As The Geeky Girls headed off on another adventure, it was hard to decide what was more exciting… attending Inman Connect NY (ICNY) or seeing New York City for the first time- but either way, we were in the ICNY state of mind! Once again we would be Inman Ambassadors, or as our good friend Will Hansen at Inman lovingly refers to us… “BadAssadors”. We were truly honored when Katie Lance asked us to live blog for ICNY on Inman Next.
No sooner than we touched down at Laguardia we started to connect. We checked in on Foursquare (our usual practice) and within minutes we heard from Sean Carpenter, another Inman Ambassador. He had just landed and we arranged to meet at baggage claim. We decided to share a taxi into the city – the one catch was that Sean would have to accompany us to REBarCamp NYC (REBCNY). Our friend Nikki Beauchamp had arranged for us to attend even though we would be getting in late in the day. We hopped into a cab and headed straight to REBCNY dragging our suitcases with us. After our first terrifying cab ride through the city (Lisa’s heart nearly stopped at one point and Sean likely still has bruises on his leg), we had the pleasure of meeting Nikki for the first time IRL (in real life)! There was a lot of squealing and hugging. We slipped into a presentation being given by our friend Amy Chorew and the room was filled with SM (social media) friends. It was so nice to be able to walk into a strange place in a city we had never been before and have friends there to welcome us. And yes there was a lot more hugging.
We had to move on quickly as we had a meeting with Katie to bring us up to speed on “CoverItLive”, the live blogging platform we would be using for Agent Reboot and ICNY (we will be telling you much more about CoverItLive in a future post). So off we went to check in at the Marriot Marquis Times Square where ICNY would be taking place. How amazing is it that we were staying in the heart of Times Square on our first trip to NYC!
After getting our marching orders for the next day when we would be live blogging for Agent Reboot, we were off to connect with a few more friends. We found Darin Persinger, Debra Trappen (our swaggagirl) and Ben Kinney (our “head geek”), down in the lobby. Then we were off in search of a place to eat and watch the BCS Championship game. We found several friends along the way and eventually ended the evening at the Hourglass Tavern – a great little spot that Debra led us to.
We have been to an Agent Reboot or six (ok- maybe seven, lol) so we thought we knew what to expect, but we were blown away by the new format and caliber of speakers. Chris Smith and Katie Lance have taken Agent Reboot to a whole new level! We are pretty sure that Will Hansen and Tracy Weir had a little to do with this too. Jared James, Jim Marks, Ben Kinney, Jimmy Mackin and Darin Persinger were just some of the headliners of this awesome event. Even two of our very talented “Badassadors” were on stage representing- great job by Steve Pacinelli and Maura Neill. The real life and practical strategies that were presented made the attendees feel like they could affect change in their own real estate career when they left Reboot.
After Agent Reboot we had a yummy dinner at Ruby Foos with Julie Ziemelis, who came all the way from Hawaii to be an ambassador for ICNY. Then we met up with the rest of our ambassador group and sang some karaoke at a little place in times square called Tonic. That Debra Trappen, Maura Neill, Julie Ziemelis and Tucker Wannamaker are quite awesome singers. We were also lucky enough to spend a little time with our buddy Chad Hyams that night. He made a whirlwind trip to New York from Washington State to moderate a panel at ICNY.
Day 1 of Connect opened with the Welcome Address from Brad Inman. He spoke about how quality matters and how the economy is driving change. Next up were Katie and Chris and they got the crowd riled up with the results of their broker survey with some surprising stats. The CEO of Evernote, Phil Libin had a chat with Chris Smith. Hearing him talk about things other than the app was quite interesting. Then the “New Kids on the Block” – 5 new start-up companies selected to be demo their products took the stage. Another keynote followed with Jason Baptist of OnSwipe who spoke about the way we consume media is changing in the new world of tablet publishing. Later, Danny Meyer, the owner of the Shake Shack, was so inspiring as he talked about how they have grown their brand and business with awesome service and product. It was a full morning for sure! That afternoon Lisa live blogged for the Broker Summit Workshop led by Chad Hyams. Ben Kinney, Glenn Sanford and Katie Lance all were key contributors to this tract. Laurie live blogged for the Brand Management Workshop led by Matthew Shadbolt which included discussions with Mark Davison, Matt Gentile, Jim Moran, Bill Lublin, Nikki Beachamp, Teri Conrad, Michael McClure, Debra Trappen, Sherry Chris just to name a few! So many awesome people sharing – it was incredible!
