The new year is already upon us, which means Inman Connect New York (January 22-26, 2018, Marriott Marquis Hotel, Times Square) is only three weeks away. We recently caught up with Inman Ambassador Brandon Doyle to understand what keeps him coming back to the New York City cold every January, how to find the best seat in the sessions and what to pack in advance.
You’ve been coming to Inman Connect New York for several years now. What do you remember about your first experience, and what advice would you give a first-time attendee?
My first experience was at Inman Connect San Francisco when I was nominated for innovative Realtor of the year in 2014. While I didn’t win, I was able to connect with top agents from different companies across the U.S. who were willing to share their ideas and tell me what was working for them.
I had been using drones for aerial photography and saw digital showings for the first time (which we would later implement into our business). Hearing from great speakers both inside and outside of our industry was inspiring and challenged me to think about the business in different ways.
The networking opportunities were like nothing I had experienced before, whether it was in the hallways between sessions, grabbing lunch with a new friend or connecting over cocktails in the evening, I was able to form relationships that will last a lifetime.
Each year I look forward to attending Inman Connect again in order to stay on top of new trends, catch up with friends and make new connections. I encourage first-time attendees to put themselves out there: you’ll learn so much more by asking questions and networking with those chance encounters.
Attend the events in the evening — there will always be an opportunity to tag along with other groups. (Pay attention to the news feed to find the hottest places to go.)
Don’t forget to bring a backup charger — you’re not going to be spending much time in your room, and you’ll need the juice to store all your new contacts, photos, and to request those Ubers!
Connect is very well known for its ability to create long-lasting, meaningful networking opportunities. What would your advice be to those looking to grow their business through new connections in January?
Instead of trying to just hand out your business card to everyone you meet, really try to get to know just a handful of people. Be sure to add each other on social media so you can stay in touch, and follow the event using the hashtag (#ICNY) to find out what is going on.
There are plenty of opportunities to network in the hallways, lobby and during special events. Be sure to talk to the folks in the vendor alley — they always seem to know what is going on that night.
How do you pick which sessions to attend, and why?
On site you can use the app to find where you need to go, vote and comment. If a session isn’t quite what you expected you can always get up and go to another one. The most popular sessions will appear to have standing room only, but I can guarantee there will be spaces available in the front! (Those are the best seats anyways)
What’s the single biggest thing not to miss at every Connect?
The keynote speakers at Connect events are absolutely incredible.
For those still on the fence about attending, what’s the one piece of advice you’d give them?
Book now and start planning your itinerary — this is an event you’re not going to want to miss.