The new look of real estate conference networking - by Harry Zlokower

December 05, 2017 - Front Section

The invite was intriguing. “Brooklyn State of the Market” read the first line in big white lettering on bright red background, followed by smaller subhead, “Is it possible that Brooklyn is becoming…overhyped?” And in bold Broadway lingo, “New York – thru October 19, 2017 – Pioneer Building – Act Now 14 tickets left at $99.”

Scroll down for speaker photos, and handsome color rendering of the conference site, The Pioneer Building, an office and retail conversion of a historic former storage facility owned and developed by Quinlan Development Group and Building & Land Technology at 41 Flatbush Ave. Welcome to the new exciting – and judging from turnout – successful world of real estate conferences, this one produced by Bisnow. 

While digital communication grows in popularity, many real estate up-and-comers are making it their business to turn out for live conference and networking events, sometimes recast to fit the digital age. At the Pioneer Building an estimated 250 or so checked in at the lobby before heading up to expansive vacant surroundings, easily imagined as open office space, yet perfect to sip coffee, munch on egg wraps and croissants, circulate, talk, and exchange business cards non-stop and/or take in for as long or short as they wished stimulating panel discussions entitled, “Innovation in Retail,” “Office Conundrum,” “Downtown Brooklyn,” and “Multifamily and Residential.” 

If the producers intended a look of cool and energy, they succeeded, although the emcee did have to interrupt the conference from time to time to request networkers to lower the volume. 

There are more traditional formats for networking conferences from GreenPearl, RealShare, and REFI to B’nai B’rith Real Estate, YMWREA, YJP, and ULI, and many others. 

Make it your business to attend as many as you can, bring plenty of business cards, and be prepared to talk about yourself and what you do. 

Harry Zlokower is president of Zlokower Company, a real estate public relations firm, and past president of the New York Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America, New York, N.Y.


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