Billings Attendee Profiles

Sioux Falls Itinerary

City Comparison

Tour Presentations:

What is a Leadership Exchange/Aspirational City Visit?

The visiting delegation (Billings) and leaders from the host community (Sioux Falls) discuss challenges and opportunities their community is facing. The visit provides an opportunity for interaction among city leaders and facilitates exchange of best practices and lessons learned.

This visit is designed to inspire new ideas. We want to make sure our corporate and civic leaders are taking time to think creatively about the future of Billings with a long term horizon. The Billings Chamber’s unique strength is its ability to convene all the right people needed to develop and implement a shared vision for our community. We are using this visit as one tool to facilitate visioning and shape the future of Billings.

In choosing a destination to visit we considered our existing priorities, issues and concerns; but also looked at opportunities to vision the future in ways yet explored. Quality of life and amenity infrastructure development (convention center, entertainment district, trails, sports venues) have been part of our strategic vision for years, and continue to be an area of need in our community (especially funding mechanisms). We also selected a destination whose leaders were examining the community’s future and the Chamber’s role in that vision (similar to our Defining Tomorrow Initiative). Through this examination we hope to learn about demographic shifts, attracting younger residents and key industry makeup (ag, energy, finance, healthcare). Lastly, selecting a community and a chamber with a similar structure and demographics was important. Community leaders felt they needed to visit an area that reflected our demographic makeup, only larger, but not so large that our delegation could not relate.

We are approaching this trip with no specific goals in mind, but as an exploration and an opportunity to, learn, and “allow the process to get messy.” The messiness is uncomfortable but it encourages healthy dialogue that allows meaningful ideas to emerge. We resolve to allow the process to evolve and then become strategic.