The 13th Annual Chicago Commercial Real Estate Forecast is less than one week away. The final arrangements are being made: the program is being produced, signage is being designed. And session moderators like Shawn Mobley, Danny Nikitas, Geoff Kasselman, Matt Kelly and Eteri Zaslavsky are diligently preparing more than 50 speakers for their conversations.
Real Estate Publishing Group (Illinois Real Estate Journal, Chicago Industrial Properties and Midwest Real Estate News) along with Co-Hosts Cushman & Wakefield, the National Association of Realtors, and the Wall Street Journal are excited about welcoming you next Tuesday at the Hyatt Regency Chicago.
As we look ahead to the event, we’re recalling some of the highlights of years past. And the lessons learned.
It’s not a top 10—it’s just a handful. We think more highlights could be added this year!
• Expect the unexpected—At one of the first Forecasts, there was a property management breakout session. It featured a prominent developer with an ego (an oxymoron?) and the Head PM for an iconic, Class A building. Fisticuffs almost broke out when said developer suggested (with prop in hand) that the best tenant welcoming gift might be an axe to ensure the safe exit from the building during a crisis.
• Expect the unexpected part two—A few years later, as part of a key note panel, Joe Cosenza of Inland wanted to share a list of all the “troubled” retailers. He then proceeded to dramatically unroll (unfurl may better describe his theatrics) a 50 foot long scroll with retailer names.
• Real Estate and fiscal/economic policy—The first year Joe (Cosenza) participated, he suggested that instead of the $500 tax credit most Americans received, then president Bush should have issued $500 bank cards (with a looming expiration date) as a means for kick-starting the economy. (It would have been interesting to see the outcome.)
• Prior planning prevents poor performance—For each of the last three years the pairs of one—2—one speakers (Zell and Cafaro; Ryan and Kennedy; and Mobley and Koch) spent plenty of time preparing to kick-off the event. And it showed. We expect no less this year when Shawn Mobley reprises his role and interviews Howard Tullman, the CEO of 1871.
In doing this event as long as we have, we’ve learned a few logistical things:
• Alphabetize by last name—imagine the feeling when you see that name badges were created alphabetically (as they should be) by first rather than last name (oops). There was confusion…and red faces, too.
• (Coat) Check, please!—In January, its likely to be in the 20s (or a polar vortex, take your pick). So a smooth running coat check is imperative. (Better to overstaff the coat check than having dozens of guests reach varying degrees of agitation waiting … and needing their first coffee.)
• Coffee is expensive, BUT NEVER RUN OUT— You have no idea—and may not care– how expensive a gallon of coffee at a downtown hotel costs. (But a barrel of coffee is more expensive than a barrel of crude oil…even before the recent free fall.) So while it may not be the first drink of choice for people in the real estate industry, you never want to run out of coffee. NEVER. (We haven’t, but almost…)
In less than one week we’re doing it all over again. We’ll be on our game … the coffee will be hot and plentiful, the speakers prepared, and the staffing in the coatroom will be ample!
Click here to register and join us.