ICLV was so very…
Gwen Stefani, Phish and 4,000 tech-oriented real estate professionals were in Las Vegas last week, just prior to halloween, and things got a little strange.
In many ways, this was the “reopening” of the real estate conference season with around 4 thousand folks in town- together after what seemed like an eternity. It had been so long since we’d done a big show, there was certainly some rust that needed to be shaken off. Some industry veterans went big on the first night – a classic rookie move, and they paid the price.
We had an all new booth to assemble and I’d arrived missing several key tools – not a big deal if a hardware store is right around the corner … but we were on the strip. It took a bit of creativity but we got it done.
The CEO Connect portion on Monday was a pleasant surprise. A formal but somewhat intimate group of leaders listened to 3 speakers and had brunch. My ‘old friend turned billionaire’ Glenn Sanford and I got to catch up a bit over coffee prior to the speakers. The round table format was cool, and I was fortunate to sit next to Abby Waltz of Homes for heroes and Chastity Davenport of JPAR.
Dinners were nearly impossible. RSVP’s were not working online, and the concierge at the hotel had 5 people working, when they normally have 40. Several quick bite places were closed due to staffing shortages, and others had reduced hours and tables. I’m not very patient – so this was a pretty tough pill to swallow.
However, I really enjoyed the private room we reserved at Carbone, including conversations about drumming and music with our client Gary Ashton over the “famous” spicy pasta whose name escapes me. Famous seemed like a stretch, but it was tasty.
We used a suite as a meeting place off the expo floor, and offered complimentary espresso, beer, and snacks – this worked really well, giving us some daylight and a quiet environment for work to avoid the riot down on the expo floor. However, the Aria requires a keycard to go up in the elevator – making the process of bringing anyone upstairs a pain.
The new booth was a hit, and we had solid traffic. Folks dug our 1960’s Mad Men / Mid Century mod design. I’d give Inman credit with this layout and format for Tuesday and Wednesday (Thursday was a bust.) It would still be better to have the main session traffic funneled through the expo – but it was better than in the past years.
This was the 21st Inman show that I’ve either attended or sponsored, and it’s still an important event to attend. Even if the content can sometimes feel repetitive, the people are the most important part. Reconnecting and networking with our clients, partners, and friends is what drives the real estate industry- it’s still a people business.