The Maryland Economic Development Association (MEDA) recently held its 2015 Summer Conference:  Marketing and Business Attraction at the World Trade Center in Baltimore. Economic Developers from across the state joined to learn about product differentiation, best ways to position your product, and how to identify the value of your product in a competitive market.

Dorchester County Economic Development Director and MEDA President Keasha Haythe presided over the conference. Sponsored by the Maryland Port Administration, the morning opened with a presentation on business attraction given by Joseph Greco, Sr., director of Intermodal Trade Development for the Port of Baltimore. Next, Sandy Sponaugle, owner of Platinum PR, moderated a panel on Product Differentiation.

Ammanuel Moore, economic development manager for Baltimore Gas and Electric (BGE), moderated a panel on Techniques and Strategies.  Haythe sat on the panel and gave examples of leading marketing strategies used in Dorchester County. “Commonly mistaken for other similarly named areas like Dorchester County in South Carolina, we needed to differentiate ourselves and distinguish the differences through our physical attributes. Our branding “water moves us” identifies the county’s greatest asset while using real business faces to add authenticity,” said Haythe.

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake welcomed the attendees and thanked them for coming before introducing keynote speaker Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development Secretary Mike Gill.  Secretary Gill gave an in-depth presentation on the sales process.

MEDA also hosted the Chesapeake Basic Economic Course in conjunction with the conference. The four-day professional development course touched on retention and expansion, attraction and sales, finances and real estate development, workforce development, and much more.  The basic course fulfills part of the Economic Development Certification requirement through the International Economic Development Council (IEDC).

Dorchester County Economic Development Business Development Manager Susan Banks attended the course. Banks said, “The class was a wonderful experience that offered best practices and latest trends in economic development as well as networking opportunities with other economic develop professionals.”

To learn more about the Maryland Economic Development Association, please visit www.medamd.com.