recommended panelists, secured Steve Scully of C-SPAN’s Washington Journal as moderator, and implemented a series of public relations and marketing tactics to promote the event.
Eyes on the Future panelists included:
• Howard Wial – fellow, Metropolitan Policy Program, Brookings Institution
• Kurt Badenhausen – senior editor, Forbes magazine
• Dr. Nancy L. Zimpher – chancellor of the State University of New York
• Michael Summers – managing partner, United States, Cody Gate Innovation Partners
• Brad Kruchten – president, Film, Photofinishing and Entertainment Group, Senior Vice President, Eastman Kodak Company
Focusing on the theme of innovation, panelists shared their perspectives on how to continue to advance the Greater Rochester region’s economic recovery, including building on the area’s legacy of technology and business innovation. They emphasized the importance of collaboration between business and higher education institutions, especially noting the need for workforce retraining as the economy continues to change. Panelists also discussed ways to retain recent graduates from area universities and colleges.
“Eyes on the Future 2011 engaged everyone in a conversation about how everyday actions can help to improve our region’s economy,” said Mark Peterson, president and CEO, Greater Rochester Enterprise. “We need to continue to build upon a collective framework of collaboration, innovation and sustainable economic growth, which has helped the Greater Rochester region become one of the smartest and fastest recovering cities in the country.”
As a result of its public relations work, EMA secured extensive pre- and post-event regional media coverage, including multiple features in the Democrat & Chronicle and the Rochester Business Journal. Television and radio coverage included interviews on WROC-TV, WHAM-TV, YNN, WHAM-AM and WXXI’s the Innovation Trail.
EMA’s creative department designed the event invitations and program that event attendees received, which positively influenced event attendance. EMA also assisted with planning for the “Eyes Expo,” a networking and business event that occurred before and after the panel discussion. More than 30 local businesses were on hand to connect and network with event attendees.