Each year for nearly 25 years, attending the International Council of Shopping Center (ICSC) RECon event has been an opportunity for infinitee to reconnect with our clients while hosting new business meetings with dozens of companies in the retail industry. Held in Las Vegas, Nevada, this annual event brings together more than 30,000 developers, brokers, tenants and owners from all over the world. For retail shopping centers, it is the biggest deal-making event of the year.
For those who have never been, consider the following:
- There are three buildings comprising 3,200,000 square feet (North Hall, Central Hall and South Hall).
- The distance from North Hall to South Hall is nearly one mile (golf cart drivers are provided for convenience).
- Within the halls booth sizes range from 10 square feet to some as large as one city block.
- The average attendee will walk over ten miles a day and consume a gallon of water to compensate for temperatures hovering around 90 degrees.
Now that you have a good picture of the scope of the convention center, imagine planning appointments and meetings with a sufficient amount of time to get to each one (30 minutes between appointments is not unusual). Mapping out a schedule is imperative (Download the program) as well as a good pair of walking shoes. You do not want to be the woman wearing high-heeled shoes putting bandages on her ankles. You can always switch out your flip-flops or tennis shoes before your meeting once you arrive at your destination (you will see plenty of experienced people doing just that).
Keep in mind that the Internet connectivity is iffy in the convention halls. Print out the information you need to reference just to be safe and be prepared with a back up plan if your presentation requires connectivity. It is best to have everything you need loaded on your laptop or Ipad and ready to go. And bring chargers – you don’t want to run out of battery power in the middle of your presentation.
Finally, if entertaining is part of your job, making reservations needs to be done well in advance to get the best selection of restaurants and shows. And one word of caution, especially for the younger exuberant first timers, meeting days last a long time when you are hung over. Drink in moderation. Everything that happens in Vegas does not always stay in Vegas.