How To Get The Most Out of CRE Conferences
Commercial real estate conferences are finally getting back into full swing. While COVID caused all conferences in 2020 to be canceled, 2021 has brought a new found normalcy to virtual conferences. While many people are starting to gather in person again, it’s a great opportunity to connect with people face to face to network and learn from the best in the industry. While going to a conference can be a nice break from your usual routine, use these tips to get the most out of your next CRE conference experience:
Introduce Yourself Before The Conference
This one takes a little bit of work on your part, but it could be extremely beneficial in the long run. A week or two before the conference, see if you can find a list of people who will be attending. Some conferences will post the attendee list on their website, so that’s a good place to start. If you can’t find the full registration list, look on the conference social media pages to see if they have made announcements about who will be attending. If there are a handful of people that you really want to talk to during the conference, email each person to introduce yourself and see if you can arrange a time to meet. If the person you want to meet will be speaking at the conference, let them know that you’re looking forward to their presentation and you will be in the audience.
Make A Conference Game Plan
Before you leave for the conference, make a “wish-list” of what you want to accomplish during the event. Find the schedule of presentations and discussions online and select the ones that you want to attend. Get these important presentations on your schedule so you have a game plan when you arrive. Next, use the Sponsor directory to make a list of the companies that you want to check out during the open exhibitor time. Having a plan before you get to the conference will help you get the most out of your time there.
Get Out of Your Comfort Zone
When you arrive at the conference what’s the first thing most people do? Find someone they already know to talk to! We can all relate to walking into a room and looking for familiar faces, but it’s important to spend your time wisely. Take a little time to chat with your existing connections – especially if you don’t see them often – but make it a priority to meet new people as well. Sit next to someone you don’t know at each presentation you attend; strike up a conversation while you’re waiting in line at the bar; and sit with a new group of people at lunch each day. Everyone at the conference is there to better themselves and everyone wants to meet new people; so, I bet your efforts will be well received.
Schedule Time To Unwind
We all know that commercial real estate conferences can be busy! The schedules are jam-packed, and the day goes by quickly. While that gives you the most bang for your conference buck, it’s still important to schedule a little time to unwind by yourself to soak in what you’ve learned. Go back to your hotel room – or find a quiet place – to make notes about things you want to implement in your business, people you want to follow up with, and new ideas that you want to discuss with your colleagues. It’s also important to focus on self-care; get some sleep, workout, or take a few minutes to read a book to unwind. Trying to attend every presentation, every luncheon, every cocktail hour, and every party may sound exciting – but you will be exhausted. Instead, attend your favorite events and schedule in time to yourself so you can feel your best during the entire conference.
Execute After The Conference
Once you get home from the conference, don’t just slip back into your normal routine. Instead, use a commercial real estate CRM to organize your new contacts and schedule tasks to follow up with people you spoke with. You can also schedule a meeting with your team to discuss what you learned at the event and share ideas that you think will help boost your business. If other colleagues in your office also attended the conference, go out to lunch to discuss each other’s top take-aways from the event. To get the most out of the CRE conference, you will want to implement new strategies into your business when you return.
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