The Wilbert Group Blog

Three Nights in Vegas at ICSC RECon

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Last weekend, Caroline Wilbert and I along with 37,000 others made our way to Las Vegas for the world’s largest retail real estate convention, ICSC RECon. Over the last few months, we worked with our team to research the latest trends, strategize PR plans, develop digital/social media content and pitch our clients as thought leaders to the 35+ journalists attending the conference and looking for stories. To say the least, we were excited to get our boots on the ground.

We kicked off ICSC RECon on Sunday at the MAXI Awards Ceremony. MAXI Awards recognize the highest caliber of marketing, community outreach, sales promotion and new media efforts within the U.S. retail real estate industry. Between our work with North American Properties, Avalon, Colony Square, Hines and Atlantic Station, we helped our clients bring home eight MAXI awards, including one for innovative PR efforts at Colony Square.

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Liana Moran, Liz Gillespie and Carla Toro pose with six winning MAXI Awards.

After the MAXI Awards Ceremony, we joined the Hartman Simons team for a kick-off party at the Paris Hotel. Here we saw many movers and shakers, including our client Joel Murphy with New Market Properties and Daniel Easton who leads marketing at Atlantic Station.

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Liana Moran, Daniel Easton and Caroline Wilbert celebrate the first night of ICSC RECon at the Hartman Simons party.

On Monday morning we visited various client booths and walked the aisles of the convention. At North American Properties’ booth, the team unveiled its modern new brand and met with the Wall Street Journal to discuss its winning approach to experiential retail.

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North American Properties’ booth features its new purpose-driven brand.

We finished the afternoon with an intriguing panel about the future of food halls – a concept many of our clients are exploring/have recently rolled out, including Bayer Properties’ project The Pzitz.

Tuesday morning began at Franklin Street’s booth, where we met Cary Beale, new Senior Vice President at Franklin Street.

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Cary Beale and Monetha Cobb of Franklin Street.

From there, we met with Jeffrey Bayer of Bayer Properties and the Wall Street Journal to discuss the shrinking middle class and its effects on retail. Both Bayer’s project The Summit at Fritz Farm and North American Properties’ project Avalon were featured in the May issue of Shopping Center Business, which was distributed at the conference.

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Caroline Wilbert and Jeffrey Bayer after talking with the Wall Street Journal.

We then made our way to Ben Carter Enterprises’ booth, where we met Quito Anderson and Bennett Rudder, who are leasing projects in Savannah including The Broughton Street Collection. To tell the story of Broughton Street’s history and recent resurgence, we launched a SlideShare, which has already garnered 11,000 views. The team was also excited to share our recent hit in USA Today, naming Broughton Street one of the top ten best American shopping streets.

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Bennett Rudder, Liana Moran and Quito Anderson at the Ben Carter Enterprises’ booth.

Afterwards we enjoyed a keynote presentation by Barbara Corcoran, who credited PR and the media for playing a major role in the success of her company and brand. Before the keynote began, we caught up with veteran CRE journalist, Ben Johnson.

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Caroline Wilbert and Ben Johnson catch up on the latest CRE news.

We kicked off Tuesday evening with our friends at Imbibe for dinner followed by Franklin Street’s happy hour at Goose Island Pub. We capped the evening off at the Charlie Hendon party, where Caroline convinced me to get a tattoo (don’t worry, it rubbed off the next day).

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Liana Moran and Caroline Wilbert…. No caption needed. 😉

Before flying home Wednesday morning, the GlobeSt article we secured for Joel Murphy and New Market Properties ran, citing “the only thing static about retail is change.”

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And, as a result of a press release we pitched at the convention, Southeast Real Estate Business and Shopping Center Business covered Peachtree Center’s upcoming renovation.

The only client we did not see at the convention was Cooper Carry (their schedules were jam packed with exciting meetings)! But, stay tuned for a provocative SlideShare about eight creative uses for department store shells left behind by sweeping closures across the U.S.

Until next time, Vegas!