WEDA Events

WEDA offers a variety of professional development, educational and recognition events every year, including two annual conferences that draw hundreds of individuals for certifications, continuing education, workshops, and networking opportunities. WEDA’s annual events include:

Jan 31st – Feb 2nd, 2024

Governor’s Conference on Economic Development

WEDA’s biggest education and networking event of the year is the Governor’s Conference on Economic Development. The conference is preceded by the Wisconsin Economic Development Academy, a CRA-Network Bankers’ Roundtable and US Bank’s Opening Networking Reception—it includes educational sessions covering today’s most important economic development challenges and opportunities, including:

  • broadband
  • rural prosperity
  • talent attraction
  • upskilling and retaining multi-generational workforce
  • quality and affordable childcare
  • heroes housing
  • tax incremental finance
  • foreign direct investment and attraction strategies
  • entrepreneurship
  • building a strategy for safe and prosperous communities
  • small business succession planning
  • WEDA’s exciting Networking Expo Hall
  • receptions; and other networking opportunities.

The conference also provides continuing education credits for EDFP, CEcD, EDP and AICP certifications. The 2024 Governor’s Conference will be held on Jan 31st – Feb 2nd, 2024 at the Kalahari Resorts & Conventions Hotel in Wisconsin Dells. Come for the conference and continue your stay over the weekend for a fun family get-away at the indoor water park and Tom Foolery’s theme park. Enjoy shopping, dining and pamper yourself at the resort spa.

September 27th – 29th

WEDA Fall Best Practices Conference

Each Fall, WEDA holds a best practices conference at a new and exciting location. This year we will be in beautiful Wausau, at the iconic Jefferson Street Inn so be sure to save these dates: September 27th – 29th.

Dive into the fundamentals of economic development and the leading issues of the day, including:

  • workforce housing
  • childcare access
  • talent attraction
  • transportation issues
  • business expansion and retention best practices
  • community revitalization opportunities

In addition to tremendous networking opportunities, dynamic speakers, and continuing education credit certifications (EDFP, CEcD and AICP), the Fall Best Practices Conference will include the Community and Economic Development Awards. The CEDA Awards program recognizes and celebrates exceptional projects, programs, and businesses that drive economic growth in Wisconsin.

May 1st – 4th

Basic Economic Development Course

The Wisconsin BEDC is designed to provide an understanding of the basic concepts, theories, methods and practice of economic development. Completion of the Basic Economic Development Course fulfills one of the prerequisites for those who wish to pursue the Certified Economic Developer designation (CEcD) through the IEDC.

This year (2023) the BEDC will be held May 1st – 4th at Radisson Hotel & Conference Center in Green Bay, WI. A hotel block will be available soon. The registration fee is $749 for WEDA members and $999 for non-members. A limited number of scholarships may be available for nonprofits, tribal governments, or municipal entities that serve small communities (pop. Under 7,500), or to a member of the statewide diverse business development chambers of commerce, and to ACRE alumni.

WEDA Legislative Day

This exciting event gives WEDA members a unique opportunity to influence critical economic development policy in Wisconsin. WEDA’s Legislative Day brings economic development professionals from across the state together in Madison to build relationships with state lawmakers and educate them on key economic development policy issues that drive business growth and prosperity n Wisconsin.