Whether this is your first Inman Connect New York event or the latest of several, there’s one question that attendees always ask event staff, speakers, and Inman Ambassadors: “What shouldn’t I miss at Inman Connect? What’s the one thing I need to make sure I catch?”
That’s a difficult question to answer, but we polled a number of veteran attendees and real estate stars to ask their opinion. Here’s what they think you need to catch at this year’s Inman Connect New York, taking place January 29 through February 1 at the Marriott Marquis Times Square.
Brandon Doyle: “The keynote speakers at Connect events are absolutely incredible.”
Linda Aaron: “I have always stayed through the Friday sessions and am always surprised that more people don’t. These sessions are just as valuable and informative as the rest of the week. Don’t miss them.”
Seattle Divas: “The Opening Session is a must. It sets the tone for the week and gives you insights from outside of our industry. Our entire business has been based on tools that retailers, non-profits and other industries use before your average agent adopts them. The best place to get that inspiration in our industry is the opening session of Connect.
The opening session of 2016 featured Seth Godin. Seth illuminated that traditional marketing is the one-size-fits-TV approach, but the truth of the matter is that all of us need to be as niche as possible in our approach to finding our version of Diva Dwellers. It was brilliant. It cemented a practice that we had, but didn’t have the words to articulate to others.
Niche marketing is and will continue to be our mainstay.
Regardless of how late we are out hanging with the Real Estate ‘Illuminati’ the night before, the Divas will be somewhere in the first and second row at the opening session. See you there!”
Billy Ekofo: “You never want to miss the opportunity to network at Connect. NEVER.”
Peter Brewer: “Hallway and lobby conversations are gold. Meaningful conversations at midnight in dive bars with people you’ve never met before whose names you’ll struggle to remember. They’re the teachings you’ll take back home, they’ll be with new friends you’ll make for life. Sleep when you get home. Inman is about connecting, whether it’s 2 p.m. or 2 a.m. Get out and soak up the optimism and the energy of 5,000 of your newest friends!”
Sean Carpenter: “The general sessions are full of great speakers — don’t miss them. And make sure you visit O’Hara’s Pub down near Ground Zero — it’s the one place I recommend to every first-time NYC visitor. I’ve felt a personal obligation to tell others about this place since I discovered it during my first visit to NYC. In fact, I usually try to host the Unofficial Official Inman Connect Kickoff Happy Hour there.”
Jeff Turner: “The parties. Big or small, the parties are where the real connections take place. If you do it right, you’ll be dog tired at the end of the week, but it will be worth it. Don’t shy away from the evening events — they’re the best part of the experience. And if you can get an invite to CEO Connect, go. I think it’s the best thing Inman has done in the last 10 years.”
Roland Kampmeyer: “At Connect anything is possible. Any minute you might learn or hear something that is able to completely change your life. The one big thing you shouldn’t miss is to grasp all the incentives, and which are likely to give you sensational input on your personal development. Keynote speakers and special industry celebrities with great contributions influence the whole character and atmosphere of Connect. They are responsible for the creative and exciting vibes that you will feel in every session and in all your encounters.”
Jay Thompson: “Honestly? Hugs from my friends. But that’s not very helpful. The morning main sessions are almost always great, and if something isn’t really your thing, the talks are short and the agenda moves fast.
If I could only attend one part of Connect, it would be Lobby Con. Between sessions there will be people gathered in the hallways and the hotel lobby, some in one-on-one groups, some in much larger groups. Amazing things happen in the hallway and lobby gatherings, the lunches, the random encounters and even the coffee lines — you don’t want to miss them!”
Laura Monroe: “I’d say there are two things not to miss: The exhibitor area, and a night out on the town away from the event. The exhibitor area is where the new, fresh companies go first to launch innovations into the industry – or old favorites can show off new products and features. It’s also entertaining and memorable to experience a New York night. Get out of Times Square, or go to a Broadway play- but make sure you do something you’ve never done before.”
Danielle Garofolo: “There are so many great speakers, but for me it’s always been bumping into people in the lobby and catching up. There’s always someone from my network who I can introduce to another friend.
Also take advantage of the fact that so many people are heading out in groups for dinner afterward. I don’t think I’ve ever made it home from an Inman conference before 1 a.m., and despite the quick turnaround for an early morning session, I’ve always felt that getting to know new people is time well spent.”
Boris Geheniau: “The opening speech by Brad! Which connects the Connect!”
Katie Lance: “I would not miss the opportunities to network after hours. Whether you are an early riser or a night owl, the early morning or late evening conversations in the hallways are some of the best and can impact your business in so many ways.
Don’t just run back to your room after the sessions — take time to reach out and meet new people! If I could add a second thing, it would be to not miss the keynote presentations. Connect brings so many incredible speakers like Gary Vaynerchuk, Diana Nyad, Scott Stratten and so many others. Seeing the keynote speakers is always a highlight for me.”
