Virginia Beach Economic Development Wins Four Excellence Awards from the International Economic Development Council

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

​The Virginia Beach Department of Economic Development received one Gold Excellence and three Silver Excellence in Economic Development Awards for cities with populations of 200,000 to 500,000 from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC). Virginia Beach tied one other entrant for the highest number of awards received. The awards were announced at the recently held IEDC Annual Conference.

“Last year, we received three awards so winning four put the department in the international winner’s circle,” said Warren D. Harris, director of Virginia Beach Economic Development. “We are very pleased that our marketing efforts are producing results for the City in terms of interest from national and international businesses, and they also stand out in a very competitive and global arena.”


Gold Award:

Virginia Beach 2014 Annual Report, Annual Report

The 2014 Virginia Beach Annual Report, titled Launch Virginia Beach, highlights key economic achievements over the past year as well as new departmental initiatives. The report was designed to be both a promotional and informational piece. The report was first distributed to the Virginia Beach City Council and then to the public through a regional business publication to build awareness and increase accountability as a public agency.  It is also available electronically on the Department's website,, and in eBook format from the Apple iBook Store.


Silver Awards:

Yes Virginia Beach App, New Media

The Department created the Yes Virginia Beach iPad app to go beyond simply serving as a mobile version of its website. The app uses GIS imagery and mapping to provide users a customizable virtual tour of both the City and region in a format not currently available in other economic development apps. The user can choose to activate various layers and visually explore those assets that are most critical to their personal decision-

making process. These include business districts, infrastructure, transportation, higher education, workforce, quality of life, demographics and major employers. It also features a real-time searchable commercial real estate function that identifies available properties according to the user's specific requirements. The app is available as a free download from the Apple App Store.


Launch Virginia Beach Campaign, Paid Advertisement Campaign

The print and digital campaign used innovative media approaches to elevate the Virginia Beach brand among a targeted group of decision makers. The mix included

Fortune magazine cover wraps for nine issues distributed to hand-selected decision makers of targeted national companies, custom web banners and native web ads that appear as an article on websites and placement is matched to look like part of the site.


2015-16 Virginia Beach Community Profile, General Purpose Print Brochure

The Community Profile is the most comprehensive community profile to date and is used as a reference for information for all other Virginia Beach Department of Economic Development marketing materials. The report includes information on demographics, key industries, major employers, international focus, business environment, education, workforce development, quality of life, housing, climate, health care, outdoors, arts and culture, major business districts and business parks. It is available electronically on the Department's website,, and in eBook format from the Apple iBook Store.


IEDC's Excellence in Economic Development Awards recognize the world’s best economic development programs and partnerships, marketing materials and the year’s most influential leaders. These awards honor organizations and individuals for their efforts in creating positive change in urban, suburban, and rural communities. The International Economic Development Council is a nonprofit membership organization serving economic developers. With more than 4,400 members, IEDC is the largest organization of its kind. For more information, visit


The mission of the Virginia Beach Department of Economic Development is to attract and retain national and international businesses to stimulate capital investment and create jobs. Virginia Beach is the most populous city in Virginia with a population of 440,000, and it is the 37th largest in the United States. It is recognized as one of the Best Run Cities in America by 24/7 Wall St. The Department of Economic Development received re-accreditation through the International Economic Development Council in 2012 and is one of only 29 economic development organizations in the world to have this recognition. It is listed among the Top Five Overall Mid-sized American Cities of the Future, Top 10 for Economic Potential and Top Five for Infrastructure by fDi magazine. ranked Virginia Beach as the Easiest Place to Start a Business and the 2nd Most Business-Friendly City in the country. For more information, visit