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REsilience – Using Technology and Innovation to Navigate an Ever-Changing World

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The last 18 months have accelerated the adoption of technology and taught us that remote work and virtual meetings are here to stay. But it has also highlighted the importance of in-person gatherings and being connected to a community. Face-to-face meetings are an important part of satisfying a deep human need for interaction and relationship building.

So, while most all the commercial and corporate real estate industry meetings and conventions took a pause in 2020 due to the pandemic, Realcomm didn’t stop working to ensure that when the time was right to return to in-person meetings, we’d be ready. Our industry, more than any other, needs to be REsilient given the current state of the world.

Our Journey

Our conference in Nashville in 2019 was one of our biggest and best-ever, with over 2,500 of the most innovative commercial and corporate real estate and technology professionals participating in five days of nonstop activities. It truly was an extraordinary event.

In February of 2020, as we were planning for an even bigger and more exciting event in Miami in June, everything suddenly changed, and the worst global pandemic of modern times began to shut down the world.

By March, it was clear we would not be holding our June conference. But it wasn’t in our DNA to cancel the event. As part of the built environment community, we continued to feel a sense of responsibility to ‘practice what we preach’ and use technology and innovation to get people into a room together safely, just as our industry was trying to do for its office buildings, malls and other facilities.

Six months later in November of 2020, we built a studio in a ballroom, installed some of the most advanced COVID technology available and put on the ONLY hybrid (in-person and online) event in the country (and possibly the world) for the real estate industry. We were fortunate to have a world-class team that pushed the boundaries of creativity and produced an immersive event that delivered a rich and engaging experience for both the onsite and virtual attendees. We were proud to have challenged ourselves and delivered, not just for us, but to all who participated and the industry at large.

From there we went on to produce subsequent events in Los Angeles and Austin, each time taking the hybrid experience to the next level. The response of those attending was extraordinary, with both in-person and online participants saying they “felt as if we were in the room together.”

The success of these events was much more than just the events themselves; it was a window to what every building owner in the world is going to have to come to grips with sooner or later. In order to maximize the full potential of our buildings, we must find that sweet spot between brick-and-mortar and technology. Energy conservation, operational efficiency, sustainability, an enhanced occupant experience that includes health and safety, and of course, financial optimization are all goals of this next generation of real estate, and technology plays a significant role.

Next Steps

With all this hybrid experience under our belts, we are now preparing for our 2021 Realcomm and IBcon conferences this November.

By intent, this year is going to be a smaller event than Nashville 2019. We want to take our time, do it right, think through new issues and solutions, and present a showpiece of what a next generation event should look like. We also assumed COVID was going to continue to be an elusive adversary. Our goal is to provide a place for our in-person attendees to interact, socialize, learn and have fun, just as we’ve done for the last 20+ years and do it in an engaging and safe way.

The conference will be held at the Westin Kierland Resort and Spa. After almost two years in some form of quarantine, we felt that a resort in the middle of the warm and welcoming Arizona desert would be perfect. Lots of room to spread out, breathe, learn and socialize in a very special environment. We are even planning a health day, focusing on the many lessons we learned from the pandemic.

As always, we plan to present the most comprehensive, sophisticated, and well-organized program, taking full advantage of true domain experts from around the world. Some will be in the room, while others will join in virtually from all corners of the globe. We don’t want to lose touch with those international attendees who still might have travel restrictions, have been impacted by budget cuts, or are just unable to attend in person, so we will use cutting-edge technology to present a hybrid experience, which also demonstrates how this technology can be used at an office, mall, sporting venue or any other building for that matter. We’ll continue to walk-the-walk of innovation to accelerate the journey. Global learning must go on despite today’s many challenges and, frankly, at a much faster and more efficient pace.

Our exhibit floor will be packed with the world’s leaders in technology for the built environment, although also smaller by design. We are also going to attempt to deliver the first ever virtual exhibition technology, again not leaving anyone behind that cannot make it to Scottsdale.

We are excited about the next chapter of our journey, one where we truly explore, sometimes through trial and error, what the next generation of real estate - from operation to experience - will look like. With no genuine risk, you cannot expect above average results.

Reflecting on these past few months and what our industry has demonstrated, our theme for this year’s event is REsilience – Using Technology and Innovation to Navigate an Ever-Changing World!

We hope you decide to attend the world’s longest running conference and join the most sophisticated real estate automation and smart building community. We look forward to seeing you in November.

Jim Young, Co-Founder & CEO, Realcomm
Founder of Realcomm Conference Group, an education organization that produces Realcomm, IBcon and CoRE Tech, the world's leading conferences on technology, automated business solutions, intelligent buildings and energy efficiency for the commercial and corporate real estate industry. As CEO, Jim interacts with the largest companies globally pertaining to some of the most advanced and progressive next generation real estate projects under development.

This Week’s Sponsor

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