by Mike Westgate, Vice President of Marketing at RealMassive
I’m not new to retail, having spent past lives in marketing and sales at General Mills and Sara Lee. I am, however, new to the CRE side of the house. By quickly learning the nuances of the business and technology that supports smart site selection, I have an appreciation for the marriage of physical and digital branding and the connected consumer experience. For this reason and many others, ICSC’s global conference RECon became a fascinating opportunity. As RealMassive continues to expand and explore the retail vertical within our open and connected marketplace, we opted for digital participation in the conference this year.
Leveraging tremendous momentum behind our #CREcosystem predictions report, we decided to focus the discussion on tech trends propelling retail and create a digital surround-sound leading up to RECon. Partnering with our friend and mastermind of last year’s #ICSCStyle, Julie Augustyn, we lit a “bonfire” and the participation has been overwhelming.
“Let’s Get Social” Meetup
— theBrokerList (@theBrokerList) May 23, 2016
— Nick McKinney (@nickmckinney) May 23, 2016
After a few weeks of collecting insightful responses and observing a growing social dialogue for the #CREcosystem, the appetite to put names with avatars in Vegas was obvious. Thanks to our gracious hosts, Linda Day Harrison of theBrokerList and David Perlmutter of Quantum Listing, we planned an informal and inclusive meetup on night one of RECon. The attendee list included…
Industry Pros: Felicia Yonter of Chicago Association of Realtors, Jean Maday of NAR Commercial, Gregg Ickes & Nick McKinney of Foundry Commercial, Ben Hubert of Indigo Centers, Matt Ridley of Woodmont, Lauren Brunner of The Retail Strategy, Shar Toler of Toler & Associates, and Andrew Fine of The Bobenal Group.
… and many others. The meetup was organized on a tight schedule and was promoted exclusively via social media. Even so, it attracted a tremendous number of highly engaged industry pros. The attendees, live and virtual, presented strong diversity in geography, experience, function, and business type. Overall, the event illustrated a definitive need to connect and collaborate on a perpetual basis, either in person or virtually. What would be the basis for discussion? Here are a few topics covered during the meetup:
1) New tech solutions and partnerships
2) Social and digital marketing best practices
3) Millennials and their effect on supply and demand in CRE
4) Digital-first brokerage models
As the #CREcosystem grows, this dialogue will hopefully pervade business meetings, digital and social media, and industry events. If you’d like to help us unearth perspectives, ideas, and issues that will further accelerate tech adoption in retail CRE, please share your thoughts in this brief survey. I’d also recommend following and engaging these pros who helped us propel the #CREcosystem: