Get the Most from Conferences and Trade Shows
Attending a trade show or conference might be the right way to kick off a great year ahead.
The conference organizers build events tuned to the real needs of attendees, and a surprising amount of time, money and effort go into building these beautiful trade booths, learning sessions, and all the rest you’ll be discovering.
The 2023 conferences will bring together industry leaders in management, investing and technology — people who can help you navigate the complexities of this industry and map out your journey.
The Major Conferences to Attend
There are many events held in various cities, and the major conferences are Apartmentalize 2023, NARPM2023, NMHC Conference 2023, and the REALTOR 2023 conference. Those in the UK, Germany, France and Spain have events such as Swiss Property Fair Technology Conference.
The property management market has gone digital and automation is a big value add managers are investigating. Of course, many are still searching for better management of accounting, maintenance, and performance analytics. Managers are playing catchup but the pace is quickening.
Many landlords and property managers have adjusted to the new PropTech incursion and are discovering all sorts of new ways to use it to improve every aspect of their operations.
How Do the Best Get That Way?
If you never get to speak with top people throughout the year, you’ll enjoy learning how they achieve excellence.
Whether it’s their views on real estate and property management or the new technology and what’s it’s done for them personally, their wisdom, tips and guidance can help pave the path to success.
You might see some surprising, creative and interactive trade shows displays as well. Overall, it’s a fun experience to meet and speak with pros in the rental property business. If this is your bread and butter, you have to be here.
Your Trade Show Plan
At the show, you’ll be pressed for time attending educational seminars, visiting busy vendors booths to ask questions, testing out apps, new hardware, reading marketing collateral, chatting with other attendees, and listening to speakers.
Whether you’re attending solo or with your property management staff, you need a basic plan to make sure you get the information you need. These events are rare and time is precious, so let’s get organized!
Preparing for the Show
Because time is brief, the conversations you initiate at the show, might be preludes to discussions with them later, either in person or via email or phone.
The conference focus is about your business challenges, what topics/solutions you need, and who you need to hear and speak with. Out of all the sessions available, you only be able to get to one third of them. For attendees, post conference videos may be available. The videos won’t have the same value as actual attendance.
- What do You Need to Learn? If you’re considering automating your business, or you have specific accounting problems, want to know about data migration, or about scalability issues, and costs, write them all down along with key inquiries you need to make. Note their comments and advice, get their business cards and social media handles. The most important questions/issues for your will pop out as you work on this.
- Which pros and technology vendors do you need to visit or connect with? Certainly, you’ll want to identify the key vendors related to the work you do. Mark their booth locations on the expo vendor map. Mark them off after you’ve visited and then head to the next one.
- Which conferences and trade shows should you be attending? If you’re an apartment landlord, then Apartmentalize is a must visit (which is why they see 10,000+ attendees), and for property managers, the NARPM event brings together single family managers, and the MNHC show gathers multifamily managers, while the REALTORS event is for real estate agents. Of course you’ll find property management technology providers at all the events.
- Which speakers you need to connect with? Visit the trade show/convention websites (Apartmentalize 2023, NARPM 2023, or REALTORs 2023 conference, and get up to date with what they’re doing and how they can help your business.
The events aren’t all about technology, but as you can imagine, PropTech is delivering so much cost savings and staff work productivity gains, that companies such as ManageCasa are the most desired connection.
Identify Your Top 3 Vendors
Identify the 3 top vendors you need to speak with and try to spend as much time as you can with them. These face to face meetings can generate more knowledge and guidance. Make sure you have your questions ready.
At Apartmentalize, your top 3 connections might be ManageCasa, while at NARPM you might be wanting to speak developers in the built to rent space, or the NMHC event, you might seek out smart home tech vendors.
If you’re investing a new property management platform for your business, look for the franchises and look for independents and compare the value for you as an entrepreneur or property manager.
Do you want to work for any of the vendors? Prepare your job interview questions, and find out what their pressing challenges are, what personnel issues they have, and what technology they are expecting to adopt. Learn about the software features and benefits, so they can tell you what you need to master. Help others help you.
Ensure you have a backpack or sturdy bag to contain your materials and the handouts they provide. Don’t accept collateral unless it’s of real interest to you. You’re going to have to carry it. If you visit us, we may have some bling for you! Make sure you visit us first.
Expand your Professional Network
Do you have your business cards ready? Be ready to network, to tell others what you do, what your value proposition is, where you’re headed with business, and how you can help them. If others find you helpful, they may refer new business to you, or connect you with someone important to your career or business startup.
Be curious about people and find out what they do. Professionals at a major trade show could be vital to your business. Remember, these are often the brightest, most progressive people in the real estate and property management business. They wouldn’t be attending unless their mind is open and they’re on the ball.
What you can get out of attending a property management trade show is really up to you. Get organized, plan your itinerary, and make contact with as many people as possible. Too many people attend these shows and then complain later that they didn’t get much out of it. That won’t be you because you’re creating a plan and you’re taking charge of your results.
Good luck at your next trade show or expo. They are a fun, interesting way to improve your career.
We hope to meet with you at the Apartmentalize 2023 conference in June. See our past events including the NARPM, NMHC Optech, Cooperator Expo in Chicago, Apartmentalize in Denver, or Cooperator Expo in New Jersey.
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