Guide to Preparing an Investment Promotion Event

A well-organized investment promotion event allows the city to highlight its strengths and to present specific investment opportunities to potential domestic and foreign investors and to establish contact with investors and the most important intermediaries. For investors, it is a chance to learn more about the city’s investment climate from city and regional officials, investment promotion specialists and businesses currently operating in the area.

The event may be held in the city or the capital, whichever will guarantee best attendance. If held in the capital, schedule a visit to the city the following day for any interested investors. The event should be free of charge.

To organize the event:

  • Choose a date and create a timeline for action. At the very least, reserve three months to plan and execute a successful event; ideally start planning four to six months ahead of time. See a 13-week sample timeline for an idea of how event preparations might proceed.
  • Select and book a venue, such as a hotel conference center, for the event.
  • Invite appropriate speakers. These could include officials such as the mayor, regional officials, donors, the president of the chamber of commerce, representatives of the national IPI, and successful investors. See a sample investment forum program for more ideas and a sample invitation letter for speakers.
  • Discuss presentations with speakers and agree on content.
  • Build databases/spreadsheets of investors matching the profile of the city’s potential opportunities. You will need at least 300–400 names.
  • Prepare invitation, final program, cover letter and response form. Mail invitation letters, with program and response sheets, six to eight weeks prior to the event for foreign contacts and four weeks for domestic. See sample invitations and response sheets. Invitations and programs should be printed on better quality paper with a color printer; the response sheets may be printed in black and white on regular paper.
  • Advertise the event on websites and in economic/business media four weeks before.
  • Register participants; follow up with those who did not reply.
  • Convey a professional image by hosting a well-organized event with name tags, folders and promotional materials, both in print and on CD.
  • Follow up with attendees after the investment day using the guidelines and checklist on the “Follow Up on Investment Promotion Events” sheet.
  • Reflect on experiences and lessons learned from event.

Sample planning sheets illustrate one city’s preparations. For information on presenting at an investment promotion event, see the sales presentation section in the Handbook for Promoting Foreign Direct Investment in Medium-Size, Low-Budget Cities in Emerging Markets.