Heather Elias: “The networking! My favorite spot is the bar that overlooks Times Square on the lobby level: you can meet a ton of people in a fantastic setting. It’s always packed and the conversations are great.”
Bill Lublin: “Engage in all parts of the event. Don’t just chase from session to session and then call your office every time you’re free – be part of the social aspect of Connect. The things you’ll learn from your peers are invaluable, and the relationships you create will do wonders for your life and your business. Ask someone you’ve just met what they’re enjoying and what they recommend. You might be surprised at their answer and find something new and useful for your business.”
Bret Calltharp: “You never know what Brad Inman will say on stage. Ha! The true magic, however, is the people attending.
I love Startup Alley as I’m fired up speaking to entrepreneurs about their passions, their companies and where the industry is heading. I truly believe ICNY attracts the best and brightest in this business and I enjoy every opportunity I get to pick those brains.”
Melanie Piche: “Whether too many consecutive late nights or early flights are to blame, the last day at Connect is usually the least attended … but the Friday morning sessions are always among my favorites.
I’ve always secretly imagined that Brad and the gang plan for the best content on the last day as a reward for the truly committed.”
Nikki Beauchamp: “Some of my best connections came from the completely unexpected. While all the social activities are great sometimes something as simple as a “hello” starts the ball rolling, keep your eyes open — in the lobby, and even at the gym.”
Tara Christianson: “How do I pick?! I’d say don’t miss the morning speakers, and plan to stay the entire week. Yes, there will be some late nights and a week is a long time. However, Brad and his team have thought about every second of this conference and you won’t want to miss one thing. It’s worth it to make the investment of time and energy to dig into everything that’s on offer. From Startup Alley to the Influencer Bash, you should try to see and do as much as you possibly can.”
Lindsay Listanksi: “The single biggest thing not to miss is meeting people you don’t know! It is easy to sit with your colleagues and go out to lunch with friends, but you are missing half the value of the event if you are staying within your own sphere.
Network, network, network!”
Bill Risser: “At every Connect I’ve attended, there has always been the main stage speaker (or two) that grabs my attention with a biography or a description of the talk.
People like the late David Carr of the New York Times, former CEO of Evernote Phil Lubin and Andrew Flachner of RealScout immediately come to mind. Look for keynotes or other talks that resonate with you and get them on the schedule. You will not be disappointed.”
Laurie Weston Davis: “Honestly, in the last few years there have been some amazing keynote speakers — some totally caught me by surprise. So don’t sleep in! And the Big Bash on Thursday night is pretty fun so don’t miss that either!”
Andrea Geller: “Never miss the opportunity to introduce yourself to someone or ask someone to make a connection. The relationships made are priceless. This community can become one of your greatest resources. Over the years so many people in the Inman community have been there for me in so many ways. The perspective of these people around the country helps my business everyday. I hope I do the same for them.”
Wendy Forsythe: “I can’t pick just one biggest thing, so here are my top five things not to miss:
1) Morning coffee in the lobby overlooking Times Square and chatting with people.
2) Cocktail hour. The energy level is a 10.
3) New Kids on the Block. Hearing these startups give their pitch is always a highlight.
4) Turn a meeting into a “walk and talk” out in Times Square.
5) Friday’s closing session. It’s always one of the best for takeaways.”
Jacy Reidmann: “It was at Inman Connect that I was able to announce one of my proudest accomplishments to date — becoming one of The Geeky Girls!
It’s a blog full of articles, videos and reviews of real estate and social media topics run by Laurie Weston Davis, CEO/owner of Better Homes and Gardens Lifestyle Property Partners and director of social media at Revaluate, and includes the brilliant writing of Tiffany Kjellander, the CEO/owner of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate PorchLight Properties.
These are lifetime connections that not only helped grow my business and aid in my own professional growth, but also became friends who support each other through triumphs and hard times.
I have seen this community pull together during so many beautiful and dark times. We have experienced losses through the death of close colleagues, celebrated love through engagements and marriages, and welcomed those who were new to the industry into our herd through the Inman Ambassador Program.”
Karen Bigos: “This is tough, but the keynote speaker is usually a home run that leaves a lasting impression. For me it’s all about the people and hearing about their latest gadget, app or service that is making a difference for them. I think I learn more outside of the sessions when I connect with people in small groups.
Catching a Broadway show is always a thrill. Even if the weather calls for a blizzard — GET THERE any way you can! I paid extra for a room with a view and seeing Times Square without a single car was pretty cool!”
Dig deeper into What not to miss at Inman Connect New York and discover the opportunities in a changing market at Inman Connect New York, January 29 – February 1. Jumpstart 2019 with tactical takeaways, unlimited networking and thought-provoking speakers. Learn more.
Thinking about bringing your team? You may qualify for special group perks! Contact us to learn more.