That night we joined Katie and Chris on their pub crawl. Luckily it only included 2 pubs so we did not have to crawl very far in the light rain. We met Derek Halpern of Social Triggers along the way and invited him to join the fun. Our Carolina girl, Sheri Moritz, finally made it into town and she met us at the RETechnology Party. Marc Davison’s band was playing – needless to say meeting him was one of the highlights of our trip.
Day 2 of Connect was not to be denied and oh were we excited that the internet connection was near perfect. The General Sessions were incredible again. Tim Smith announced the winner of the Inman 100 Peoples Choice Award 2011 – It went to Dave Liniger, Co-founder and Chairman of the Board of RE/MAX. Katie’s session with Facebook’s Client Partner Thomas Arnold was not to be missed- but if you did you can watch the video. Lunch that day was one of the events that had been circled on our schedule for weeks. Matthew Shadbolt took a group of 20 or more of our closest friends to The Shake Shack. We decided to share a double cheeseburger, fries and a chocolate shake. Wow does not even begin to describe the best burger we have ever eaten. And the shake, yeah it was bordering heavenly. That afternoon was our second set of tracks. Laurie live blogged the Digital Marketing Innovation Track led by Kelly Mitchell. Jim Marks, Stacey Harmon, Jimmy Mackin, Richard Silver, Todd Carpenter, Gahlord Dewald, Heather Elias, Ginger Wilcox, Katie Lance, Suzanne Roy and Julie Ziemelis contributed to the afternoon discussions. Lisa was live blogging the Mastering Video Track led by Brian Copeland. Mark Passerby is someone that Lisa has wanted to meet for a while since she loves working with hdhat.com and he was on a panel discussing how easy video can be. The last panel of this track was moderated by Chris Smith with Michael Krisa, Darin Persinger, Michael Fischer and Lisa discussing video.
That night was the night to let your hair down and celebrate. Chris Drayer and our new Aussie friends, Phil Kells and David King, hosted a cocktail party celebrating the launch of their company RealSatisfied. It was a great warm up for the awesome “Connect at the Inman 100” party that followed later that evening. The R-Lounge with Times Square as an incredible backdrop was the place to be! What a fun night and we found not only can he sing but that Tucker can dance too!
The final day of Connect was as good as the first. Our own Cary Sylvester took the stage in the Innovator Spotlight. In 2011 Keller Williams won the Innovator Award for eEdge and now Cary gave her thoughts about tech in 2012. Jeff Jarvis delivered a keynote on sharing and how the way we share information about ourselves is changing the way we live. Then Matthew Shadbolt was highlighted in the Innovator Spotlight on Social Innovation Trends -let’s just say he really knows how to tell a story. The final session of the day was a panel of consumers – the real experts! It is always enlightening to hear what our clients really want from a real estate agent.
With Connect coming to a close there was just one last thing for The Geeky Girls to do in NYC…. shop! We headed down to Fifth Avenue to take a walk and see some of the most famous stores including Tiffany’s, Prada, and FAO Schartz. Of course, the one we gravitated to was the Apple Store. It was chilly and we even saw a little snow fall, but it was well worth braving the elements to take this stroll.
As we headed home from NYC, we were blissfully exhausted from another Inman Connect…. an experience of a life time with friends of a lifetime! You always feel a little more connected after Connect!