Helpful Hints: ICSC RECon 2015

In just a few short weeks, more than 35,000 brokers, tenants, owners and developers from all over the world will descend on Las Vegas for the annual International Council of Shopping Center (ICSC) ReCon event.  As veteran attendees, we’ve compiled some tips to help you have the best experience.

  • Know the details beforehand. The convention runs for three days, features more than 20 educational sessions, brings together 200 exhibitors and over 1,000 companies in a 1 million square foot exhibit hall.  Take a look at your registration materials and your convention kit, including the Program, and keep them in a safe place.  These are your guides for the entire event and replacements are hard to come by once the convention starts.  We recommend mapping out your appointments and the locations of the vendors you’d like to speak with.
  • Schedule meetings in advance and plan accordingly.  RECon is the perfect opportunity to drum up new business, forge new relationships and/or enhance existing ones.  Take a look at the attendee list and schedule meetings in advance (don’t forget about the time change).  If your next appointment is at another booth, give yourself at least 30 minutes to make the trek to that location.  TRUST ME on that one.  Be sure to reconfirm your meetings too. 
  • Plan for cocktail hours.  If your company is hosting a cocktail hour, be sure to extend the invitation to your clients.  If you get invited to other cocktail hours, attend the ones that provide the most value to you.  Don’t feel like you have to conduct business during cocktail hours.  Instead, schedule time to meet up the following day.  
  • Insoles! Flats! Chap Stick! Business Cards!  Over the course of the 3-day convention, you will likely walk miles and miles.  We’re not joking.  We recommend investing in a pair of insoles to help alleviate the pressure. Ladies, pack a pair of flats; you’ll thank us later!  Since you’ll be in the desert, Chap Stick is always a good idea.  And of course bring lots and lots of business cards, more than you think you might need.
  • Don’t go “print crazy.” Bring one, maybe two, copies of your marketing materials to show the people you’re meeting with, but don’t leave a copy with them. It might seem like you’d want to do the opposite, right?  WRONG.  Hard copies probably won’t make it back to their office, and it gives you a great reason follow-up with them afterwards.  
  • Badge. Badge. Badge. This may seem trivial, but believe me, you do not want to forget or lose your badge.  If you don’t have it on you at all times, you won’t be granted access to any of the convention functions.  Oh and if you lose it, the replacement fee is $150!