The signs are in production, booths are being shipped, and the parties have been planned. ICSC RECon is less than three weeks away, and every year it gets bigger, better and more exciting. We asked our team to share their personal tips on how to get the most out of the show, whether it’s your first time or tenth time.
The number one suggestion is to wear comfortable shoes! No matter how many sit-down meetings you have scheduled, you’ll still be covering a lot of ground, and you don’t want a pair of fabulous new shoes to slow you down. And if you don’t believe us, then at least remember that there’s a golf cart shuttle between the Central Hall and the South Hall.
For first-timers, after you’ve put on your comfortable shoes, think about taking the first-timer tour on Sunday; it’ll give you a chance to get oriented before the show floor opens and hopefully save you some backtracking later. And perhaps most importantly, Lucy Dinneen suggests that everyone, but especially first time attendees, “Enjoy. Soak it in. It’s all about meeting people.”
Everyone agrees that the best place to meet new people is away from the show floor. Kay Stallworthy likes the Sunday night parties best, so you can meet people before things really get started, while Ryan Beckman suggests the networking happy hours, where “you can make connections without the stresses of meetings or having other places to be.”
Remember to pace yourself when hitting the party circuit. Four nights of parties can derail the best intentions, and you don’t want to run out of steam before the last night—that’s when the best parties happen. Bill Rothacker has a two-party limit each night, but he also plans a breakfast meeting each morning, so it’s a good approach if you’re an early bird. For the rest of us, it’s about mixing face-time with cocktail time, and remembering to eat. As William Rothacker Jr puts it, “Maintain.” And Stephanie Harvey reminds you “have fun, just remember that you’ll pay for it in the morning.”
During the day, you’ll want to be sure you’re stocked with the essentials for a day of networking and deal-making. Water showed up on everyone’s “must-have” lists, along with Advil, band-aids (in case you packed the wrong shoes), tons of business cards, a great pen, and of course, plenty of materials about your company. Bill is firm believer in the breakfast meeting, and Kay tries to have one new meeting each year to keep things fresh.
When it’s time to take a break and check your email or just rest your voice, there are plenty of favorite spots. Bill likes the American Express lounge or one of the Starbucks meeting areas. Jeff Parker likes “Aces in the lobby of the South Hall, for its variety of foods and plenty of seats.” Or swing by our suite at the Renaissance—Kay promises a warm welcome, plenty of snacks, and a comfortable place to get off your feet.
Above all, have fun, check out the competition and meet new people. And don’t miss our party – invites went out last week, so check your in-boxes! We’ll see you there.