Tuesday at 5LGEF

I only heard 1 reference to the Toledo Region branding efforts on the first full day of the Five Lakes Global Economic Forum. I could have missed others: I did not attend every session.

Paul Zito included 3 web sites at the end of his talk about the differences in doing business in the US:

  • rgp.org, the main site for the Regional Growth Partnership, recently re-done
  • rgpasia.org, a site I was not aware of, in Chinese and targeted at business leaders in China
  • toledoregion.com

I also noticed 1 speaker used the term “western Lake Erie region”, a version of the venerable “Lake Erie West” term that came about many years ago. This term helps connect the Ohio part of the region with the Michigan part. I noticed that a few maps used during the Forum had Detroit called out more than Cleveland/Columbus/Cincinnati, a subtle reminder that a lot of the region’s economy is tied to Michigan. The Property Profiles includes some Michigan land.

For the break-out sessions, I chose the Education panel, since “The Toledo Region is a great place to learn” is 1/4th of the brand system.

The session was good, but what struck me later is that it would have been better with a regional approach to presenting information. For example, the BGSU Center for International Programs and the University of Toledo Center for International Studies and Programs were both described separately, including which universities around the world each has partnerships with.

To me, it would be been better to show a single map with the BGSU & UT partnerships combined (and including other universities in the region as well), to show that the REGION is connected to other universities around the world. Harder to do, for sure, but I think it tells the regional story better.

Today, I am only planning on participating in a few of the forum activities. I have other things to do and the main part of the day are tours around the region for our visitors.