I’ve had a chance to somewhat recover from a whole week in Las Vegas. Frankly coming home on Friday (after a 4 hour delay, hell I could have drove back in less time) I was exhausted. While I didn’t “go big” on the first night I did on a few of the others. So here’s my take on Inman Connect’s first conference in Las Vegas. The good, the bad and the ugly.
Brad started off a little different this year, he turned the tables on himself. So instead of giving a inspirational speech or throw out a wild goal, he was interviewed and shared with everyone some of the origin stories of Inman News and his best and worst interviews. Interesting to hear that Barbara Cochran had him on his heels. As for the rest of the show I can’t remember when we had such great speakers. Both mornings (Wednesday and Thursday) were just great. Unlike other interviewers Brad isn’t afraid to ask difficult questions. At one point he asked Rich Barton, CEO of Zillow, since Zillow now seems to have broker licenses in all 50 states, “How can anyone trust you anymore? Yikes.
A big shout out to Clelia Peters who did a lot of interviewing on stage, she did an outstanding job. Hope she comes back again. I think the line of the show when she was interviewing Ryan Gorman, CEO of NRT, Inc. who is suing Compass over alleged illegal recruiting practices. Peters opined that such practices might be aggresive, but maybe not illegal. Ryan, shot back, “It’s a fine line between shopping and shoplifting”, which the crowd just loved.
I really enjoyed Cheih Huang, CEO of Boxed. His talk on “how I built my company” was great. He told a personal story of starting his business with a lot of emotion and humor. Good stuff.
While San Francisco is my favorite city of all time, I did enjoy having the conference in Las Vegas. You had so many options. The best restaurants, shows, etc.
So overall, as for the conference itself, the exhibit booths, startup alley, and General Sessions Inman Connect scored a 9 out of 10.
The “bad” weren’t necessarily in control of anyone or a failing of the conference organizers, just compromises.
Having to huff back and forth between the conference area and your hotel room or bars was a pain in the ass. Not having everything in a central location was missed. But not every hotel is set up like the Marriott Marquis.
Your hotel room key only got you to the floor you had your room on. I’m told this was a security precaution since the concert shooting in Las Vegas. This made it very difficult to attend any parties or get customers up to your suite for private meetings.
Not having one central location (aka a single lobby bar) was also a bummer. With everything being so spread out there were people I didn’t see until Friday.
The General Sessions started at 8:30AM. And it doesn’t get anymore uglier than that when you were up till wee hours of the morning. How about 9:30am? 10? Pretty please, with sugar on top!
While I didn’t win the Inman Innovator award ( you can see a list of award winners here) for either of my podcasts (Listing Bits and Industry Relations) I was very pleased to see Sam DeBord win the Nate Ellis Award. As Inman News put it….
“Sam DeBord…Embracing the role of the agent and the brokerage, he has pushed the industry forward with his credible voice, his relentless advocacy and his unmatched smarts about the real estate business.”
I knew Nate, and the spirt of this award was exactly right. Congrats Sam.
My thanks to Brad, and the rest of the Inman News team for a fun week.