The Cadence Team reflects on another whirlwind weekend at the world’s largest retail real estate conference.
For twenty years, Cadence team members have been making the trip to sunny Las Vegas to attend the annual ICSC conference – the iconic commercial real estate gathering. The two-day, non-stop networking and deal-making event took place May 22-24 and was attended by major players within the commercial real estate industry. As always, it provided Cadence with an opportunity to wine and dine top brokers, tenants, and potential investors.
For some Cadence team members, it was their first experience at the massive industry meetup, while others have been making the trip for most of their career. After taking some time to reflect, the Cadence team had a lot of shared thoughts and takeaways from this year’s trip to ICSC Las Vegas.
The Mood Was High, Despite an Attendance Drop
The overall sentiment the Cadence team reported feeling at this year’s conference was refreshing, relaxed, and positive. Walking around the trade show floor, enthusiasm was palpable. With the global pandemic causing the last few ICSC conferences to be held virtually, attendees were notably excited to be meeting in-person again.
Still, attendance paled in comparison to previous years, with noticeably fewer exhibitors and brokers present. Ryan Beckmann believed this worked in Cadence’s favor, however, noting that while ICSC was less crowded overall, tenants on the floor were more open to talking and sharing information as they were less busy.
Kay Stallworthy echoed this sentiment. “The shift in attendance led to having more face time with tenants and better conversations. These conversations ultimately led to greater progress on deals, and we were able to secure new clients.”
Private Dinners Were Key to Pushing Deals Further
After a busy day of attending meetings, clients were relieved to be treated to an intimate dinner, hosted by Cadence. In past years, Cadence has been known to throw social gatherings in a luxurious rented hotel suite, making space to connect with key clients in a more relaxed setting. However this year, the team opted for a less planned-out approach, leaving room for spontaneous lunch and dinner opportunities that ultimately proved crucial to securing new deals.
Lucy Dinneen expressed the importance of using these private meals as an opportunity to focus on key leads, connect with brokers, and of course, enjoy time with the Cadence team. Lucy also noted that private dinners are opportune for strengthening relationships over the course of the night, allowing Cadence to put a face to the name for clients and show off the firm’s personality.
Expectations Were Exceeded
Cadence’s goals when attending ICSC Las Vegas have remained the same over the last twenty years: gain exposure to key industry players while making room for as many one-on-one meetings with current and potential clients as possible. While this year’s preparation was more toned down than previous years’, Cadence attendees still had very concrete goals in mind. For many, it was an opportunity to nail down facetime with specific clients who have a high probability of producing deals in the coming months.
When asked if they felt like they achieved their goals for this year’s conference visit, the responses from attending Cadence staff were all a resounding yes. Dave Runberg noted that reconnecting with financial partners in-person was key to re-establishing the strong relationships formed prior to the pandemic, and with clients who came on during the last two years. Cadence newcomer Danny Allen noted that the networking trip lived up to his expectations and more, while seasoned attendee William Rothacker Jr. believed it to be the best of his career thus far.
ICSC has always been a highlight of the year for Cadence team members and a consistent opportunity to showcase the firm’s dealmaking prowess. After years of Zoom meetings, the Cadence team was also excited to be able to make deals together in person, and in fabulous Las Vegas no less.