Iowa SMART Conference

Iowa's Premiere Economic Development Conference

Event Over


May 4, 2017

Starting at 8:00 a.m.


Des Moines, Iowa

CCCU Convention Center

About the SMART Conference

The annual Iowa SMART Economic Development Conference is Iowa's largest conference devoted to economic development. Now in its 32nd year, the conference is co-sponsored by the investor-owned electric, natural gas and transmission utility companies of the Iowa Utility Association (IUA) and by the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA). The Iowa SMART Conference annually attracts approximately 500 economic development professionals, business leaders, chamber of commerce executives, community leaders, elected officials and other board members who influence economic development and public policy issues statewide and within their own communities. It includes general sessions, workshops and networking opportunities. Speakers and workshops throughout the day address topics critical to economic development including local government financing, workforce, housing, community improvement, marketing, embracing new immigrants, entrepreneurialism, tourism and preparing a community for growth. For information about past Iowa SMART conferences, visit

Email us:


  • “We learned more at this Conference than all the conferences I’ve been to… We will DEFINITELY be back next year!
  • “This is the conference for you the economic development professional to attend, sure, but it is also one to invite your board and community leadership to join you for a day dedicated to economic development in Iowa.” – Brent Willett, former president, Professional Developers of Iowa (PDI)
  • “My first but certainly will not be my last. Enjoyed the opportunity to network and learn from my peers. Such fascinating information gathered!”
  • “This was one of the best BEST conferences ever. It was difficult to choose between sessions.”
  • “As a new member to the economic development field here in Iowa, the event was a great opportunity to catch up on everything going on in the state and to get in touch with a lot of potential economic development partners.”
  • "An inspiring day as Iowa leads the way!"


*** Click on Date Box Below to View Conference Agenda ***
or, Download agenda (.docx) -- as of 4/26/2017 (subject to change)

Featured Speakers

View Less Click to View Featured Speakers


View Less Click to View Promotional Videos

Download 2017 Conference Presentations in PDF

BOOK HOTEL ROOMS: Holiday Inn Downtown at Mercy Campus:

Registrations are done online through Cvent, the conference's registration provider.

Group rate hotel room reservations at the Holiday Inn Downtown at Mercy Campus
for the night of Wednesday, May 3, 2017 are now CLOSED.
Last day to book by was April 12, 2017.

Map: Venue & Free Parking

FREE Parking is available north of CCCUCC with entrances off 3rd, 5th and Crocker.
ADA Accessible is south of Crocker.

(Simply inform the parking attendant you are here for the Iowa SMART Conference.)



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