Since this past Wednesday afternoon, more than 200 top industrial brokers in North America, as well as the U.K., Europe, and several Latin American countries, attended Newmark Grubb Knight Frank’s 2014 Industrial Strength Conference.
The conference, held at the Hyatt Hotel on the Magnificent mile, wrapped up this afternoon, and was a hard-hitting event covering several topics that included the future of industrial real estate, data-driven real estate, e-commerce and supply chain opportunities, and the evolving role of the broker. Keynote speakers included Jim Young, CEO and co-founder of Realcomm, and Rob Watson, LEED Fellow and the inventor of “LEED”.
Geoffrey Kasselman, SIOR, LEED AP, executive managing director of NGKF’s national industrial practice, said he was stunned at the attendance and the distance that people traveled from.
“This conference threw out a challenge, and the people met it,” he said. “People here are engaged, there’s momentum in our platform, and people can see it, feel it, and participate in it. It takes that to be movement—and that’s exactly what it is. Now, it’s about channeling that momentum, turning it into something super special, and that’s exactly what we intend to do.”
Michael Sheinkop, executive vice president, regional managing director at NGKF, said that because Kasselman is the leader of the national practice, as well as a broker, he’s a player coach.
“His ability to bring this to bear is what makes Newmark so special,” Sheinkop said. “It’s when you have great people doing those kinds of things, which ultimately attract people to the brand, the company, and then they have success as a result—it feeds itself. It’s very exciting for us, and I think industrial in particular is in a really good spot. There’s so much demand for industrial space, the way the workplace is changing, retail is changing, and the way supply chain is changing. So having these people come together for clients is very special and powerful.”
One of the attendees said she had a very long flight, but wouldn’t miss the conference because it was a great opportunity.
“This was a great opportunity for me to learn about the company,” Marina Cury, President of NGKF’s Brazil office, said. “I just joined the company a few months ago, so to learn about the company, the people and meet them, this was the best thing as networking was impressive. I’ve been here a week and it has been very valuable. No matter where it’s held next year, I’ll be there.”
Even though Greg Wright, AIRE, has been in the business 34 plus years, he’s fairly new to NGKF, and was extremely impressed with the conference as well.
“I’m impressed with the level of ability that Newmark groups have for cross platforms of industrial, as well as retail, office, and other things,” Wright said, senior managing director of industrial at NGKF. “They’re bringing so many things to the table it’s mind-blowing, so much so than my prior experience of working with other firms. I’m really glad I was able to attend.”
Half of the attendees voted, in a real time poll, for the conference to be held on the West coast next year, Kasselman said he’ll take it into consideration.
“I have 364 days to figure out how to top this, and I’m going to need all 364 days. It was a good conference.”